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141 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've discovered the little gem of entertainment Petco has on their website called Live Chat, where one can supposedly gain useful information from chatting live with a Petco representative. So far I've gotten much more entertainment value out of these chats than info.
Has anyone actually found a helpful rep yet?
Or have any funny chats to share?

Here's the most recent one of mine inquiring about fees for special order:

You: I would like to know more about special order for live fish.
Charlene: Do you have a fish tank for your future fish?
Charlene: We have tanks available at that are sale and cheaper than in the store.
You: yes, i have multiple tanks already. Is there an added fee for special order?
Charlene: We do not have information about the additional fee for special order made by the store.
Charlene: You can visit or contact your nearest PETCO store for more queries.
Charlene: How many fish do you want to get?
You: about a dozen
Charlene: I see. What type of tank do you want to set up?
You: a planted nano tank with co2 and a school of bororas brigatte
Charlene: So you would like to freshwater tank. Am I correct?
You: yes.
Charlene: We have SeaClear Rectangular 30 Gallon Show Aquarium Combos where you can put your fish in.
Charlene: It is constructed of the finest cast acrylic, a SeaClear Aquarium Combo will offer years of dependable service. It's less than half the weight of comparably sized glass tanks and its exceptional clarity allows unobstructed views of the underwater world you create.
You: yes well, as i said i already have multiple tanks, i dont need any more right now. and i dont like acrylic tanks, i prefer glass
Charlene: Yes. How about filters and pumps?
Charlene: Is there anything else in your mind that you would like to order?
You: yes well, i have those. the fish i keep wouldn't live very long without them.
You: I would like to order a hamster
Charlene: Unfortunately, we do not sell hamster at Please visit your local PETCO store to inquire about it.
Charlene: Would it be your first time to get a hamster?
Charlene: We have general care sheet of hamster that may help you in taking care of this pet.
You: oh that's alright, i've had 21 hamsters. A general care sheet would not be of much use to me.
Charlene: Okay.
Charlene: Is there anything else I can help you with today?
You: no i believe that will be all thanks:proud:

141 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's On the "contact us" page. I'd post think link but i'm still not sure what links are and aren't allowed.

Da Plant Man and I are currently talking with Petco representatives... LOL this is fun!
So much more fun than writing my essay that's due on Wednesday.
^lol, same here. Supposed to be doing study guides for lit, but instead i'm brainstorming new future tanks.

Almost sounds like a bot.
Yeah that's what i thought they were at first too. Could still be, their assertions that they are in fact real people were quite...automatic. ;)

2,245 Posts
My convo.

Here is the "fun" I had with live chat.

Charlene: Hello! I am a Petco Customer Relations Representative. May I know who I'm chatting with?
You: hi I'm interested in aquatic plants are those avaliable
Charlene: It sounds like you want to order our available aquatic plants at
You: I don't see that option, are they under live fish and rock?
Charlene: Are you looking for freshwater or saltwater aquatic plants?
You: freshwater
Charlene: Okay.
Charlene: You can find aquatic plants under Decor option.
Charlene: How many gallon tank do you have as well as the fish?
You: there aren't aquatic plants in the decor section. there are lots of fake plants.
Charlene: I'm sorry.
You: i'm getting 5 clown loaches
Charlene: However, as I double checked, our freshwater live plants are out of stock on our website.
You: I haven't decided on a tank
Charlene: Have you found the fish that you want to get at
You: I'm buying the fish at a local fish store.
You: well where would I normally find live freshwater plants?

