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Old 08-19-2010, 07:22 PM   #1
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Thumbs down LiveAquaria... at least their customer service is good.

Y'know... everyone always says you can't beat DFS/LiveAquaria's Customer Service, and they're right. BUT, it would sure be nice if you didn't have to use that aspect of them so much. If things were running correctly, you shouldn't have to constantly contact them and have them "add comments to your file" or make concessions, right?

Long story short, I've been trying to get a Flasher Wrasse (yellow fin or filamented) for some time now. First one from Diver's Den only lasted 24hrs. Seemed OK during acclimation into the QT - not sure what happened. But got credit for it.

Second one I ordered in from my LFS and it died in their tank hours before I got there to pick it up!

So this time I decide to order a Yellow Fin from LiveAquaria, shipped out of California. I figure the shorter distance and the fact they're in the same time zone as me will minimize the "time in bag". I watch LiveAquaria's "stock list" for 2 weeks, and the Yellow Fin Flasher is available all during that time. So I order it last night, and throw in a dozen snails while I'm at it, since the shipping is covered with the fish.

So I get my shipment confirmation today. You guessed it... the fish is "out of stock" but they're sending my snails tomorrow. The backordered fish (which had amazingly been available constantly over the last two weeks) order will be held open for two weeks. And of course, I won't have to pay shipping for that.

BUT... now I have two orders coming to my work that I have to take some time off to take home and get acclimated, instead of just one. And I don't know when that second order will come.

To their credit, when I contacted LiveAquaria and ranted a fair amount, they did finally extend the offer to cancel the order for the fish and reimburse me for shipping - so I only would be out the price of the [over-priced] snails. But that doesn't change the fact that to get that fish, I'm going to have to take additional time off from work since I already have a shipment in route.

Sorry for the rant, but I just wanted to relay this story to folks in case they were thinking about adding things to their LiveAquaria order "just for the heck of it". It's one thing for Amazon to ship books separately to complete an order, but when you're shipping live animals the "partial shipment is OK" policy seems pretty stupid. If I hadn't added the snails, things would've been just fine.

Stupid partial shipment policy. Stupid.

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Old 08-20-2010, 12:33 PM   #2
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I've never bought anything from them that arrived all at the same time. I've never bought live anything from them, just salt/thermometers/etc and it always arrives in at least 2 shipments, sometimes several days apart. I guess what do you expect when you order 4 boxes of salt along with a bunch of other small stuff, they can't control FedEx. Live product I would think would be handled differently though. Good comment
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:45 PM   #3
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Yea the best and worst thing about them is their several different facilities. Sometimes things are coming from both locations and thats obnoxious. I wish they would just restructure their site to have everything listed as a WYSIWYG.
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:33 PM   #4
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It's not a location thing, really. The WYSIWYG and aquacultured stuff is from their own facility in Wisconsin. All the "stock" stuff that isn't Diver's Den comes from Los Angeles, and they don't own/control that facility. They're just having an LA wholesaler drop ship for them.

If you order something from Diver's Den AND their "stock" list, then yes... it will come from different locations.

But my point was that this was all coming from the LA wholesaler, and the thing that was out of stock had been listed as "available" for two straight weeks, including the night I bought the fish. The DFS Customer Service rep I talked with offered to put a "note on my account" that said not to partial ship. But it just seems like they should give you that option when you order... it would save THEM a lot of money!

By the way... just got the order of snails. Opened the box... no packing peanuts, just two bags of water/snails rattling around in the styrofoam box. I suppose it doesn't really matter since they're just snails, but didn't really impress me. Also... the ice pack was just loose inside the styrofoam box, not taped to the top like normal. And it was laying right next to one of the bags of water when I opened the box. Needless to say, the bags of water are pretty darn cold.

Really really not impressed. Pretty sure this will be the last order these guys ever get from me. I'm really tempted to just cancel the fish order rather than see how they screw that up too...
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:52 PM   #5
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It's official - I will NEVER... NEVER order from these guys again. Drygoods or Livestock. They used to have their act together, but either this order is a "one in a million" or the wheels have fallen off the axles.

So Friday (8/27), my fish shows up as "in stock" on their website. Great! I call to find out why I wasn't notified and confirm that it will ship on Monday. I get the standard, "...if the fish is still available then it will most LIKELY ship on Monday..." monologue. So today, it still shows as available, but I never get shipment notification. 5pm (Pacific Time) rolls around and I call them. Supposedly they're still shipping out orders from CA and mine is probably still waiting to be shipped. I kind doubted that, but gave them the benefit of the doubt. 8pm rolls around - still no shipping notification, and of course it's now too late to call them as their Customer Service office is closed.

