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Old 12-10-2005, 02:20 PM   #1
LKH
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WalMart

I don't know about the rest of you folks, but I am sick and tired of seeing the horrifying tank conditions at WalMart stores. I'm tired of watching little kids and their families having some This portion of your post has been edited, it is in violation of the User Agreement. Further violations of the User Agreement could result in removal from our community. store employee net their new goldfish out of a tank with seven floaters, knowing that these kids are going to be traumatized in a few days when "Bubbles" succumbs to the Walmart disease du jour. And I know it's not just a local problem because I've seen complaints about WalMart fish departments all over the web at aquarium hobbyist forums.

So I have some suggestions:

First, as we all do our Christmas shopping, make a pass by the fish department. Count the total number of tanks, and the number with poor conditions and or sick or dead fish. Complain to the clerk as you check out. And when you get home, send a complaint at this page to WalMart's headquarters. Report what you saw and express your outrage. If you find their conditions are good, commend them - maybe the store manager there can train people around the network to do a better job in their fish department.

Then come here and post your findings, and if you have any energy remaining, post at other sites for aquarium hobbyists as well.

Let's see if we can persuade WalMart to either do a better job taking care of their fish, or get out of the fish trade.

L

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Old 12-10-2005, 06:50 PM   #2
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Re: WalMart

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKH
having some [admin edit] store employee net their new goldfish
First of all... That's not needed at all...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKH
Let's see if we can persuade WalMart to either do a better job taking care of their fish, or get out of the fish trade.
Second... Good luck...
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Old 12-10-2005, 06:50 PM   #3
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Oh and welcome to AquariumAdvice!
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:44 PM   #4
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First. Lets not try to sterio type wal-mart employees.

Second, With ...more than 3,700 stores in the US and more than 1,500 throughout the rest of the world.... quoted directly from walmart's website. I dont see how your NOT going to end up with people complaning about some of the stores having bad quality. In my area there are 4 walmarts within a 35min driving radius. The quality of the fish section as well as the quality of the store itself is vastly different from each of the four stores I have within that short driving range. Contrary to popular opinion each store is not just another wal-mart. Each store brings its own little bit to the community.

I do encourage you to report your feelings to walmart about your store. Be sure to get the store ID number from your local store when doing so. But complaning to them on a broad scale about all their stores is not going to get you anyware. Give them specifics. Time/Date, Store ID number, etc.

Along the lines of tranning the staff. I have yet to see a wal-mart that had an employee that was dedicated to the fish section nor have I seen stores where they have an employee dedicated to the pet section. The staff is always having to deligate their time between the pet section and something else that just so happens to be near by. In addition LFS's find it hard enough to higher staff that knows what they are doing and the LFS is a much more focused store where you would expect top knotch employees who know alot about aquaria.

While I personally feel wal-mart in general should not be selling fish just like they shouldnt be selling kittens or puppies I also feel you cant falt them because a % of their stores have water quality or fish health issues.
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:49 PM   #5
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OK, I'm a little offended by the administrative edit. My adjective simply implied that the people working the aisles were often young people (which happens to be the case) but what you did leaves the readers to infer that I might have used an ethnic slur or a foul word. I don't appreciate that at all.

Second, if you check the site that I posted, it does ask for the store location when you comment. But there are over a dozen WalMarts in my area, and I've been to several, and ALL of them have horrible conditions. WalMart has a rep for that if you check other aquarium hobbyist sites.

But hey, thanks for making me feel so welcome!

L
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:19 PM   #6
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Well I am eighteen years old, and I work at wal-mart. Not in the pet department, but I work in housewares. So, take that how you will. I felt a little offended, because I'm pretty sure I don't have pimples. I have bagged fish for people before, but I don't do it anymore because I can't help people if they won't let me. We now have "Jellybean" Parrotfish. I do believe wal-mart does a lot of bad things, but to make personal attacks on the people who work there... Unbelievable... Anyway, I did say welcome to the forums, and you are welcome. I just felt offended. I'm sorry if I came off that way, but I'm sure you'd have done the same.
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:21 PM   #7
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Drive to Maryland and see what a real Wal-Mart pet department looks like.
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:25 PM   #8
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I agree with crazypants. Not all are the same. I work at walmart and manage a pet department. I'm young. I have sick fish occasionally, but who doesn't?

