My negative experience with living art

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My negative experience with living art

Postby ashley84 on Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:33 pm

Before I rant about my experience I just want to make it clear that we drove 90 miles there and back with cash in hand. We were not expecting to leave empty handed. Boy were we wrong...1st off the guy that was working didnt know any prices and just threw prices out there...after explaining that we drove a far distance to leave with some stuff he apologizea and says jokingly that his managers good at pricing stuff...there was a brain coral and some zoas we wanted and he had to call for price..after gettn prices he says "ur not going to like what he said"..which we felt insulted since he thought we couldnt afford it due to lookn young. so then we ask when does manager work so we can get prices he laughs and says never!! i would not recommend this place at all! what a waste of gas $ and time...and btw i had $200 to spend and went elsewhere...and for the record we are not the type to complain but driving 90 miles leaving empty handed really pushed our buttons...
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Re: My negative experience with living art

Postby salmonshutters on Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:02 pm

I'm really surprised at this, because I am in college and I have never experienced this.
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Re: My negative experience with living art

Postby wis_fishing_guy on Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:08 pm

Thanks for the heads up...

The wife and were going to stop their on are way home from Prairie du Chien one of these weekends. But if that is the service they give. I will not waste my time.
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Re: My negative experience with living art

Postby Socratic Monologue on Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:25 am

salmonshutters wrote:I'm really surprised at this, because I am in college and I have never experienced this.


I'm surprised, too, since the employees there are pretty young -- would be odd if they were biased against their own age group.

The main place to have a bad experience with LA seems to be on this forum. Sure, the shop has a pretty casual vibe, and this seems to aggravate those customers who want an anonymous, impersonal, soulless shopping experience (which is probably what draws people to online vendors). And no, not everything is always priced, although I have never in 15+ years of aquarium keeping, shopping at LFSs in four states, never seen a LFS that could consistently keep up with pricing all their livestock. (Those people with actual LFS employment experience know why this expectation is absurd.) H*ll, I could go to Home Depot or my local grocery store right now and find at least a couple things that aren't priced, and their stuff doesn't die, get traded in at really busy times, fall down onto a lower rock or jump into the adjacent tank. Like the OP said, the employees can easily and quickly call the owner to find out prices -- I don't see why this is such an inconvenience to the customer. And any complaining that LA is overpriced must be made by someone who is comparing LFS prices to online vendors or to hobbyists selling out of their living room; LA's prices are quite competitive compared to major midwest LFSs such as A World of Fish (Minneapolis), Aquatics Unlimited (Milwaukee), Hoffer's (Milwaukee), Old Town (Chicago), and Preuss Pets (Lansing, MI -- they have the advantage of having a major national wholesaler -- A&M Aquatics -- right in town, so no air freight charges to pay).

I'm not sure why this bashing is so fashionable on this forum.
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Re: My negative experience with living art

Postby Rueg on Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:59 am

There are so few pet stores in Madison that carry saltwater now. I have had bad experiences at Living Arts too - and Pet World, and Animart. They are only as good as the people that work there - and unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much training. You may get a good person or you may get a person who is just there to collect a paycheck. It really is hit or miss at all of the stores now.
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Re: My negative experience with living art

Postby bradhass87 on Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:12 am

It's like playing battle ship, I always get misses...
Image Two Hobbies, going fast and playing with saltwater, both very expensive...
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Re: My negative experience with living art

Postby Saltine on Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:03 am

I have to say my experiences at Living Art have been good. Granted, you've got to slot your entire friday/saturday/sunday to wait... you get great service. I've been there 5 times, and only once have I been boggled by the advice given by the attendant- but I suppose some folks don't believe in fishless cycling.

Either way, the other 4 times I've had the best service between LA and Animart. They don't attempt to juggle more than 1 customer at a time, and I actually respect that, because when I'm in there looking for something, or asking about some strange goo in my fish tank... I don't want them distracted. And sometimes LA has to call Paul to get pricing/ect. Animart does too, they only have 2 guys who are the "Saltwater" guys and I've been in Animart with a cart full of stuff and nobody to discuss saltwater with.

Every pet store has their drawbacks, the best thing to do is call ahead and make sure someone who knows the saltwater tanks and prices is there.
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Re: My negative experience with living art

Postby SeeingGreen on Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:17 pm

I have had experiences both ways, but it is usually good. When I did have a problem, I contacted paul through here, and he has been able to make it right so it all ends well. Again, I have a lot of time to visit, and stop regularly.

