Charlotte Street Animal Hospital
208 Charlotte St, Asheville, NC 28801
Specialties: Acupuncture, Exotics, Pocket Pets, Dentistry, Small Animals
First off, I'd like to say that the Vets at this establishment are great! This was my first and last visit here. The vet that saw my cats, was gentle and a sweetheart!
The front desk staff, on the other hand, need further customer service and basic diversity/human rights training.
After both of my cats appointment, I was told to wait because their discharge file wasn't available yet. So I sat down in the cat lobby area, expecting to be called to the front desk to check out once my file was available. Instead, I ended up waiting for 10-15 min in the waiting room.
After waiting for some time, I decided to go to the front counter for an update and to check out. The exasperated staff member exclaimed nonchalantly that my file was now available and that she could check me out. It felt like she didn't want to help me and was dismissive of the fact that I had been waiting for awhile. Even though, I initially mentioned this to her. While she was getting my paperwork together and assisting me, she starts having a conversation from her seat with an older white gentleman that had just appeared in the lobby. She was basically talking right over me like I was in the way and not even present. I couldn't believe this was happening to me and started to become noticeable upset.
I guess she felt the need at that moment to relay a message she could have relayed at a later time. She discussed obtaining records about his dog's flea medication from the other vet. The appropriate time to discuss this with him would have been during his checkout.
Even though it is 2018, it's pretty apparent prejudice and discrimination are still prevalent in our society. Her behavior is a prime example and her entire attitude towards me was very dismissive and rude. This person is representing the animal hospital, the face of the company.
While I was still attempting to check out and attempting to inquire about cat medication, she decides to get up out of her seat, (while I was still standing there talking to her) and walks over to the older white gentleman in the waiting room to continue the "urgent" conversation. All of a sudden, she starts profusely apologizing to him for the wait. What wait time?! Mind you, he never approached her or asked her anything and he had only been waiting in the waiting room with his dog for less than 3 mins.
When she came back to the front desk to continue assisting me, she was still conversing with him, while I am was trying to ask her questions and close out my bill. I was insulted by her behavior towards me as a paying customer, as a human being, and especially as a black woman. I told her that she could stop helping me to assist him if his matter was more pressing. She kept telling me no that's ok, while still talking to him. I asked her why wasn't I entitled to the same apologetic behavior she displayed towards the white gentleman. She seemed flustered that I even had the nerve to ask her this question. There were other people in the lobby that witnessed her behavior and noticed how she treated me. She rudely asked for my credit card info and then handed me my bill. Then a min later she offered a very unapologetic apology for my wait time.
If you are a POC (person of color), I'd advise you support another establishment/clinic that treats people fairly and doesn't discriminate based on the color of your skin. I spoke to the manager about my unpleasant and insulting incident. I truly hope this encourages an open dialogue/forum on diversity and how staff should treat everyone with compassion and respect. I have never felt more disrespected and diminished as a human being by this person based on the color of my skin, thus I will not be going back here or recommend this clinic to others, especially people of color.
I truly hope YP or the animal hospital doesn't censor my review for exposing racism and discrimination at this clinic. I have a voice!
Charlotte Street Animal Hospital is the best decision I've ever made. I am ecstatic to have found vets who are not only exceptionally skilled, compassionate and good communicators, but ones who willingly established a real partnership with me in the care of my most prized companions.