People need to complain. If they get enough complaints, they will address the issue somehow. I think you are right, LKH, but don't assume all stores are that way.

Welcome to AA. 8)
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:34 PM   #9
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My personal feeling isn't that the employees are the bad people, just not knowlegable. I went to our Walmart here, and the guy had no clue what was going on. He told me he was over in the sporting goods area, and was just moved to the fish section last week. About the only training he got was how to use the net. That's all. Also, there were fish in bags being acclimated. But for how long? I went in the next day and they were still there. About 40 bala sharks in a bag, and 6 dead, and more looking almost dead, still acclimating. So I hope you don't feel offended, I am in no way trying to offend anyone, but in my honest opinion, it's Walmarts policy that is the problem. And yes, I agree, walmart should not be in the live pet/fish industry. But for tanks, filters, supplies, etc, they do have some really good deals.
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:07 AM   #10
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Here's the thing. I actually saw a kid (who did have pimples) take a fish out of a tank full of floaters, and give it to a child the other day. That's the scene I was describing. It wasn't intended as a general slur toward every WalMart employee, and I'm actually rather stunned that you took it that way. And I think I made it VERY clear that my problem was with the company rather than with the employees. But hey, I apologize if anyone took this in ways other than what I intended.

The point is, whether the person bagging the fish is 18 or 70, they are taking fish out of tanks that are not healthy, and giving probably diseased fish to the customers. We're losing track of that point by quibbling over the age of the employees, which is irrelevant.

I thought I was doing a good thing by trying to pressure the company into treating its livestock more humanely, but everyone's jumping on a casual observation I made along the way. It's not worth the aggravation. Let's drop the topic. I wish I could delete it.

L
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:24 AM   #11
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I wasn't jumping on your observation. If you type 'Wal-Mart' in the AA search box, you will uncover probably well over 100 threads on Wal-Mart alone. There are many people who feel the way you do, including myself. I think it is horrific at some stores. I was just trying to reiterate the point that complaining is good and neccesary, and that good stores are out there. Its very easy for people to generalize based on majority.

I wish you luck in your endeavors. I know many people will be with you. I have already made the complaint at a local level, about a local store.
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:24 AM   #12
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Re: WalMart

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKH
First, as we all do our Christmas shopping, make a pass by the fish department. Count the total number of tanks, and the number with poor conditions and or sick or dead fish. Complain to the clerk as you check out. And when you get home, send a complaint at this page to WalMart's headquarters. Report what you saw and express your outrage. If you find their conditions are good, commend them - maybe the store manager there can train people around the network to do a better job in their fish department.
L
I decided to sent feedback about our store here. I sent a general message on how I think the tanks look, as well as a more detailed comment on the Bala Shark incedent I saw. Not that they will do anything, just had the urge to do it, as I really like Balas.
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Old 12-11-2005, 11:36 AM   #13
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Don't take the admin edit too personally. We just keep things very polite around here, that's all.

While I do agree that big chain store pet depts are often not well cared for, it's not true across the board.
And furthermore, I've been to enough small LFS in my state, that I can say the same thing about 40% of them: dead fish not being immediately removed, ich ridden tanks still having their livestock sold, etc.

Whenever I'm in my preferred LFS, I point out any sick looking fish to the employees, because they all know me by now. The issue is quickly dealt with.

If you really want to change WalMart's ways, talk to the pet dept manager. If they blow you off, talk to the store manager. Find out about local fish clubs, talk to them, and have all members write a letter to the local walmart manager/regional manager.

Its a lot harder than coming to a forum like AA, but its easier to get the momentum rolling on a project like this by doing things the 'old-fashioned' way.

