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Old 04-03-2004, 10:22 AM   #1
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At what point is it ok to intervine in the LFS???

I know everyone always complains about the LFS did this or said that... But at what point is it ok to just pipe up when you hear something bad? I was asked to leave a fish store the other day by an employee and have really been struggling with it.. I mean really I know by no means am I an expert like alot of you but I know just enough to be dangerous..

Here is what happend...

Go to this store alot .. Like it for the most part the have a great selection ... they do have alot of stuff that they shouldn't be selling.. Like scallops etc... you know stuff that really has no business in the hobby cause it's gonna die sooner more than later... But thats cool I'm not gonna tell anyone how to run thier business. Also they have an EVERYTHING is compatible and tank size is not important as you would think and All EVERY coral needs is light kinda attitiude and that is info they despence it's sad but again I bite my tounge ... But last week it just got crazy and I was in a foul mood when I finally pulled someone aside and gave them real information... First what happend was some guy was in there and wanted to buy a Flame Angel turned to the saleslady and says " Would one of those be ok in my 125 with 2 full grown lions and some groupers and triggers? " The sales lady looks right at the guy and says "Sure he's really fast and those fish won't bother him" Uhhhh ok by now your thinking what I was ... Ummmm actually they will eat this 2 inch flame prolly within about 10 minutes.. The sales lady then says " Do you have any rock for him to hide in?" To which he replies No just fish.. She then says well... that should still be ok flames are really fast.. Buy now I am just frustrated from listening mind you I have not said anything... so I walk away to check out the coral tank.. So about 15 minutes goes buy I pick out some zoos.. and head up to the counter and get in line behind a different guy with his wife who tell the same saleslady from earlier they would like two dogfaced puffers would she get them for them.. She says Suuuuureee.. then she says what size tank do you have ... He says "about uhhhh this big" and stretches his arms out a little.. Here my interest is peaked cause most people who do aquariums as a hobby know their tank size.. Anyway she says... well it's a little small but they should be ok.. (Ok so then I am thinking well it's not the right advice but it's better than what I am used to hearing in here) He says "OK " she is now out from behind the counter they are walking up the little steps to the tanks and he says "and how much salt do I need to add to my tank so they will be happy but not hurt my other fish?" She looks at him and says "well from what you described I think you have about a 20 gallon I will get a bag of it for you." By now I am just stunned and have kinda been drifiting along behind them cause I just cannot belive what I am hearing..well the sales lady walks away to get the net to get the fish and the salt I am guessing cause she came back with a bag of IO. While she is gone I go up to the guy and just let him know that this is not only gonna end bad it's gonna end bad very quickly for not only the puffers, but his current fish, his wallet etc.. I gave him a quick summary of reasons why this was just bad told him if he wanted a Saltwater tank to come to AA and do some research...( the post is getting long and this is AA so you can prolly guess some of the other reasons I gave) The sales lady comes back and the guy looks at her and says "This guy says that this is not a good idea" and points at me... Now I am an adult (almost 30) not very confrintational did not really want to confront the store lady but now I was kinda involved. She looks at him and says "Are you gonna trust some guy off the street or someone who works with fish everyday and has had them her whole life?" "If this gentleman does not feel that we are giving good advice perhaps he should take his buisiness elsewhere as we have been open longer than he's been alive." Then she looks at me and says "Sir, I think it is time for you to leave" By now I am just in shock and unfortunatly was not gonna cause a scene so I did leave.. I did however wait in the parking lot and that guy and his wife came out pufferless and saltless. So mabye I helped ....

I dunno I am not one to rock the boat so to speak and have never been asked to leave a store, bar, etc.... It was very strange and I don't wanna come off like some fish fanatic.. but at that point what was I to do.. For some reason I feel bad ... but shoud I?

I guess I am looking for adivce from you guys cause all of you know alot more than I do about this hobby and I am sure you hear stuff in the LFS all the time that you know is just wrong. How do you handle those situations?


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Old 04-03-2004, 10:33 AM   #2
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When me and one of my college buddies head up to Wal-Mart for supplies we almost always find some mother or father with their little kid over by the fish section. My friend and I stand there discussing the fish and eventually they either ask us a question or they sound really confused, so we volunteer some information (ex. "Don't buy this goldfish for your 10g tropical tank-- in fact, don't buy fish at Wal-Mart.")

We just make sure to do it when an employee isn't right there.

