Pitman, NJ asked in Consumer Law, Small Claims, Contracts and Animal / Dog Law for New Jersey

Q: Can a veterinarian make you apply for a credit card before working out a payment plan if you refuse the card app?

I had a sick dog and the vet was willing to see the dog. I explained I couldn't afford the bill this month but I would be able to pay it off next month (which I have done this before with my vet and they never had a problem with doing this), only this time, I was told that I had to apply for their credit card "Care Credit". I explained that I already had one and had to go to court with them for settlement. They told me that they could not go into the payment plan unless I applied for Care Credit. I told them that I didn't want the credit card and the fact that they have to run a credit check, does hurt my credit score with a hard inquire. They told me then I could not come in and have to go else where if I didn't apply. Then they changed it to well just fill out the application and I still refused. They finally gave in and just skipped this step and went to the payment plan. Is this legal to force a customer to apply for a credit card they do not want or need?

1 Lawyer Answer
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
H. Scott Aalsberg Esq.
Answered
  • East Brunswick, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: The fact is by law the vet does not need to offer you a payment plan and can demand payment at or before services are rendered, thus anything that allows you payment after service is as a courtesy.

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