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In responce to the other thread Tales from the LFS :D , I have decided to add my point of view as a petshop emloyee. I'm sure there are other people out there like me who can add their own tales.
In the past few monthes i have had a guy come up to me to ask how long the plastic around the foams in his fiter take to dissolve as he had his for 3 monthes and it still there. Somehow he had assumed it would dissolve in the tank like the little detergent packages you can get for your dishwasher.
I had another guy complaining how his fish were dying and his tank was gone green even though he had a top of the range filter ( Eheim 2060) on a 3 foot tank with only 6 or 7 fish. He even had a UV light system on it. After nearly 15 minutes of going through everything i could think of - He did proper water changes, proper light levels, not too much food etc. It turns out he only turned on the filter for 2 or 3 hours daily because he liked the sound of moving water but wanted to save money on electricity. he also wasn't using the UVC as a friend who breeds fish ( goldfish in his pond ) said that they cause algae :-?
There was also the guy who kept guppies in a unheated tank in the front room so assumed they would also live in his pond and then complained that they had died so it must be our fault. We live in Ireland, its not noted for our sunny weather.
The lady who wanted some new fish for her tank, i asked what she had- angelfish and neons but she warned she wanted no cichlids as she knew they were trouble and she knew a lot about fish. So of course i told her that an angelfish is a cichlid to which she told me ' I know you are new here but you really should try to learn more about fish '. I really felt like selling her the krib pair she was admiring :wink: but instead handed her a book titled Cichlids and told her the page number for angelfish.
The mother and daughter who complained there tank was full of algae , turned out they were living the light on 24/7. I explained the problem -too much light- and what to do -no lights for a week , if they could cover the glass totally it would help and then only 8 or 10 hours of light a day and the rest dark. Two weeks later they are back complaining tank was still green. Turns out they were turning on the light from midnight to 8am and the tank was in a bright room. They really couldn't understand why i was laughing and why my boss was laughing.

The last one is my favourite as they were such an angry pair and acting like know-it-alls. First they thought it was our fault as there was 2 different types of light bulb on the tank. Sunlite and Daylite and they had read online that you shouldn't mix bulbs. I pointed out that you could also find articles online saying Elvis was alive. They hide from me now and sneak in to get food and stuff without talking to me. That was my first and only time i openly laughed at someone for being stupid but i just had to.
 

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awesome topic!
Awesome laughs!

Any other LFS employees have some fun stories? Keep em coming...
 

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Ugh. I shouldn't play this game but here goes!

Saturday I had a lady in with her three screaming, running children. She had called before she came in, asking for "cichlids". I told her that she'd want to narrow it down, were they africans, south american, what size, what types... She said she'd just come in and look around. When she got to the store, her one child immediately charged up the back stairs into the glass gallery upstairs. The one that specifically says it's not open and has a fence across the stairs! She just stood there! I said "uh, it's not ok for him to just run around in the glass studio, go get him!" She brought him downstairs and just turned him loose again.

She's telling me how she paid someone to come clean her tank and then most of her fish died, so she tore it apart two weeks ago and cleaned it herself. THEN she went and bought some new cichlids. She showed me a picture of two of her new fish, they were Red Devils. I told her that I didn't have any fish for sale that had a chance of living long term in that uncycled 55 gallon tank with those fish, but I'd be happy to test her water and give her a bag of bacteria from my filters in the back to help jumpstart her tank again, if she'd like. She got all disgusted and said "you mean you won't sell me any fish? Won't these fish do fine? (pointing at the discus tank!)" About that time I hear splashing and turn in terror to see her child splashing his way through my 125 gallon Saltwater fish tank. The one with 4 Venomous Rabbitfish in it! She grabs him by the arm, no kidding, doesn't even apologize, just smiles and says, "He's autistic", like it makes it ok to just turn him loose with all of that stimulus or something.

