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Old 06-07-19, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Reptile Basics "Customer Service"

Has anyone else had issues with the customer service at Reptile Basics? Several months ago I bought a VE-300X2 second hand from a local reptile dealer. Initially, I just had Jerkface's viv hooked up to it (using zone 1) and it worked just fine. When I went to set up Jerkface's new, larger viv, I figured I could just hook up his new Ultratherm heat mat and thermostat to zone 2 on the device, let the temps and humidity reach optimum levels and move him right on over. Eventually, after we move in a couple of years and I have space to put both snakes in 24X48 vivs from Animal Plastics, my intention was to run both vivs off the VE-300X2 because that's what it's designed for.

Long story short, (I know, too late) I wasn't able to get the device to recognize the second set of devices plugged into zone 2 and I wasn't able to find a menu option to activate them so I contacted RB customer service with a very simple question: "How do I activate the zone 2 controls?" I had explained that I bought it second hand and, instead of simply answering my very simple question they told me to send it to them and they'd take a look. So, at my expense, I shipped the device back to them.

6 emails and one escalation up the customer service ladder later, they are insisting that the zone two controls work FINE and I just need to activate them (and apparently they think I'm too stupid to know I need to hit an "enter" key), but for some reason, they have refused to answer my repeated inquiries as to WHERE the option to activate them resides. I scrolled through the device's menu several times looking for said option and was never able to find it and their instructions offered no help whatsoever.

I've asked them the same question 3 times now and they refuse to answer it. Instead they've asked me how I want to proceed now that they are in possession of my device. At this point I'm ready to tell them to throw the damn thing off a bridge and just stick with my cheap-and-cheerful $20 greenhouse thermostats. They may not be fancy, professional grade, pulse proportional, dual channel thermostats, but they have clear instructions and don't require an engineering degree to operate.

Worst. Customer Service. Ever. I will *never* buy anything from these jokers again. Does anyone know another company that makes dual channel thermostats?

Last edited by phenyx; 06-07-19 at 12:32 PM..
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Old 06-07-19, 01:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Basics "Customer Service"

I've bought from them several times, and other than slow response time to emails and phone calls, have been satisfied.
However when dealing with companies in general, sometimes it is very difficult to get a straight answer to a simple question. Sometimes extreme bluntness helps, sometimes not.
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Old 06-07-19, 01:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Basics "Customer Service"

A great example of a company with amazing products, but somewhat lacking in regards to customer service. You're not alone there.
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Old 06-07-19, 01:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Basics "Customer Service"

I've found customer service as a whole is just plain horrible these days. I've had horrible experiences with customer service for cable/internet companies, cell phone companies, retail stores, the company who made my TV, even my former Drs staff was brutal.

It's really too bad. Without customers companies would be out of business. Companies should be bending over backwards to make sure their customers are happy. But apparently the bottom line is far more important. Sad.
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Old 06-07-19, 04:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Basics "Customer Service"

Does anybody here know how to access the activation screen for the zone 2 controls on the VE-300X2? Second hand or not, I still paid a pretty penny for that device and I'd like to be able to use it as it was intended if I can't find another dual channel option.

I scrolled through all the menu options several times and could not find it. The second jerk (finally found his name - Rich Goldzung) I corresponded with claimed to have made a video of him setting up zone 2 on my device but conveniently "forgot" to actually include the link in his email. Even if he had included the link, all VE-300X2s look the same so how would I know it's actually mine in the video?
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Old 06-09-19, 07:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Basics "Customer Service"

I've never used Vivarium Electronics models at all. I only use Herpstats so I would refer you to Spyder Robotics who may be of some help. They feed on questions about thermostats. The other referral would be to Chris from "C" serpents racks and incubators. Sinice Chris actually sells the VE thermostats and is always willing to troubleshoot and help out keepers I would try him first. Don't have his direct number but if you " Google" C serpents racks , you can get the contact info.
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Old 06-10-19, 09:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Basics "Customer Service"

