Foster and Smith customer service?

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Foster and Smith customer service?

Postby Socratic Monologue on Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:30 pm

A "Lemon Tree Coral" that Live Aquaria sent me a year ago has turned out to look like a colt coral. Apparently they have ones that look like the picture on their website (http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod ... catid=2597) and then a bunch of tan ones, too. Anyway, I emailed my pic to them and said I was disappointed. Actually, I emailed it twice; the first time, they never responded. Here's the email:

****
Thank you for your email and interest in LiveAquaria.com. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced with your order. We have reviewed the photograph you sent of the coral and have determined it is a Lemon Tree Coral. Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided on the website. We do ask that in the future you please contact us within the warranty period if you feel you received an incorrect specimen.

(...)

Sincerely,

LiveAquaria
Drs. Foster & Smith
njc


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Jan 4, 2015 4:06:12 PM
Subject: Re: Order Confirmation - A2953591 - LiveAquaria.com

Hello,

Below is a photo of the Lemon Tree Coral that I bought from you. It doesn't look much like the sample photo at all (http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod ... catid=2597).

I realize that a lot of time has passed. I did want to give the coral a fair chance to grow out before I passed judgement on it, but it really doesn't look like it is going to turn out to be anything like what I was expecting. It looks like a Colt Coral. I'm disappointed. Do you have any input into this?

Thank you.

Best regards,

****

So much for "100% Satisfaction Guarantee" that is pasted all over their website. I'm sure I could push the issue with them, but it isn't about 30 bucks, it is about getting something that isn't remotely as advertised, and then getting the brush off.

On that same shipment, I got a WYSIWYG group of 3 zebra dartfish billed as a "trio" that turned out to be a reverse trio (2 males, 1 female); the subordinate male turned up one day torn to shreds and subsequently died. I guess 'trio' could mean just three random fish, I guess...
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Socratic Monologue
 
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:13 pm
Location: Oxford, WI

Re: Foster and Smith customer service?

Postby SPSKeeper on Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:24 am

Oh wow... It looks like a regular Capnalla species, not what they were advertising. Unfortunately, because those are so similar looking to most of the common azooxanthellate corals, somewhere down the line someone made a mistake. Someone in the warehouse might not have noticed a difference. You do have to take into account that no matter what, their photos are touched up(like many other online vendors) to make them look more appealing so they can move the 'product' easier. Their lighting setups are 20k radiums as well. So if your putting it under a different lighting setup than what was shown, it's going to look like a totally different specimen. Unfortunately, too much time has passed to do anything about it. More than likely, human error played a big role in this. And the coral you have pictured is not what is advertised. It looks like a regular colt coral... They may have done you a favor though, because any azooxanthellate species requires additional feeding to stay healthy and thriving. And they are NOT recommended for a new hobbyist. If it was a lemon tree or carnation, it would not have survived this long without supplemental feeding. Although there are a few variations that are photosynthetic, carnations and the like are not. Are you 100% sure the coral in your picture is the one they sent you? It just doesn't seem like they could have made that big of a mistake.. Because regardless of your lighting, even if it was PC's, you'd still be able to see some sort of color and not just brown.. But anything Is possible.
SPSKeeper
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:21 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Foster and Smith customer service?

Postby Socratic Monologue on Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:56 am

SPSKeeper wrote:Oh wow... It looks like a regular Capnalla species, not what they were advertising. Unfortunately, because those are so similar looking to most of the common azooxanthellate corals, somewhere down the line someone made a mistake. Someone in the warehouse might not have noticed a difference. You do have to take into account that no matter what, their photos are touched up(like many other online vendors) to make them look more appealing so they can move the 'product' easier. Their lighting setups are 20k radiums as well. So if your putting it under a different lighting setup than what was shown, it's going to look like a totally different specimen. Unfortunately, too much time has passed to do anything about it. More than likely, human error played a big role in this. And the coral you have pictured is not what is advertised. It looks like a regular colt coral... They may have done you a favor though, because any azooxanthellate species requires additional feeding to stay healthy and thriving. And they are NOT recommended for a new hobbyist. If it was a lemon tree or carnation, it would not have survived this long without supplemental feeding. Although there are a few variations that are photosynthetic, carnations and the like are not. Are you 100% sure the coral in your picture is the one they sent you? It just doesn't seem like they could have made that big of a mistake.. Because regardless of your lighting, even if it was PC's, you'd still be able to see some sort of color and not just brown.. But anything Is possible.


Stereonepthea is zooxanthellate, AFAIK, though best considered mixotrophic. I do feed zooplankton (freeze dried) and phytoplankton (Reed Shellfish Diet) 2-3X/day.

This is the same coral they sent, absolutely certain. I understand and appreciate the comments about the lighting, and I know that I won't get the same color as LA can get. But the coral I have doesn't even show any contrast between the branch color and the polyp color, and the growth form isn't even very similar to the pic on LA. I'm not upset about a picking mistake; I'm upset that they're not even willing to admit there is an issue here.

I did a bit of looking into the non-reef customer comments about F&S, and Yelp and BBB comments have been getting worse in the last 6 months/year or so. There's a change going on at F&S, and not for the better.
Socratic Monologue
 
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:13 pm
Location: Oxford, WI

Re: Foster and Smith customer service?

Postby SPSKeeper on Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:18 pm

Socratic Monologue wrote:Stereonepthea is zooxanthellate, AFAIK, though best considered mixotrophic. I do feed zooplankton (freeze dried) and phytoplankton (Reed Shellfish Diet) 2-3X/day.

This is the same coral they sent, absolutely certain. I understand and appreciate the comments about the lighting, and I know that I won't get the same color as LA can get. But the coral I have doesn't even show any contrast between the branch color and the polyp color, and the growth form isn't even very similar to the pic on LA. I'm not upset about a picking mistake; I'm upset that they're not even willing to admit there is an issue here.

I did a bit of looking into the non-reef customer comments about F&S, and Yelp and BBB comments have been getting worse in the last 6 months/year or so. There's a change going on at F&S, and not for the better.


Oh geeze, I'm really sorry to hear about their customer service not being up to par. No matter how big or small your business is, you have to treat your customers accordingly and take care of issues like this. But buying online is always sort of a gamble. And no worries, you have every right to be upset. They gave you a completely different brown coral(one that you could have gotten for free on here as it grows like a weed) and it seems like they are trying to brush it off.. That's not right at all. Unfortunately, a large business like that probably won't do much to take care of something like this. Maybe some day when I get my frag tanks up and running, I can make up their mistake for you and get you the specimen you really wanted if/when the time comes and if you are interested of course.

It does seem like their customer service is dropping with time. I've kind of noticed that with a few others but I've never ordered from them online. It's interesting because now that I take a better look at your picture(I'm on mobile so it doesn't come out that great), you have a neon green leather coral plain as day right in front of the brown one they sent you.. Which means your lighting would be able to show most(if not all) of those vibrant colors on their site. Either way, you may just have to chalk this up as a learning experience. I will make good on my promise when I get my frag tanks set up(it's going to be a while, so please bare with me and have some patience) and get you a really nice specimen that you are happy with.

I hope you have a better day and try to keep fighting the good fight. As they do need to be held accountable for their mistake(s) no matter what.
SPSKeeper
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:21 pm
Location: Madison


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