06-21-2008, 03:15 PM
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I've had mixed experiences with Petsmart. The store closest to my college is absolutely abysmal. In your letter, you cited one bad case of ich and a really bad case of fin rot. The store near campus ALWAYS has disease running rampant through their tanks. The cichlids are always covered in ich, every last one of them with a really bad case of it. There are dozens of dead fish in their tanks at any given time.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, another Petsmart near me actually has some fairly well-informed employees. I've been to this store several times now, and each time I've actually witness them refuse to sell fish to people for all sorts of reasons (incompatible fish, hard fish to keep for beginners, people who were buying tanks at the time so obviously hadn't cycled their tanks yet, etc). Additionally, someone actually removed a lot of the official Petsmart information labels from the tanks and has replaced them with hand-written cards with information that's actually accurate. Not to mention their prices on certain equipment are much cheaper than my other LFS's, though they're generally more expensive than online shops.
All in all, especially considering the anecdotes you read about Petsmart from other members of the forum, I'd say more often than not that Petsmart is a pretty crappy place to shop. I don't mind buying some supplies there (like fish food) but for fish, I definitely prefer my LFS and for supplies, I'll mostly stick to online supply shops.
Maeve, hopefully you'll actually get something accomplished with that letter. I haven't written to that one crummy Petsmart before, but I have had chats both with the store manager and the Fish section staff many times about the poor quality of their fish, and every single time they act like they've never heard complaints before and are completely surprised that they have diseased and dead/dying fish in their store.