Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Help! My Fish Tank Is Leaking Water-Petco to the Rescue

Leaking fish tank led to the most positive customer service experience from my local PETCO store 

Recently, I had to endure what I would call a family tragedy.  If your family had its domicile destroyed and you had to move into temporary quarters until your home was replaced then you know what kind of tragedy I am talking about.  The loss of ones home can be devastating.  If you are part of a family of fish, Cichlids that is; then the loss of the family home can be treacherous and deadly.  Recently, a tragedy is what happened to my fish tank I called Cichlidae Lagoon.  A 37 gallon fresh water fish tank with a small family of Cichlids named Pancake, Dexter, Elvis, and Lilly.  One Friday evening at about 11 PM Cichlidae Lagoon started leaking water fast.  My wife heard the filter system splashing water into the tank, looked over, and said "Oh my gosh - what is wrong with the fish tank?"

Before we knew what was happening about 15 gallons of water had leaked out of a bottom seam of the fish tank onto my carpet flooring.  I had a big mess going on but worst of all my Cichlids were in serious trouble.  What to do?  What to do first?  My wife was going to grab a vase.  I remembered I had a small fish tank in storage in the basement.  She screamed "Go get it fast".  I quickly got the small tank cleaned up and netted my Cichlids into their temporary overnight accommodations.  Then began the 5 hour task of emptying Cichlidae Lagoon before it emptied onto my floor, carpet cleaning, and setting up the small tank with air, heat, and filtering.  What a disaster.  With everything stable we went to bed at about 4:30 AM...

After awakening from slumber, my four Cichlids were ok on the kitchen counter in a real small tank  but they were in trouble.  The filter was not enough, there was not enough water for them, and they were cramped.  I had to do something!  I made a call to a local Aquarium store to see if I could board the Cichlids for a few days.  No answer that Saturday morning.  They were not open yet.  I then called Petco in Buford GA.  I explained my situation to the person who answered the phone and was immediately transferred to the stare manager "Chris".  Chris listened to my issue and then said  the kindest words I could here that day.  He said, "all was going to be alright, bring your fish into the store and we will take care of them until you figure out what to do about replacing the fish tank".  I thanked him over and over again as my main concern was the health and well being of my fish.

My Cichlids are family to my wife and I 

My wife calls them by name and they come to the front of the glass.  I feed them lovingly and take care of their ecosystem of water, air bubbles, temperature control, and filtering system.  I have a sound speaker I put in a plastic bag and submerge to play music for them...The store staff at Petco in Buford, GA were caring and took care of my Cichlids expertly until I got a new tank set up and ready for them to come back home.  From that Saturday afternoon that I took the Cichlids to Petco, leaving them with Store Associate DeeDee, to the evening I picked them back up to come home the staff at Petco looked after my fish and kept them healthy.  The fish seemed to be happy at Petco in a beautiful display tank full of fresh plants with a waterfall and two little Cichlid friends they met who were already there.  It was like the Cichlids went to summer camp!  My wife and I visited them several times that week, spoke with the store staff, and answered questions about the Cichlids they were holding for us.  There were many inquiries from customers wanting to buy my Cichlids but the store staff placed a big sign on the display tank that said "Fish for observation only - Not for Sale".  When we visited, customers often said what beautiful fish they were, asked what kind of fish they were, and how much they were.  You see they are beautiful Cichlids; Pancake is about 2 years old and 5 inches; bight baby blue.  Dexter is just under 2 years old and is 6 inches; yellow and black like a bumble-bee.  Elvis is about 1.5 years old and almost 5 inches; black with blue stripes.  Lilly is about a year old and almost 3 inches; albino pink with ruby red eyes.
Pancake and Dexter going to Summer Camp

What Happened?

