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AnnieLancaster

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Tom said:
I hope they are reading this thread, and I hope they realize the HUGE customer service error they have committed. They should have been apologetic, even if the mistake wasn't theirs. If it WAS their mistake then they would have acted correctly. If it wasn't then YOU, Yvonne, would have felt really bad and they would have gotten some fantastic free advertising and a glowing recommendation from a very influential person with a large audience.

What has happened to common sense in business these days? Phone trees, lawsuit threats, non-returned phone calls or e-mails, lack of attention to detail, total outright complacency... We've all seen these things and worse from SOOOOO many companies out there. I just got off the phone with a company who was supposed to call me back three weeks ago. The reason given for not calling me back was that they have been preparing for a large show. I'm a paying customer with a defective product and all they care about is potential customers at the show.

At least we can send a potent message to these sort of companies with our pocket books.

To turtlestuff.com: What kind of company are you? We, the community of Tortoise forum.org, are generally very willing to forgive and forget, IF the right thing is done. The ball is back in your court, how would you like to proceed?

Hello Tom,

Well, here I am.

What a kind of a business are we? A small one, but one that has been around for more than a decade. One that goes to great lengths to try to collect native seed for desert tortoises (Gopherus species) and one that keeps excellent records.

This issue of people posting inaccurate things to the Internet about businesses is a real problem.

If a customer does not receive an order we know we have shipped, we ship a replacement order free of charge. We don't even make them jump through hoops unless it is a large order, we just send another.

We keep excellent records-we have a copy of every order (and attempted order) for the past several years.

Had someone simply emailed us asking where the order was-we would have responded, but no one did.

Usually by the time we do respond, the customer has already received the order they are inquiring about. Sometimes mail gets into SPAM folders, and we do our best to keep on top of that-although sometimes, something does slip through the cracks.

We're not out there to rip anyone off-were that the case we'd have been gone long ago. At time when we are out actively collecting seed, yes, orders are often delayed. We cannot be everywhere at once-but then again, we aren't running a 7-11 here. We test sprout, hand collect and hand clean many pounds of organic, desert native seed per year. Our customers understand and appreciate this.

We never threatened to sue Yvonne, never used the words sue, lawsuit, or anything of that nature. We simply stated (exact words) Please be advised that any communication from you (or by anyone else on your behalf) will be forwarded to our attorney

This was stated so that IF things got ugly, someone couldn't come to us later, stating "I didn't know you were going to forward my email."

I'm sorry it had to come to this, however I hope everyone can understand that from our point of view, and having to revisit this same issue over and over again-it gets VERY old. There ARE people using the Internet who have repeatedly done this because they think it's funny. Would you find any humor in it if it were your business?

I hope that people can realize that when they make statements-those statements are damaging-whether made against a business or an individual. If that business deserves it, fine. But if not it really isn't fair, is it?

And NO, we are no way related to turtlesale.com! We have never sold live animals-and never will. We feel adoption is the best way to find a reptilian (or mammalian) friend. Too many animals need homes, and there aren't enough good homes to go around. As a rehabber of more than 20 years, I know that first hand.

As you can see, I am not hiding from this (or any other issue).

I now consider the ball out of our court-and hopefully onto more positive things. Hopefully, one of those things will be that people think twice before posting a public message that literally thousands of other people may read.

Kindest regards,
Annie Lancaster
 

kimber_lee_314

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I have had numerous problems when ordering from turtlestuff.com. Once, after I didn't receive my order, I sent many emails to find out if it had been shipped - no answer. When I threatened to cancel my order via the credit card I did finally get a reply stating my order had been damaged in shipping. No problem - but a reply about it would have been nice. The order came three months after placing it. I order from Carolina Pet Supply when I can - much better service. Turtlestuff does have a nice DT mix though I'm not sure it's worth all the hassle.

By the way, not too long ago it was posted on another forum that the owner's computer system crashed and she had no record of the orders. Let me see if I can find a date for you.

This was dated February 28th:

Annie Lancaster, owner of Turtlestuff.com and list owner for Gopherus and
Tortoise Nutrition, has been hit by a MAJOR malware attack and her computer
system was wiped out COMPLETELY. Blue Screen of Death and corruption hard
drive and operating system type - BAD.
She is in the process of rebuilding (gawd I hope it doesn't take as long as
it did me this last time - 7 or 8 total reformats and finally bought new
computer).
She is, at the present time, unable to process orders, answer e-mails,
respond to queries, etc. etc.
She called me and asked that I relay this information to all concerned and
ask that everyone please be patient, she is working on rebuilding computer
as we speak and will reinstall backup information as quickly as possible.
 

