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-   -   Bad Experience with Diatom Filter by Vortex (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/aquarium-products-reviews/bad-experience-diatom-filter-vortex-14023/)

satwood 04-21-2008 12:18 PM

Bad Experience with Diatom Filter by Vortex
 
I wanted to share with you on the subject of buying filters, I just had a bad experience. I bought a brand new Diatom XL from Vortex in FL. It arrived last week with multiple defects. The U-tubes were cracked and the O-ring was the wrong size. Regardless, I found other parts, fired it up and loaded the powder. After it initially clarified I put it on my tank and after 20 minutes it blasted the tank with powder. Then, the motor seized and smelled awful. The brand new filter bag seam was not sealed (they are only using glue now, not stitches). I can see now that the bag was never glued in one area so naturally it leaked. Now my tank looks like a snow globe, though I know it will be OK after I clean it.

I don't know if this means their motors can't deal with the powder or if the motor was defective also. I called the company and they will NOT pay to have the defective filter returned for repair and will not provide new parts without the old ones. You must pay for shipping both ways with them for any warranty service. They do not offer any other assistance. The internet distributor I bought from will also not pay for shipping so I am out at least $30 to get credit for this junk or get it fixed. It cost $110 new plus shipping so I'm looking at a 30% loss no matter what I do.

Lesson learned. Avoid internet merchants and anything from Vortex Co.

Got any suggestions on where I can get a reputable micron grade water polishing filter for my 29 gal freshwater tank without paying over $150?

Thanks
Steve

fish_4_all 04-21-2008 02:12 PM

I would try to find a local retailer whom you have had good business with to see if they will help you. They often times do not have to pay shipping for products and it costs them nothing to get a replacement.

herefishy 04-21-2008 04:51 PM

I use Vortex diatom filters and have never had the first problem with their customer service department. My XL is over 25 years old now and has had numerous parts replaced. I think that your problem lies with you "online vendor". If you payed wit PayPal, use their resources to resolve the situation. If that doesn't work, I'd plaster the name of the vendor on every forum with less than desirable feedback.

The Marineland 350 has diatomic options. Should run about $90.

satwood 04-22-2008 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by herefishy
I use Vortex diatom filters and have never had the first problem with their customer service department. My XL is over 25 years old now and has had numerous parts replaced. I think that your problem lies with you "online vendor". If you payed wit PayPal, use their resources to resolve the situation. If that doesn't work, I'd plaster the name of the vendor on every forum with less than desirable feedback.

The Marineland 350 has diatomic options. Should run about $90.

Thanks for the info. I had an old Vortex Diatom from years ago also and it was great. This new one, believe me, is not made like the old ones. It is really shoddy workmanship and the pieces I mentioned are clearly defective. Vortex even admitted I had a mess on my hands but would not solve it for me. My issue starts with the fact that the product is bad. The on-line vendor is just another part of the story and if they are not going to make good on the sale I will do just as you suggest and name them here. I've held off to give them the chance. The service department at Vortex will not assist me unless I ship the entire unit back at my expense, as I mentioned above. I spoke to Darrel twice, on Friday and Monday. They might be nice and plenty helpful with the old stuff, but they are not forthcoming with support for their new junk.

I'm glad you mentioned the Marineland 350 because I picked one up last night to try. I ran it all night with the "micron" filter installed and I still have green water this morning. I was expecting it to filter somewhat like the Diatom powder did. Have you had better luck with this? Am I doing something wrong? I'm going to give it 24 hours to see if it does anything. I'm thinking about trying a scheme where I post filter through a fabric screen and diatom powder but I don't know if I'll have enough pressure.

Thanks for your help
Steve

satwood 04-22-2008 09:01 AM

AquariumGuys.com
 
Following up on my last post, I purchased the Diatom filter from AquariumGuys.com. I wrote to them on Monday (they have no direct support phone number, only sales). After 24 hours they have not responded and one of their email addresses, the shipping one, is bouncing now. They shipped to me through a third party in PA called "Pet Fulfillment Center" who I have not been able to reach. I am not getting satisfaction from any of these three entities: Vortex, AquariumGuys, or Pet Fulfillment Center. If anyone has experience getting products returned or refunds from these guys let me know. :x

Thanks, Steve

fish_4_all 04-22-2008 10:41 AM

It almost sounds like Vortex is making sure that the filter is theirs. Sounds like it could be a cheap rip off or one of their over seas models that was never supposed to be sold here.

As for shipping it back, I think I would, should only be a couple bucks for regular mail but would get it certified. As for the online Vendor, I would turn them in or report them to the BBB.

satwood 04-22-2008 12:47 PM

Re: AquariumGuys.com
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by satwood
Following up on my last post, I purchased the Diatom filter from AquariumGuys.com. I wrote to them on Monday (they have no direct support phone number, only sales).

A few mins ago I received a message from Aquariumguys.com and they are providing me with return shipping for a refund. (maybe they read my post?) It took a long time for them to reply but I am pleased with the response. Therefore I want to give them credit for resolving this issue. I don't think they had anything to do with the problem specifically, they are just the retailer.

Moderator, if you want to take down the quoted post from me that would be fair to them as my real point was to advise others of my experience with the filter specifically.

fish_4_all 04-22-2008 01:16 PM

I will remove what you want have removed but I don't think it is needed. The review is clean and you have made correcitons. This also shows what it takes sometimes to get what you need to be done accomplished.

I don't think AG will worry too much about the post as far as their name. If nothing else, your posts show that they did finally get back to you and shows that they do care about customer service.

herefishy 04-22-2008 11:11 PM

Cheers from the cheap seats!!!! lol

I'm glad you got some action. I'll be waiting for the results.

satwood 04-23-2008 09:01 AM

herefishy, I was ready for a pint of Jack, a shotgun, and a road trip to Florida! It's stupid to get so upset over a $100 transaction but the unbelievable attitude I received made it seem as though they really were assuming I was trying to rip them off somehow. Too bad for them I guess.


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