Backwater reptiles exposed.

Erinelle

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2018
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Hales Corners, WI
I’ve had some pretty great dealings with Backwater.

I don’t like that they don’t have a phone number and you can’t actually talk to one of them, regardless of your issue, email only!

Other than that, they were true to their word and I had no complaints about quality or business professionalism.
 

TechnoCheese

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
4,119
Location (City and/or State)
Lewisville, Texas
I’ve had some pretty great dealings with Backwater.

I don’t like that they don’t have a phone number and you can’t actually talk to one of them, regardless of your issue, email only!

Other than that, they were true to their word and I had no complaints about quality or business professionalism.
Sounds like you got lucky. Go ahead and read their reviews on here. Most people don’t have that luck :(
 
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Erinelle

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2018
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Hales Corners, WI
I am a person who tries to see both sides.
No one will ever be fully loved by ALL.
Even being loved by some is difficult at times.
Mainly because people’s opinions differ and are mostly driven by emotions.
I often wonder if the people who are critical are being fair? Are they asking a company to do something outside of the parameters of their abilities? Are they expecting something for nothing and being unreasonable? What are the details behind the bad deal?
With that being said, I’m not judging and making the determination that their claims are wrong and never accusing anyone. Just wondering how a company stays in business if they are truly THAT bad?! In my experience, that isn’t usually the case or no one would buy their product. Is Backwater really dishonest and involved in scamming or conducting bad business? It’s hard to get a true reading, hearing only one side.

Three years ago, they sold me a pair of box turtle hatchlings.
One died and it wasn’t my fault; she came to me and never ate while the other one thrived (same enclosure). I made video documentation of my experience from opening the box upon arrival (just in case there were any unforeseen issues) and allowed them to view my setup/enclosure/diet/husbandry so they too could determine that the death was nothing I did wrong. They decided in less than 24 hours and sent me another box turtle. They asked if a full grown one would be ok bc they were out of hatchlings. I agreed. They did charge me $49.99 to ship it NDA which wasn’t quite right but nonetheless, I got a healthy adult female as a replacement. (I suspect she was a retired breeder bc she still lays eggs like clockwork and won’t eat them; obviously infertile). I thought it was weird that they knew very little about her and she was definitely a free-roaming adult which I was ill-prepared for at the time bc I had a hatchling enclosure fully set up but still, everything turned out after a few adjustments and the building of an outdoor pen! I’m happy with the exchange. I do wish the original hatchling wasn’t sent so early bc that’s what proved to be fatal and I wish a better choice was made for the baby. But that was out of my control. My kids were devastated and it was a situation I wish I/we hadn’t experienced!
However, as a company they guaranteed live arrival and delivered on their promise.

Every person who has bad experiences, I genuinely feel bad about; for the sake of the animal.
Having that hatchling die was awful and cruel and sad. It could’ve been avoided so my review could’ve turned into a “bad” one but I am looking at it from a customer service/business deal and trying to see the positives bc no one is perfect! I don’t think that Backwater intentionally caused this so I can’t blame them. I just know that they showed integrity in replacing as they guarantee. To me, that matters.

Will I ever buy a turtle/tort from a broker or company again? Likely not. Now that I met some great breeders and have had the opportunity to see the selection of rescues needing homes most of the time.
That too is a preference, a personal opinion and a learned experience. In many ways, there is more “risk” as a customer, to go through a person or private breeder for purchase rather than a company bc of the love arrival guarantee and/or replacement. A company will be able to replace easier with more availability than a person/private breeder and they are more easily held accountable for those transactions. Both sides of the coin.
 

TechnoCheese

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
4,119
Location (City and/or State)
Lewisville, Texas
I am a person who tries to see both sides.
No one will ever be fully loved by ALL.
Even being loved by some is difficult at times.
Mainly because people’s opinions differ and are mostly driven by emotions.
I often wonder if the people who are critical are being fair? Are they asking a company to do something outside of the parameters of their abilities? Are they expecting something for nothing and being unreasonable? What are the details behind the bad deal?
With that being said, I’m not judging and making the determination that their claims are wrong and never accusing anyone. Just wondering how a company stays in business if they are truly THAT bad?! In my experience, that isn’t usually the case or no one would buy their product. Is Backwater really dishonest and involved in scamming or conducting bad business? It’s hard to get a true reading, hearing only one side.

