so check this out lol
I walk recently walk into a Petsmart ( eastbrunswick, nj to be exact ) and walk over to the fish tanks which are fairly clean and decent looking. i know what im getting already so thats not a problem. so i go to the tank with ghost shrimp in it. i came here because its closer than any LFS by me and petsmart ghost shrimp are cheaper, 33c a pop. anyways i want to get some more since i only have about 4 or 5 in my 55g because fish were eating them ( but i took care of that, and i know they're ment for food but i think they're cool ) so i wanted to replenish my quantity lol.
so this younger lady (unfortunatly i didnt catch a name because i didnt expect a problem) approaches me asking if i want help. i say yes please, ghost shrimp, ill take as many as you have.
so she replies, clear shrimp, ohh theyre here somewhere and shes looking at all the tanks
meanwhile im standing infront of the tank they are in
she finally finds it :roll: and goes, i only see 1 in there
meanwhile i see 5 to 10 so i ask kindly if she could move the rock in there because i know they like to hide on or under them.
she hesistates and finally does, WITH THE NET! idiot. and shes stirring up the tank, stressing the fish, and just making a complete mess.
she keeps complaining on how "she can not catch any" so while shes trying to snag some i walk to the other end of the tank section and grab the specimen holder ( the clear container that hangs on the tank that you put caught fish in) and as i turn to walk towards her shes approaching me, net in hand and says "thank you" and dumps ghost shrimp into the EMPTY CONTAINER! omg :evil: i ever so kindly remind her that these are living creatures and they need WATER and she replies like a snot "i know" and heads to the tank to try to scoop up some more shrimp. well with her face pressed to the glass "trying to catch them" it didnt take me long to turn around and walk right on out. I am absolutly disgusted, disapointed and pissed about this. i understand petsmart cannot hire marine biology grads but hire someone with a little common sense, or give them minimal training on the animals they sell for christ sake! HOW DO YOU PUT SOMETHING IN A DRY, EMPTY CONTAINER!!!!!!!!!! any how i explained to petsmarts corp. my concerns of their poor quality employees/service (which im sure will do nothing and get me no response) but im not stopping here. ill stand outside their store with a sign reminding customers not to shop there until i get arrested! ( j/k i wish i had time for that :lol: ) but on a serious note, take fish shopping seriously and if there is the option of going to a "LFS" please do it for the sake of some knowledge in fish keeping and keeping the hobby alive (for people that care) even if it cost a dollar or two extra for that fish. me personally will NEVER EVER go to petsmart again even if its for a bottle of cardboard flakes or a dog bone for my sisters little gremlin mini pin. ill take the extra 20-30 minute drive ( using more gas and time ) just to go to an actual fish store, because again I AM ABSOLUTLY DISGUSTED AND PISSED!! even though i knew places like this arent the best to shop, like i said ghost shrimp are cheaper here and its closer to my house, well never again petsmart, never again.[/code]
To be fair it should be noted that not all chainstore employees are uneducated in regards to fish and their care. It is sad that more are ignorant than are helpful. But it is not entirely fair for there are also many LFS employees that are equally ignorant just as there are some of both who can be quite helpful. These chain stores have little interest in fish or other pets except from a commercial view. They do not raise the pets or breed the pets. It is in the best interest of hobbyists and pet owners to be more knowledgeable than these people who only as stated have a commercial interest in the pets they sell. If fish or pets die some of the blame must lie with those who do not perform their own research before buying pets that may or may not be healthy from the outset. These stores have commercial obligations as opposed to emotional obligations. They know for every fish or pet that there will always be ten prospective consumers.
While you had an awful experience with this particular store I live near three Petsmarts and while they aren't my go-to place for fish they're still decent enough that I wouldn't recoil in horror at having to go there to get a fish my LFS didn't stock.
Yes, in this particular instance the girl screwed up. A reasonable response would have been to quickly get some water in the container and explain to her that its necessary so that in the future she doesn't screw up like that.
Every sin I've seen people accuse the chain stores of I've seen in an LFS. The assumption shouldn't be chain stores are awful and the LFS is nirvana. It should be do your own research, know what you're getting into, and scope out the store for yourself. My LFSs are pretty good, but there are a couple of guys that work in them I know to not ask questions from, just let them net fish.
+1 for Tyyr's comment.
As I've said in other threads, I've definitely been to some incredibly crappy Petsmarts and Petco's. However, I still shop at Petsmart for plenty of supplies, since they tend to be a lot cheaper than any small pet store. The Petsmart closest to me actually has some pretty good staff in the fish section. They're young and not the most knowledgeable people in the hobby, to be sure, but I've overheard them giving plenty of sound advice. They also refuse to sell people fish to go in tanks that are in their shopping carts. They ask questions about people's tanks to make sure they're cycled, and have good suggestions compatibility-wise. They even made corrections to those little information cards below all of the tanks to reflect more realistic facts about the fish. For example, the "Maximum Size: 6" " line on the iridescent shark card is crossed out and replaced with a huge 48" in black marker.
On the other side of the coin, I've been to plenty of independently run shops that have what seem to be completely ignorant staff and dirty tanks with dying fish.
So, I think the best thing anyone can do is check out all of their options, including both mom and pop pet stores and big chain stores. They might be surprised at what they find. I know plenty of people who go to both: the cheaper chain stores for supplies, and the higher-quality-but-expensive local store for their livestock.
+1 from me too on Tyrrlym's, 1077's and Iamntbatman's comments. I, unfortunately, no longer have the option of going to a "mom & pop" store for fish as the larger ones have driven them out of business. I too have been disgusted when an employee tries to sell me fish that he/she just stressed almost to death and then dropped on the floor! This won't prevent me from still shopping there, however, I'm just more choosey in who I get to help me. Being educated and a smart consumer, I feel, is the best way to "combat" shoddy employees and poor quality pet store offerings.
Sometimes one can tell a lot about the chainstore or fish shop by simply observing where they keep their nets for catching the fish. Ihave seen some buckets with nets that looked filthy. I usually purchase a new net and then ask the employee to use that net to capture the fish IF the fish appears healthy. I have quite a collection of nets but I feel better Knowing that It's one less source of contamination. It also helps To Know whether Uv sterilization is used .Some stores have the same water flowing through all their tanks which can also promote parasites, disease etc. I also try to buy fish that have been in the dealers tank for a while as opposed to fresh shipments unless you can get the fish before they are introduced into the dealers tank. Some dealers will hold fish for a short time ,others won't. :wink:
Speaking of buying fish that have been in the dealer tank for a while, I went to a new LFS the other day (a bit of a drive, though) that has QT tanks in the back. All of their new stock goes straight into QT for two weeks before it goes in the sales tank. I gotta say, I've never seen better looking LFS tanks. Not a single dead fish in the place. Big store, too, but their selection was still rather small, and each tank had very few fish in it.
Petsmart sucks, you did the right thing
To eaches own. Not all employees are helpful or the brightest at most of these places. Chances are they aren't in the hobby as you and I may be. I would go to a chain store for non live goods any day. You know what you need/want and don't require help most of the time. Its okay to be picky when it comes to live product though. You get what you pay for. After all, you are investing into your hobby and want to be assured a healthy purchase.
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