Disappointed with Dr Foster and Smith Live Aquaria

RalphsReef

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I hate to say it, however their service has gown down the commode in recent years. I used to enjoy buying from them, and had done so for over 10 years. I recently ordered frozen fish food. Got the UPS confirmation that it would be delivered by noon. It was 2.5 hours late. No huge deal, and more UPS's fault than anything. However when I asked DFSLA about it, they basically dismissed it and offered no real solution other than will-call at UPS. They also went on to say that UPS had until 8PM to deliver the package. I spent 6 years at UPS and know for sure that the time promised is the time it is supposed to be delivered by, not merely a suggestion. I bought the food online as a convenience. Instead, I will give the business to local stores.
 
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RalphsReef

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Not so much a big deal other than the wife's schedule being messed up while waiting for the package since it was a hot day in Florida that day, it is how DFSLA blew it off. I can understand the delay, if there even was one due to UPS now offering so many services. Regardless, due to DFSLA's indifferent attitude, I will buy elsewhere. They have gone downhill.
 

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They had a very similar attitude when I called about a fish order that was running 6+ hours late. They said it isn't really guaranteed by a certain time and the driver ultimately decides. Seems weird because every other order I have ever placed for livestock overnight has come by 10:30 am (and said it would).
 
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RalphsReef

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I had a fish and coral order sit on the FedEx ramp all weekend in Orlando during the summer of 2011 when they forgot to put a Saturday delivery sticker on it. I thought all weekend about the fish and corals. Took the following Monday off to be at the FedEx station when it opened to retrieve the package. Amazingly enough, they all survived. On that occasion, DFSLA kept trying to tell me that once FedEx scanned the package that Friday night, it would automatically upgrade to Saturday Delivery. Ironically enough, I also used to work at FedEx and I knew that to be untrue. No matter what I said, they stuck with the "automatic upgrade" story and carefree about the well-being of the livestock.
 
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RalphsReef

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I should also add that around the same 2011 screw up, they shipped another livestock order to a previous address of mine after I confirmed with DFSLA my new address. They ensured me it was going to be shipped to that location. Nope, they used to old address instead. On that date, I was lucky enough to have the FedEx driver's phone number since I used to work with him. I went ahead and drove 20 miles to meet with the FedEx driver to retrieve the package. The alternative, of course, was to let the package go back to the FedEx station. Not really an option, as I didn't want the livestock stressed and/or dead.
 

Retro Reefer

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LA & DD have definitely went down hill over the last year all while there livestock prices have skyrocketed to ridicules prices.. Their guarantee on livestock is still top notch though. I do like dr. Foster & Smith for dry goods and equipment, hard to beat their prices with all the promotions and discounts they do.
 

jsvand5

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The quality of divers den fish has definitely went downhill. I was looking at this Atlantic blue tang today. Looks like it’s got a mouth infection to me. And then all of the trainwreck deformed captive bred clowns they sell. Unfortunately people still seem to buy them. If it wasn’t for the warranty I’d probably never order from them anymore.

CAC9CC94-A7D8-40B7-AEA2-3E6968E18324.png
 

BryanD

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I've been using DFS for the last 20 years, never have I had a complaint. Any time I had an issue, they jumped on it, shipped out replacements withing 24 hours, and didn't charge me anything. The last time they sent the wrong thing (about a year ago) when I called they said keep what they sent by mistake for free and they sent what I had paid for the next day . Haven't used Live Aquaria. But I've also seen a bunch of recent negative reviews, and its not an excuse (seems like the maturity level of the populous has dive bombed the last 10 years or so) but these people are losing their jobs. To make matters worse, seems like the employees have just found out in the last 6 months. That's pretty lousy. I placed an order about 2 months ago and didn't have any problems, but until they shut down completely and the lucky ones who get to keep working at Live Aquaria are settled in, I won't be placing any orders with them (I like their reef salt). Shame PetCo had to buy them out then shut them down, they had the best prices out there.
 