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Old 04-03-2004, 10:59 AM   #3
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I think you did the right thing in that situation. I have just got into saltwater in the last 2-3 months. I knew a fair amount about freshwater, but most rules don't apply with SW, especially reef setups. I have been to over a dozen LFS since I had the notion to dive in to SW setups, and a majority of there employees know very little. The tell you mostly what you wanna hear so they can make a sale. Fourtunalty I found this site and planed my tank 3 months in advance. I'm now at 2+ months and everything doing very well. Had I payed attention to the LFS I would probably wasted over 500 bucks. So I say good for you. If ya really like the LFS then just be more discrete next time. Its people like you that really help the uninformed. Kudos to you.
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Old 04-03-2004, 12:13 PM   #4
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Just a suggestion Doan, which may or may not turn out to be helpful.

Write the owner of the store and tell he or she exactly what happened. Let them know you are disgusted with the way this particular salesperson pushed a sale with no consideration for the fish or the customer's needs. Let them know you ARE well versed with the keeping and care of fish, and if this is the way business is done there you'll be sure not only to take your business elsewhere, but to let the other fish folk you know the type of service they'll recieve at that store.

Either the owner is a true businessperson and will do something about it, or those fish are doomed. Either way, you'll have had your say.
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Old 04-03-2004, 12:25 PM   #5
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If it is any consolation, I frequently 'intervene' at most of my local fish stores to the point where quite a few of the salespeople actually point their customers to me when they need advice. I have only had a few bad experiences with salespeople...one that comes to mind is a PetCo employee who absolutely refused to believe me when I told her that she had mis-identified some fish. She got a bit irate and continued to argue even after I showed her pictures of the fish in question.

To this point I've never been asked to leave a store, even when I cost them a sale. Of course...I usually end up guiding the potential customer to a more appropriate fish (or tank, etc.) and the store ends up making money anyway and the customers have a more satisfying experience than they would otherwise (and this makes for a return customer).

In the final analysis....you've just got to do what you think is right and **** the consequences!
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Old 04-03-2004, 12:29 PM   #6
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I agree with Alli, the problem seems to be more with the saleslady than the actual store. If you shop there a lot, let the owner or manager know that, and that you may take your business elsewhere. Explain what you just explained in here, and I also don't see any way an owner or manager can sit and do nothing about it. If situations like that continue to occur, I would say it's time to take your business elsewhere. The only difference is that I would actually go in there and say it, if you are less confrontational, perhaps a letter would be a better idea. LOL, Pittsburgh is only three hours away, perhaps I should throw on my superfish cape and go for a roadtrip! (you think they'll take me seriously with a superfish cape on? )
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Old 04-03-2004, 01:12 PM   #7
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I imagine there are plenty of people in Pittsburg that read forums, point the owner of the store to this thread, tell him that the next review of his store will name the store in question.

I wholeheartedly agree with Ali, write or call the owner of the store, f the "saleslady" is the owner, don't shop there anymore and encourage others not to shop there either.

Me personally, I'm usually up for a good confrontation (I never understood why people didn't like RC), so we would have been discussing the merits of putting dogface puffers in what I gathered to be a FW or brackish set up, and the effects it would have on the other fish. Probably pretty loudly I've been thrown out of stores before (one was working at at the time...that's a funny story, maybe one day I'll tell it) and was always welcomed back, when I was ready to spend some money. FWIW, my response to the sales lady's question would have been, wh you gonna trust, someone that is offering you advice with nothing to gain, or this used car salesman that's after your money.

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Old 04-03-2004, 02:15 PM   #8
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Doan, I'm sorry. I think ? I know which one you're talking about. I would not even worry about it. The last time I was there, a few years ago, when I got my first betta, the salesgirl was making absolutely no sense, and I was buying my first betta...my very first fish ever, and I could tell that they were not giving good advice. I knew then that you must test for ammonia, and they were trying to talk me out of buying a test kit!!

Write a letter -- it hopefully will accomplish something, and make you feel better. I called (a few years ago) and asked for the manager of this store, and said that I was disappointed enough not to return.

I have since found a fabulous hatchery (another plus to me -- no animals! [allergic]) But this hatchery doesn't have SW stuff, though.
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Old 04-03-2004, 03:04 PM   #9
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Doan, You did right. And yes you need to write the owner a letter or better yet go see the owner in person. some business owners take "mail in complaints" as oh well but if your standing there telling your side and why you feel there is a problem then you will probally get more action.

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Old 04-03-2004, 11:31 PM   #10
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100 Kudos to Doan. You did the right thing. Alli's advice is sound also, write the letter, or at least make a phone call.

I've tried to intervene a few times, sometimes it works, sometimes not. Never been thrown out, but have taken the intervention all the way to the manager. Ask for salesperson's and manager's names, that has typically helped me get at least some level of co-operation.
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