PRACTICE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Tower Equine Limited, trading as Tower Equine Veterinary Surgeons (“Tower Equine”), is a Company registered in England & Wales under Company Registration Number 8458007. Tower Equine’s registered office is situated at Tower Farm Grimsthorpe Bourne Lincolnshire PE10 0NF. A list of all current Directors of Tower Equine Ltd can be found at Companies House.
Tower Equine aims to provide clients with a professional, quality and cost effective equine veterinary service. These Terms and Conditions outline our obligations to you and provide the agreement under which we trade. By instructing us to perform services, or by purchasing or ordering goods, you are making an offer and confirming that you agree to our terms of business. If we accept your instruction, purchase or order, a legally binding contract is made between us.
Tower Equine is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for those who work for us. We will always seek to act according to the principles of fairness, honesty, integrity and respect and expect our staff and clients to uphold these principles. Tower Equine has a duty and responsibility to ensure that our staff are not subjected to unacceptable behaviour in the workplace and the practice operates a no tolerance policy towards harrassment and abuse of our staff.
Our Terms and Conditions are deemed accepted by all clients on first registration with the practice.
Invoicing and Payment Terms
Tower Equine produces monthly invoices billed with the current rate of value added tax. For established clients, payment is to be made strictly within 30 days of the date of the invoice and Tower Equine reserves the right to charge interest on all outstanding accounts.
All newly registered clients will be required to pay at the time of their first few visits and/or until which time Tower Equine is satisfied that reliable payment will be forthcoming.
Tower Equine reserves the right to charge interim monthly invoices for significant fees and to require established clients with poor payment performance to pay at the time of the visit, regardless of whether they are newly registered or not.
For pre purchase examinations a refundable deposit of £100 is payable on the morning of the vetting. The remaining balance will then be processed after the vetting has taken place.
From January 2021, Tower Equine will charge a reasonable fee for completing insurance claim forms and for writing detailed veterinary reports. This fee reflects the time our vets have to invest in completing this paperwork. A standard fee will be charged per insurance or continuation claim form , currently £15 plus vat. Written reports will be charged according to the level of detail required.
For surgical and emergency admissions a deposit of £200 plus vat is payable on arrival with the remaining balance due by collection or invoice depending on account history and as agreed in advance. For insured cases a valid insurance claim form plus the policy excess must be provided on admission to the clinic. Pre arranged surgical cases where a specialist veterinary surgeon has been booked to operate on your horse will be charged a cancellation fee of £100 plus vat if cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, £150 plus vat if cancelled on the day. This cancellation fee will be paid to the specialist in its entirety.
Tower Equine will charge a reasonable fee for completing insurance claim forms and for writing detailed veterinary reports. This fee reflects the time our vets have to invest in completing this paperwork. A standard fee will be charged per insurance or continuation claim form, currently £15 plus vat. Written reports will be charged according to the level of detail required.
Tower Equine runs a paperless billing system and will email monthly invoices to all accounts with registered email addresses. Please ensure you update the office with any changes of email address. Free visits are booked on the agreement that the resulting invoice will be emailed.
Where an individual horse’s veterinary fees are covered by a valid insurance policy, Tower Equine is happy to await payment from the insurer, provided all clients forward their monthly invoices on to the insurer and meet the cost of their insurance policy excess within the usual 30 days. For non-insured horses where significant fees are likely to be encountered, a deposit (normally credit or debit card payment) may be requested at the outset of treatment.
All outstanding accounts will be charged interest on the overdue amount of 2% per month. Such interest shall accrue on a monthly basis from the due date until actual payment. You agree that the interest amount for failure to pay is fair given that a portion of most veterinary bills include drugs for which we will have paid our suppliers in advance.
For outstanding accounts where no contact or payment plan has been forthcoming, Tower Equine will send a ten-day letter before action, failure of which we will have no option but to commence proceedings for the recovery of the debt. In the event that court action is necessary, all associated costs, including legal fees, will be claimed from you. These associated costs are likely to significantly increase your overall liability.
Methods of payment
The following methods are acceptable:
- Cards: Switch, Solo, Mastercard, Visa, Delta.
- BACS: For this method please see the bank details on your invoice or contact our Accounts Department.
Inability to pay
If for any reason you anticipate being unable to settle your account in full at the correct time, we ask that you discuss this matter with us as soon as possible. In exceptional circumstances only, part payment or payment by instalments on account (normally by standing order) may be arranged at the discretion of the Directors.
Where fees for a particular procedure are not fixed, it is not always possible to provide an exact estimate of the total cost of veterinary work. Where complex or costly investigation and treatment is anticipated, we will discuss this with you and, if specifically requested, we will provide you with a written estimate. We will also endeavour to inform you of significant changes from those first estimated throughout the progress of each case. However, please be aware that where unexpected problems or complications occur, it is inevitable that costs are likely to increase.
Tower Equine strongly supports the principle of insuring your horse against unexpected accident, illness or injury and ask that you inform your insurance company as soon as you are aware of a potential claim.