As it turns out I purchased the 37 gallon fish tank from the Buford GA Petco store in Jan. 2012.  Fish tanks rarely develop leaks as serious as my tank did and certainly not so soon after purchase.  Usually, fish tanks can last 10-20 years with good care placed in a stable environment.  Chris, the store manager was very concerned about the tank leaking.  I was too and I was afraid that another tank would also leak prematurely. After all one does not expect a tank to leak so badly.  Chris and several store associates all reassured me that such an occurrence is rare.  I email contacted the manufacturer that Saturday but it was Labor Day weekend and the manufacturer runs M-F, 9-5.  I waited till almost Wednesday after Labor Day before getting an email response.  Basically, I was told by email "let us know if the store does help you and what they did for you".  The email came from someone with a title indicating they worked for a company other than the manufacturer, like a customer service triage representative.  Anyway, hearing nothing else I spoke with store staff that week including managers Becky and Sean who assured me Petco would stand behind the product.  After speaking with Chris by telephone again that week, it was agreed that I should return the leaking tank to the store for store credit with which I could use to purchase a new tank for my Cichlids.  I was so thankful and grateful.  At this point I was in awe of the way I was being treated by Chris, Sean, and Becky the store managers; the rest of the staff who looked after the Cichlids while there at "Summer Camp" were also pleasant, cheerful, and concerned for the Cichlids.  Petco really came through for me and the Cichlids.  They really cared about the fish and made sure they were going back home in excellent condition.  With the store credit I was issued I was able to get a new tank, some replacement supplies, new live plants, and the two little Cichlids that spent Summer Camp together with my Cichlids.  I brought them home a week later.  When I picked up the Cichlids originally, the store staff did not want to sell me the little Cichlids because they were not tagged for sale yet.  That happened after my Cichlids went home.  So now they are all together in Cichlidae Lagoon II.

I can't say thank you enough to Becky, Sean, DeeDee and Chris at the Buford GA Petco store for turning a disaster into a positive experience but mostly for saving my fish from a stressful situation or possibly death.

Let me tell you about my Buford Petco Store. The fish tanks at are beautiful.  I have 6 Cichlids now and 5 of them were purchased from Petco.  They have a vast selection of fresh water fish, salt water fish, turtles, and other aquatic animals and plants.  Numerous aquatic supplies and decorations abound in the aisles.  See my pictures below I took during visits to the store while the Cichlids were at summer camp.  The store is well organized, CLEAN - Spotlessly clean, with open aisles and vast selections of whatever your pet needs are.  Prices are just right and Petco Pals prices are even better with a Petco Pals customer loyalty card.  Petco even has a Unique on-line information community board called PTP - Petco Talk Place.  The Talk Place has different areas for Dogs, Cats, Birds, Fish, small land animals, and even snakes.  The staff at Buford Petco are just wonderful and knowledgeable.  While there at the store visiting the Cichlids I observed customers perusing aisles, looking over the fish tanks, and selecting new family members to go home with them.  I watched as the store staff cheerfully answered questions, advised, and carefully retrieved fish from tanks for the customers.  I observed a happy cheerful environment every time I visited that week which was almost everyday for a week - I missed my little Cichlids!

I have a special place in my heart for Buford Petco and the loving staff that took care of my Cichlids.  I know that this is not normal practice for Petco but under extenuating circumstances Petco did what had to be done and did it cheerfully and professionally.  It is now several weeks later and the Cichlids are all doing well adjusting to their new home "Cichlidae Lagoon II".

See below for links to Petco, Petco (PTP) Information Community, the Petco Pals program, and  Petco Foundation -  Helping to support companion animals with $15 million per year in donations.

Thanks Petco - you saved the life of 4 little Cichlids that mean so much to my wife and I.

Scott Mayorga A.A.S., BS MT(ASCP)H CLS

United Pet Group has since contacted me and offered to reimburse for full purchase price of the leaking fish tank.  Thank you United Pet Group for stepping up and completing a postive customer service experience in full manner with concerns and well wishes for the Cichlids.

Petco web site
Petco Fish on line Community
Petco Pals Club - Customer Rewards
Petco Foundation
Petco on Pinterest
Petco on facebook
Connect with Petco on twitter; @Petco

Petco Buford - Mall of Georgia

No comments:

ShareThis Post!