Charlene: Please know that we have vendor's for freshwater live plants who supply the items. However, I would advise you to visit or contact your local PETCO store to know their live plants stock and pricing.
Charlene: May I have your ZIP code so that I can provide your nearest PETCO store phone number?
You: so live plants aren't normally available on
You: I know where my nearest stores are located.
You: what size tank should I get for 5 clown loaches

Charlene: You will be needing 25- 50 gallon tank depending on their sizes.
You: really, only that big? I was thinking I would need at least 75 gallons.
Charlene: I have not heard from you for a few moments. Are you still wanting to chat?
Charlene: I'm sorry for the typo.
Charlene: Yes. I give you the minimum size that you can use. However, you can get larger tank depending on the fish sizes.
You: ok, what should I get for algae control? snails, shrimp or something else?
Charlene: I'll be right with you.
Charlene: I will be glad to help you find an algae control for your tank.
Charlene: Would an algae eater work for you?
Charlene: I will send you a link to a page that contains that information.
Charlene: Algae Eater
Charlene: Did that link open for you?
You: yes
You: thanks

Charlene: Is this the thing that you are looking for?
You: yes
Charlene: Algae eaters are a great addition to any aquarium really, but it is important to regard them with the same status you give to all your other watery pets, making sure that you choose compatible species for your aquarium, and that you're providing them with what they need to live well in the long term.
Charlene: Would you like to order some supplies today at
You: well, I'm still confused about plants, are live plants normally for sale on the website? and if so where on the website are they listed?
Charlene: As I told you, we sold freshwater plants before, however, these plants are currently out of stock so what we have on the website are the fake plants only.
You: do you know if you will be selling them online again in the future
Charlene: Unfortunately, we do not have the exact schedule when would our freshwater plants get back in stock at
Charlene: .*
You: my local petco has a horrible selection of freshwater plants, in fact some aren't even aquatic species but they sell the anyway. I was really hoping to find a better selection on the website.
Charlene: I understand how you are interested to find the freshwater live plants online. I wish that we have them in stock and could give you.
Charlene: You can visit other Pet Stores or Aquatic stores online or locally so that you can find the things that you wnat.
Charlene: want*
You: that's ok, I guess I will have to find plants elsewhere. thank you for your advice on the tank size and algae eaters
Charlene: You're most welcome! Is there anything else I can help you with today?
You: that's all, thanks again

Funny thing was the entire time I had the "live fish and rock" section pulled up in my browser looking at the live freshwater aquatic plants they had on sale and in stock on the website.

2,245 Posts
It's On the "contact us" page. I'd post think link but i'm still not sure what links are and aren't allowed.

^lol, same here. Supposed to be doing study guides for lit, but instead i'm brainstorming new future tanks.

Yeah that's what i thought they were at first too. Could still be, their assertions that they are in fact real people were quite...automatic. ;)
I find it quite ironic that you also talked with Charlene, can't imagine they only have one "person" doing this for the whole website

3,350 Posts
Sounds like someone from a call center in India, actually. The linguistic quirks are telling.

They're assigned fake English names. Charlene could be a generic name used by more than one person.

Each employee typically handle calls (or chats) from many different companies, so they have little knowledge of a particular company or related topics beyond their training, scripts, and what they can look up on the website or knowledge base. Sometimes less than that, and you might as well be speaking to a 'bot.

Oh, and I believe the individual store managers decide whether to allow special orders or not.

104 Posts
Petco and german blue rams

Aright, before reading this please note a few things!
1- i do want a pair of german blue rams, but will not consider adding them to my tank until at least six months.
2- i know that GBR's like a variety of foods, preferring to eat frozen thawed foods. i don't plan on offering flakes to them
3- there's no way in heck i'd take out my plants
4- convicts would NEVER go in the tank

