Ok, I'll start off this thread with my experience with the transshipper I used the first time compared to the one I just used.
Linda Olson -
Pros: Picks up the phone every time, very informative, packaged decently, fish arrived safely, fair pricing, good advice
Cons: In my opinion, I felt like there was a miscommunication between her and the breeder about the shipment. My fish's shipment came 2 days prior to when she said she got the shipment. Even the breeder TOLD me that the shipment WAS indeed 2 days prior to that day. So since she ships only on Tuesdays, technically if I am right, she sent my betta out 4 days AFTER she got my fish. When she shipped my betta out, she didn't give me the tracking until the next day. I called her twice that day and each time she told me she would email me the tracking number. I finally got the tracking number after hassling her for the third time. However, my fish did arrive safely and I can't rate her that poorly.
Julie Tran -
Pros: Many people recommend her, good reviews as a transhipper, packaged decently to my knowledge
Cons: Literally 0 communication regarding her customers. I know she has a reputation of not answering her emails, however, it got to the point where even the breeder didn't understand why she wasn't contacting us. He sent out a chain email 2 days after the shipment arrival telling her to email us about shipping information. Everytime I called her, went straight to voicemail. Everytime I emailed her, not one email returned. She has over 7 phone numbers listed as her contact, but none of them worked. I finally found her facebook through a transhipper and found out her REAL phone number. She ignored 4 calls and every text message sent. She eventually sent an email telling me her price which is A LOT MORE EXPENSIVE than Linda's. I paid, got the tracking number (which wasn't from her it was from UPS) and got ANOTHER one of my emails ignored regarding my fish's health. Fish arrived DOA, I'm not quite sure if the fish died before it got to Julie or if it died the day of shipment to me. In this whole process, I haven't spoke to her once, not through email, phone, or EVEN text. Will probably NEVER use her again.
How I feel -
This thread isn't meant to bash these transshipers by any means. I am simply ranting and informing my experience of using these two transshipers. I don't really ask for much as a customer of theirs, All I want is an update that my fish is alive and a tracking number. I understand they have many fish in the shipments, however, if I am paying and entrusting them with my money, the least I deserve is THE MINIMAL necessities (Is my fish even alive? When do you plan on shipping? Tracking number?). I understand the phrase "you can't make everyone happy", however, these two incidents infuriated me because of how much MONEY AND TIME I WASTED. Transshipping is NOT CHEAP BY ALL MEANS ontop of all the fee's to get a Thailand betta to the USA.
What is happening now -
My breeder refuses to refund me and is choosing a betta of similiar quality. I even asked him 3 times if it is possible I can choose from the bettas he has, but I don't think I even have a choice. I will have to wait for another shipment date which will take over a week again. I will have to repay for reshipment AGAIN. I literally will have spent 150+ on a dead betta and the replacement. Not to mention how much I just spent on a new tank, heater, filter, etc.
Advice from anyone?
At this point, I wanted to just get my refund through paypal. I do not know if it is the breeders, transshipper, or UPS's fault. I know it is a selfish act, but you have to realize how much time, money, and I might not even have my OWN CHOICE OF A BETTA. The petstores and aquarium places in my local area literally trash their bettas. Most of them are sick or are on the verge of dying. You can literally see the diseases they have contracted and how polluted the water is. If I decided I didn't want the replacement, I'd end up saving money even though I lost the original money I spent on it because I'd have to repay for shipping fees. I feel helpless, I have a new tank that I just bought and need to use. I am asking for opinions on what YOU would do.
My advice -
If there are any local betta breeders that take care of their fish, BUY FROM THEM. I am not saying all breeders and transshippers are like this, however, it would save you time, money, and stress (the fish too). I don't want to publicly write about my expenses, but trust me when I say you will save over a hundred dollars if not more.
I might edit this in the future because I forgot to mention things. This whole post might sound extremely negative, but it really isn't. I am simply stating the truth of what happened. If you are debating about getting a Thailand betta, do your research before hand. If you know of any local breeders within the East Coast, please post below.