Friday, January 1, 2010

Petland - another consumer relations failure

This seems like the season for consumer relations failures to me, not the Season to be jolly. Once again I find myself in the position of being at the wrong end of a consumer relations failure. I am the consumer. I've been buying my pets and petfood on and off from the local petland for about 17 years. There seems to be a new manager there. None of the people I've spoken to after this incident had anything good to say about him. We bought some bird food there, in August, 2009. Like a trusting consumer I brought it home and put it away with my other birdfood.

But I digress, the problem really started when we started getting an indoor infestation of moths. We put one of those Bug and Fly Catcher Ribbons (Fly Paper) and it was filled with moths within a couple of days. We've changed it many times since. We kept trying to locate the source of the moths and couldn't. We repackaged just about everything in the kitchen area. Finally we were changing the bird's cage and were low on food. I went to look in the cabinet for bird seed and found the package we had bought in August. I was just about to open it when I saw that it was completely filled with web like ganglia connecting all the seed balls. When I looked more carefully I saw green moth larvae crawling around inside the SEALED bag.

When I turned the bag over I saw the expiration/use by date on the bag was 02/20/09. The bag of seed was sold to us after the expiration date.
We took the seed bag back to the Petland store where we had bought it. The manager there said that since they hadn't sold that item since September, it was older than 3 months old and so therefore he could not refund or exchange according to policy (I just looked on the Petland website and see nothing about 3 months in their return policy). He refused to budge on this. The previous manager said if we ever had a problem just bring the unused or unopened package to him and he would take care of it - which he did. That is one reason we kept going back. Despite the fact that the seed company would refund our money in full if we return the sealed package, apparently Petland was unwilling to take it back and keep a customer. For the measely 7.99 that store has lost the thousands of dollars we spend there annually on petfood, because there is no way that we are going back there.
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