badsmitty

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This is what I sent to DFS after I was banned by them due to to many issues with DOA'S last year
I highly recommend that NO ONE do any business with them, ever since Petco bought them there shipping and live fish are terrible

Please STOP sending me emails. I chose to no longer do any business with you. After 20 years of being a great customer and spending over $10,000.00 with your company, you have chosen to no longer do business with me, because I was receiving to many DOA'S, due to your employees improperly packing the live orders that I put in with your company. I would put a note in EVERY order asking them to please tape the heat packs to the bottom of the lid and to STOP just throwing it on to of the fish and corals to no avail, I talked with your employees about this issue many time and it NEVER got fixed and now you want to blame me. How poor of you as a business to blame your customers, instead of fixing the problems that have been going on since Petco bought LA.
You can now add me to the list of former customers, who will no longer do business with you
 

awwinterfall

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Won't affect them. Seems like the person directly above is friends with a lady with letter J as first name.
I would complain to petco co ceo or customer relations.


This is what I sent to DFS after I was banned by them due to to many issues with DOA'S last year
I highly recommend that NO ONE do any business with them, ever since Petco bought them there shipping and live fish are terrible

Please STOP sending me emails. I chose to no longer do any business with you. After 20 years of being a great customer and spending over $10,000.00 with your company, you have chosen to no longer do business with me, because I was receiving to many DOA'S, due to your employees improperly packing the live orders that I put in with your company. I would put a note in EVERY order asking them to please tape the heat packs to the bottom of the lid and to STOP just throwing it on to of the fish and corals to no avail, I talked with your employees about this issue many time and it NEVER got fixed and now you want to blame me. How poor of you as a business to blame your customers, instead of fixing the problems that have been going on since Petco bought LA.
You can now add me to the list of former customers, who will no longer do business with you
 
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RalphsReef

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Customer service replied numerous times with generic, "canned" answers. Basically it was "this is our standpoint, and we're not budging." Oh well, there are other places that appreciate customers.
 

DuckyinthePotty

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I have purchased 1 fish and 2 snails from live aquaria and 2 fish from divers den. Both fish I ordered from divers den are dead but all the animals from their California facility have been active and eating so far. Other than the mouth being a bit scratched up I don't have any other complains about my one living fish.

I am not sure if its the travel that kills the fish or that the fish are just in bad condition when they are sent out. These mandarins are from todays divers den and I cant believe they would sell fish like this. The red mandarin female is marked as having a "blemish" and reduced in price but it looks to me as if it hadn't even healed from collection and is already being sold. Not sure how many people know this but apparently the easiest way to collect dragonets is with a speargun through the fin.
Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 5.30.29 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 5.30.41 PM.png


Based on the experience I have had with their Divers Den I definitely don't want to buy from them again. Unfortunately I want some fish that are rather hard to find and they seem to be one of the only places offering them. If it weren't for their warranty I definitely wouldn't buy from them. It's hard to build a relationship with no trust and you can't trust someone who continually disappoints you. Sorry for the rant, but I am really sad my fishes died and also sad that stuff like this gives the hobby a bad rep.
 

skysoblue987

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You said it's more UPS fault than anything. Is it because they were dismissive, lack sympathy, lied about "had until 8pm" that you wont do business?
 

Blitzburggirl

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I made my first LiveAquaria order in at least 10 years last month.
I ordered a yasha goby/pistol from DD and a biota mandarin, 10 (admittedly described as tiny) blue leg hermits, 2 scarlet hermits, and 2 trochus snails.

The shipments arrived when expected on a nice day. I was surprised the salinity of all the bags from both facilities hovered around 1.030.

Immediate Observations: OMG is this biota mandarin small! Smaller than a quarter! And the hermits. Shockingly "tiny." All 10 of them would fit on a dime together. With room for at least 10 of their closest relatives. Also, I'm pretty sure at least 3 shells were empty. Anyway. I was pretty annoyed that one of the scarlet hermit shells was also empty. I guess if one of the blue legs lives 45 years and grows big enough he can move in. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR The second scarlet hermit and two trochus have been earning their keep from the minute they hit the water.

