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Dealing With Pet Owners Who Refuse To Pay Their Veterinary Bills

Elliott Greenwood

May 19, 2023 · 3 min read


Dealing With Pet Owners Who Refuse To Pay Their Veterinary Bills

‍Running a veterinary practice requires striking the perfect balance between being a stern, profit-oriented business owner and a caring client-oriented organization. 

You want the best for your clients, though you must collect payments to stay in business. Learn how to deal with pet owners who refuse to pay their veterinary bills.

When you provide veterinary treatment, pet owners must pay for your services. Pet owners may occasionally refuse to pay their dues for various reasons. 

Teaching your front desk staff how to prepare for these scenarios can help maintain your business’ revenue without compromising client experiences.  

Common Reasons Pet Owners Refuse Paying Their Bills

Clients have bills, life stressors, and tight finances. Helping your team understand why clients may refuse to pay veterinary bills reminds them that we're all human. A few reasons why people may not want to fulfill their payments include the following:

  • The client has pet insurance and assumed they would be reimbursed for a previous procedure, but they were not.

  • The client paid for some services in-practice but received an additional bill by mail.

  • The client did not know how much they would need to pay before the services.

  • The client believes the services were not worth how much they cost.

The above scenarios show that clients often refuse payments over a lack of clarity. 

No one wants to pay for something they weren’t expecting. Providing transparency can alleviate many of these issues. 

Tips on Handling Payment Collections Appropriately

So, how can you handle payment collections to avoid the above problems? 

Below, we offer tips on providing transparency throughout the payment process, preparing for challenging conversations, and automating the process for convenience on both ends. 

Dictate Finances Up Front

Your practice should have clear financial policies surrounding all service costs and payment deadlines. 

You should clearly explain this information to clients before they agree to any treatments so their expectations are set clearly. 

For example, if additional services pop up during the appointment, make sure that your veterinary team informs them of the associated costs before proceeding.

Requiring clients to sign financial agreements can help with future complications. If they receive bills in the mail and claim they weren’t aware of such costs, you can show them the signed paperwork agreeing to the services. 

Create a Script for Overdue Payments

Calling someone to discuss overdue payments is never fun. We recommend developing a script so your team can confidently relay the message. You want to sound friendly, personable, and stern.

Because you cannot anticipate how clients will respond, try to consider potential questions ahead of time. Preparing answers to questions will make the conversation easier for your team. 

Regardless of how the client responds, remember to stay calm and professional. You should have an escalation process for complex scenarios. 

Document Everything

Documentation is key in proving that your practice took the required steps. 

You should keep track of paperwork for all provided services, fulfilled payments, and communication. 

Any time you speak with a client over the phone or in person about payments, keep notes of the conversation for future reference.  

Automate Payments With Simplified Software

The above tips can help ease payments, though they will consume your front desk’s time and resources. 

For more streamlined results, consider using an automated payment collection platform that takes care of the process for you. At Chckup, we provide a solution for payments for your veterinary practice that includes the following features:

  • Individual and bulk text message reminders

  • Secure digital payment collections

  • Flexible payment options, including debit, credit, Apple Pay, and more

  • Messaging templates

  • A payment platform for tracking client fulfillment

Chckup can help practices collect more revenue at faster speeds than traditional methods. 

Easily Collect Payments With Chckup

Do your clients often refuse to pay their veterinary bills?

Learn how to master payment collections with Chckup.

Receive a demo from Chckup today to see how our platform can streamline your payment system.

Are you a veterinary professional?

If you're in the veterinary field and you're interested in giving your practice the extra hands it desperately needs, book an 8 minute demo with Chckup. Our platform helps busy practices handle call overload, boost revenue per client, and increase client satisfaction by providing actionable insights and easy-to-use technology to help you stay on top of everything.

Book an 8 minute demo

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