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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i went to the shark aquarium last friday... i know they close at 9, and to confirm, i called at 7:45 and asked. yes we close at 9 was the anwser.

after not finding it, i called again at 8:30, and the anwser again was yes, we close at 9.

i get there at about 8:35, and was promptly told by someone there that i need to hurry up because they're closing. when asked about their 9pm closing time, i was told that they actually close at 8:45. now this is inconvienient, but not a big deal, so whatever...

realizing i wouldnt have enough time to really look around, i politely asked when they would recieve they're next shipment... now this guy is not even looking at me, not doing anything at all, just standing there with his arms crossed and facing the other way... he tells me, very curtly, monday. then, when i aksed if there was going to be anything special coming in that shipment, he tells me, no, the same old stuff.

no i know it seems like im making a mountain out of a mole hill, but even someone i was with commented on the rudeness... how do they expect to maintain a customer base with this kind of sheer rudeness?

i literally needed to purchase $120- 150 in fish/plants/accessories, and i'll be doing that at the pet shanty (where everyone is always very personable and knowledgeable). they also have lost a customer for life, even though i liked a lot of their stock...

sorry, just needed to vent, and btw, i have no vested interest in either of these places, im just a lowly consumer :icon_lol:
 

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While I agree that the staff should not have been rude, you have to look at it from their point of view. Nobody likes customers coming in right before the store closes. You should have gotten there earlier.
 

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Dude probably wanted to go home... or knew you weren't going to buy anything because it was too late OR would be kept there late in the event that you DID buy something. In any case, I think dude wanted to go home :hihi:

And he was probably hungry :hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
although i do see both of your points of view, i own my own business, and when a client walks in at 8:55, or 9:01 for that matter, i still cater to them. thats why its called customer SERVICE.

apparantly they're doing very well and don't need my business.
 

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You all know the motto " The customer is ALWAYS right". Even though we know they aren't...always....there is something said about going out of your way for the customer. IMO, you should have just came to that store another day/night. To expect such service that late (near closing) isn't really that fair. I say "fair" because none of us would appreciate that; we're looking forward to going home to our families and such. Respect goes both ways... Don't get me wrong though, if that were me, I would have helped you.

I'm assuming that was your first time there, since you had trouble finding it, I can safely assume this. :) Not trying to tell you what to do, but I would try going back there, at a decent time, and see how their customer service really is. I wouldn't let this one time bad experience gauge how this store really is. Now if you get this sour treatment again, then I would say to hell with them. LOL

Note: I have no idea about this store. Hey, I'm in Cali so I definitely don't have any interest in both stores. Just hate seeing you miss out on the possiblity of a great store (if it is).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
colormeblue, that is the best advice i've had yet... i will def go there again, during different hours.

the thing is, i wasnt expecting anything at all, i told him from the get go i just wanted to look around, and to then treat me badly for it afterwards left a sour taste in my mouth.

sometime my temper gets the best of me i guess.
 

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But the gentleman was told - twice - that they closed at 9:00. Not that they "actually" close at 8:45 even though it might say 9:00 on the door! I agree, 10 minutes before closing is pushing it, but to the best of the knowledge he was given he was there almost a half hour before closing time.

Surely it doesn't take much effort to be professional and say with a smile "I'm terribly sorry but we're about to close." And even if they do close at 8:45 (which is an odd closing time in my book,) if he had been TOLD that they closed at 9:00 an exception should have been made. Poor customer service in any business.

Still a good idea to go back at a different time and give them another chance. It is possible to catch somebody on a bad day.
 

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Cindy, while that is true (But the gentleman was told - twice - that they closed at 9:00. Not that they "actually" close at 8:45 even though it might say 9:00 on the door! I agree, 10 minutes before closing is pushing it, but to the best of the knowledge he was given he was there almost a half hour before closing time.), most stores start shuffling customers out 15-20 minutes til the actual store closing. This is common practice for many retail stores. I do agree that yes, that employee was VERY rude, but I would hate to have ax2007 miss out on a possibly great store, just because of this one employee. (The name of that store ROCKs! hehehe Shark! :) ) It was just bad timing and ax2007 will probably have way better customer service at a more decent time. He can always report that employee for the rude behavior too.
 

