I honestly appreciate that the company's marine biologists delayed the order. I would have hated to open up a package of fishcicles. The problem comes from the fact that they didn't bother to tell me they had delayed my order. I made extensive arrangements to receive fish today, and wasted no small bit of time making said arrangements. This wasted the time of a few other people as well, as a friend had offered to help with getting the fish settled, the receiving department was expecting them, and started making inquiries when they didn't turn up, and the science office, who were supposed to receive the package, did much the same.
This is a forgivable lapse. The company is high output, and keeping track of that many notices can be difficult, especially as this was the second weather delay. The real problem is that when I called up to reschedule delivery (because of classes, receiving can be rather difficult for me) the livestock representative mentioned that a few of my fish were actually out of stock, and would probably be so for some time. If it was a single danio, or cory, or other fish I could get anywhere, i wouldn't have minded terribly, and removed them from the order. Even if one of the more specialty fish wasn't in, I would probably have the order go through anyway.
As is, all three specialty fish on the order, being the bolivian ram, bristlenose pleco, and dwarf puffer, were out of stock. Everything else on the order was essentially a case of "eh, I'm already paying shipping, I might as well get these while I'm at it." That's all that was left of the order. I canceled the order.
I don't quite understand how this makes sense. Every fish I ordered was listed as in stock when I put the order in. At the moment I submitted the order, I had purchased fish. Yet, the company is telling me that they do not have the fish that I bought. To me, this is either a case of them selling me a fish they did not have, or selling someone else my fish, which is another case of them selling a fish they did not have.
Everything I have heard about this company's fish is excellent. They seem to treat their livestock very well, and ship carefully. Their prices are fantastic. My problem is in the way they are running their business. I will probably not order from them again.
This may be an irrational response, as the recent ill weather has probably put them at a disadvantage, and hurt some of their organization. However, on a visceral level, I am dissatisfied with their service. It may come to be in future that comparatively, their service is acceptable, (there are very few online live fish distributors I have found) but until that time, I will not order again. I placed an order at a rival company, at a 40% cost increase, by merit of bad customer service. That's not a good result by either my or their standards. It is merely better than waiting weeks for fish to come available.
In other news, I am going Laser Tagging with my wing tonight. Should be a fun time.
P.S. I specifically have not included the name of this company. I don't want my dissatisfaction to reflect on the company as a whole. This is just reflections on a bad customer service experience.