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Old 03-17-03, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Boa Nightmare

I saw an ad in the kingsnake classifieds for a very nice, clean looking baby male BCI for $185 shipped. When I e-mailed Inner City Reptiles about him, they said that he was on sale that week only for $150 shipped, so I called them to discuss. They said he was about 1 ft long, eating, healthy, and had a good temperment. They said they would ship him overnight with heat packs to me here in Maine. I decided to buy with Paypal, and they said they would ship him out on Thursday.

I then got an e-mail from the breeder telling me that they had *just* noticed that he was too thin, and they didn't want to ship him. They offered to hold him and feed him up for a few weeks and then ship, or I could take another baby that they had in stock (I had been told in a previous phone conversation that he was the only baby they had). They said that someone had been feeding him mice that were too small, but that they had switched him up to *fuzzies* now, and he should put on weight, if I still wanted him (it's my understanding that baby BCIs can eat adult mice right off the bat) I was worried about the animal's health through shipment, too, so I accepted the substitution of another baby male BCI, even though the animal wasn't nearly as nice as the one I originally paid for (pictures of both were provided). I want a pet, not a breeder, so I decided to go for it. They said they would ship him out Friday for delivery on Saturday.

Saturday rolled around and he didn't arrive. I went to the Fedex website to track him, and the estimated arrival day according to Fedex was Monday, 3-17!! That means he would be in transit all weekend! I called Fedex immediately to figure out what was going on, since I was told he would arrive on Saturday. Fedex told me he had been shipped at 9pm Friday, overnight shipping, but that Saturday delivery had not been specified, so overnight delivery meant next business day delivery. I was very concerned because heat packs don't last that long, so I told Fedex that the box contained a live animal, and asked if there was any way he could be shipped in the cab of the truck and kept in warm areas overnight, because otherwise he would be DOA. That's when I learned that FEDEX DOES NOT ALLOW THE SHIPMENT OF LIVE ANIMALS!! The breeder should have known this!!!

Fedex has been very nice about this, however, since I was unaware, and promised to flag the box and do their best to keep him warm. Immediately after contacting Fedex, I called Inner City Reptiles to discuss everything with them, and plan what to do in case the boa was DOA. According to their answering machine, I called during business hours, but no one picked up. They have not returned my call since then (I called Saturday night, as I write this it is Monday morning)

The snake arrived this morning. He was ice cold, curled into a knot, and was starting to turn upside down. There was only one tiny heat pack in the box with him. The snake was put on a heat mat, and massaged vigorously. He is now moving around and behaving normally. I have Fedex to thank for his live arrival.

I will never again buy from Inner City Reptiles. They alomost killed this poor baby BCI with their recklessness, and still have not answered my phone call to account for their actions!

- Victoria :w
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Old 03-17-03, 12:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sadly, many companies illegally ship reptiles. Mostly it is "Don't ask, Don't tell". In my opinion, you should have had them not ship until Monday so the "weekend nightmare" could have been avoided. I am not blaming you for this, so dont' take it the wrong way It is merely learning how to use hindsight before hindsight happens Chalk it up to experience and a lesson learned.

Good luck with the baby boa, he should be fine if he is moving around now. Wait a week before attemptimg to feed him, but start him out on rat pinks, not mice. It will put more weight on him faster than the mice will (too much fur, not enough protein) without having to 'powerfeed'.
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Old 03-17-03, 12:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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OMG! I would hate to go through something like that... I'm happy your snake is still alive and seemingly perking up, let's hope the trip didn't cause any damage.

I would be going ballistic with the breeder!!!

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Old 03-17-03, 12:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the insight! I have thought about buying from them before, now I won't. They have lost bussiness from me now!
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Old 03-17-03, 01:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That is a shame that they were not smart enough to know that Sat delivery is extra.
They wont get any business from me.

You ought to put a post over at the BOI on Fuana Classifieds so that a broader audience can hear about your experience. Maje sure you have plenty of "proof" and dont forget to post your full name in the post.
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Old 03-17-03, 01:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I see you posted on the BOI. Good idea. Sorry about what happened.

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Old 03-17-03, 03:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's awful! But I'm SSSOOO happy to hear that the boa is okay, which is what's most important!

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Old 03-17-03, 03:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey guys, what happened was most likely 100% a mistake, they probably didnt know the policy and i am sure they wouldnt intentionally sent a boa for 3 days on purpose!! If these people are willing to own up to there mistakes and replace the boa if it arrives in poor condition then i dont think they deserve to not be dealt with again :P If they refuse to replace the boa if it arrives in bad conditions then its a completely differant story! I hope your boas arrives safe SnowFoxx, keep us updated! is offline  
Old 03-17-03, 05:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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He's moving and seems to be fine now. I handled him a bit (I know that's a "no-no", but I was so worried) and his little tongue was on overdrive, which I think i a good sign. I'll take the advice given and try feeding him in a week, and probably give him an week aftetr that to settle in before I start handling.

Thanks for the support on this guys!! This has been one headache after another, but at least he's ok! I did post on the BOI and on that other forum.

Inner City still had not returned my call.

- Victoria :w
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Old 03-17-03, 06:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Frankly, it's the not returning your call which bothers me the most. Sellers should know the policies of whichever carrier they use but the Saturday delivery issue may have been an honest oversight. Not returning a phone call from an unhappy customer is no oversight. That's a poor business practice.

I'm glad to hear that your snake seems to be doing well so far. I sincerely hope he settles in and does great under your care. I wish you two many happy years together.
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Old 03-17-03, 06:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Good to hear that so far so good. As for using a carrier whose policy is not to carry live animals is both the sender and receivers responsibility. You as a buyer have a right to say "no" to a particular method of shipment, providing you're willing to cover the cost of shipping in a different manner. if the shipper refuses to ship in the manner you wish (providing you aren't requesting them to take risks against the shippers policy or that are against the law) you also have the right to refuse to buy. These are live animals here, not grandma's cookies
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Old 03-17-03, 06:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I would have paid to have him shipped up here in the presidential limo if I had known his life would be in danger on this trip. I think I'm going to be angry for a long time, and it's going to take a lto before I can trust a breeder enough to buy from a picture again. It sucks that there aren't any herp shows I can get too, I'd MUCH rather buy in person!

- Victoria :w
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Old 03-17-03, 06:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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good, although ive seen cheaper
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Old 03-17-03, 08:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I feel really bad for you, sorry you had to go through all that. Hope it never happends again.

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Old 03-17-03, 08:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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OMG!!!!!! well, at least he is ok!! Poor Baby!
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