Consumer Complaints

Alright…two major gripes.  I tried to just suck it up, but these are BOTHERING me a lot.

The famed DC-area Eye Center with Dr. Boutros:  I received LASIK surgery in January 2001 and loved it.  LOVED IT!  I told everyone I knew to get LASIK.  EVERYONE.  After my surgery and the initial follow-up appointments, I tried to go every year…mostly because I was still in the habit of going yearly after wearing glasses and contacts for ten or twelve years.  I asked one of the optometrists a few years ago if I still needed to go yearly, since my vision was great, and she told me every 18 months would be fine.  That was December 2004.  Meanwhile, Life happened, and as in most cases, I forgot to make my appointment for June 2006.  In fact, I didn’t remember to make an appointment until a few weeks ago when I started having trouble seeing well while driving at night.  I go in, and sure enough, my vision changed (although I had both the technician AND the optometrist tell me that it might be because I was still nursing Cooper…don’t know how, but whatever).  The doctor tells me that it’s a minor change, but not really enough to warrant corrective lenses (hello, is she the one driving at night after many hours of staring at a computer screen?).  I asked her how bad it had to be before they’d do surgery again, since my vision is guaranteed, and she told me that since it had been so long since I had last been in, that my warranty was void.  WHAT?!?!?!  Supposedly I was supposed to come yearly for check-ups as part of keeping the warranty on my eyes.  People, I honestly do not recall that stipulation…if I had, I would’ve had all sorts of reminders all over the place.  And, if that’s the case, how come I was told by a doctor that every 18 months would suffice?  Or why hadn’t I received a single reminder card EVER in the 7 years I had been attending that practice?  I truly think that they didn’t send reminder cards to help allow people to naturally forget about their yearly check-ups so that they can minimize their chances of paying for someone’s additional corrective surgeries. 

VPI Pet Insurance:  Ginger needs a new hip…or at least a weird sort of corrective surgery that actually removes the ball of the femur to create a false joint somehow (yeah, don’t pretend to understand human medicine, let alone veterinary medicine).  The vet told me it would run somewhere around $800-$1,200.   Yeah, that’s dollars, not pesos.  *sigh*  So I called our pet insurance to see about how much they would reimburse us for the surgery and was told they do not cover hip dysplasia…at all.  I asked the rep on the phone to repeat himself.  No, I had heard correctly.  They will cover all sorts of thing, but not hip dysplasia.  He went on and on about how it’s congenital in many breeds, etc., and I interrupted, hopeful, “but she’s a Boston Terrier…they aren’t susceptible to hip dysplasia, just luxating patellas”.  He said it didn’t matter, and that they don’t cover luxating patellas, either.  So to all of you who have dog breeds where hip dysplasia and/or luxating patellas are prevalent, do NOT get VPI Pet Insurance.  Go somewhere else.  I actually found one company that does cover it, but they won’t cover it for pre-existing conditions (which would be the case for Ginger).  I can’t say that I blame them for having that stipulation.  But I cannot believe that a pet insurance company would not cover one of the most prevalent issues with large dogs.  Obviously if one of the parents has hip dysplasia, the puppies would have a large chance of having hip dysplasia, too.  But hip dysplasia can happen to a puppy that has healthy-hipped parents, just like other birth defects can sometimes spontaneously occur, which is most likely Ginger’s case.  But VPI doesn’t care that my poor pup has arthritis severe enough that she will walk on only her three good legs, and cries when she can’t get up on a couch or bed to be near one of us.  She’s on pain killers right now to help her manage the pain and get her leg muscle built up again, but she’s only 2-1/2 years old and has many many years of life ahead of her.    So shame on VPI, and here’s praying that the vet will allow us to pay them in installments.

Okay…thanks for letting me gripe and complain.

About the Author

Colleen

This is a blog where I will share my adventures and mundane tasks as a work-out-of-home-mom. I now have 2 kids and my wonderful husband, so the juggling has gotten a little bit more tricky (man-on-man defense). We also have 2 dogs and 3 cats (we used to have 4) so as you can imagine, our household is pretty busy. Since I never feel like I'm being listened to, I figured I'll just start talking at the general Internet community and see what happens.

5 Comments

Burgh Baby's Mom

I’m scared to get lasik ever since an optomotrist told me that they are starting to see increased incidents of glaucoma in people that have had the surgery. You’re story didn’t make me feel any more trusting of the idea. *sigh* I guess I’ll keep wearing my coke bottles for a few more years.

We don’t do pet insurance for exactly the reason you stated. It seems that most anything that might actually happen isn’t covered. Argh!

Kathy/lessons from the laundry

Yikes…I hate stuff that makes your head spin like that. The reason I never got lasik was because they said I may end up needing to wear glasses…say what? Good luck with the fight!

This is my first visit…thanks for the chuckle.

Karen

Wha!!! Both issues are incredibly frustrating. Why on earth would a company tout something and then not hold up to their end? (Besides their bottom line, of course.)

Hopefully your new year improves over this.

Bob

Insurance companies rarely cover known problems. If it was certain that you would have back or hip problems because of your heredity, I doubt your insurance would cover your surgery either. Companies that claim to cover hereditary diseases are either lying or going out of business shortly. Insurance was created to protect you from the unknown.

Kim

Our cat Divot had to have that same surgery when he was a kitten because his leg mysteriously broke while we were on vacation. Price sounds about what we ended up paying – most expensive free cat we’ve ever had! My cousin has a boston terrier and her dog had the same issue as Ginger. She ended up having the same surgery. You’d never know on either of them…weird how it works.

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