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Agreed with most of the above responses. Did the person you spoke to look like a manager, or an employee? Not that it excuses treating customers like dirt, but I used to work at a LFS and when people came in right before closing time and bought a ton of fish (especially if I had to catch), I would shrug or roll my eyes(not at them), but never act rudely to the customer. One thing you need to understand is, at the end of an 8+ hr day, the employees (who are usually 18-25 yr olds working for pennies) want to get the hell out of there and enjoy their evening at home or wherever.... Again, no excuse, but try going again near opening time or midday. I bet you'lll have a different experience. If not, then don't go back ;P
 

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I agree with ringram....likely it was an employee giving you the cold shoulder. They will be making the same money whether you buy fish that night or not, or whether you come back or not, so they don't care either way. I always like to deal with management or at least with several other employees before forming an opinion on a business.
 

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I haven't been to S.A. in a few months, but the last time I went was after work, and the fellow there was a bit less than cordial (He was an employee, not the owner).
I usually go on Sunday mornings when they first open, and at those times was always helped by a woman who treated me very well.

Ax, I will agree:
I have never had a bad experience with Doug and the crew at Pet Shanty. My biggest gripe is that you have to search in there to find the fish you want (lots of little side rooms) which can be difficult with a toddler in tow.
 

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although i do see both of your points of view, i own my own business, and when a client walks in at 8:55, or 9:01 for that matter, i still cater to them. thats why its called customer SERVICE.

apparantly they're doing very well and don't need my business.
LOL, that's the difference from an OWNER and an EMPLOYEE, I agree that customer service has been going down. Employees though it's just a job for their allotted period of time, owners it's a business. Maybe you should have asked when you could speak to the owner or manager? If this was the owner/manager ask when the shipment was due to arrive and then call to see what came in?

Tina
 

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Cindy, while that is true (But the gentleman was told - twice - that they closed at 9:00. Not that they "actually" close at 8:45 even though it might say 9:00 on the door! I agree, 10 minutes before closing is pushing it, but to the best of the knowledge he was given he was there almost a half hour before closing time.), most stores start shuffling customers out 15-20 minutes til the actual store closing. This is common practice for many retail stores. I do agree that yes, that employee was VERY rude, but I would hate to have ax2007 miss out on a possibly great store, just because of this one employee. (The name of that store ROCKs! hehehe Shark! :) ) It was just bad timing and ax2007 will probably have way better customer service at a more decent time. He can always report that employee for the rude behavior too.
Ours does that too, they start calling on the loud speaker "XXX Aquarium will be closing in XX minutes, please make your final selections..."
 

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Sounds like poor quality employees. I'd contact the management and explain the situation to them. Either they'll brush you off or make the situation right.

When I managed a store we'd close at 9pm (this isn't a fish store). It wasn't uncommon for us to still be open nearing 10pm because of business. Did I make extra money? No, not right away. Did it help me get a raise? More than likely yes! It's nice to have customers coming back just for the service even when your products are "sub-par". In the long run customer service benefits everyone. Owner makes more money, employees could start making more as well.
 

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I went to the Shark once. I wasn't overly impressed. Yup, a lot of tanks, with not much different in each one. LOTS of goldfish. Some decent salt water stuff. Nothing really stood out. I'll stick with Absolutely fish, Fishtown USA and the local LFS' I trust.

Tommy
 

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rude salesman - not knowledgable

My experience with shark is about the same. Very Rude individuals. I specifically went for pygmy cats and sterbai's from long island, NY. I called ahead of time friday to see if they had them in stock. Saturday I went there
when they said they had everything. I asked the salesman for the 'pygmies',
he said they didn't have any, and that it was a summer item. Then I asked about the Sterbai's, he didn't know where they where. Finally, i just looked around found the pygmies and the sterbais. What an ordeal then to get them.
I then inquired about some veil-tail angels i saw in a tank. He couldn't sell them because there wasn't a price on the tank and he didn't know the price of them. I gotta say its a long drive for me to Sharks Aquarium,which I won't be making again. I am sure the owner, George who sponsers some neat expeditions for hobbyists into south america for fish collecting doesn't know how much business he loses by his staff. I'll stick to fish clubs, online sales, and local hobbyists for most purchases now.
 

