Terms and Conditions
The following details the Terms and Conditions (“T&C”) for Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic Ltd trading as “Bell Equine” and “Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic”. Some aspects of the T&C may not be relevant to you and we request that you ask for further explanation and clarification if required. These T&C shall apply to all matters that we handle on your behalf and to the exclusion of any other T&C. By allowing us to continue looking after your horse, you are deemed to accept these T&C. “Inform” means we will inform you in writing, by text or e-mail.
All our fees and medical charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Our fee levels are determined by the time spent on a case and according to the medicines, materials, and consumables used. A written estimate is available on request. You will receive a detailed fee note for every consultation, surgical procedure or transaction with us.
2. EMERGENCY SERVICE
Bell Equine provides a 24 hour veterinary service. Horses, ponies and donkeys will only be seen out of hours after prior arrangement with the duty veterinary surgeon by phone. The duty veterinary surgeon can be contacted by ringing our pager service on 08448 222 888 and leaving a message for the pager call sign BELL TEN.
3. METHODS OF PAYMENT and SETTLEMENT TERMS
Any new client will be expected to pay in full at the time of treatment.
We offer a 10% discount for immediate payment at the time of service for all clients.
Payment is due within 1 month of the date of the invoice. A discount of 5% will be allowed on the net amount only for payments received within 14 days of the date of the invoice. Interest will be charged at a rate of 2.5% per month on invoices that remain unpaid after 1 month of the date of the invoice (see 5. below).
Treatment on account will only be available to established clients known to Bell Equine and with a sound credit history.
All hospital cases are asked to pay at collection unless other arrangements have been agreed with the director in charge of the case. If your horse is admitted to hospital you may be asked to pay a deposit towards treatment within 24 hours of arrival.
You may settle your account using: CASH, CHEQUE with current banker’s card. CREDIT/DEBIT CARD (Switch, Solo, Mastercard, Visa & Delta - we do not accept American Express.) Payments by credit or debit card may be made by phone.
Failure to pay the outstanding balance within 60 days of any treatment will result in referral to our debt collection agency. Further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt. We may also inform other local veterinary practices of the reasons for referral of the debt to the debt collection agency.
4. ESTIMATES OF TREATMENT COSTS
We will happily provide a written estimate (not a quotation) as to the probable cost of a course of treatment. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate; often a horse’s illness will not follow a predictable or standard course.
5. LIQUIDATED DAMAGES
If for any reason you are unable to settle your account as specified we ask that you discuss the matter as soon as possible with a member of staff. Please note that instalments or part-payments of any account may only be sanctioned with the express permission of the Directors. If you fail to make any payment due to us under this agreement by the due date for payment, then you shall, if you do not have the express permission of the Directors to pay by instalments or part-payments, pay interest on the overdue amount at the rate of 2.5% per month. Such interest shall accrue on a monthly basis from the due date until actual payment of the overdue amount, whether before or after judgment. You shall pay the interest together with the overdue amount. You are agreeing that the interest amount for failure to pay is fair given that it costs us significantly more time and money to administer and monitor an overdue debt payment than if you had paid on time.
6. TERMINATION OF SERVICE
You may ask us to stop caring for your horse, pony or donkey at any time.
We may stop looking after your animals if you do not accept our advice; or fail to settle your account on time; or if we are prohibited by law from doing any further work on your matter; or if the relationship between you and us sadly breaks down; or if we no longer have the expertise. Under these circumstances we will serve notice in writing of imminent withdrawal of services.
We will then invoice you for any work already done. We reserve the right to hold your horse’s records until all outstanding invoices and expenses have been paid.
7. HORSE HEALTH INSURANCE
Bell Equine strongly supports the principle of insuring your horse against unexpected illness or accidents although we cannot give any recommendations regarding individual insurance companies. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to settle your account in accordance with these terms and then reclaim the fees from your insurance company. Insurance companies will often assume that this has been done and will deduct the 5% prompt payment discount accordingly. It is possible to arrange for payment to be made direct to Bell Equine when you complete your claim form, but if doing this, please submit claim forms as soon as possible in order to avoid losing the 5% prompt payment discount.
8. COMPLAINTS AND STANDARDS
We hope that you never have reason to complain about the standards of service received from Bell Equine. However, if you feel that there is something you wish to complain about, please direct your comments in the first instance in writing to a Director. Further details of our complaints procedure are available below.
