Chiltern Equine Clinic Terms and Conditions
Chiltern Veterinary Services is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Tier 3 accredited (Equine Hospital) and is committed to providing the highest standard of veterinary care and treatment for your horse. We aim to provide fair charges and competitive fees in order to maintain the best surgical and diagnostic facilities through continued investment and expansion. By accepting our services or purchase of goods, you are contractually agreeing to the Terms of Business as laid out below.
Professional fee levels are determined by the time spent on a case and according to the drugs, resources, materials, and consumables used. All fees, consumables and drug charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. We believe that our prices are honest and competitive and we run a transparent pricing policy and always charge fairly and consistently. We are always happy to provide written quotes for any procedure should you require one. We respect our clients and want you to feel that you get excellent value for our professional care. The cost of prescription only medicines are constantly monitored to ensure are prices are competitive.
Opening an Account
New clients are required to pay in advance or at the time of visit either by cash, credit/debit card, for services or goods until an account with us has been opened and approved. We reserve the right to verify all new clients credit rating with a credit reference agency. Certain procedures may require payment in advance, such as Vet for purchase examinations or surgical procedures.
Accounts are processed and invoices/statements are sent monthly. The account is to be settled within 15 days of the invoice date. Overdue accounts, after due notice to you, will be referred to our Debt Collecting Agency or the County Courts if satisfactory repayment arrangements have not been made with ourselves. This will incur you further costs whilst collecting the debt. Any cheque which you issue which is returned unpaid, any credit card payment not honoured, and any cash tendered that is found to be counterfeit will result in your account being restored to the original sum together with any fees incurred in the process. Persistent late payment will result in the need for all fees to be paid for at the time of treatment or withdrawal of our veterinary services.
Inability to Pay
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being unable to pay your account please discuss this matter as soon as possible with a member of staff. Installments or part payments of any account may only be sanctioned with the permission of the Practice Manager.
Payments made by the end of the next working day following the work done will receive a discount of 5% if paid by cash or debit card, 3% discount will be given if paid by credit card. Payment by card can be made over the phone to any of our clinics, cash must be paid either to the attending vet or brought into any of our clinics. If an invoice is not settled by the end of the next working day following the visit the normal payment terms of 15 days come into effect. Discount may not be offered on “special offers” or “discounted services”.
Estimates of Treatment Costs
We are happy to provide a written estimate as to the possible costs of treatment and/or investigation. It is not always possible to predict all events during the course of treatment and/or investigation. Any estimate given can only be approximate and may be subject to change – as a horse’s illness may not follow a conventional course.
Out Of Hours
There is an out of hours fee subject to calls for veterinary visits made through the emergency service.
We strongly recommend that your equine be insured with a reputable insurance company. However, any insurance agreement is between you and the insurance company and not with the Practice. Insurance claims carry the same payment terms as above. This may mean that you may have to settle your account with us before your insurance company has settled your claim. By prior agreement we may defer these terms on the agreement that your insurance form is signed so payment is made direct to us and that your insurance company have agreed to the claim in principal. You will still need to pay for any excess and costs not covered by insurance (e.g. livery) within the normal terms and any costs later rejected by your insurance company.
Returned Cheques etc.
Any cheque returned by our Bank as unpaid, any credit card payment not honoured and any cash tendered that is found to be counterfeit will result in the account being restored to the original sum. Additional charges may be added in respect due to bank charges, administrative costs and interest on the principal sum.
If payment is not made under our agreed terms, clients will be referred to our Debt Collection Agency or the County Court. Further charges may be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt, i.e. correspondence, court fees, attendance at court, phone calls, interest, etc. We reserve the right that to receive any further service or goods, clients who have an outstanding debt must prepay with a credit/debit card or cash.
Any dispute with the fees/service presented must be put in writing to the Practice Manager within 7 days of receiving the invoice. Where any dispute is not proven and as a result the payment is late, then the overdue accounts procedure will become effective. Therefore clients are always advised to settle their invoice on time, and if there is a dispute this payment being made without prejudice.
Our Policy is to normally invoice the horse’s owner directly. Where a livery yard / stables has permission from the horse/pony’s owner to authorise veterinary work, purchase goods or that invoices will be initially settled by them, then that livery yard/stables is responsible for ensuring accounts are settled on time and are liable for any late payment action. Where livery yard/stables arrange such veterinary service or purchases goods from us, it is assumed that permission has been given by the owner for this service or goods to be provided. Please ensure you have made suitable arrangements with the livery yard owner that gives them permission to call the vet on your behalf and authorise treatment for your horse.
We accept Switch, Solo, Maestro, Visa or MasterCard credit/debit cards as a preferred method of payment. Card payments, can be made via telephone to any of our clinics. There is a 1.3% service fee charge on credit card payments over £100; there is no service fee charge on debit cards. Cheque with guaranteed cheque card, cash or by bank transfer/ online banking.
We will only use client details for the purpose of our business. We will not intentionally pass any details on to 3rd parties, unless specifically detailed below, without your permission. We may, from time to time, send you veterinary information that would be relevant to you. We will aim to maintain your details correct on our databases. You, the client, will provide us with correct and updated personal information to allow us to provide our services to you.
Ownership of Records
Case records, x-rays, scans and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by Chiltern Equine Clinic. Even though a charge may be made for carrying out the investigations and interpreting the results, ownership of the resulting record e.g. an x-ray or ultrasound scan remains the property of the practice. Upon request, copies of records with a summary of the history of your horse will be passed to another Veterinary Surgeon taking over your horses care and treatment.
Variations in Terms & Conditions of Business
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless specifically agreed in writing by the Chiltern Equine Clinic Directors. Additionally no agent or person employed by or under contract with the Practice has the authority to alter or vary these terms and conditions in anyway.