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Old 05-14-2010, 11:43 PM   #1 
lastbook87
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Petco Rant

Okay, I know that there are plenty of complaints out there about all of the chain stores, but after having driven to 3 different Petcos in my area today, I feel required (and justified) to complain. I always thought that the Wal-Mart in my small college town took bad care of their fish, but I've never seen dead and rotting fish lying in a cup there. I've also never seen cups that had the inside coated with algae. Sure, I've seen a fish or two that had horrible finrot, and some that were near death in dirty water, but I've never seen them look so neglected and ignored as the fish in one of the three stores. Ugh. I can believe that some of the Wal-Mart fish came that way (I knew the finrot fish was a new arrival), but the Petco ones were clearly suffering from sheer neglect. I wanted to try and save them all, but my hospital tank is currently occupied by the aforementioned Wal-mart finrot fish.

The third one I visited did have fish that were properly cared for, but the manager I briefly spoke to was rude beyond all possible belief. If I'd spoken to her before I checked out (with my new beauties!), I wouldn't have purchased anything at all. It was that bad. I've worked too long in retail to ever submit a formal complaint about a store or employee before (because I know that people have bad days and that complains are damning in some companies), but I submitted two today. Turns out the run-down store with the lackluster employees that's near my house is the best of the three that are within reasonable driving distance. Never would've guessed. I guess that there are some better Petcos out there, but I don't know how the company stays in business with the kind that are near me.

Man, complaining definitely helps. I feel much better now, and I may go try and save this one really sad Crowntail tomorrow. :)
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:32 AM   #2 
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That's terrible, I'm sorry to hear that your local Petcos are so careless. Unfortunately, the quality of the fish depends on the quality of the staff in these chain stores.

I am lucky to have a Petco near me who takes lovely care of their fish..The tanks are always clean, and only once in a while do I see a dead fish. Occasionally there are some bettas who look sickly, but not nearly what you are describing, and I've seen far worse at the local Wal*Mart. They tend to go through cycles..If I see that the bettas are looking neglected, I let a manager know..Luckily here, they are always happy to talk with me and usually by the next visit, the bettas cups are clean and they look perkier. I actually am looking to get a job there myself.

I honestly don't know where some of the people get the gall to allow such abuse though. I don't understand the whole "it's just a fish" mentality. Even some of my friends say that to me, if I mention one of my fish being sick, and it really makes me angry.
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:55 AM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lastbook87 View Post
Okay, I know that there are plenty of complaints out there about all of the chain stores, but after having driven to 3 different Petcos in my area today, I feel required (and justified) to complain. I always thought that the Wal-Mart in my small college town took bad care of their fish, but I've never seen dead and rotting fish lying in a cup there. I've also never seen cups that had the inside coated with algae. Sure, I've seen a fish or two that had horrible finrot, and some that were near death in dirty water, but I've never seen them look so neglected and ignored as the fish in one of the three stores. Ugh. I can believe that some of the Wal-Mart fish came that way (I knew the finrot fish was a new arrival), but the Petco ones were clearly suffering from sheer neglect. I wanted to try and save them all, but my hospital tank is currently occupied by the aforementioned Wal-mart finrot fish.

The third one I visited did have fish that were properly cared for, but the manager I briefly spoke to was rude beyond all possible belief. If I'd spoken to her before I checked out (with my new beauties!), I wouldn't have purchased anything at all. It was that bad. I've worked too long in retail to ever submit a formal complaint about a store or employee before (because I know that people have bad days and that complains are damning in some companies), but I submitted two today. Turns out the run-down store with the lackluster employees that's near my house is the best of the three that are within reasonable driving distance. Never would've guessed. I guess that there are some better Petcos out there, but I don't know how the company stays in business with the kind that are near me.

Man, complaining definitely helps. I feel much better now, and I may go try and save this one really sad Crowntail tomorrow. :)
By continuing to buy fish from these places, those that do are promoting more of the same poor care that fish receive.
You or I buy the fish to hopefully provide a better home, and the store orders another bunch of fish to be subjected to the same poor care.
We would be better served to purchase fish from fellow members of forums,local breeders,or online sources.
We can whine all we like about the horrible care that fishes may be subjected to, but continuing to purchase fish from these places ain't doin the fish any favors.
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:25 AM   #4 
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We can whine all we like about the horrible care that fishes may be subjected to, but continuing to purchase fish from these places ain't doin the fish any favors.
That's why I attacked it by submitting a complaint, which I've heard Petco takes very seriously. The store where I bought the fish had very well-maintained facilities and nice, clean cups for their bettas. There were two that were dirty, but they were set to the side of the sink and were clearly going to be getting a water change.

Also, a semi-acquaintance who used to work at a Walmart told me that they would actually get reimbursed for the dead fish, so it didn't make a difference if someone bought them or if they died. Not sure how true it was, because she wasn't always 100% honest about stuff, but I would imagine that's partially true. I work at my mom's feed store (no fish, sadly), and we order baby chicks from a hatchery. If we have several from one shipment that die during shipment or shortly after arriving, they replace them all. They probably would for smaller numbers, too, but it's not worth the time to do so; so I'd assume there's something similar in place for fish hatcheries, though I can't say for sure.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:34 AM   #5 
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I've heard that Walmart does get reimbursed for dead fish. So, it doesn't matter if you bought the fish or not, they're still going to keep getting fish. Petco is probably the same. All we can do is complain and hope they listen and start cleaning their cups more. The Petco near me is awesome because the guy working there LOVES betta fish. He could talk for hours about them and a lot of his information is correct.
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:49 AM   #6 
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the only petco in my city is actually pretty good about caring for their fish. i can't say the same for some of the other pet stores in town though. petsmart is ok, but the walmarts used to be horrible before they stopped selling bettas.
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:28 AM   #7 
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yeah walmart is bad with beta's again i watched a video 5/6 there beta's were dead
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:45 AM   #8 
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i'm glad my petco isn't like that neither is my walmart they do have their off days every now and then, but they're pretty much ok
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:46 AM   #9 
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my petco isnt like that either
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:00 AM   #10 
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We have four LFS near my house.

Petworld takes good care of their fish, including the betta but charges an arm and a leg.

Petco depends on their staffing. They rotate staff so everyone is trained on everything. So... when a fish person who is motivated is in the fish department, the tanks look good and the fish look good. Otherwise, you'll see three or more dead fish per tank and sickly bettas. I've also noticed they sometimes put bad pairings of fish into the tanks. When I've pointed this out, they reassure me that they know it's dangerous but thier fish are too immature to cause problems.

I dislike petsmart on other merits but from what I've seen of their fish, it's okayish.

I like Care-a-lot. They have a dedicated staff for the fish that seems to be constantly doing water changes and maintenance. If I notice something amiss they rectify it immediately while I'm standing there. Their prices are insanely low (Emperor canister filter for 125 gallon tank $48) REALLY LOW! I'm compelled to stock up on things I don't need in case someone points out to them that their stuff is half the price of other pet stores. If one tank looks sick they put a sign saying those fish aren't ready yet, and the other tanks on that same wall get extra scrutiny.

What I've started doing when at these places (4-5 times a week) is looking in their sumps at the bottom of the wall. I take note of the sick tanks and point them out, and I have made it a point to teach my 7 and 8 year olds to point out the sick fish. Last week we saw gold fish cannibalizing another larger goldfish that was still alive. My sons told the nearest employee that the goldfish went zombie. She saw it ans said it was normal. I corrected her in front of her. The fish were separated an hour later and being fed.
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