Maybe I'm just being anal (which I am!), but when you order livestock that is IN STOCK, is it wrong to assume that it is actually IN STOCK and will ship the next day? I mean... would you order livestock from a place that said "Order from us, and we'll ship your order whenever we feel like it within the next two weeks." ??? In effect, that is what LiveAquaria is doing.

At this point though, it seems like this fish is *this* close to being in my hands, so I'm hesitant to cancel the order. I really wish I knew how much longer they were planning on dragging this out - tonight's conversation with the Customer Service rep ended with "...well, if they don't ship it out today, they *should* ship it out Tuesday."
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:21 PM   #6
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i'll never use them again either, got the same deal, pissed me off so much. I wanted a green carpet which was like 100, so i was like sure i'll get a couple other things while i'm at it too get the free shipping. Turned out the green carpet was out of stock after being listed as in stock. got the two week bull and they sent the hundred dollars of stuff i didn't really want. which included a coral that wasn't as described, a urchin that died in a day, tang twice as large as listed size, bah, and they never contacted me after the two weeks to see about the "substitute item" for the carpet like it says in there policy. customer service was no help either. won't order from other Dr sites anymore because of this run around.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:56 PM   #7
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Yup... they've lost me as a customer for everything - not just the livestock - because of all this.

My fish did ship out today, finally. The only response I got back from them regarding why they can't promptly ship something that is supposedly in stock is that their inventory system is not capable of giving real-time information. So often times the supplier is out of stock and LiveAquaria is not aware of it. Fine - so why even list something as being "in stock" or "out of stock"? What's the point if it's just a crap shoot. They say they hope to improve their system "in the future", but that doesn't excuse showing misleading (to put it nicely) information.

Diver's Den seems to always ship good - they have control over that. But LiveAquaria... it's pretty much "order from us and we *might* ship it to you within two weeks, and we might not." In the mean time, you're in limbo not knowing what the next day holds. Anyway... I'm done with them... all of their companies. I take back all those recommendations I made for them!
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:56 PM   #8
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I purchased some Pods, Phyto and Mysid from Welcome to Reef Nutrition a company in Cal but the Mysid are from a farm in FL and shipped direct from the farm, I live in a smallish town in Canada and both items arrived the next day with Fed-ex... I was impressed.
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:17 PM   #9
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I would love to hear the outcome of this saga! Did you get the fish and if so how is it doing/???
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:46 AM   #10
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It did end up shipping out on that Tuesday, and arrived Wednesday. Wasn't overly impressed again with shipping... cold pack was placed right next to the bag, water temp was around 62 degrees when I took it out of the box. I don't know... maybe shipping the fish cold is just standard procedure for them. But they've never done it that way whenever I bought from Diver's Den. The bag pretty much filled up the styrofoam box, but they still put packing peanuts in there. Actually... eight packing peanuts. It was pretty funny to open the box and pick off eight packing peanuts. I'm like "...what the heck was the purpose of these?!" But then, I guess since I complained about the snails and their lack of packing peanuts, I shouldn't complain! Anyway... fish looked dead, but was obviously just in a little "transit coma" since it perked up a little after coming back up to temperature.

So it went in the quarantine tank on 9/1 and is doing great now. It took a couple days for it to come out of hiding, but each day it gets braver. Very nice looking guy and is eating fine.

It was kind of funny to email LiveAquaria yet again, and complain about the cold pack issue. I got the same canned response that I did about the snails. When I responded and said that I'd rather it just not happen instead of getting a canned apology, their response was... " We understand your concern and your experience was forwarded to our Aquatics Director for review. We normally do have these problems and hopefully we will not have them in the future." We normally do have these problems? Well then... I'd do something about it and not "hope" to not have them in the future.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:30 PM   #11
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Try BlueZoo..I have always had a good experience with customer service. ordered a marble star. It did not make it. Gave them a call. without even seeing the star my money was refunded. Out the shipping but the customer service was awsome. Being a newbie I am learning.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:37 PM   #12
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Umm sorry for all your problems you had. . But I order from them all the time and everything comes in tip top shape so far I have ordered over 400$ worth of stuff from then. :-\
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:57 AM   #13
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I actually have had stellar experience from them. I'm not trying to contradict your experience at all, but I ordered 60lbs of LR from them (2 separate packages) and they arrived a day early before 11am. I'm hoping your situation is very uncommon because I plan on ordering from them again; however, if it happens to me, I will cease to do any business with them.
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