Chain Fish/pet Stores And Misinformed Customers

JessicaSwanlake

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I'm curious, when you go into these big box pet stores (and maybe I am the only one who does, but I need cat food/litter and like to check out the fish section too) do you ever say anything the employees or customers that you overhear, especially when it is misinformation?

For example: a couple weeks ago I was at Petsmart and heard a woman who was buying a single betta for her children asked if she could stick the betta in a fishbowl. Luckily, the employee told her that she would want at least a 5 gallon tank with a filter (but said nothing about a heater) so the woman found one she liked and then asked about adding a goldfish in there as well and the employee said "Sure, you could have one of the small fancy ones."??!! I didn't say anything because 1. I don't want to be that person and 2. Chances are she wouldn't have believed me over the employee and 3. A lot of people don't like being told not to do things, even if it is cruel to animals (at least not in the US, declawing cats anyone?)

Yesterday I also saw a woman in Petco grabbing a 2 gallon (max) fish bowl along with 2 male bettas and telling her toddler she thought they would be a good pair since they "looked like friends" (they were next to each other on the shelf). Once again, I said nothing because I didn't think it was my place.

I feel kind of guilty about not saying anthing and was wondering how other people react in this situation? I mean, I have made plenty of mistakes with my tanks and wish someone was there to jump in with the correct information when the petstore employee gave me bad info.

Anyone else have experiences with this?
 
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david1978

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That's a tough one since they don't know you. Even on here. The ones that stick around you get to know and I don't know if its the right terminology but you earn respect and you know who to listen to and who not to. Take for instance chromedome. If he identified a fish a fish as a purple giraffe fish I wouldn't even question it.
 

Magicpenny75

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I've never corrected an employee in front of a customer, but I have butted into overheard conversations where people are questioning what/how to do something. I just try to be friendly and tell them hey I don't work here but I've been keeping fish since I was 13 so I might be able to help you! Then I always point them to someplace like this to do some more research.
I've seen some employees doing stuff I would not have tolerated if they worked for mw, and I've also seen employees that sent away infuriated customers because they wouldn't sell them a goldfish for a 2 gallon tank that clearly had a goldfish printed on the outside. So it definitely goes both ways!
 
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JessicaSwanlake

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I've never corrected an employee in front of a customer, but I have butted into overheard conversations where people are questioning what/how to do something. I just try to be friendly and tell them hey I don't work here but I've been keeping fish since I was 13 so I might be able to help you! Then I always point them to someplace like this to do some more research.
I've seen some employees doing stuff I would not have tolerated if they worked for mw, and I've also seen employees that sent away infuriated customers because they wouldn't sell them a goldfish for a 2 gallon tank that clearly had a goldfish printed on the outside. So it definitely goes both ways!
Oh, yeah, I wouldn't even consider correcting the employee with the customer there. I wondered if I should have done it after the employee walked away, but didn't think it would have a good outcome. Maybe if she had given me the lost/confused look I might have tried to be helpful.

There are definitely plenty of good employees at those big box stores though, the second woman I talked to after setting up my tank was at Petco and she helped me a lot with fish compatibility. (Unfortunately, the first woman I talked to at the same store told me if I had substrate from a cycled tank my new tank would be fish ready in 3 days o_O). So I don't think they are all bad, just a lot of them are not trained properly or just need to tell people they are better off googling the intricacies of fishkeeping.
 
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