Same day, a guy comes in asking me if I'm familiar with Biorb tanks. He's bought the "upgrade" size of 8 gallons and he wants to fill it up. It says he doesn't need to gravel vac, you just twist out the cartridge and replace it and do a 25% water change every 6 weeks... He's memorized the information packet that came with the stupid thing and I quite honestly wasn't sure I was going to have enough patience to get through explaining WHY that thing would misrepresent some of the facts in order to get people to buy the little death traps in the first place!

That's just the two frustrating stories from one day. I'll try to not post too many at a time ;).

Barbie
 

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I'm enjoying both threads :thumb: I've had some experiences with dumb LFS employees but can understand the frustration a knowlegeable one can have with John Q. Public too lol.
 

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I hate people that let their kids run loose and then have some sort of sense of entitlement like just because they do/did a bad job parenting, you need to deal with it. The justification is always the same too. "They're XX years, old, what do you expect?" "I expect you to have control of your XX year old, if you can't take them out into public without having problems, don't." :roll:

I clearly remember that when I was a kid, stores were look and don't touch, and you stayed right near your parents regardless of how boring the conversation was. :oops:
 

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Thats because parents can't spank their kids anymore :lol:
I personally liked the sign a lfs in Tampa FL had which said. (IF you stick your hand in the tank, they are not responsible and you must purchase the whole setup. It was a 210-300 gallon with 3 2ft pacus. One was 28 years old and was enormous, unsure of exact size.
Anyway, funny stuff.
 

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i love this thread its great to hear from both sides now thats reality tv we have autistic kids here in nyc but the diffrence is most parents here put body harness on the so they dont get in to trouble. thats why i cant work with people cause i would of let him get stung .sorry to say but i love kids but most parents dont .
 

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lol this is great i love hearing stupid stuff ppl say expecially when they thing they know something maybe i should consider my first job in the pet store its lps not a large chair love it there but i would lol at stuff and get really angry at the kids that tap on the tank and i remember it being boring when i was little but i tell you my parents whipped my a** if i did something like that lol they be like call the law idc im gonna beat him
 

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I took my mother in law into a local chain store to let her pick out some basic "tropicals" for a tank we'd gotten her.

I swear to you, I turned my back for a second and she had her hand in a tank trying to catch her own fish.

Needless to say, she didn't do too well with the hobby and gave up in no time...

Thank goodness!

But I'm not sure who looked more horrified...Me, or the LFS employee who was trying to help us.
 
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Every so often I help people at my LFS because their freshwater employees are idiots.

I've explained cycling to people and said they either don't want cycling because they don't want to see bacteria in the water, or they ask me if they'll be able to see it when it's colonized.

I've had a know it all guy insist that A. burtoni (labeled there as Haplochromis burtoni) insist it is in no way in the genus Astatotilapia and insisted they were only from Victoria, not Tanganyika.

People asked me if neon tetras could be kept with Piranhas when there is a goldfish bitten in half floating in the piranha tank...

Nothing else really funny, just people asking stupid or common sense questions and so on.

Oh, and I remember arguing with the LFS owner why asian RT catfish are not "wonderful fish" and why he should not insist on selling them to people with community tanks.

Now he's selling 2ft Alligator Gars... which get up to 8ft long I believe... :roll:

~Ed
 

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When I worked at petsmart I'd always have people say "The box shows ....". Yup, it does. Anything else? Just because Eclipse has a 6g tank with 4 gouramis, 10 neons, and a couple of pictus cats, doesn't mean it's right thing to do.
 

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You'd be positively amazed how many phone calls I receive a week from people that bought stuff online that they're not smart enough to work. I've had customers that decided to upgrade their tank get pissy when after walking them through how to set up a sump (that they then bought somewhere else) and recommending which pump they'd need (which they then ordered somewhere else) and then they needed help setting up their CO2 reactor (that again, they didn't buy from me!) I finally told them I couldn't provide tech support for it. I told them how to figure it out, and where to look for the information, but that I wasn't going to be able to go give them the exact levels I'd recommend at this time. I have received two emails so far explaining what poor customer service it was of me to not figure it out for them. Evidently the $1500 they'd spent in my store guaranteed them rights to any information in my head for life, regardless of whether they actually got great fish and equipment for their buck, previously. Mind you, I DID answer the question, I just didn't go get the answer for them, I made them do some leg work of their own. Go figure, I'm so mean. Hopefully whoever they're using for information now can afford to be more available ;).