It's been about 3 weeks and the yasha/pistol are doing great! Love those two! I thought the biota mandy ate some ELOS cyclops pretty much a day or two in.. but there must have been a pod or something on the rock that it ate instead. I haven't seen it take any prepared foods at all, so I'm pretty disappointed by that. It's still alive, but I've been dumping Algaebarn pods in the tank, and I was hoping that it would eat some prepared food so it didn't decimate pod population so fast.

Anyway. I guess I was simply surprised that when even the low end of the "tiny" measurement is listed as .25" these crabs likely don't make that. And the biota mandy is listed as .5"-1.5"... It is definitely barely hitting that .5" mark.
 
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RalphsReef

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That is one great review. LOL.

I made my first LiveAquaria order in at least 10 years last month.
I ordered a yasha goby/pistol from DD and a biota mandarin, 10 (admittedly described as tiny) blue leg hermits, 2 scarlet hermits, and 2 trochus snails.

The shipments arrived when expected on a nice day. I was surprised the salinity of all the bags from both facilities hovered around 1.030.

Immediate Observations: OMG is this biota mandarin small! Smaller than a quarter! And the hermits. Shockingly "tiny." All 10 of them would fit on a dime together. With room for at least 10 of their closest relatives. Also, I'm pretty sure at least 3 shells were empty. Anyway. I was pretty annoyed that one of the scarlet hermit shells was also empty. I guess if one of the blue legs lives 45 years and grows big enough he can move in. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR The second scarlet hermit and two trochus have been earning their keep from the minute they hit the water.

It's been about 3 weeks and the yasha/pistol are doing great! Love those two! I thought the biota mandy ate some ELOS cyclops pretty much a day or two in.. but there must have been a pod or something on the rock that it ate instead. I haven't seen it take any prepared foods at all, so I'm pretty disappointed by that. It's still alive, but I've been dumping Algaebarn pods in the tank, and I was hoping that it would eat some prepared food so it didn't decimate pod population so fast.

Anyway. I guess I was simply surprised that when even the low end of the "tiny" measurement is listed as .25" these crabs likely don't make that. And the biota mandy is listed as .5"-1.5"... It is definitely barely hitting that .5" mark.
 

AlgaeBarn

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I made my first LiveAquaria order in at least 10 years last month.
I ordered a yasha goby/pistol from DD and a biota mandarin, 10 (admittedly described as tiny) blue leg hermits, 2 scarlet hermits, and 2 trochus snails.

The shipments arrived when expected on a nice day. I was surprised the salinity of all the bags from both facilities hovered around 1.030.

Immediate Observations: OMG is this biota mandarin small! Smaller than a quarter! And the hermits. Shockingly "tiny." All 10 of them would fit on a dime together. With room for at least 10 of their closest relatives. Also, I'm pretty sure at least 3 shells were empty. Anyway. I was pretty annoyed that one of the scarlet hermit shells was also empty. I guess if one of the blue legs lives 45 years and grows big enough he can move in. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR The second scarlet hermit and two trochus have been earning their keep from the minute they hit the water.

It's been about 3 weeks and the yasha/pistol are doing great! Love those two! I thought the biota mandy ate some ELOS cyclops pretty much a day or two in.. but there must have been a pod or something on the rock that it ate instead. I haven't seen it take any prepared foods at all, so I'm pretty disappointed by that. It's still alive, but I've been dumping Algaebarn pods in the tank, and I was hoping that it would eat some prepared food so it didn't decimate pod population so fast.

Anyway. I guess I was simply surprised that when even the low end of the "tiny" measurement is listed as .25" these crabs likely don't make that. And the biota mandy is listed as .5"-1.5"... It is definitely barely hitting that .5" mark.
Hi @Blitzburggirl

The mandarins from Biota do come in small and we do our best to ensure they are conditioned to top tier levels (I know you bought this from Live Aquaria) and not us. We appreciate your pod purchases, let me know your order number on your next order and we can include some goodies that the mandarins like to snack on.
 

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