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I first want to thank the individual who forwarded me this thread.

Secondly, I apologize for the rudeness evidently received. As I have my store under 24/7 video surveilence, I went to the tape of Friday, March 23, and can't find any evidence that would support the allegation. Not that I doubt that it happened for one instance; it's just I can't pin the crime on either of the 2 employees who were working that evening. I would appreciate an email to [email protected] from ax2007 so perhaps I can track this down further.

In their defense, however, we have a very large store, and we are open from 10-9 daily. And while I recruit annually at Harvard and Yale, I have yet been sucessful at hiring that caliber of employee. So I am stuck using my current staff, who, for the most part, does a great job. If you come back early in the day, you'll meet Lee, who has so many young male admirers that I have to kick them out. Or you'll meet Rich, who is, in all honesty, the nicest person in the world. I personally don't know how he continually keeps smiling. Ever try dealing with the public for 8 hours a day ???

To those of you who know me personally, you might be thinking that it was I who was involved. It is true I an not the sweetest guy in the world; just not my personality. I work very hard, trying to keep what, in my opinion, and in the eyes of the 100+ people who stop by every day, is the finest collection of tropical fish available anywhere. Last Saturday, we had customers from Pennsylvania, Boston, and Washington DC. There was even a guy from Norway, who asked us to pack fish for him, and arrange them in his suitcase. We moved about 3 years ago into this building, and we now have between 500 and 700 aquariums. (I think I should go count them!) And if you think this is an easy business, just ask yourself now many new fish only store are around any more. Don't judge us from our personalitites; judge us from the fish that come in weekly, directly from Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Manaus, Belem, and/or Sao Paulo. And it may come as a surprise, but the people who work the fish room have no idea when the next shipment is due, from where, and what is on it. I barely can keep track of it myself. We are not the usual LFS, who gets their fish every Wednesday from the local wholesaler.

Anyway, feedback about my store is always welcome. We are sure as hell not perfect, but I am out the make the store the best store in the country. And if you want to see why I think it is not too far from that, stop on by, but not at 8:45.
 

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I will say in defense, that getting good help for the little they have available for the staff is tough.

Even the large corporate companies have lots of issues there if not more so.
I've dealt with crotchety people in the LFS setting and worse, far more than 100 per day, closer to 1000 per day. Does not matter the least bit, you are nice to everyone. You kiss everyone's hiney that walks through the door with smiles, sales and service. That is what is expected if you want to be successful. You want to be the best, then you must do at least that.

Even if the livestock is super, you know more than fish people in the world etc, it will not matter...........

Compliments cost you nothing.
Rude behavior to customers will cost you dearly.

You have a good attitude, a complement to both customers and employees will get 2x the work out the employees and one very loyal customer.

Does not cost a thing, you need to invest in your people:thumbsup:

Still, it does not seem like the your store was fairly judged and the folks on TPT also made that point fairly clear here. If a customer has an issue, then do not complain here, go talk to managers etc, that's precisely why places have managers to make sure the customer is happy even if something minor bothered them.

I had one manager give me a hard time once, I called the owner. He said he could not find a replacement but was looking:)

So good help is always a challenge and the staff turnover rates are high.
I've seen some very successful Reef and plant shops that have very nice folks and high turnover rates etc.

Being nice is much more important than knowledge to those stores.
They can learn that, they mob customers and ask them many times if they have any questions etc, or ask them what type of stuff they keep, tanks etc.

Get to know the customer. Offer new customer deals. Just like going to a society meeting, talk to them about what types of hobby interest they have.

LFS spend $ on advertising, rent, employees, electric, water etc, time ordering supplying etc.......so when that customer walks in the front door, you should really do your best to be nice to them.

That, unlike the other stuff, does not cost any money and will make you a lot more than anything else. It'll also be a nicer place for everyone to work.

:fish:

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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I went to the store again last sunday. I was unaware that they had moved since my last visit. (The only reason I even got to the right location is because I used my wife's TomTom. I plugged in about 6 differnt stores and let it set a route.)

Anyway, my recollection of the store no longer applies. There's a lot of variety in the new location. I can't comment on customer treatment as I didn't ask the staff for anything.

Just thought it was only fair to post my newer, more positive experience.

Tommy
 
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