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Old 04-20-2012, 09:46 PM   #51
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I just bought a large aquarium decoration from the Big Al's in Calgary for $80.00. After one week in the tank (freshwater) it started cracking, crumbling and the paint chipping off. I called them and they said they won't refund anything that has been submersed in water. Nice eh?

I'm still trying to get a refund from them.

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Old 04-20-2012, 11:28 PM   #52
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I pretty much do amazon unless I need anything right away.

Their Return policy is great.

60 gallon(Parrots and Convicts) 55 gallon African Cichlids 5 gallon Betta tank 35 Gallon Hex (Bolivian Rams, Oto cats, Bloodfin Tetra and a shoal of Tiger Barbs) 75 Gallon Oscar Condo. 30 gallon GBRs & Danios
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:08 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Pton46
I pretty much do amazon unless I need anything right away.

Their Return policy is great.
I just bought a Fluval U4 from amazon. Bought from the American one though as it was literally half the price. Shipped it to my folks in the states and then they shipped it up to me.
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:21 AM   #54
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I personally won't shop there anymore! I've had a bad experience and didn't like how it was handled.

I bought a fish for 50 bucks and asked if it died with in seven days could I get a replacement and try told me yes, took my fish hope very happy...it died day seven, called benefit a replacement they asked if I ha a membership(which I didn't know existed) said no and they said I could t get my replacement...he manager said he would talk to the supplier and call me back, never heard anything from him ever again!

They also do the maintenance on the fish tank where I work and we stocked cichlids in a 120g tank they would mix Africans with new world and the fish would always kill each other and hey didn't offer any advise to the office, just replaced fish on our dollar....we have black algae and they tell us we need to up grade our lights and there's moldy food in the tank, they come to "clean it" and they just bury the moldy food....real professional! The Edmonton store we deal with doesn't seem like a good store to me!

I will be a pj pets purchaser for a log time, they treat me good, give me extra deals and offer advise if I need it and also tell me if thy don't know the answer....
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:16 AM   #55
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Yay! They are giving me a refund in the form of a gift certificate. I dealt with the manager and he was very nice about it. I will definitely shop at the Calgary store again.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:49 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Hyrules
I buy the majority of my aquarium stuff there. My closesest is Ottawa East. They have great selection and alot of stuff.
I'm in Ottawa too but to be honest, Ottawa east is a sore disappointment especially compared to west end. They never have what I am looking for and they don't give good advice. At west end they really care about your tank and will speak up if they think you are doing something stupid lol.
At Ottawa east they told me that 2 dwarf gourami and a betta in a 20 gal would be fine.
I actually live in Centretown and it is way closer for me to go to innes and Blair than terry fox but I make the longer trip anyways.
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:45 PM   #57
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Calgary Store

The Calgary store has been under new management for about a year now. It was franchised by the same person who runs the Edmonton store. Under the old owner it was all fish. Since corporate has taken over it has become all pets.

It is still a nice place to shop, but new owner is definitely about making money. You can hear him get mad at his employees for spending too much time on one customer, which can be good and bad. Sometimes you want to build a friendly rapport with customers, but on the same time don't want to keep others waiting. I have heard that refunds/returns and replacements can sometimes be difficult now at that store because the manager doesn't want to lose money. I think the old managers might have been too eager to do so, I dunno.

I have had heard mixed reviews since the new management. I do know that many of the employees and some management that had been there for years were gone soon after new management took over. Many of them really knew their fresh/salt fish and reptiles very well. New employees are very new and learning the trade. It is sad not to see those friendly knowledgeable people anymore.

Personally I go more to Pisces because they will let me order specific plants and have ADA products for my aquatic plant hobby. They are good with offering credit with fish or plants I bring in to them. I go to Big Al's now just to see if they have something I can't find at Pisces. So they still get my business.

Most recent experience with Big Al's Calgary was I was looking for HC (baby tears) and they apparently "just" got them in. These were tiny pots with about 3 leaves in each pot. They looked horrible and definitely not much there. I didn't know they just got them in but found out when I asked if they would reduce the price because I thought their plants were dying off and I offered to take some. The guy didn't like that I asked for them cheaper and told me they just came in and the prices for them are cheap. At $16 for that little pot of 3 leaves not a good deal at all. I popped back to pisces a day later and they had big plastic cups from aquaflora with about a 12cm diameter wide bunch that was super healthy for $14.
Not that pisces plants are always in great condition. It is hard to find LFS that actually have their plant sections set up to grow healthy plants, so you often find their stock after a week or so starts looking bad and gets algae until they get more new stock.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:22 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by supradupafast
Big Al's at my end pretty much sucks...
Customer service is near a 0, they give terrible advice (Except for one guy that has been there for ever), and you really have to watch the livestock you buy. (That's why a QT for new fish is a Must!).
On the positive side, their prices are great, lots of choices of hardware, foods & Fish...
It's one of those... You really wish you didn't have to go there, but they are the only real aquarium specialty store around... (Other than big box stores, which I refuse to buy from)...
Easy or west? There are only 2 people in the west that know anything about marine fish, and their prices on livestock are ridiculas at times
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:56 AM   #59
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I shop at big ALS in whitby and Scarborough. I would say that they are both pretty decent stores. I do however think the shark in the whitby store is outgrowing the tank it's in. Wondering when they will replace it with a smaller one.
Fish are our friends.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:20 PM   #60
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I've been to both stores, was in Whitby yesterday as a matter of fact. I do agree, the shark looks a bit big for the tank.

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