Pushy PetSmart salesman

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by goldiegirl, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. goldiegirl

    goldiegirlValued MemberMember

    I hope this is an okay place to post this. It's just a rant. I know many other people have similar stories. I got a 30 gallon to plan for 1 or 2 fancy goldfish. I told myself I would either get 1 large-ish one or 2 medium for now. I should have known better than to go to PM. I ended up looking at the tiny baby fantails (about 1 inch each), because nothing else was catching my eye. I still planned to only get 2. I had one picked out and was agonizing over which of two others I would take home. The salesman approached me and asked which fish I wantd. I explained my problem to him and said I was still deciding. I made some stupid comment, "Oh, I just wish I could get all three! hahahaha" and without even making any facial expression he just looked at me and said, "get three." He started to net them for me. I thought he was joking, so I tried to point out which ones to get, and all he kept saying was, "just get three," and he grabbed them all. But it gets worse. Out of nowhere, he said "Is your water cloudy?" I told him it wasn't and explained that my tank was already cycled and told him about my other tank as well. "Is the water in your other tank cloudy?" "No...." I couldn't figure out why he was asking me this. "Well, it will be. Here," he said, handing me a bottle of Aqueon ammonia neutralizer. What the heck? Anyway, I wanted to complain to a manager, but I had to get away from this guy, so of course I ended up bringing the 3 tiny things home. Don't worry, I won't keep them in the 30 gallon. PM has a 14 day guarantee, and I plan to give it a few days and decide which one to take back. Of course now I'm getting too attached to all of them and already looking into a 40+ gallon tank, but I don't think that's going to happen. I take full responsibility for being talked into something when I should have stood up and told him to put one fish back, but I don't do well under pressure, and I just wanted to get out of there. I really regret not sticking up for myself and the fish when I knew better. Just wanted to share. Oh, I should also add that while I was first looking at the tank another (friendlier) associate came and chatted with me and claimed that 3 could live in a 30 gallon for a few years before they'd outgrow it and that they grow very slowly. Ug. I've been doing lots of research on growth rates, stunting, etc. and I'm not sure how long they could stay in this tank, but I'm pretty sure that info was inaccurate.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
  2. navyscuba

    navyscubaWell Known MemberMember

    Hey I bought a 40 breeder with light and lids for $89.99 at PM. They had a new low price on them. The old price was $129.99.
  3. Karl R

    Karl RValued MemberMember

    I personally refuse to visit petsmart or petco for that reason. They are pushy and know very little if anything at all about the fish they sell. There is a smaller store I like much better called fins n fangs. The staff is friendly, knowledgable and very good about asking the right questions about your aquarium before they will sell anything. All in all I'm glad they put the well being of the fish above their bottom line.

    REDKAHUNAValued MemberMember

    When I go in those places aND LOOk around some sales person will say can I help you I always respond with NO but since I have more tanks than you maybe I can help you.
  5. navyscuba

    navyscubaWell Known MemberMember

  6. brokenwing

    brokenwingWell Known MemberMember

  7. blasto172

    blasto172Valued MemberMember

    I must be lucky but the petsmart thats 3 mins from me is actually decent, about half of my neon school is from that store and there doing great. There staff know the basics, and there are a couple that are enthusiastic about aquaria and really know there stuff. There one girl in her early 20's that really sharp especially when it comes to live plants. I mainly use them for food and supplies do to the close proximity. Now petco I refuse to deal with, I have not had one fish survive from there.
  8. Treefork

