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Tomorrow's Waters

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Just a PSA to anyone out there that might be looking for feedback/reviews before purchasing from Biota.

I recently purchased a single Yellow Tang from Biota. Tang was packaged and shipped in October (time of this post) to the Midwest. Package arrived on time, but upon opening, the fish looked to be dead. The water the fish was packaged in was 50 degrees (measured with InkBird temperature probe) and there was no heat pack in the box to keep the temperature stable. I followed the acclimation instructions just in case the fish was in shock, but no luck. This tang was DOA. I would also like to point out that this fish had quite a few chunks taken out all the posterior fins. Very disappointed in the quality of the fish I received. I was hoping for a nice looking, healthy, and very much alive fish.

The worst part about this whole experience is that Biota does not refund you for the original shipping and requires you to pay for additional shipping if you would like to have a new fish sent to you. I have now spent nearly $120 on shipping costs alone for one small yellow tang and there is no guarantee the next fish I receive won't be dead as well. I probably wouldn't have even posted this if the shipping cost was covered because sometimes these things happen, but the fact that Biota chooses to short their customers in this regard is very frustrating. It is not the customers fault that they received a dead fish, it may not be entirely Biota's fault either, but a loose fish bag in a large box with a little bit of bubble wrap on one side and no mechanism for temperature control is not exactly going above and beyond to ensure the expensive fish your customers trusted you to ship arrives safely.

Buyer beware!

@Biota_Marine

-TW
 

Biota_Marine

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Hello, thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear that the fish didn't survive and understand your disappointment. Have you reached out to our support team at [email protected] with the information about the temperature of the bags? I don't see any emails in our inbox with this information today. Please feel free to reach out to us, especially if you have special circumstances; we're always happy to help. We can work with you on the shipping service fee in this particular case.

Unfortunately, since it was nearly 90 degrees in Florida on Tuesday, it wouldn't have been appropriate to ship with a heat pack. We use a formula to decide when it is safe or necessary to add a heat pack, and we will take note that the bags arrived on the cold side in this particular circumstance. Our 1.5" thick styro typically keeps the internal temperature above 70F if the outside temperature is above 48F. That can vary if there is damage to the box or left outside by the currier for an extended period of time. It's safer for the fish when the water is on the cool side rather than the hot side in most other cases.

To avoid any misunderstanding or disappointment, we make every effort to ensure customers are familiar with our DOA policy prior to ordering. At the top of the Yellow Tang product page, you can find a link to our Livestock Guarantee policy in bold red. Then at checkout, customers must check a checkbox that confirms they've read and agree to our policies and terms and conditions. With each email we send including the order confirmation and order shipping email, we again encourage customers to check the Livestock Guarantee policy.

We understand the frustration about the shipping costs. Like many other popular online vendors, shipping service fees aren't refundable or covered by our DOA policy. Our policies are in place because we care for the animals from egg to the size you receive which is months of dedication, grow-out, and care to ensure a healthy product for every single one of our customers. This means our investment into each and every fish is that much more than wild caught animal vendors. We truly care about every animal that leaves our facility and it is incredibly unfortunate when they do not make the trip so in instances of loss we are just as upset as our customers. With shipping costs climbing we understand there is a high cost there but the rates come directly from UPS and we are not making a profit there. We highly suggest prior to placing an order with any vendor it's best to familiarize yourself with their individual policies or we're incredibly responsive to any questions. We also don't pad our livestock costs to help make up for shipping costs like many other vendors do. Most customers hold onto their store credit for when they're ready to place their next order. We recommend customers ordering online to wait until they have a larger order to offset the shipping cost if that's a concern, or you can order our stock from most LFS if you just need one fish.

Regarding the nips in the fins - Zebrasoma are territorial by nautre, and when they're all raised together, they tend to nip at each other's fins - more so as the grow. Customers report that it only takes a few days for even moderate nips to heal, and they don't leave any permanent marks. Fortunately, the nips don't affect their health in any way.

Please do reach out to our customer support team with your order number and let us know about the temperature of the bags on arrival, and we will help you out with the replacement shipping cost as well.
 
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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