I’ve used Ve, helix and spider robotics. I prefer helix as I think of them as a workhorse. I think reptile basics has gone above and beyond in this situation. Most companies would have hung up as soon as they figured out it was bought second hand. That being said if you had done ANY research you would have found the instructions online. https://www.vivariumelectronics.com/...structions.doc
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Old 06-12-19, 03:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I’ve used Ve, helix and spider robotics. I prefer helix as I think of them as a workhorse. I think reptile basics has gone above and beyond in this situation. Most companies would have hung up as soon as they figured out it was bought second hand. That being said if you had done ANY research you would have found the instructions online. https://www.vivariumelectronics.com/...structions.doc

1. I didn't search online for the standard instructions because they were included with my device.

2. I read those instructions several times.

3. I scrolled through the menu on my particular device several times and, no matter how many times I did that, I still could not find the relative menu option on my particular device.

4. If any of the above had been sufficient, I would not have had to contact customer service to ask them where the activation screen was.

5. I contacted customer service for additional instructions because I assumed that I was missing something, and last time I checked, that's what customer service is supposed to be there for. Clearly I was mistaken. I don't know what their customer service is there for, but it is clearly not to provide assistance.

6. When I initially contacted customer service, I had no expectation that they would repair a second-hand device. All I wanted were additional instructions. When I did end up sending it to them at their suggestion, I requested an estimate of any necessary repair costs that I would have been happy to pay.

Last edited by phenyx; 06-12-19 at 03:30 PM..
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Old 06-12-19, 04:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Basics "Customer Service"

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I think reptile basics has gone above and beyond in this situation. Most companies would have hung up as soon as they figured out it was bought second hand.
I have to disagree. Good business would be to stand by your product. Even bought second hand, I think they did the right thing. Reputation goes a long way, and helping people with their products is a huge part of reputation.

I do agree that they went above and beyond by having phenyx send them the product to be repaired. That I wouldn't expect. But to speak to a "customer" about how to properly use their product should be expected, even second hand. And troubleshooting should be a service they offer to anybody using their product.
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Old 06-13-19, 07:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Basics "Customer Service"

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Originally Posted by Andy27012 View Post
Most companies would have hung up as soon as they figured out it was bought second hand. [/URL]
That's like saying someone purchased a used car privately and the dealership refused to deal with them because it wasn't bought direct. Not only is it unethical, but it would ruin any chances of a direct purchase in the future. Kind of a shame that anyone would have this mindset, but it's unfortunately true for some businesses.
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Old 06-13-19, 07:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Basics "Customer Service"

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That's like saying someone purchased a used car privately and the dealership refused to deal with them because it wasn't bought direct. Not only is it unethical, but it would ruin any chances of a direct purchase in the future. Kind of a shame that anyone would have this mindset, but it's unfortunately true for some businesses.
If the car was out of warranty most dealerships would tell you sorry, or offer to look at it for a fee. Time cost money. You canít realistically expect these companies to warranty every product they ever made forever. Snap on tools is one of the few I know who do that and even they donít warranty second hand. Itís not sorry customer service, itís realistic expectations and smart business.
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Old 06-14-19, 07:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Basics "Customer Service"

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If the car was out of warranty most dealerships would tell you sorry, or offer to look at it for a fee. Time cost money. You can’t realistically expect these companies to warranty every product they ever made forever. Snap on tools is one of the few I know who do that and even they don’t warranty second hand. It’s not sorry customer service, it’s realistic expectations and smart business.
...did I miss where the OP mentioned anything about warranty or a free repair, or did I use it in my example? From what I see, something for free besides instruction wasn't expected or offered, so what you're saying applies to nothing in this situation and my position on this is unchanged. If I did in fact miss something, that is my error and I would then agree with you.

Last edited by Andy_G; 06-14-19 at 07:37 AM..
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