I have a problem with PETCO and I'm wondering what my next step should be. here's a bit of the back story.
Our dog had been sprayed by a skunk in September. It was a small spot on her chest, but as you can imagine it smelled horrible. We brought her to PETCO because they have a grooming service that claims to take care of the problem. A few days after she got back, we noticed that she appeared to ahve some sort of infection and her skin was flaking off over here entire body. This made absolutely no sense considering the fact that I have dealt with animals that have been sprayed before and this had never happened. It wasn't just in the area that was sprayed, it was her entire body. As i said, the skin was flaking and smelled horrible, like rotting flesh.
We went back to PETCO and spoke to the man that had actually given her the bath. Much to our surprise, he advised us that they had a problem with a particular product that had actually caused dogs to get infected in the past. he went on to tell us that the skin would flake off the dogs. he said that due to this, they had stopped using the product for awhile, but for some unknown reason, began using it again. We were told to take the dog to the vet to get antibiotics and PETCO would take care of the vet bill.
But there was an even more surprising part. This same employee also told us that they have also had problems with their spray bottles. he said that the bottles aren't washed properly and they had a problem with fungus growing inside the bottles. This could have also been part of the problem.
So we went to the vet who confirmed an infection. When we tried to bring the vet bill back to PETCO, we had a difficult time reaching the manager. Each time we visited, she was either in a meeting or mysteriously unavailable. When she was available and we were able to speak to her, she twice denied receiving any fax from the vet, despite us knowing that the vet sent the fax. When she finally made sure she received the fax, the manager said that they would not pay the vet bill. She then said that there has been no other reported incidents in the past and there has never been any issues with their products or with their bottles.
We ahve tried several times to get this resolved with the local store, but that got us nowhere. Eventually we called the toll-free customer service number. Several times, we were promised a call back. And each time, we would wait 7 - 10 days. And at the end of the 7 - 10 day waiting period, we would call back and were again promised a call back.
We finally received a call back from the district manager today who simply said that thy have "protocols" in place for cleaning the bottles. She didn't address the issue with the chemical that caused the problem as well. When I informed her that we have good evidence to show that those procedures weren't followed and we were made promises, she said she could not do anything about it and would have to have someone from "risk management" (or something like that) call me back.
I am thinking about taking this to district court to get them to pay for the vet bill as promised. We have the statements from the vets to help our case. But on top of that, we also have the conversations with the employees on audio tape. We have the employee talking about the fungus in the bottles plus the product that caused the same exact issue in other dogs that have been taken to PETCO for grooming. We also have the manager denying that there has ever been any problems in the past. We live in a "one party consent" state so I know there are no legal issues with the recordings. If this does go to court, we will also be able to use those items in court. And since this is a civil case and not a criminal case, we really only need a preponderance of the evidence.
I feel we have a really strong case, but was hoping to avoid having to go to court. We have tried addressing this by every avenue we could find but it seems like we have reached a dead end, and it seems like we are just being strung along with promises of calls that never come. Is there something else we should do or should I just go ahead and file the paperwork for court?
Thanks for your help!
Product or Service Mentioned: Petco Grooming Service.
Monetary Loss: $300.