Most insurance companies will require us to complete a Claim Form to be signed by the attending vet and returned to the insurer together with a copy of the horse’s clinical history. Please be aware that the cost of some aspects of your horse’s care may not be covered by insurance (e.g. policy excess, hospitalisation). These costs, together with any fees subsequently rejected by your insurance company or over and above the insured amount, must be paid directly by you to Tower Equine Ltd.
Regardless of whether the horse is insured or not, the entire bill remains your responsibility until it is paid in full.
Clients are responsible for ensuring that insurance companies are forwarded copy invoices for continued work connected with their insurance claim.
Tower Equine provides a 24 hour, seven day a week veterinary service for emergencies. There is always a veterinary surgeon on call. If you have a veterinary emergency out of working hours (8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays) please call the office on 01778 591082 and you will be given two options:
- Press 1 to have your call diverted to the emergency vet. If they do not answer immediately they may be busy dealing with another emergency. Please leave them a voicemail message with your name and telephone number and a brief outline of your emergency.
- Press 2 to leave a NON URGENT message which our office team will return during working hours.
We ask clients not to text or whatsapp our vets out of hours as on call duties are rota shared between vets and the vet you contact may not be on call.
It is important to note that emergency visits by our vets, either during the day or out of hours, will be triaged. Emergencies will be assessed by our team with critical emergencies ranking in priority. We will always endeavour to get to you as soon as reasonably possible but delays can occur where vets are involved with existing emergencies or where travel distance means we cannot get to you quickly. We will however ensure that the office team keep you updated and that veterinary advice is available by phone whilst the vet is on their way.
It is a legal requirement that all horses must have a valid Passport. This must accompany your horse during transport and we will ask to check this at the time of examination. You must endorse your passport (normally section IX in an old passport and section II in a new passport) to confirm whether the horse is/is not intended for human consumption. If your horse’s passport is presented to us unsigned, we reserve the right to mark the horse as not intended for human consumption. This will allow us to treat the horse according to its clinical needs and to ensure that it never enters the human food chain. In exceptional circumstances, where a passport is not available, a detailed record of medicinal products administered to your horse will be retained and you will need to keep a record of this treatment. This information is provided on your invoice.
Prescriptions are available from this practice. You may obtain relevant veterinary medicines from Tower Equine or ask for a prescription to order drugs from an online pharmacy. We can only prescribe relevant medicinal products following a clinical assessment of a horse under our care. A prescription may not be appropriate if your horse is an inpatient or requires immediate treatment. Most horses under our care on long term medication require a re-assessment every 6 months but this may vary with individual circumstances. We require at least 48 hours notice to process a written prescription and are only able to issue a prescription for an animal with a passport.
Ownership of records
All records and images acquired during the course of clinical investigation and/or treatment shall remain the property of Tower Equine including radiographs and ultrasound scans. This accumulated information may be used for the purposes of veterinary education, including publications and presentations. Information used for such purposes will be completely anonymised such that no identifying data (client or animal name) will be apparent.
Confidentiality & Data Protection
Tower Equine recognises that client confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Save as required by law, or in order to better perform our services to you, we will not pass any of your personal identifiable details to third parties without your permission.
We are always pleased to receive feedback on the services that we provide and this should be addressed to the vet dealing with your horse.
Whilst we strive to provide your horse with the best possible standard of care, we recognise that on occasion you may feel that we don’t get it right! Often the heart of many problems is poor communication, so if you have any grievance please discuss this with us at the first opportunity. If you wish to make a complaint, please do so in writing to our Office Manager in the first instance. If you have any cause to dispute the fees on your invoice please send written notice to our Accounts Department within 7 days of receiving your invoice.
Additions and variations to these terms and conditions
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind Tower Equine Ltd unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by one of the Directors. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.
Tower Equine reserves the right to amend its Terms and Conditions on yearly review.
Please be aware that these Terms and Conditions form the basis on which we work, however there are separate Terms and Conditions additionally in operation for breeding work and under the free visit and Newark visit schemes.
These terms and conditions do not affect your statutory rights.
In the interests of the care and treatment of your horse/s, we ask that you ensure that we hold your up to date contact details at all times. Please inform us of any change of ownership (new, sold or deceased) as soon as you can in order that we may best communicate with all individuals involved in the care, management, ownership and insurance of the animal.
You agree that we are permitted to liaise with any individual directly or indirectly connected with the care, management, ownership or insurance of the animal and convey to them, as necessary, information (including financial information) which, but for this provision, may be viewed as confidential between Tower Equine and you.
If you are acting as an authorised agent for the owner, you represent, warrant and undertake that you are duly authorised by the owner to engage the services of Tower Equine in relation to the animal and to provide information and personal data about the owner to us. To the extent that you lack this authority, you hereby undertake to indemnify and keep indemnified Tower Equine from and against all consequences of any such want of authority and confirm that you are liable to Tower Equine’s fees for providing the services instructed by you.
Where any client of the practice is a company or other legal entity, Tower Equine is entitled to pursue the amount owed against those persons responsible for its day to day management and to view those persons as primarily responsible for any debt.