lastbook: Wish I could do that...but what if you only have one store that sells bettas? The other day I found a dead betta floating in its cup covered in fungus. I simply gave it to the employee and said, "You'd probably better dispose of this." They can be completely clueless-once I heard two saying that "all the bettas seem to be dying." Well what do you know-I looked and they almost all had Ick/Ich.
Honestly, if you're reporting it to corporate, the threat is enough. If you tell a store employee this, of course they're going to notice if you come back in. Ideally, you shouldn't be supporting a store that doesn't treat their bettas well, but you can still say it. Think of it as a little white lie to help save the fishies. :)
And 1fish2fish, I think the rehearsal of the argument is key. Because like I said, once customers start ranting, employees tune it out because they figure "this person is just going to yell at me no matter what, so I'll just think about what I'm going to get to eat when I get off instead of trying to make them happy when it's clearly impossible."
The Petco I'd reported was kind of a good news/bad news thing with the bettas. The water on all of them had clearly been changed out since I'd issued my complaint and the bettas looked better in general, but there were two dead ones, including a gorgeous blue & white butterfly HM that I would've gotten in a heartbeat despite having no more room. So I did bring it up with the person working the fish department, and am going to submit another complaint. I probably wouldn't have had the guts to talk to the employee about it if not for reading everyone's reactions here, so thanks for that.
Plus I bought the worst one there. Sigh. They gave me a discount (rang him up as a VT instead of a CT), and I know I shouldn't have given the discussion we're having about not supporting pet stores that treat their animals like this, but I'm a bleeding heart for animals in general. So here's Russell. And sadly, yes, the colors in the picture are true to life.