9. OWNERSHIP OF RADIOGRAPHS AND SIMILAR RECORDS
The care given to your horse may involve making some specific investigations; for example taking radiographs or performing ultrasound scans. Even though we make a charge for carrying out these investigations and interpreting their results, ownership of the resulting record, for example a radiograph, remains with Bell Equine.
No addition or variance of these T&C will bind Bell Equine unless specifically agreed in writing and signed by a Director. No agent or person employed by or under contract with Bell Equine has the authority to alter or vary these T&C in any way.
11. DATA PROTECTION
In holding and using data about you, we will comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.
In instructing us to look after your horse, you authorise us to use that data in the course of the work that we do for you, and also to send you from time to time in the future, free of charge, details of the services that we provide. We will, where specifically required, pass on to Insurers details of clinical histories, case records and diagnostic images relating to your horse.
12. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
This condition applies to any claim:-by you; against us (including any successor business), any past, present or future directors of this firm, and/or any past present or future employees of this firm. Such claim shall be limited in amount to £5,000.00 for each and every claim, including claimants’ costs. All claims, whether made by one or more of the parties referred to above or by a third party, arising from the same act or omissions, shall be regarded as one claim.
For the avoidance of doubt, this limitation of liability shall apply to any claim for negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, and any liability whatsoever.
13. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
We are an equal opportunities employer and we are committed to providing the same high quality service to all our clients, regardless of age, disability, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
All horses, ponies and donkeys must have passports, which should be available for the vet to check and we strongly recommend that passports should be signed by the owner to confirm that the animal is not going for human consumption.
If you do not have a passport, we can help you obtain one. Where a passport is not available the detailed record of medicinal products must be retained. This information is available on your account documentation.
Prescriptions are available from this practice. You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines, Category V, (POM-Vs) from Bell Equine OR ask for a prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or a pharmacy. We can only prescribe POM-Vs only for animals under your care. A prescription may not be appropriate for an in-patient or where immediate treatment is necessary.
You will be informed, on request, of the price of any medicine that may be dispensed for your animal. The general policy of this practice is to re-assess an animal requiring repeat prescriptions every 6 months, but this may vary with individual circumstances. The standard charge for a re-examination is available on request and on the practice website.
Further information on the prices of medicines is available on request.
Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic – Help us to help you
Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic is committed to using comments (either positive or negative) from clients to continuously monitor and improve the services it provides. We appreciate feedback and hope that clients will speak up when standards of care and service either exceed or fall below their expectations.
The directors review all comments received from clients and the information is then forwarded to the appropriate staff. In this way, we can strive to continuously improve the quality of the service that we offer.
How to complain:
We take complaints very seriously. First, raise the matter with the member of staff involved - then, if you're not satisfied, speak to the vet in charge of your case. We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time that they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a formal complaint, we would like you to let us know as quickly as possible – ideally within a matter of days or at most a few weeks – because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily.
- Complaints concerning our team and any procedures as well as complaints concerning the treatment of your horse during a visit to your yard / home should be addressed to Julian Samuelson MRCVS (Managing Director).
- Complaints regarding an examination or treatment of your horse in the hospital should be addressed to Tim Mair MRCVS (Hospital Director).
- Complaints regarding fees or any other concerns should be addressed to the appropriate director as soon as possible after receipt of the invoice.
Alternatively, you may ask for an appointment to discuss your concerns with one of the four veterinary surgeons that are the directors of Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic Ltd, namely Julian Samuelson, Tim Mair, David Sinclair or Karen Coumbe.
What we shall do:
We shall endeavor to acknowledge your complaint within three working days, and aim to have reviewed your complaint within ten working days of the date that we received it. We will then be in a position to discuss it with you or arrange a meeting with the people involved.
When we look into your complaint we will aim to:
- Find out what happened and what went wrong.
- Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned (if you would like to do this).
- Make sure that you receive an apology, where this is appropriate.
- Identify what we can do to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again.
Remember, our aim is to do our best for you and all the horses in our care. We rely on feedback to guide us in how to provide the best possible service. If you are unhappy, please let us know. We cannot remedy a problem, if we do not know about it, so always tell us please.
The Directors, Bell Equine Vet Clinic Ltd. July 2013