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General Business Discussions This is a general purpose forum open to business related topics concerning Reptiles and Amphibians that are neither appropriate for the Board of Inquiry, nor sales, purchase, or trade solicitations.

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Old 09-12-2003, 05:58 PM   #1
Seamus Haley
Hypothetical situation

Which, of course, means that it's an actual situation that just hasn't progressed to the point of using names yet, but we can all pretend, right?

Hypothetical Dealer obtains a good sized lot of animals (Lets say 35 for conversation's sake) some of which are going to be kept by people that the dealer knows locally, others of which are going to be sold online.

There are a number of transactions for individual animals or small numbers, no problems from anyone, lots of "Thanks for the (animal), looks great!" kinds of responses...

And one negative response.

An individual who purchased one of the animals online has said that there is a problem with the animal, it seems to have an onld injury in one of it's legs and the joint is swollen. There are pictures to verify this.

The response, of course, is to send the individual another animal at the dealer's cost. While the animals were all checked out, there were a good number of them and something might have slipped by, customer satisfaction is an important issue and the Dealer doesn't want to shaft a customer for what is likely their own mistake. The buyer is given the option of keeping the animal or sending it back at the dealer's cost and opts to keep it (return shipping is about equal to the cost of the animal).

The replacement animal is *very* carefully hand selected, every microscopic detail inspected by FIVE very qualified and competent people to make sure that there isn't even the slightest possibility of a chance for anything to be found that's wrong...

About thirty six hours after accepting delivery of the replacement animal, the buyer contacts the dealer to inform them that the new animal has the exact same problem as the first. This was not the case when it was packaged and shipped, but it seems to be the case now.

There are no photographs provided of the second animal.

The buyer claims to have a friend (unnamed) who reccognizes this problem as being a bacterial infection that's specific to the species in question and only attacks the rear legs. There is no name given for this bacteria, the dealer (a very experienced and well educated individual) has never heard of the condition, the dealer's friends (many of whom are big names in herpetology) have never heard of the condition and no results or answers can be found through reasearch both online and in a number of extensive personal libraries.

The other buyers of the animals from the same lot are all contacted, none of them are reporting identical problems. Out of the original thirty five, fifteen are still with the dealer and are having no difficulties whatsoever. Even given a slight hastening of any bacterial infections due to shipping, more than enough time has passed since the shipping of the complaining buyer's animals and the date the entire lot was obtained to make it clear that there is no problem. A vet local to the dealer was shown the remaining animals and asked to run the full battery of tests intended to locate and identify virulent bacteria or any other problems and came up empty, pronouncing the remaining animals extremely healthy.

At what point is it safe to assume that the buyer is simply greedy and believes themselves to be clever, trying to obtain additional animals at no cost?

If evidence is presented that there is something actually wrong with the animals, at what point can it be stated that the problem lies with the buyer's care or the conditions the animals have been subjected to since arriving (all times fall outside the dealer's stated policies and guarantees, including the original replacement)?

What approach would others suggest who may have been in this situation before?

What approach would other's suggest simply viewing the situation from entirely outside of the transaction?

How much is too much when it comes to making a problem transaction end (i.e.- cutting the losses)?

Any responses are appreciated.

Please keep in mind that this is a purely hypothetical situation... any similarities between this situation and any BOI threads that are started within the next week or two are purely coincidental.
Old 09-12-2003, 07:06 PM   #2
Odd Ball Exotics
Hypotheticaly, as the breeder/dealer I would demand pictures of BOTH animals side by side showing the condition. (This way pictures of the old animal cant be sent saying they are of the new animal). If pictures cant be sent too bad so sad. If the dealers conditions were clearly stated then he/she is not at fault as the buyer should have acted sooner or provided proof.

I find it suspect that the buyer could not provide a name for the bacteria and that pictures could not be provided....errr hypotheticaly.

The dealers past reputation should back him/her up in any unfounded attacks about sick animals. Also the policies of the dealer as well as the time line should put them in the free and clear. The dealer should also keep in contact with the buyers over the next few weeks to see if anything develops in any of the other animals and should go over the husbandry of the animals with the current buyer to make sure the animals are being housed/cared for properly.

Old 09-12-2003, 07:16 PM   #3
Darin Chappell
"At what point is it safe to assume that the buyer is simply greedy and believes themselves to be clever, trying to obtain additional animals at no cost?"

I would say that the hypothetical dealer would be at that point now, in the hypothetical situation.

To protect myself, were I in such a position, I think I would have the five who inspected the replacement animal prepare statements to be possibly used in response to any thread established here or anywhere else. I would also go ahead and scan whatever reports I had gotten from my vet, so that those too could be quickly revealed. That way, if anyone hypothetically started something against me here, I would cover them over with an avelanche of evidence showing that I had done everything within my power to please a customer that could not be, for what ever reason.

That what I would do, hypothetically speaking.
Old 09-12-2003, 08:15 PM   #4
Seamus Haley
That pretty much coincides with the determination that was made by the hypothetical individuals involved in the hypothetical situation, except the hypothetical dealer hypothetically offered to refund the buyer's hypothetical money minus the initial hypothetical shipping in order to simply end the hypothetical situation and not risk any more hypothetical animals which may or may not exist.
Old 09-13-2003, 06:21 AM   #5
Clay Davenport
A species specific bacteria that only attacks the rear legs? That sounds like the most hypothetical part of the entire story.
Old 09-13-2003, 10:12 AM   #6
Is that a big red firetruck with its hypothetical horn blaring and it's hypothetical siren screaming? It sure, hypothetically, sounds like one.

Or maybe its that old robot from Lost in Space yelling "Danger Will Robinson, Danger!" hypothetically, of course.

Wes Pollock
Old 09-13-2003, 10:22 AM   #7
Glenn Bartley
Hypothetically speaking, after hearing about the exact same condition, in the exact same sspot but on a second lizard - I would tell the buyer to hypothetically go screw him/herself and leave it at that. Of course since I am speaking hypothetically I am sure that I can only get a hypothetical warning... or so I would hope.
Old 09-15-2003, 11:06 AM   #8
Hypo, Hypo, Hypo.....

Sounds like a scam... Seems the dealer has done everything possible including offering a refund. Have them send both back and refund. Be done with it. Do not sell to that customer again. If refunded then you have made every effort. Nothing the customer can say bad. Sounds unfair but, sometimes you have to cut your losses. If any complaints arise you have plenty to back you up and did the right thing. You might ask the customer about the bacterial..."Can you foward me all info on the bacteria and symptoms or have the person who examined it call me".? You also never know the history or conditions of a customer collection. I had a person say a snake came in with a broken back...Turns out I had a good customer close who knew them. They dropped a cage on it and tried to say it came in that way.! Luckily they told him and didn't know we were friends! As i mentioned in other posts there are also"bad guy" customers! Thanks Ray G. HBR
Old 09-15-2003, 03:44 PM   #9
A hypothetical bacteria.
That only attacks this hypothetical species.
And only hypothetically attacks the rear legs.
A hypothetical friend whos is all of a sudden a hypothetical expert but goes un named.

I would hypothetically tell them.

You paid for one animal. Now you have two animals. You can't provide pictures. You are coming up with some kind of new bacteria. Your "expert" friend has no name. No one who is anyone has heard of this disease that only attacks this species and only on the hind legs. I suggest you stop whiel you are ahead....consider yourself lucky to have scammed free animals and NEVER contact me again. meanwhile you can read about yourself on the BOI.

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