AnnieLancaster

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kimber_lee_314 said:
I have had numerous problems when ordering from turtlestuff.com. Once, after I didn't receive my order, I sent many emails to find out if it had been shipped - no answer. When I threatened to cancel my order via the credit card I did finally get a reply stating my order had been damaged in shipping. No problem - but a reply about it would have been nice. The order came three months after placing it. I order from Carolina Pet Supply when I can - much better service. Turtlestuff does have a nice DT mix though I'm not sure it's worth all the hassle.

By the way, not too long ago it was posted on another forum that the owner's computer system crashed and she had no record of the orders. Let me see if I can find a date for you.

I can post that message for you, it stated we had no email because we'd been hit with Mal-Ware-and that orders were on a separate server and were safe. This was sent to everyone subscribed to our mailing list-Don Williams posted that message because we had zero email access and wanted to let everyone know we'd been hit with a nasty virus.

YES, as stated before, sometimes orders ARE delayed when we are collecting seed, which we do in a three state area, and even in good years down to Baja. But, you did receive your order!

Here you go, this should save you some hunting...

Annie Lancaster

> "From: TurtleStuff Dot Com [mailto:eek:[email protected]: Tuesday, March 02, 2010 5:14 PM
To: TurtleStuff Dot Com
Subject: TURTLESTUFF.COM UPDATE & PROMO CODE

Greetings,
We were hit with malware, rendering our operating system severely
corrupted and inoperable. We are doing everything possible to get back
online as quickly as is humanly possible. (This is being written from
a Kinkos!)

Malware viruses get past anti-virus software with no problem, which is
what happened to us.

The following article may be helpful so that you may avoid the problem
we and thousands of others) have had in recent weeks.
http://antivirus.about.com/b/2010/01/21/microsoft-releases-zero-day-pa
tch.htm

We have numerous layers of virus protection, but none of it identified
this problem until it was far too late. We have never had a problem like this before.

Our shipment of Grassland Gold Tortoise Diet (formerly Sulcata Gold)
arrives next week, and ALL orders will be filled at that time. If you
ordered more than a quantity of ONE already, please rest assured, your
order will ship as soon as it arrives here. All backorders will also
be filled at that time.

PLEASE NOTE: Until we are back online, we are unable to respond to any
emails you send to us. Your orders and other information are stored
on another server, and are safe/not affected, so please don't worry.

We do not run executable scripts on our site, so you cannot become
infected via ou siter, but many sites that do use certain types of
scripts may be vulnerable.

If you would still like to place an order and don't mind the wait, we
are offering a 10% discount on all items (except for Ectotherm
products) from 5:00 PM PST today, until Friday, March 5, 2010. To
enjoy the discount, your order must be over $25.00, not including
shipping charges. The promotional code is MAL-WARE and should be entered only during final checkout.

Kindest regards,
TurtleStuff.com

And this is the second message we sent to all subscribers, to give them an update as to what was happening:

From: TurtleStuff Dot Com [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 12:59 PM
To: TurtleStuff Dot Com
Subject: TurtleStuff.com UPDATE-and Sulcata Gold

Greetings everyone,
Are your tortoises beginning to awaken from their winter slumber? Make sure to give them plenty of fresh, clean water and allow them to start eating slowly. Hopefully, they've awakened happy, healthy and ready to bask this season.
Runny noses (cloudy or colored), open mouth breathing, swollen eyes, and lethargy (other than being "sleepy") are all issues that require a visit to the vet.
If you didn't know, we were hit with an incredibly destructive mal-ware virus. Even after extensive data recovery efforts, a lot of data was lost. Resolving this issue has taken several weeks, has been incredibly frustrating, time consuming, and has been costly.

All incoming orders were on a different server and safe, however we could not access that database until we were certain the mal-ware had been completely eliminated.

Orders are shipping all week. You may check your PayPal account for delivery confirmation numbers. Please note: We ship commercially, and packages are not always scanned at the point of origin. Often, the USPS doesn't scan packages until close to delivery destination, so if there isn't "tracking information" available yet, please do not be concerned!!

Grassland Gold Tortoise Diet ships Monday, March 29, 2010. Our shipment was delayed one day, and arrives here Friday afternoon. We also have Forest Gold Tortoise Diet in stock.