Three years ago, they sold me a pair of box turtle hatchlings.
One died and it wasn’t my fault; she came to me and never ate while the other one thrived (same enclosure). I made video documentation of my experience from opening the box upon arrival (just in case there were any unforeseen issues) and allowed them to view my setup/enclosure/diet/husbandry so they too could determine that the death was nothing I did wrong. They decided in less than 24 hours and sent me another box turtle. They asked if a full grown one would be ok bc they were out of hatchlings. I agreed. They did charge me $49.99 to ship it NDA which wasn’t quite right but nonetheless, I got a healthy adult female as a replacement. (I suspect she was a retired breeder bc she still lays eggs like clockwork and won’t eat them; obviously infertile). I thought it was weird that they knew very little about her and she was definitely a free-roaming adult which I was ill-prepared for at the time bc I had a hatchling enclosure fully set up but still, everything turned out after a few adjustments and the building of an outdoor pen! I’m happy with the exchange. I do wish the original hatchling wasn’t sent so early bc that’s what proved to be fatal and I wish a better choice was made for the baby. But that was out of my control. My kids were devastated and it was a situation I wish I/we hadn’t experienced!
However, as a company they guaranteed live arrival and delivered on their promise.

Every person who has bad experiences, I genuinely feel bad about; for the sake of the animal.
Having that hatchling die was awful and cruel and sad. It could’ve been avoided so my review could’ve turned into a “bad” one but I am looking at it from a customer service/business deal and trying to see the positives bc no one is perfect! I don’t think that Backwater intentionally caused this so I can’t blame them. I just know that they showed integrity in replacing as they guarantee. To me, that matters.

Will I ever buy a turtle/tort from a broker or company again? Likely not. Now that I met some great breeders and have had the opportunity to see the selection of rescues needing homes most of the time.
That too is a preference, a personal opinion and a learned experience. In many ways, there is more “risk” as a customer, to go through a person or private breeder for purchase rather than a company bc of the love arrival guarantee and/or replacement. A company will be able to replace easier with more availability than a person/private breeder and they are more easily held accountable for those transactions. Both sides of the coin.
I agree that there will always be a customer who isn’t happy. But when a very large portion of their animals, not just tortoises, come dead or sick? They are absolutely not a breeder that should be bought from, recommended, or forgiven. A good breeder might have a few bad reviews. But a good breeder will not have an overwhelming amount of negative reviews and “horror stories” simply upon searching their name. Here’s an example from YouTube- IMG_1907.jpg

I believe that when so many people go through this because they were misinformed about the breeder, or assumed that anyone breeding and selling animals would be able to ship healthy ones, it is very fair to be critical.

Also keep in mind that while good breeders will usually have bad reviews, the worst breeders will always have good ones.

If a breeder sends you a dead or sick animal and multiple people have had the exact same experience, does sending you another one that could have the same fate all the while making you pay shipping make up for it? In my eyes, absolutely not.
 
Last edited:

Erinelle

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2018
Messages
31
Location (City and/or State)
Hales Corners, WI
I agree that there will always be a customer who isn’t happy. But when a very large portion of their animals, not just tortoises, come dead or sick? They are absolutely not a breeder that should be bought from, recommended, or forgiven. A good breeder might have a few bad reviews. But a good breeder will not have an overwhelming amount of negative reviews and “horror stories” simply upon searching their name. Here’s an example from YouTube- View attachment 262110

I believe that when so many people go through this because they were misinformed about the breeder, or assumed that anyone breeding and selling animals would be able to ship healthy ones, it is very fair to be critical.

Also keep in mind that while good breeders will usually have bad reviews, the worst breeders will always have good ones.

If a breeder sends you a dead or sick animal and multiple people have had the exact same experience, does sending you another one that could have the same fate all the while making you pay shipping make up for it? In my eyes, absolutely not.
Those are very valid points.
I have not read each of the good or the bad reviews.
I was trying to be clear of judgement or a biased opinion to be fair.
However, you’re absolutely right.
Shipping a new animal to me at my cost doesn’t really make up for what’s already done to that animal (and numerous other dead animals, shipped to others!)
It certainly isn’t a justified practice to make the customer pay shipping a second time for a mistake that shouldn’t have happened in the first place and is no fault of the customers.

Rhetorically speaking.....Why are DOA’s happening in the first place? Are they selling sick animals?
I can’t imagine they’d be in business long if that’s the case.
Have you personally had any experiences with them?

Thank you for shedding light from a different view.

You’ve convinced me to watch/read a few of these reviews.....”if” I can stomach it! ;)
 

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