I've seen a lot of users say that they wish they had had the courage to tell someone to get a larger tank or to complain to someone over the conditions that the fish are kept in. I work in a job that deals with people every day, so I thought I would share some tips with you all on communicating to people that you do not know.
- Keep yourself calm. I realize talking to strangers or people that are older than you can be scary, but if you keep calm and are polite, they should be more than happy to listen to you.
- Be polite. If you start of with a "hello" or "oh, do you have a betta?" you're much more likely to get a good reaction than if you were to say "don't buy that, you're going to kill your fish". If your first impression to this person is that of a polite young boy/girl or a kind adult, this person will probably take you more seriously.
- Don't overwhelm them. Start slow, explain things such as larger tank size, heating, and water quality. If you tell too much at once, they may listen to you but get confused or not follow your advice.
- Use yourself as an example. When I've talked to people I don't know about my fish, I tell them about how I brought home Nettle and how he follows my fingers in the tank now, how healthy and active he is, etc. I've found that if they realize your fish are healthy, they may be more inclined to follow your advice.
- Direct them to the website. "bettafish.com" is a very easy URL to remember. Tell them that the members here are willing to offer help and that there is tons of information available to them without even having to sign up.
- Above all, don't let yourself get flustered. I know it's very frustrating when someone doesn't want to listen to you. However, getting angry or pestering them can be even worse than simply walking away. Some people just don't want to listen to anyone else, so you're better off just moving on to help someone else out.
For dealing with pet store employees, I find that there is really one major thing to remember.
Yelling isn't going to get you anywhere, remember that. If you're telling an employee or manager about poor conditions, you can show that you are upset by it, but do not resort to yelling or cursing at them, no matter how mad you are. We want to come across as people who care about the animal's health, not a bunch of raving lunatics.
When in doubt, just offer a friendly "hello" and maybe a bit of advice. The worst they can say is no, right?
Hope there was something useful in here for you guys. (: