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Old 02-06-2013, 09:03 AM
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Default Anyone here work in aquatics retail

Anyone else on here work in an aquatics store? Im starting to think its one of the toughest jobs out there, animal wise, as not only can fish be challenging to keep in large numbers when imported but you also have to prepare them for tank life in uk. Then you have to take the abuse you get when it goes wrong, nobody thinks about the work that's gone on before they've lied about their tank size/occupants to buy the fish they want! Is it just me or are the customers getting worse?

Less people really care about their fish these days (almost see them as a piece of furniture that should just work with no effort!) and really don't like listening to advice. If I had a pound for every time I heard I want something with a bit of colour for my 10l tank to go in with 20+ fish id be a very rich man. Another example I have done a few water tests over the last few weeks and when it comes to results being bad you can come up against some very abrupt people as if its your fault they cant buy fish. I often say this is a business and if im discouraging you from purchasing what we are selling there must be good reason.

Just yesterday I was physically threatened because I didn't have a specific fish in stock and would have to let them know next week when and how much I can get them for. Anyone in the industry will know livestock availability lists change at the beginning of every week.

Is it just me experiencing this or are others as well? I know there are a lot of good fishkeepers out there I have a lot of regulars but im finding that the bad is starting to out weigh the good.

rant over

would really like to hear others opinions on this.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:34 PM
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I did my work experience in a branch of Maidenhead Aquatics so speak from very little experience but even in that time my eyes were opened. During the week we had 3 people come in- all bringing their overgrown fish to give to them. One man handed in 5 common plecs- he bought them for him 60l tank... He was told by another shop that they would stay small and were a shoaling species. Then another man came in with some kind of arowana, I think it was a silver. Again bought from another shop. I was speaking with one of the staff members and he found it so frustrating that these people bought fish without thinking and that they were left to clean up the mess. He was really passionate and they even had the tankbuster poster up on the wall.

And then you had the plonkers. A woman came in wanting to buy some goldfish and cichlids. Innocent enough until she says she wants to keep them together. She was quickly corrected and sent on her way. And that was just on a weekday, I can't imagine the number of people coming in on a weekend with similar expectations.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:56 PM
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I work in it have for around 17 years or so around 15 full time, the customers are the same, i have no problems, and i don't even sell goldfish at mine and our customers generally understand the reason is animal welfare and accept it very well, you just have to make people understand they are being cruel with out telling them and that's the secret imo
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:46 PM
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I've worked in Aquatics part-time for over a year now, and the amount of I've had to deal with is unbelievable. What I've found that's helped is to use as many large words as possible, until they are unsure of who they are, and they'll listen to every word you say as they think you're incredibly intelligent, not just some 'low class shop slave'. I'm a A level student and was talking about how I'd like to study for a PhD in my chosen career field - being a Doctor is my geeky dream. And one man over-heard me and told pretty much all of the recurring customers that I'm training to be a Doctor. I know its terrible, but they listen to my advice more now that they think I am. I have, by the way, corrected them many times

tl;dr - pretend to be at medical school and you get done.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:24 PM
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I work in a shop with a aquatic section...and it is the most 'random/strange question' section of the shop...

Customer: I have a 18ltr tank, can I have 3 of those?
Me: You want 3 4 inch koi?????

Customer: Your terrapins dont have a filter, they need one or they will die!
Me: We dont stock terrapins or turtles?????

And the list could go on and on and on.....
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by IceBloodExotics View Post
I work in a shop with a aquatic section...and it is the most 'random/strange question' section of the shop...

Customer: I have a 18ltr tank, can I have 3 of those?
Me: You want 3 4 inch koi?????

Customer: Your terrapins dont have a filter, they need one or they will die!
Me: We dont stock terrapins or turtles?????

And the list could go on and on and on.....
Ah, you have it easy. I pray for days with only those above..

1. Customer: "What's your favorite fish? Mine's a dolphin."

2. C: "So I don't need salt with my fish?"
Me: "No, as yours are freshwater and are from mountain rivers."
C: "So aren't rivers salty?"

3. M: "These platys will probably breed in your aquarium"
C: "What about the neon tetra?"
M: "No, probably not."
C: "Can they breed in the wild though?"

4. C: "Almost all my fish died this week."
M: *Water tests* "Your water appears fine, is there much algae in the tank?"
C: "Yes, I added two cap fulls of bleach to help get rid of it."

5. C: "Can I have these with my fish?"
M: "No, these are fish that live in salt water."
C: "Are ALL the fish in that tank saltwater fish?"

And my personal favorite:

6. M: "No, you can't put fish in a new tank strait away. The water won't be ready for a week to ten days at least before fish could be added."
C: "Ah, can I put the fish in now before the water and add that later?"
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:57 PM
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"I need a fish that will die within 2 months as I'll be flying home then."

I don't even.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:24 AM
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customer shows me a picture on phone of dead fish "why is my fish dead" ???

customer "hi my pond pump is broken i need a new one"
me " how big is your pond "
customer ........"big"

my best to date, customer comes in shop with fish "hi look my goldfish has lost one of its eyes will it grow back" ?
me.......yes "
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:50 PM
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I work for a pet shop that has an aquatics dept. the most common problem is the amount of crying children and angry parents that storm out after I've explained to them they can't keep 2/3 Goldfish in a 12L tank.

"I've kept fish for years! I know what I'm doing"...
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:52 PM
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TBH you hear some absolute stinkers from shop staff too. My favourites to date:

'Fishless cycling is a myth and never works'

'Yes that shark (pangasius catfish) is fine for a nano tank'

'Your water is fine' - I was halfway through a cycle and the sample was at about 2ppm ammonia, and off the scale for nitrites. I only brought it in to double check my test kit. He did give me actual readings when prompted so he must have known the water quality was poor.

'A 30l is fine for 6 corry cats, a male betta, a few females bettas and a plec to clean the tank.' - he didn't mean a bristlenose.
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