Perhaps the comment on you're not going to like this was because the attendant thought it should be priced lower, but due to overhead or price of the piece to them it had to be higher. I know one of the guys in there typically is very reasonable about what he thinks it should run, and occasionally due to where something came from it has to be more and he has said this. I would not take this personally, he was probably just giving his opinion in a round about way.

I can understand that with the drive you endured to go there, you may be frustrated but do try to see it from a lighter side. They are good in there, better than some of the stores I went to in Chicago and Green Bay for sure.

Thanks for listening.
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Re: My negative experience with living art

Postby gustomatic on Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:04 pm

Hi,

Sorry that you had a bad experience at Living Art.

It can be a zoo sometimes on the weekend. I have had numerous great experiences with the shop. I will just use first names, Paul, Steve and Pat have always been extremely helpful. They take time to answer questions and find out about your tank to make sure that what you want to buy is compatable. Their prices are in the right ballpark, and everything I have purchased has thrived in my tank.

They take better care of their tanks than other shops I have been to.

I have been to other LFS's but I have purchased all of my fish from Living Art.

Paul is always trying to find unique items as well. I appreciate that.

Jeff
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Re: My negative experience with living art

Postby gem_nut85 on Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:32 pm

getting the name of the employee really names a difference, I've been there probably dozens of dozens of times it really depends who is working and when you come in, sometimes they have a rush of customers at certain times or so a flood of them in good weather, but more than two people are usually working then, i've never heard mat talk like that and he is pretty much the manager, and paul owns it and does all the pricing himself, wen.s are shipment days and alot is acclimating for no prices usually aren't up yet, the weekend is really busy, but there are two other employees and they aren't the ones to always be there so calling paul is normal, but laughing about paul or mat not being there is weird , the only time someone has said " you're not going to like this" is when the thing you want isn't up for sale yet or being held, that comment was weird. In this area though you don't really have any where to go but online.
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Re: My negative experience with living art

Postby hondawhat on Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:14 pm

Personally I have had good experiences there. Not having everything priced is a minor inconvenience but just take 2 seconds to ask "hey how much is this." Im 19 and i get great customer service everytime im there. Just my 2 pennies in their defense. oh yeah. Its a hour and a half drive there for me. I would not flinch at driving this distance because they have good products and great livestock. I work in a retail environment, 9 out of 10 complaints are on the customers error. An employee is not going to be mean and drive someone out of the store. You are their paycheck, they need you.
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Re: My negative experience with living art

Postby LIVINGART on Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:37 pm

ashley84 wrote:Before I rant about my experience I just want to make it clear that we drove 90 miles there and back with cash in hand. We were not expecting to leave empty handed. Boy were we wrong...1st off the guy that was working didnt know any prices and just threw prices out there...after explaining that we drove a far distance to leave with some stuff he apologizea and says jokingly that his managers good at pricing stuff...there was a brain coral and some zoas we wanted and he had to call for price..after gettn prices he says "ur not going to like what he said"..which we felt insulted since he thought we couldnt afford it due to lookn young. so then we ask when does manager work so we can get prices he laughs and says never!! i would not recommend this place at all! what a waste of gas $ and time...and btw i had $200 to spend and went elsewhere...and for the record we are not the type to complain but driving 90 miles leaving empty handed really pushed our buttons...


Sorry that you have nothing positive to say about your experience at our shop.
We realize that we can't please everybody, and that some people can't be pleased.....

Paul
Living Art Aquarium
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Re: My negative experience with living art

Postby CUNAReefer on Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:36 am

I have to agree that this was the biggest problem when I went to Living Art. They never had prices posted on corals I wanted. I started a whole rant on this several years ago... Its just the way the store operates. Thats the only negative I can think of. By the way, Paul is a good guy. He does make a good effort to make his customers happy.

Now on the other hand, they do have the best "retail" selection in Madison. Animart's quality has come close a couple of times, but LL was always better. I was also able to negotiate a couple of coral prices down. Have you thought of looking online for corals?

If you had $200 to spend in Madison, you should've given some of the great fraggers a call before heading out. Your $200 would have been gone at Meisen's or MM's house in a couple of minutes. Even with me living near Detroit now (I lived on the west side of Madison for 3 years), I still manage to spend thousands (yes I said thousands) of dollars on Meisens frags. Send Meisen or MM a PM and tell them CUNAReefer sent you :D You will not be disapointed! All the Limited Edition SPS, LPS, Softies, and inverts that you could ever wish a store to have. I strongly endorse both of these reefers. Meisen is on the East side of Madison and MM is in Mazomanie.

Warmest Regards,
James
Dont hate the player, hate the game...
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