Are you open???

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Are you open???

Postby bradnamber on Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:08 pm

Are you open today?? I have been trying to call for the last two hours and the phone rings off the hook.. I talked with a guy off here, and he said he was meeting people there today.

Their voicemail is no longer giving the message of their hours, so I would assume they are open....

I dont want to drive across town and have them be closed...
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Re: Are you open???

Postby bradnamber on Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:36 pm

So.. Heres my frustration level....
I call there this morning before their hours to try and see if their voicemail has an updated schedule, which it does not. So I assume that they were open, since it is ONLY New Years Eve.. Its not Christmas eve.. lol.
So I continued to call for about an hour, and different times it was busy, and most times it would just ring and ring...No more voicemail message to tell the times or anything.
So I again assumed they were open for business to get some sales for the last day of the year.
I call Milios subs which is next door, and even asked them if there was anybody there, and he said"they should be, theres people there".
Get all the way over there from across town, and its Inventory day!! WHOO HOO.. So theres about 8 guys there, unloading a semi of stuff.
I tell them all I need is a light, and he says, "sorry, were closed, we cant start the computer".
Oh my !!!!! I would have given them ABOVE selling price because this would be the ONLY place in town to carry my BULB! Its a PRETTY IMPORTANT piece of somebodys saltwater setup, and Im sure as they, and everybody reading this will know!

I would be able to understand if it was a Big Box store, but for an independent store to turn down a sale, is pretty silly. Especially because I was there for something IMPORTANT...And was willing to pay good money for it..
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Re: Are you open???

Postby PinkLady on Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:32 am

While I can't defend the lack of voicemail recording listing vital info, I can somewhat defend their choice not to open or sell anything and start up the computer system. As someone that's been in family retail since birth and now working in hospitality -- if a computer system is already closed out and the register already balanced and set for the next retail day, it can be a major pain in the butt to get it started up, logged in, one small purchase entered, then re-totaled, closed out, shut down, then whatever other paperwork they have to do. When I'm done serving or bartending at the end of the night, I have a good 45 minutes of computer closeouts and paperwork I have to fill out that gets sent to accounting and then through up through the chain of command, even if it's a slow night. It is also the end of the year and they probably did all of their taxes and paperwork and number crunching for 2009 since they planned to be closed NYE and NYD, so adding another sale would have caused them to have to completely redo all of it. Then when you take in the amount of time, effort, planning, sorting, organizing, etc. that is involved in receiving a massive inventory shipment, you have to understand why they needed 8 guys and needed to keep things simple. Considering that they were already in the middle of unloading a truck and inventorying a massive shipment including entering each new piece of stock into the computer system (which is usually a separate program from the sales program), checking the stock to make sure they're alive and well, deciding which ones to send back, getting them set up into appropriate tanks, etc...they were probably extremely busy. To ring up a sale they would have had to shut down the program that updates the inventory and open up the sales program and it would put everything on hold and/or cause data loss of what they had entered so far (depending on what system they use). I know that I was in there on Tuesday and they had mentioned it was a big order coming in and they were using the holiday to get it sorted out and taken care of, hence why the store was closed. Just my thoughts on the matter, based on my experiences in similar settings.

My only suggestion is that next time call a day or two ahead and find out if they'll be open on the day in question? Or pick up one of their business cards that has their store hours on it and ask them what their policy is for the next few upcoming holidays (just me, but I often double-check upcoming holiday hours when I'm running errands at certain stores so that I have it handy in case I end up needing anything). Unless your bulb burnt out overnight or that day, then I somewhat understand why the last minute search and can't fault you there.

All I know is I've had a pleasant experience every time I stop in, and keep their business card handy so that I can always reference their store hours whenever I'm deciding whether to make the trip into Madison to drop by. The staff have always been very helpful, knowledgeable, and attentive to both myself and other customers around me, I have yet to notice anyone be ignored, be treated poorly, given false information, etc. I remarked to Paul the other day that they are the only specialty pet store I've ever known of that has 4-5 cars parked out front with engines still running while people sit and wait for the store to open first thing at noon. I've never seen that before and it really struck me as a testament to the level of service and quality stock/supplies they offer, otherwise people would be waiting outside Pet World or something. Just my $0.02.
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Re: Are you open???

Postby klasikb on Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:12 am

No surprise here, but I agree with pinklady. Only to add when I call a place and they don't answer after a few attempts, I assume they are closed.
Just a girl trying to create a little bit of heaven on earth, without killing it :)
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Re: Are you open???

Postby O&J'sdad on Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:15 am

I would hate to be an ex-girlfriend of yours man, sounds a little staulkerish. :D
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Re: Are you open???

Postby bradnamber on Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:24 am

I can understand you point with the computers, but a cash sale could have entered at any time, any day, any year.

I was not asking them to open the computer etc.. I told them I would overpay for the bulb.. They could have easily taken my cash, and put it in as the first sale for Saturday, and kept the change for a mediocre tip... Or whenever they open next. I also would have completely understood if my payment method was other than cash. That would have made ALOT of sense to me.
By them helping a person in need would have instilled my faith in their store, and given me something incredibly good to talk about.