    TreeforkWell Known MemberMember

    I'm lucky enough to live in a town with 2 LFS that are aquatic only stores. I still go to the petco and petsmart to check out what they have because they are closer, but usually get my fish from the LFS.
  9. OP

    goldiegirlValued MemberMember

    That's my thing, too - they're closer. I needed to go there anyway for supplies - general stuff is pretty much the same there as anywhere (water conditioner, salt, food, etc), so I made the mistake of getting the fish while I was there. All 3 had parasites - no surprise, but they're doing well. I'm just so disgusted with that guy and his demeanor. I still have exactly a week to decide if/which fish I want to return, and I'm thinking of complaining. Since I've put the fish in my tank, of course it hasn't gotten cloudy ONCE, because I have a fully cycled tank with readings of 0,0,10 at the moment. That ammonia neutralizing product just took the cake. He literally almost shoved it into my hands so I did end up carrying it until I was ready to leave then I set it down really quickly on my way to check out. Trying to sell me one more fish when they're so small and he obviously doesn't understand stocking capacity is ALMOST understandable, but the overall experience was extremely unpleasant, and now I'm the one left with the problem, and of course I'm getting attached to all 3 fish!
  10. trailblazer295

    trailblazer295Well Known MemberMember

    Sounds like you've got a bigger tank in the near future and just aren't ready to accept it yet lol. Post pics of the lucky 2 or 3 that made it out of there.
  11. NMfishman

    NMfishmanWell Known MemberMember

    My LFS are horrible, but the petsmart are mostly ok and I have had very good luck with their fish; though just last week the manager decided to clean all the rocks and fake plants in the tanks but didn't rinse them well enough and killed all of their fish... :;smack. Fortunately there is another one not to much farther that has even better fish. The staff at the petsmarts still don't know anything except for like two guys there!
  12. Fandango

    FandangoNew MemberMember

    I was at a petco, just looking around when i heard the saleswomen telling a mother she could not sell her a gold fish cause the tank had fish in it with Ich. Well the mother was insistent cause her little brat wanted a big goldfish so the sales person said

    "Well that one over there doesnt have any spots on it I could sell that one to you" talking about the tank with fish in it with Ich.

    I just dont understand Petco employee's. <.<

    Another time, I brought in some water for a test and she did a test and told me "everything was fine."

    What she meant to say was "Your ammonia is a little high but your nitrites are fine!"

    cause what I heard was "your water is fine!" So i bought a buncha corys only to have them get ammonia poisoning :(
  13. angel_scout

    angel_scoutWell Known MemberMember

    You would think that stores that have fish areas and stuff would make sure the employees would know the basics at least of fish care and other things
  14. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Angel scout, my guess is they don't pay very well, and you get what you pay for. It's not easy to find employees who really care when they're making minimum wage.
  15. H20girl

    H20girlValued MemberMember

    I got my first fish last week from PetSmart and won't be getting any fish from there anymore. I wanted 5 platies and would have liked to pick each of them out; however, the guy was very inpatient and seemed to be annoyed that I was looking in so many tanks. He asked more than once if he could help me. I motioned him over to the tank I wanted to get the fish from and without hesitating, he stuck the net in and scooped up 5 fish without so much as looking at them. I took a look in the bag and saw that two of the fish he'd put in there were missing their tails. I told him I didn't want those two. He seemed a little annoyed but swapped them out for me. I looked at the bag again and saw that most of the remaining fish had nipped fins (or fin rot, I'm not sure); I wanted to switch them too, but got the distince impression that I was being a pain, so I decided to take my chances. I wish I'd been more assertive and gotten what I wanted. After getting the fish I asked him to cut a background, telling him that the previous employee had cut one too small. He said no problem and proceeded to go over and cut another one without measuring it. We thought it looked small, so my boyfriend held it up to the same 20G in the store as we had at home, and sure enough, it was too small! Next, I asked the fish guy for advice on a test kit. He stated, "You don't need one of those... I've never tested my aquarium and the fish are fine." I said, "What about ammonia and nitrites, don't they get toxic?" He stated, "Platies are hardy, they'll be fine." :-\ Grrrreat!

    Edit: I did ignore him re: the test kit, since I knew better, but since I'd not had time to research them, I bought the wrong one. I had to go back the next day to buy an API kit after finding fishlore.
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  16. Jrobber

    JrobberWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds like a lovely experience H2Ogirl. All that sums up the reasons I no longer shop at Petsmart.
  17. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    It's people's OWN responsiblitiy to research the pets they intend to care for.