Please be certain you are running multiple types of software to (try to) avoid what happened to us. This has been a nightmare you truly don't want

Thank you, everyone-for your patience and understanding while we've had to deal with this issue.

TurtleStuff.com
http://turtlestuff.com

As you can see, we did all we could to notify everyone of the problem. I don't know of anything else that could have been done?

I consider this matter closed, and hope others do as well.

Annie Lancaster
 

elvis

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emysemys said:
I just read a rather scathing email from turtlestuff.com telling me they are considering suing me for libel because I mentioned on the forum that I placed an order around the first of March for my sister, Maggie, in Corvallis, Or, and we still haven't received the order.

Turtlestuff.com says they don't have an order from me, and yet I know that I placed the order. I haven't yet received my credit card statement, so I don't know yet if the charges have shown up on the statement.

This seems like pretty strong language for a one time statement made here on the forum and once on the WCT list, so I'm thinking that other folks must have made a similar statement and mine was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

They want me to apologize, which I'm not going to do until I get my credit card statement. I didn't make a false statement. I DID place an order for seeds and showed the delivery address to my sister in Corvallis. She still hasn't received the seeds.

Since they are coming on so strong, I can only assume that my order was not logged somehow, and I failed to save any of the screens where I placed the order, or make a note of any order #.

So, I guess I'm in big trouble with Turtlestuff.com! And they've blocked my email address from ever joining their online tortoise group. Oh My!


Yvonne, no worries I've got your back. Or we shall go to prison together. I've been extremely unhappy with my few experiences with turtlestuff.com ..... and have never dealt with them again !!!
 
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Italianlnm

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Where did they see this remark? And, I don't think I understand..

You aren't allowed to state a fact, that you haven't gotten your package from them? I don't get what is wrong about that?
 

Yvonne G

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Italianlnm said:
Where did they see this remark? And, I don't think I understand..

You aren't allowed to state a fact, that you haven't gotten your package from them? I don't get what is wrong about that?

What it boils down to is that for some unknown reason my order wasn't received by them but they refuse to understand and they think that I'm lying about placing an order.
 

Kymiie

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Well its their loss!
A customer tells more people about a bad experiance, than what they do with good experiance!
Thats why they r being like this as they thought u might loos them customers, but now by you posting this and told us how irrisponsible they have been about the situation they r loosing their own customers

Ive studies business studies now for 4 years and we deal with this stuff all the time with supermarkets ect..well i say deal.. i mean learn then we have to say what laws r involved etc lol!!
 

Stephanie Logan

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Wow, I just saw this thread.

I've got to say that I read threads on this forum pretty often but never saw/remembered Yvonne posting that she didn't get her turtlestuff.com order. Now that all this has come out I am wondering why turtlestuff sent such a harshly-worded rebuke to someone for stating a fact. It would have been much easier (and more profitable) to inquire what the order was and when it was placed, and then work to get the order filled. Fault and finger pointing and threats and prohibitions on joining a forum group leave a pretty sour impression of customer service practices at turtlestuff.

I have seen Yvonne admit that she is wrong on so many occasions that I know she wasn't trying to badmouth anyone; she would have been the first one to let the forum know that there was a misunderstanding that had been set right if that had been the case. Yvonne has such a stellar reputation on this forum that turtlestuff really did itself a disservice to attack her first and ask questions later...
 
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Italianlnm

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Well, I don't get what the big deal is about you saying on a forum that you never received your package, etc.. How can they get mad at that?

I mean, I understand them getting mad, sure.. but how can they do anything about it anyway? Isn't that why we have the Bill of Rights??

And Yvonne, is such an honest person (I am so with Steph on this), that if she had made a mistake, rather than them, she would be one of the first to admit it..
 

pugsandkids

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Free speech is still a right, correct? I'm allowed to bad mouth any business I'm unhappy with. As are people allowed to bad mouth my business, if they so desire. Get over it!
( The turtlestuff.com folks, not our forum members)
Now I have one less choice to make when it comes to supplies ;D
 

kimber_lee_314

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They do have great supplies - especially seeds - just be prepared to wait a while.
 

dmmj

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Just FYI slander and libel are not covered in free speech, not saying any was done here but you can "badmouth" a business as long as it is not libel or slander.
 

