AlgaeBarn DOA, week plus delay, unhelpful customer service

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malfist

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I placed an order for 4oz of clean chaeto (for $40!) from BRS and paid for expedited shipping on 12/29.

In the meantime, knowing I'd get new macro algae soon, I tore down my 65 gallon and moved into a 100 gallon aquarium I bought on black friday. The fuge previous had sea lettuce in it, but it wanted to spread to my tank so I dumped it, knowing I'd get chaeto the next day.

Through no fault of AlgaeBarn, fedex then lost the package for several days in below freezing temps. I contacted BRS about the order and they told me AlgaeBarn does not replace orders until it has arrived and there is a photo of it proven dead, so I had to wait for fedex to find the package and deliver it after being in transit for 6 days. This isn't great.

I contacted BRS when I finally received the item and provided them a photo. They submitted a request to algaebarn to replace it and told me they'd ask for expedited shipping since I'd waited for so long for this already.

Algae barn contacted me after BRS contacted then and said they'd replace the order, however they were shipping it standard shipping and if I wanted it faster I'd have to pay for it. After a back and forth with them about it, and me explaining how important this macro algae was to my aquarium, I got no where. Told them to send me the bill for the expedited shipping and I'd pay it. They promised me they'd ship it out the next day. I got the invoice for the expedited shipping and paid for it that night. This is where it goes from isn't great to bad.

Then it gets worse. I get an email the next day at 6PM stating that their owner has decided to halt all shipping until next monday, and told me that they were a small buisness and could possibly afford to comp me expidited shipping. Then they tell me they're going to throw in a free pack of pods (which they point out is a $45 value). Which leaves me really befuddled how they can be such a small buisness that a $15 upcharge for 2 day shipping, or $36 upcharge for next day would make them go bankrupt, but they can throw in a $45 item to make it right.

I respond to their email saying that I didn't care about the pods and that my priority was getting my fuge up and running as fast as possible, and could the please confirm that the algae had shipped this morning like promised and was shipped with the 2 day shipping I'd already paid for (again, might I remind you, I paid BRS for expidited shipping too on the original order).

AlgaeBarn responded and told me that they indeed had not shipped the item as promised that morning and was holding it until monday next week, and reiterated that they couldn't ship it to me faster, or upgrade to next day shipping unless I paid for it, nevermind that they're introducing a week long unnessecary delay. Then they throw in a little extra victim blaming. I was told that I should have contacted them directly instead of BRS and that they might (might mind you, not would) have made an exception on waiting for the arrival to replace it.

A) This is 100% crap. If they made exceptions to the DOA policy, BRS would have known. I'm sure they deal with this all the time.
B) Throwing in an extra week of delays on an order that's already well past the time it should have arrived is adding insult to injury.
C) They simply don't care about your tank, or customer service. They've repeated reiterated that I should bare any costs related to fixing this issue.

To sum all this up. Imagine you went to a restaurant for dinner and ordered and paid for dinner. You even gave the cook and extra tip to get the meal to you faster. Then your server gets lost to your table and they take hours to serve you your dinner that's ice cold and unsafe to eat. You let them know that it's a problem and they tell you that you have to pay them to get your food replaced at a reasonable time frame. You feel extorted, but you're starving so you pay them for it and the promise to bring you the food ASAP. Then they tell you, oh wait, you have to come back tomorrow to get your food, our head cook decided he's not cooking the rest of the night, you should have told have brought a snack.

Asinine customer service. I would highly recommend people avoiding buying macro algae from algae barn. It might be "clean", but you can buy bigger amounts of the macro algae from people here on reef2reef for less money that's just as safe, and get better customer service.
 
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AlgaeBarn

Marine Aquariums Made Easy!
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Hi there, we apologize we did not see this post right away as we were not tagged. First, I would like to apologize for you feeling as though our customer service was lacking. We pride ourselves in making sure all of our customers are treated with respect and given the best possible customer service and we will be taking into account your situation and addressing it in our next staff training meeting.

As you stated, your order was delayed in transit by FedEx and you reached out to BRS, it seems as though whomever you spoke with at BRS was not 100% familiar with our one-of-a-kind AOA policy and instead of instructing you to contact AlgaeBarn directly so that we could get you taken care of, they wrongly instructed you to wait for what would most certainly be a dead product. Since we were unaware that there was an issue with your order being delayed in transit we were unable to assist you. When the request from BRS came through there was no mention of expedited shipping on their part and instead you were offered what we offer the opportunity to upgrade your shipping for a fee, which is what we offer to all of our customers when sending a replacement order.


When orders are placed with BRS and expedited shipping is applied, unless you pay for both the BRS portion of the order and the AlgaeBarn portion of the order to be expedited separately, only the BRS portion of the order is expedited. Unfortunately, the AlgaeBarn portion of the order being expedited needs to be done through AlgaeBarn and cannot be done when checking out through BRS. We apologize for any confusion on this from our end of the transaction. We, as a small company, cannot afford as to expedite shipping on replacement orders, instead we ship them with the same method of shipping chosen during checkout; Rather, we offer the option to upgrade shipping on a replacement order for a small fee which is what you were offered.

After an email from you expressing your displeasure with having to pay for upgraded shipping on your replacement, our support manager made an exception to our policy and upgraded your shipping to overnight, as well as refunded your invoice where you paid for 2nd day air ($15 dollars). It also looks like even though you turned down the offer for free pods, the manager added a free jar of EcoPods (valued at $55 dollars) to your order which was shipped out this morning via FedEx overnight.