Good luck!
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Old 12-11-2005, 11:56 AM   #14
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Actually, I think sites like this, that have thousands of members, ergo thousands of potential shoppers and potential complaints, would be a better way to mount a campaign aimed at WalMart's PR. Local complaints address only one store, when the problem is basically systemic. Local fish clubs probably only have a hundred members if that. WalMart is more likely to respond when a large segment of potential customers is reading about the problems people see.

L
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:00 PM   #15
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Also, if I had the option of editing my own posts, I could correct any problems you think there are without you leaving a false impression on people who come along and read later. I think most reasonable people, on seeing an admin edit in a spot like that, would infer that the only kind of word that might be removed in a post like that would be some kind of slur toward a certain ethnic group or class of people, rather than just a suggestion that a young employee might have a pimple. I don't like leaving that impression, because I don't think that way. I'm still really bugged by that.

L
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:09 PM   #16
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well, you are somewhat preaching to the choir here. people who come to these sites want to make sure they are properly informed on fish care and want to provide the best living standards for their fish. The majority of people here do not go to Walmart already and that is a form of protest. Other people here may want to rescue those poor fish. Plenty of people have made complaints. But why should it stop with walmart and other chain stores? Like Malkore said, LFS can be just as bad and sometimes worse. I know my LFS is good or bad based on the day and who is working. My Walmart is... decent. Not the best, but they at least try not to sell already sick fish. Hopefully walmart will go the way they went with birds and other creatures and they will just stop selling them, but I doubt that will happen until fish get the same humane standards as other creatures. But don't be discouraged by that, if you look at some laws from other countries, fish are starting to be more respected and cared for. So that's my 2 cents...

Anyway, welcome to AA!
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:22 PM   #17
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Also, if I had the option of editing my own posts, I could correct any problems you think there are without you leaving a false impression on people who come along and read later.
You have that option prior to posting. Please read the User Agreement - 1st paragraph. Think of it this way, if a certain characteristic that you have was added to "__________ employee", how would you feel? The membership here at AA will in no way infer that you made any innotation of an ethnic or racial slur.

That being said, a Wal-Mart employee, who is a long time member of this forum, still took the time to help you out with your sick fish even after seeing this thread. That member is also in support of your efforts.

Think about it.
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Old 12-11-2005, 05:32 PM   #18
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Also, if I had the option of editing my own posts, I could correct any problems you think there are without you leaving a false impression on people who come along and read later.
There are only a handful of specific forums that we do not allow editing, this one just happens to be one of them The vast majority of our forums your editing ability is alive and well.
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Old 12-11-2005, 11:46 PM   #19
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Oh for pete's sake, jchillin! I don't think anybody here thinks that I have a problem with WalMart employees, particularly since I've made that clear more than once since someone inferred otherwise from the initial comment.

The comment was a descriptor of one kid I saw do the very thing I was describing, and I think the average reader would not assume that I was saying every single WalMart employee fit that description. For that matter, I'm not sure most people would even find it offensive (I have seen similar descriptions in national magazines). I've made clear more than once since then as well that my problem is with the company rather than the employees, and I've apologized if people inferred something that wasn't intended. What more can I do, except maybe just leave this forum for warmer climes?

And I have expressed my appreciation to devilishturtle on the appropriate topic. I also appreciate that s/he doesn't seem to be belaboring the point or continuing to infer offense where none was intended, and where clarification has been repeatedly offered.

Can we drop it now, please?

L
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:23 AM   #20
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I agree with what LHK is saying from the beginning. Was not referring to any one person or employee, but the company and what he saw at a particular Walmart on a particular day. I don't feel he was labeling anyone anything, or all Walmarts employees the same. That's why I had posted earlier that I sent feedback to Walmart myself, stating the facts as to what I saw, the particular Walmart, and the day. Nothing in my feedback inferred to all Walmarts in general, just what I saw in the 2 days in a row that I went there. I think this thread has gone far enough, IMO, and feel we should drop it here.
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