Madortoise

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Well, after reading this thread, what I'm left is is a sense that this vendor could have handled things differently (even on the response to this thread) and that I will most likely not want to order from this vendor especially for anything crucial that I must have. If there were a slightest chance of Yvonne's order being lost due to their computer problem, they could have reflected on the possibility and apologized themselves, do what they needed to do to satisfy the customer. What is business without customers and reputations? That's just me with my good old work ethic.
 

-ryan-

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Leaves a bad taste in your mouth doesn't it? I don't deal with any business that I have had negative experiences with, because there are so many other options. It all boils down to the fact that I work hard for my money (isn't it funny how the small businesses are always complaining about how difficult it is to run their business? As if I get money handed to me all day. I'm self-employed... the smallest of businesses). If they aren't going to treat me with the utmost respect for choosing to give them my money over someone else, then I don't need to work with them.

Remember small businesses (or any businesses), if I am paying you for your goods or services, you work for ME.
 

RichardS

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-ryan- said:
Remember small businesses (or any businesses), if I am paying you for your goods or services, you work for ME.

Most small business owners I know would laugh you right out of their store if you said that.
 

-ryan-

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RichardS said:
-ryan- said:
Remember small businesses (or any businesses), if I am paying you for your goods or services, you work for ME.

Most small business owners I know would laugh you right out of their store if you said that.

Then they don't deserve to have my money. I'll take it somewhere else. When I pay a small business for their goods or services I am hiring them. I am more than willing to fire them as well. But I think you've just made a great point for me, that many small business owners have forgotten where their money comes from. It wouldn't bother me if the small business owner "laughed me right out of their store", however that means they are that much further from paying their bills and making a profit. Good for them! :) I see a lot of small businesses go under around here because of that attitude. The ones that survive aren't even always the ones that offer the best products, prices, or services (unfortunately) but the ones that offer the best customer service.

Thanks for helping prove my point.
 

RichardS

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-ryan- said:
Then they don't deserve to have my money. I'll take it somewhere else. When I pay a small business for their goods or services I am hiring them. I am more than willing to fire them as well. But I think you've just made a great point for me, that many small business owners have forgotten where their money comes from. It wouldn't bother me if the small business owner "laughed me right out of their store", however that means they are that much further from paying their bills and making a profit. Good for them! :) I see a lot of small businesses go under around here because of that attitude. The ones that survive aren't even always the ones that offer the best products, prices, or services (unfortunately) but the ones that offer the best customer service.

Thanks for helping prove my point.

No problem. I am a particular fan of the idiom: You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That goes for the customer too. No ones dollar is worth more than the next.
 

-ryan-

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RichardS said:
-ryan- said:
Then they don't deserve to have my money. I'll take it somewhere else. When I pay a small business for their goods or services I am hiring them. I am more than willing to fire them as well. But I think you've just made a great point for me, that many small business owners have forgotten where their money comes from. It wouldn't bother me if the small business owner "laughed me right out of their store", however that means they are that much further from paying their bills and making a profit. Good for them! :) I see a lot of small businesses go under around here because of that attitude. The ones that survive aren't even always the ones that offer the best products, prices, or services (unfortunately) but the ones that offer the best customer service.

Thanks for helping prove my point.

No problem. I am a particular fan of the idiom: You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That goes for the customer too. No ones dollar is worth more than the next.

I agree completely, which is why I approach transactions with a positive attitude (as I have stated, I like my money to go to the right people). If a business does not value the fact that I am willing to give them my hard-earned cash then they will not get it. Maybe it doesn't make much of a difference, and maybe it does. In the past year I was ready to pull the trigger on a $2700 purchase. When I say "ready to pull the trigger" I mean that we had already run the credit card through and all I had left to do was authorize it with a signature. All of a sudden, once the cashier felt confident that he had my sale, he started changing some of the original agreements of the purchase, assuming that at this point in the transaction that wouldn't cause a loss of the sale. I didn't get mad, I didn't yell. I very politely said "This purchase isn't going to happen" and had the cashier undo the charge on my credit card. I think losing a $2700 purchase stings for any business. This was this particular business's second chance. I had to do almost the same thing with a $400 purchase the year earlier. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and they tried the same old tricks, and that's intolerable.

As consumers we need to realize that we are the ones in power, not the businesses.
 

TortieLuver

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That's unfortunate. How stressful that must be. I know I have received a few e-mails from them stating the on-line problems they are having with their site, even issuing coupons to make-up for the inconvenience. Perhaps something just happened when ordering on-line with their site, but very overboard on their part to make statements to you like that.
 
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