When dealing with live product and shipping, unfortunately at times we must delay sending out product. This is for the quality of product arriving as much as it is the product simply arriving alive. We also at times have to hold back on sending out product due to the quality of the product not meeting our quality control standards. We would rather have your order delayed that for you to receive a product that does not meet our standards. FedEx has also been having difficulties lately in keeping on track/on time with delivery of orders therefore we have at times held back on sending out orders. When we hold back on sending out orders, we do send out mass email's notifying customers of the delay.

As we stated in our email to you, whomever you spoke with over at BRS might not have been aware of the fact that we do make exceptions to our DOA policy on a case-by-case basis. And unfortunately, instead of instructing you to reach out directly to us, they simply told you that you would need to wait on the product to arrive, which would most certainly be dead due to the delay in shipping. It was also suggested (not blaming) that in the future if you reach out directly to us so we can take a closer look at your order, and get you taken care of sooner. It is not our policy to make our customers wait on delayed packages to "see if the product is dead", as you stated in your email that you were told by BRS. We understand that we deal with live product and while our shipping team packs orders really well to withstand a certain amount of time in delay, there comes a point when you as the customer and we as a company have to assume that the product will arrive either in really bad condition or DOA. If you reach out directly to us we can help take a look at ALL aspects of what is occurring with your order and make a decision on how best to handle the situation to keep you, our customer, happy! We look forward to hearing from you on how your replacement arrives :)
 
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malfist

malfist

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Hi there, we apologize we did not see this post right away as we were not tagged. First, I would like to apologize for you feeling as though our customer service was lacking. We pride ourselves in making sure all of our customers are treated with respect and given the best possible customer service and we will be taking into account your situation and addressing it in our next staff training meeting.

As you stated, your order was delayed in transit by FedEx and you reached out to BRS, it seems as though whomever you spoke with at BRS was not 100% familiar with our one-of-a-kind AOA policy and instead of instructing you to contact AlgaeBarn directly so that we could get you taken care of, they wrongly instructed you to wait for what would most certainly be a dead product. Since we were unaware that there was an issue with your order being delayed in transit we were unable to assist you. When the request from BRS came through there was no mention of expedited shipping on their part and instead you were offered what we offer the opportunity to upgrade your shipping for a fee, which is what we offer to all of our customers when sending a replacement order.


When orders are placed with BRS and expedited shipping is applied, unless you pay for both the BRS portion of the order and the AlgaeBarn portion of the order to be expedited separately, only the BRS portion of the order is expedited. Unfortunately, the AlgaeBarn portion of the order being expedited needs to be done through AlgaeBarn and cannot be done when checking out through BRS. We apologize for any confusion on this from our end of the transaction. We, as a small company, cannot afford as to expedite shipping on replacement orders, instead we ship them with the same method of shipping chosen during checkout; Rather, we offer the option to upgrade shipping on a replacement order for a small fee which is what you were offered.

After an email from you expressing your displeasure with having to pay for upgraded shipping on your replacement, our support manager made an exception to our policy and upgraded your shipping to overnight, as well as refunded your invoice where you paid for 2nd day air ($15 dollars). It also looks like even though you turned down the offer for free pods, the manager added a free jar of EcoPods (valued at $55 dollars) to your order which was shipped out this morning via FedEx overnight.

When dealing with live product and shipping, unfortunately at times we must delay sending out product. This is for the quality of product arriving as much as it is the product simply arriving alive. We also at times have to hold back on sending out product due to the quality of the product not meeting our quality control standards. We would rather have your order delayed that for you to receive a product that does not meet our standards. FedEx has also been having difficulties lately in keeping on track/on time with delivery of orders therefore we have at times held back on sending out orders. When we hold back on sending out orders, we do send out mass email's notifying customers of the delay.

As we stated in our email to you, whomever you spoke with over at BRS might not have been aware of the fact that we do make exceptions to our DOA policy on a case-by-case basis. And unfortunately, instead of instructing you to reach out directly to us, they simply told you that you would need to wait on the product to arrive, which would most certainly be dead due to the delay in shipping. It was also suggested (not blaming) that in the future if you reach out directly to us so we can take a closer look at your order, and get you taken care of sooner. It is not our policy to make our customers wait on delayed packages to "see if the product is dead", as you stated in your email that you were told by BRS. We understand that we deal with live product and while our shipping team packs orders really well to withstand a certain amount of time in delay, there comes a point when you as the customer and we as a company have to assume that the product will arrive either in really bad condition or DOA. If you reach out directly to us we can help take a look at ALL aspects of what is occurring with your order and make a decision on how best to handle the situation to keep you, our customer, happy! We look forward to hearing from you on how your replacement arrives :)
Please remove my name from your post. I try and keep my online identity separate from my offline identity. I know your intention isn't to "dox" me, but please remove it
 
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malfist

malfist

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I received my algae today, shipped overnight (fedex was again late, but just by 7 hours instead of several days) as promised. The algae was very healthy and Algae barn also included two containers of ecopods for my troubles. I greatly appreciate Algaebarn making this situation right.
 
Please read here before posting. Outside comments are not permitted per R2R's feedback forum policy. This is to allow the buyer and seller to have a streamlined conversation and hopefully come to a mutually satisfactory resolution in a negative transaction. If you would like to contribute your own feedback experience with either the buyer or seller, you may do so by creating your own feedback thread. Only the thread starter and vendor will have posting access. Thank you.

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