Its not like I was trying to look around, etc.. And yes, my bulb did just go out that same day, and nobody else carrys that bulb. I had the burnt bulb in hand, and cash in the other.
I checked with every single electrical supply company, every pet store... Everybody.
I suppose I SHOULD have drove to Milwaukee to a fish store that was open on this day.

They have their own section on this website, along with their own, along with voicemail, that gave no information on days that they are open.
They can update on stock, but cant update on days of operation? Their website has also been under construction for how long?

Also, this was a semi-truck, so I would certainly HOPE there was no livestock on this order. That is definitely not the way to ship live fish and/or coral.

I as well have had pleasant experiences there, and that is why I figured they, of all people, would understand that in a time of need, the hand should be extended.

All Im saying is a little bit of customer courtesy should be given, within this special section on this site, their own website, or their store voicemail, all of which can be very easily updated at any time.
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Re: Are you open???

Postby Ereefic on Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:09 pm

Let's not forget that it isn't always sunny on the reefs. :wink:
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Re: Are you open???

Postby PinkLady on Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:12 pm

bradnamber wrote:They have their own section on this website...that gave no information on days that they are open.
They can update on stock, but cant update on days of operation?


Their section here does in fact list their hours of operation:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1564

So does their website, located on the bottom center:

http://www.livingartaquarium.com/
* Jen *

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Re: Are you open???

Postby PinkLady on Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:18 pm

bradnamber wrote:Also, this was a semi-truck, so I would certainly HOPE there was no livestock on this order. That is definitely not the way to ship live fish and/or coral.


They did tell me they were receiving new livestock that day so it would make sense that they would receive a shipment of hard goods as well. Depending on what time you arrived, odds are the livestock shipment arrived before or after your visit. :wink:
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Re: Are you open???

Postby bradnamber on Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:27 pm

Yah, they list hours... Not days...lol According to that, they should have been open 12-8 that day. #-o

Its all good, Just wanted to keep my money local, but that didnt work out.
..But sure enough, somebody likes paper money still... :lol:

Livestock is usually picked up at the airport, due to high shipping costs and the wholesaler not dealing with charging for that, and it cant really ride around in a truck all day until the driver gets around to that stop... I dont know how they do it, but I know how the other stores do it..(animart, aquarium superstore(when they were there))
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Re: Are you open???

Postby bradnamber on Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:36 pm

And Im not trying to push your buttons. ... You obviously like Paul and that store, and so do I... But you say hours, I say days.. When I went there, it was just a thursday...
Some people are open all days of the week, regardless of what "holiday" it is. I didnt know new years eve was a spectacular holiday.. Unless you start to ring in the new year 24 hours before hand.
That website has been being built since the store opened...
Just list on there, or on here... All government holidays, closed.. All days before any holidays, closed..

So, for future reference.. Are they closed the week of Hanukkah? How about Rash-a-shannah? Martin Luther King day? How bout the Hallmark holidays..? lol... just going overboard to make a lil point..
Suppose we dont know till I drive 15 min to find out.

All in good fun pink... :D
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Re: Are you open???

Postby BIKERRN on Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:35 am

It's just simply customer service. You are right, take the money and ring it up the next day, simple. You made a sale, made a customer happy, and he talks about the good service, your business grows. What a grand idea????

My $ goes to Milwaukee or mail order for a reason. If you can't get service might as well get the price than. Pink Lady I bartended when in school and my till was closed and a customer wanted a drink, no problem,.............. ring it up on another till or the next day. Thinking outside the box makes a business grow.

My thoughts.
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Re: Are you open???

Postby bobnweave on Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:54 am

I agree 100%

This is not a wal-mart or big box store we are talking about, but a mom n pop store that thrives on customer service instead of shear numbers. Word of mouth is one of the most important marketing tools (if not the most important) and travels quicker than any and all other marketing tools combined. It's a double edged sword, it either makes you or breaks you. In the world of technology we live in today (internet blogs, facebook, etc), good word of mouth is imperative.

I agree that one kind gesture to help a fellow hobbyist goes a long way, especially in the circumstances you have outlined (light, cash, people at the store, etc). To not help a friend in need could equal hundreds (or even thousands) of lost sales in the future simply because bad word of mouth is a killer. In my experiences of running a small mom n pop shop, you NEED to have good customer service, otherwise you might as well shut the doors right now.

IMO, to have people at the shop, but turn down a sale simply because the computer was not on, is probably not a very wise move. There are many alternatives, as have already been pointed out in this post. Simply 'not caring' about a customer is fatal.

It's too bad you had to go elsewhere, non-local, to get what you needed. I doubt that I'll be going to LA for any of my future purchases, especially when it seems they may be closed at random times without any notice.
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Re: Are you open???

Postby Ereefic on Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:21 am

This whole thing seems a little silly to me over a light bulb. :shock:
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Re: Are you open???

Postby Landon on Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:33 am

Ereefic wrote:This whole thing seems a little silly to me over a light bulb. :shock:


Agreed.
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