    I gotta be honest, I'm tired of hearing how evil petsmart is. I agree that they ought to do a better job, but like I said they get paid minimum wage and are more concerned about what they are doing after work than they are about their work. To expect more out of them is just crazy.

    If you come home with 5 goldfish for your 10 gallon, that's on you. There is a PLETHORA of information out there that is accessable with the click of a button. It's your pet, your tank, your money, your time - petsmart is not to blame. Passing the blame to others is so pervasive now that it's standard operating procedure (I'm talking in general).

    I'm done with my rant.
  18. H20girl

    H20girlValued MemberMember

    Jaysee, you make a good point. Ultimately it is each person's responsibility to do their own research. However, I do believe a store selling living creatures has a responsibility to know enough about them to care for them properly, and I've been to many stores where I don't believes this is the case.

    I agree that these employees, especially those at a large chain stores (rather than fish specific stores), cannot be expected to know everything about each species they carry. However, if they don't know what they're talking about, they should refrain from giving advice. Saying, "I don't know", is preferable to giving the impression that one is knowledgable when one is not.

    I understand that these employees are most likely making minimum wage; however, I don't think that's an excuse for poor service. How about a little work ethic? I'm sorry, but I used to babysit for less than minimum wage and that certainly didn't mean I sat the kids in front of the tv or let them wander into the street.

    I think the OP understands that it was her responsibility to choose the appropriate amount of fish, just as I understand I should have been more assertive and should have researched water testing kits before I went. I don't think there's anything wrong though with feeling frusterated about poor service.

    It's probably not fair to generalize... I'm sure there are some knowledgeable employees at Petsmarts and Petcos, just not at the one by me (in the aquatics dept). I don't think we can expect it, but it would still be nice to see. I tried an independently owned local fish shop and found a lot of tanks with dead fish, ich, and dyed fish... so they are not all great either.
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  19. jetajockey

    jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    I agree with Jaysee, if there is an issue with an employee, a call to a manager should get things resolved. My local petsmart can be hit and miss on employees that are actually interested in customer service, but they do have some very dedicated and knowledegable people that work there as well.

    A call to an owner or manager of a business to explain that you refuse to continue doing business with them because of their lack of customer service, or failure to take proper care of their stock can effectively turn things around.
  20. OP

    goldiegirlValued MemberMember

    Point taken, Jaysee. And yes, I definitely take responsibility for the number of fish I ended up with. I am equipped to and capable of taking care of them or I would have definitely asked him to put one back. Heck, they're probably better off here than they were there, so I wasn't necessarily blaming them for the number of fish I ended up with - I was ranting because he was rude, and I had a bad experience.

    What I was mainly irritated with was his trying to sell me the ammonia neutralizing product when I told him my tank was cycled. He didn't even pause a second to let me talk, and he clearly didn't know what a cycled tank was. I was able to walk away without the product because I knew better, but the reason this irritates me is because they're giving bad advice to the people who DON'T know any better, and this is harmful to many fish. I still shop there for supplies, but I continue to hear them giving bad advice to customers. As hobbyists, we know enough that this doesn't affect us, but the majority of those going to PetSmart, like any of us first starting out, believe that the employees know what they're talking about. If a dad takes his daughter in to buy a goldfish, he's going to listen to what the people at the PET STORE say as far as care goes. A person can research all he or she wants, but there will always be things you don't know to look up in the beginning, then you walk in and they recommend a certain chemical or treatment and you trust them. For example, if a person looks up tank cycling but goes to PetSmart and the associates don't seem to know what that means, that person is going to look and think "hmmm, there are lots of fish here that seem to be doing fine, and if he says it's not necessary, then maybe he's right."

    Look, I don't hate PetSmart. I've been a patron since I was a kid, whether it was for guinea pigs, fire bellied toads or hermit crabs. I'm glad they're there or I wouldn't have a place to buy aquarium supplies. Yes, people should do their research first, but the sad fact is that most people don't, and I just worry for the fish that end up in the hands of people who don't know any better than to take the advice of someone they would think they can trust. Irresponsible or not, it's the fish who end up paying, and that's what I have a problem with.