I had a guy yell at my answering machine on Sunday at 5 minutes to 5 (I had left to help a friend and my husband was minding the store for me). He needed me to tell him whether he should just order this Eclipse thing he'd found online to replace the POS Biorb he'd already purchased somewhere else.... Ummm, hello?

While I do realize customer service is really the only thing I can provide that people can't find elsewhere, I'm also the only store that routinely sedates and scrapes any sick fish and treats as aggressively as I can. I carefully walk people through the cycling process and figuring out where they want their tank to be when it's finished. I answer emails on days I'm "off" so I can solve problems, even if I'm not actually in the store and open for business. How much more should I be doing? This is the whole one woman show problem, and with 28 aquariums and 1600 gallons of water at home and 2600 gallons of water in the store, I really do run out of hours in my days to work myself to death in. Anyone have any suggestions for snappy lines I can paint on the walls of the store to help people better understand that? ;) So far the best suggestion I've read was "Tech support for online purchases can be found at http://www.google.com. but I think that might be too subtle for some people ;).

Barbie
 

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Your to be commended for your patience but I can understand your frustration. I was going to suggest making up brochures to help people properly set-up thier tanks but the paper would probably disapear quickly and create even more questions for them to rant about on the phone.

Maybe you could set up a board with links to websites that you feel are worthy of thier study or set up a class a couple of nights a month for a few hours to help educate your customers.

If you also run an aquarium maintenance service offer to take care of thier aquarium if thier not willing to put in the time to do it themselves. If they persist with questions that are involved and lengthy offer them the brochures, show them the links board and give them the dates you'll be running the class. I'm sure there are uncouth morons out that will feel like they are getting the brush off but those that are really interested in thier hobby and would be good customers for you and will see that you really do have thier best interests at heart. :thumb:
 

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Fun Stuff! I used to keep large show tanks in the store I ran and kept common large growing fish in them (cichlids) so people could see just how big they would get....

Guy comes in and wants to buy an oscar, so I go through the usual line of questioning to get a better understanding of his experience with fish... To find out he has no experience... Before I could say anything he tells me

"I'll take a ten gallon and an oscar."

So of course I tell him he'll need atleast a 55 for an oscar and the tank will have to cycle. He looks at the baby oscars and says,

"You're joking right?"

I said,

"Oh no, here's a full grown oscar right here"

Guy: "that's not the same fish"

Me: "Yeah, hard to believe isn't it?"

Guy: "It's not even the same color!"

Me: "Well, you see, you looking at a red oscar and this here is a full grown common."

Guy: "So I was right, they are different fish!"

So I go grab a book, an oscar book and start to show him the different kinds of oscars and he finally says,

"Ok, well, I'll just buy the ten gallon and the oscar now, seeing as fish only grow to the size of the tank, I mean geeze, now wonder why that oscar got so big, that tank is huge!"

This is when I started laughing and insisted that if he want to buy an oscar to read the book first, then come back to get the oscar... He storms off saying he'll just go to the next town over and spend his money where they've got better customer service! :lol: I was just a high school zit faced kid back then, why would he listen to me?

So how many stories are we limited to on this thread? Cuz I've got tons.... :lol:
 

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Keep it coming!!!

I can't get the image of a square Oscar out of my mind. A square one the same size as a 10gal. Just think it'd make a cool photoshop project :lol:

"The box shows ...."
I remember seeing a box at wallyworld that had nearly 100 mixed cichlids in it, I think they changed the box since, I can't find a pic of it anywhere online now. Next time I'm there, I'll try and sneak a pic if they still have that tank.
 
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