Thank you for choosing Petco! One of our representatives will be with you shortly.
You are now chatting with Ian.
You: hello i have a few questions for you
Ian: I'll be glad to assist you.
You: i have a 29 gallon tank that i started a little over a week ago. it is heavily planted and i am using a nova extreme 2x24 t5HO lighting system, marineland pengin biowheel type filter and my heat is set at 78 degrees. how soon could i put some german blue rams in there?
Ian: I'll be glad to assist you, May I know what are the fishes already house in the tank?
You: three diamond tetras right now
Ian: Did you already measure the the water quality of your tank?
You: yes. my ammonia is at zero, nitrites are zero, i dose nitrates for my plants, my hardness is about 150, alkalinity is 20-40 and my pH has been dropping from 7.2 and is now at 6.4
Ian: Wow, it seems that you have good water quality. When did you check the water quality please?
You: i just did it this morning.
Ian: We just need to monitor first the water quality to be stable at least for 2 days before you may add another fish in your tank.
You: do you think the rams would be okay to add in this early into the set up?
Ian: Considering the size of your tank and the water quality it is possible to add a fish in your tank. by the way how many are you planning to add?
You: i think i want to add a pair of german blue rams. plus a few other fish
Ian: I understand, With regards to the number of the fish you plan to we need to consider that for every 1 inch size of fish they need a gallon of water to sustain a good water quality.
Ian: In adding them I would suggest to contact first our aquatic specilaist to check weather how many will be possible, when we add a fish to your tank it will normally lessen the water quality and if there are too many fish added it might pull the water quality of your tank and may cause sickness to other fish.
Ian: Is there anything else that I may help you with today?
You: okay, so more fish means worse water quality. will having a huge load of plants, as my tank does, ruin the water quality if i add more of them too?
Ian: Once you add the fish to your tank it is normal for it to be cloudy for 24-48 hours but should be back to normal. If you will add more fish there will be more waste and food that may not be eaten which will cause water quality to lesser.
You: okay if i have a lot of plants will it cloud the water too?
Ian: Yes, It may affect the water quality for a while upon adding a plant in your tank.
You: yikes! maybe i have too many plants. maybe i should take some out? there may be 20 plants or more in there... i just put them all in this week.
Ian: I understand. with regards to the number of plants and fish you might consider speaking to one of our aquatic specialist ins tore for more advices with regards to number of fish that you add in your tank and the plants too.
You: okay two more questions!
Ian: Go ahead with your question please?
You: can i just feed the german blue rams the flake food that i already have? and also will they be happy if i take my friend's two convict cichlids and add them to the tank? i will wait a week and test the water after i put the rams in before adding the convicts.
Ian: Understand, Let me check the information.
You: great thank you. i will wait for your reply!
Ian: You may give flake food as well to your pet once added to the tank, also please be advise of the number of fish before adding them.
You: okay, so if i added the two convicts, two german blue to the three i already have, i should be okay. the fish length added up only makes about 18 inches total
Ian: That is correct, But we need to make sure that there will be room as they grow. I wish you all the best in your tank. (Smiles)
You: thank you for your help! i will take out some plants to keep the water from getting cloudy and add those fish slowly! that is everything for now!

Should i feel guilty for just going along with this? haha!

104 Posts
i posted a good one in here, but it never showed up. i'll give you the jist of it.

i gave my water parameters of my tank that is under two weeks old and asked if i could add a german blue ram. the guy started asking about what fish i had. he also informed me that since i added over twenty plants in the past week, i might see my water quality diminish and it may become cloudy.

his advice was that it was okay to add the GBR to my new aquarium. it would also be okay to add two small convict cichlids with him since i should remember that the general rule of thumb is one inch of fish per gallon. german blue rams will be fine only feeding him flake foods and i should consider taking out plants or at least not adding anymore to avoid water quality problems.

i was just asking silly questions to see what kind of suggestions that they give to people who honestly wouldn't know any better. well... i probably would end up with a dead GBR and an empty tank if i would have taken his advice. haha!

104 Posts
im actually trying, but my rep is playing smart

yup, i just finished. i got no advice, gave crazy questions,
no bites for me. it was definitely a real person with a brain

mine was a real person for sure. terrible english, but definitely real. i wonder what their pay rate is? i'd love to get paid to do that but actually give out accurate information! haha!!

104 Posts
Microwave it.

Anyway, my favorite was asking them if I just added salt to my planted tank if corals would survive, I was told yes

I think i'm going to try it again and ask if I get a big enough goldfish bowl, will I be able to keep my nemo fish and a betta together. This is a real question that I have been asked when I'm at work. (I work at a fish store).

Or I will have a customer put a goldfish bowl, stones, and fake plant on the counter and ask for help getting a fish. I grab the nets and follow them. We then continue past the freshwater section into the salts and reef stuff. They then point to the ocellaris clowns and say, "Ummm give me that one." Haha.
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