Ethical Dilemma Question

zovick

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Quick update. The buyer will be receiving a new hatchling and keeping the other one. Seems like he is happy about the resolution. I have learned my lesson.
Very well done. As Mark noted above, this person may now both refer other buyers to you and become a repeat buyer of your tortoises himself based on this pleasant experience.

He now feels that you have addressed his concern with compassion and does not feel as though you took advantage of him as he would have had you just said "tough luck" or something similar and done nothing.
 

Cathie G

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To me it would be more like a beauty mark and special. I guess for certain people you should disclose that...or anyone else just in case they expect perfect cosmetics. Even the perfect ones can have hidden birth defects just like us. I wouldn't beat yourself up over it.
 

G-stars

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There are many reasons why I did it. First was to make sure the buyer was happy. To get what he thought he paid for. Also the reason why I am not asking for the tortoise back is because of quarantine issues, I’d rather lose out on the cost of one hatchling then lose an entire collection.

From a business point of view, which is not what I am. This makes sense on so many levels, one negative review can cost a business dearly. When I review products I always look at what the negative reviews say never the positive ones. I could care less if it has 5000 5-star reviews, I will see what the 1,& 2-star reviews say and then make my decision whether or not to buy that product.
 

Cathie G

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There are many reasons why I did it. First was to make sure the buyer was happy. To get what he thought he paid for. Also the reason why I am not asking for the tortoise back is because of quarantine issues, I’d rather lose out on the cost of one hatchling then lose an entire collection.

From a business point of view, which is not what I am. This makes sense on so many levels, one negative review can cost a business dearly. When I review products I always look at what the negative reviews say never the positive ones. I could care less if it has 5000 5-star reviews, I will see what the 1,& 2-star reviews say and then make my decision whether or not to buy that product.
Yes.
 

turtlesailor

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I think you should disclose it from the beginning. Some people tend think extra scute mean lower grade. Bad health. But it not. It just a odd beauty.

Some breeders, vendors do sell extra scutes with a discount too.
 

turtlesteve

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Your response went above and beyond in my book.

I did have a hard time seeing the extra scute in the photo, but would have considered it my error for missing it. That being said, I don’t mind as much as some people and happily take advantage of discounts. I do think really crazy scute patterns confer a slightly higher risk for abnormal growth.
 

KarenSoCal

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I don't understand why someone would get so upset over an extra or split scutes. The animal underneath is the same.

Are aberrant scutes hereditary? Will the offspring of this baby have aberrant scutes?

I agree with the resolution of the OP's problem. I just don't get all the hoopla. It's not like we have conformation shows for tortoises.
 

jsheffield

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Again, as always, I'm impressed by the thoughtful and well-mannered discussion here on TFO.

You've already gotten lots of replies, and I think your answer is a good one. If it were me, I think I'd offer either a retroactive discount or to let them swap out the tortoise.

Part of the struggle is that if you're in the business of selling tortoises in this somewhat small world, you need to build and maintain your sterling reputation and although I don't think you did anything wrong, it could be perceived that way by some (including this customer)... a negative transactional experience has a longer half-life and a longer reach than does a good one, so it's often worth it to "fix" a problem even if it's not strictly your fault.

JMHO, YMMV.

Jamie
 

EllyMae

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I think it should be disclosed, but I think if an animal is healthy, imperfections add to its character.
It reminds me of a time when I was a kid (6 years old or so), I was helping my dad refinish a table. We were sanding it. I was sanding a leg. The legs were kinda like baluster spindles. I got distracted by talking to my dad. I looked down and I had sanded down the curves from the leg being turned to straight. I was very upset I had messed up and ruined the whole table.
My dad told me not to worry, it gave the table character. It made it special.

If everyone looks alike, then no one is special.
 

Chefdenoel10

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Amen to that.
Right????..... why did he get a two for one price!??? Maybe that’s WHY he complained?? He figured you’d be so apologetic that you’d just throw him another one. Seems to me if he was soooooooo upset he SHOULD have given it back! Poor little tortoise. He was super cute with all those scutes. It made him different and maybe WORTH more money???
I don’t like this guy for keeping him. Is he gonna treat him bad because he is different????? Is he gonna love him less?
That’s bad parenting ! And the tortoise suffers.... 😭😭😤
 

Blackdog1714

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I am no expert and saw that beauty on the first go! I would have been silent and not said a word! I just hope buyer treats them as well as you do!
 

Devilineangeletti

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Hello to everyone,

I would like to know everyone’s opinion on this subject matter from breeder(seller) to owner(buyer). So let’s cut to the chase, here’s the dilema. I recently sold some tortoises about a month ago, before I sold them this particular person (not sure if he’s a member here or not) had the choice of which 3 tortoises he wanted out of 12. The 3 I sent pictures of to him were ready to ship, the other 9 I hadn’t deemed ready to ship yet. But regardless I sent him pictures of the other 9 as well if he wanted to wait a bit longer.

He decided he liked the 3 older ones. So all went well, I shipped them, they arrived well. Everything was okay and still is okay health wise. Today that person texts me and states that he doesn’t trust me and I didn’t take clear pictures. Apparently almost a month later and several pictures after he saw that one had extra scutes. He’s very upset about it and I apologized for not disclosing it. I quite honestly was not trying to sneak in a “B grade tortoise” as he calls it.

My question to y’all is, should I have disclosed it from the beginning or let the pictures do the talking? I mean he had 12 to choose from, only 2 had extra scutes out of the 12.

Here’s one of the pictures I sent that clearly shows that the top one has extra scutes.
View attachment 297763


@Tom @Markw84 @Kapidolo Farms
They are all cute. Picky isn't he?
 

chartle

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Hello to everyone,

I would like to know everyone’s opinion on this subject matter from breeder(seller) to owner(buyer). So let’s cut to the chase, here’s the dilema. I recently sold some tortoises about a month ago, before I sold them this particular person (not sure if he’s a member here or not) had the choice of which 3 tortoises he wanted out of 12. The 3 I sent pictures of to him were ready to ship, the other 9 I hadn’t deemed ready to ship yet. But regardless I sent him pictures of the other 9 as well if he wanted to wait a bit longer.

He decided he liked the 3 older ones. So all went well, I shipped them, they arrived well. Everything was okay and still is okay health wise. Today that person texts me and states that he doesn’t trust me and I didn’t take clear pictures. Apparently almost a month later and several pictures after he saw that one had extra scutes. He’s very upset about it and I apologized for not disclosing it. I quite honestly was not trying to sneak in a “B grade tortoise” as he calls it.

My question to y’all is, should I have disclosed it from the beginning or let the pictures do the talking? I mean he had 12 to choose from, only 2 had extra scutes out of the 12.

Here’s one of the pictures I sent that clearly shows that the top one has extra scutes.
View attachment 297763


@Tom @Markw84 @Kapidolo Farms
They are so very cute!
 

jaizei

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I don't understand why someone would get so upset over an extra or split scutes. The animal underneath is the same.

Are aberrant scutes hereditary? Will the offspring of this baby have aberrant scutes?

I agree with the resolution of the OP's problem. I just don't get all the hoopla. It's not like we have conformation shows for tortoises.

It's not a 'controllable' trait, and usually takes away from symmetry. If someone was able to produce animals with the irregular "zippered" scute pattern on purpose, it would become a designer trait.
 

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