Bad Guy William Gangemi (at repticon) - FaunaClassifieds
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Board of Inquiry® This forum is provided exclusively for the discussion of specific persons or businesses in the herp industry.

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Old 01-08-2018, 03:18 PM   #1
William Gangemi (at repticon)

This saturday I was at repticon Atlanta and purchased a bts from Bill Gangemi's table. I took it home and it died within 20 hrs. I contacted him immediately and his response was bluntly that it was impossible bc bts were bulletproof and it must have gotten too cold. I reassured him of the parameters of my setup and the ambient temps of my fish/reptile room. When I contacted him again today (after my payment went through, mind you) he said there's nothing he can do about it once I left the venue. Before I continue, let me say that I understand he or any other live animal vendor do not know what kind of care the animal receives once out of their hands, and dealing with claims of dead animals from customers can be very risky for them. To me, that just seems like the risk you take (upon proper investigation) in the name of customer satisfaction, but I guess that's his business prerogative.

I've never had an animal die on me after a con like this before. I wrongly assumed that he, while not legally obligated to give me a refund, would have had a more reasonable policy. I also didn't appreciate how his immediate response was that there's no other way the skink could have died and thus had to be my fault. It was very off-putting as I wasn't even trying to blame him or anything. All I can say is I can't believe I could have been cause for the skink's demise given the short amount of time it was in my care and knowing the conditions I kept it in. Other than being in shed and not eating the night I brought it home, I didn't notice any other potential symptoms. On the flipside, I don't know the details of the care the skink had been provided up til the con. Did it travel with him across the country from con to con? I should have asked that and many other questions, and that's my bad.

He later offered that maybe we can work out some kind of credit, which is great, but thus far he hasn't been very forthcoming or willing to explain how this is going to work, or for how much. He already stated he's not going to send me another skink (I would have been willing to pay shipping).

At this point I'm just upset about my loss (I've been wanting a bts for awhile) and I don't know if it would be worth dealing with him again. I may just accept this as an expensive lesson learned and make sure I select a vendor next time that has some kind of policy and seems like they care about their patrons as well.

I am not here to slander or accuse anyone of selling sick animals, but if you want a seller/breeder who will be willing to work with you if things go wrong, this might not be your guy. Or be sure to clarify his policy before you do decide to spend any amount of money you'd be sad to not get back. Maybe he's better with his customers when ordered from directly vs at a con, IDK
Old 01-08-2018, 05:50 PM   #2
Robert Walker
Originally Posted by Larandalee View Post
Or be sure to clarify his policy before you do decide to spend any amount of money
Did you inquire about his policy 'before' you purchased the BTS at the show? If so, what written policy did he offer you?
Old 01-08-2018, 06:44 PM   #3
Was it a WC or CBB skink? Sorry to hear that it passed so quickly, definitely a shame to bring a new animal home and have it die.

These situations are tricky because the animal looked healthy (I assume) at the time of the show. So was the seller negligent in some way, or is this just an unfortunate circumstance? It kind of comes down to what the seller's guarantees are. If it's a WC animal vs a CBB animal from a breeder, there is more risk that the animal will be ill or stressed and less likely that there is any kind of guarantee from the seller.
Old 01-08-2018, 07:07 PM   #4
I'm sorry your critter died. But, it was not necessarily the fault of either of you. There are many sorts of people who go to conventions, some are not experienced (I am not talking about you, just in general). A vendor would go broke if he replaced critters that died in the hands of inexperienced owners, or owners where the purchase was an impulse and they were not prepared with the proper living conditions. If you cannot show that the death was his fault, or it was not anyone's fault, I don't think he should have to replace the critter barring a written warranty.
I think it is positive that after some discussion your concern and sorrow showed through and he is offering some credit.
Old 01-08-2018, 07:18 PM   #5
I offered credit towards another one at the next Atlanta show. With out seeing pictures or anything. Our policy during the winter is once something leaves the venue of the show it’s out of our hands. This is mainly do to the Arctic temperatures that we have been experienceing lately and we don’t feel the need to take responsibility if someone leaves there animal in the car when they run in Walmart or something along those lines. These are tropical animals and shock in the cold could kill them. We have a piece of paper on the table with this being stated. On the other hand I don’t know which skink she got we had some captive born babies, some wild caught adults and two captive born and raised adult Meraukes. We didn’t get that far in conversation yet. I am still offering credit towards another at the next show there or that she is attending. However on the other hand I’m not going to pay shipping to the customer and give them a replacement blue tongue in this terrible shipping conditions. Thanks
Old 01-09-2018, 12:09 AM   #6
Thank you everyone for the rapid responses. It has really helped me find closure on the situation. No, of course I didn't ask about the policy and I admit that's my fault. I've also never been to Jan repticon- only summer months. I did offer to send photos but requested his email to do so (which I didn't have at the time, nor did he send it to me when I asked). Admittedly, I never saw any posting on the table, but was possibly distracted by the animals? I will be a much smarter consumer from now on.

I do want to say, if he had been half as diplomatic and clear about his policies/explanations with me when I contacted him, as he is on this forum, then I maybe would not have felt the need to make the post. I think it says something when he is willing to put more time and energy into defending himself online than answering the questions or working to resolve the issue when I contacted him directly. I received limited information, one word replies, and sometimes none at all.

For what it's worth, thanks for offering credit but I'm no longer interested.
Old 01-09-2018, 06:57 AM   #7
Originally Posted by Larandalee View Post

At this point I'm just upset about my loss (I've been wanting a bts for awhile) and I don't know if it would be worth dealing with him again. I may just accept this as an expensive lesson learned and make sure I select a vendor next time that has some kind of policy and seems like they care about their patrons as well.
I would be upset too. Everyone sympathizes with your loss. But I think you are being a bit unfair here. You posted no proof at all that the death was the fault of the vendor, and William actually went beyond the policy he says was posted at the convention and offered you some credit.

Originally Posted by Larandalee View Post

For what it's worth, thanks for offering credit but I'm no longer interested.
Considering that we do not know why the skink died, and that there was no proof that is was the fault of the vendor, if you did not want to take him up on his offer you could have just thanked him and went on.
Again, I am sorry your skink died, but I do not see him as a bad guy at all. And I just see you as someone upset that their critter died, which is understandable. I don't think there is a bad guy here.
Old 01-09-2018, 07:37 AM   #8
Lucille is right ! one of the great advantages of buying herps at these con outlets is that you can see what you are purchasing . No photos here. Pick it up, look it over and if you have any reservations, leave it. You can also make an offer as vendors are friendly enough to encourage a sale, BUT, once purchased its yours. Its your responsibility as well.

As much as no one wants to see an animal die, especially under these circumstances, the vendor cannot assume responsibility once you take it home. Its not that the vendor is a bad guy, its that you may have been overzelous in your purchase and this is the unfortuante outcome of an item that maybe should not have left the table.
Old 02-02-2018, 02:24 PM   #9
Same Experience


I made this account because I found your post while searching William, so apologies if I don’t format this post right.

I had the exact same experience that you did.
I bought an adult male BTS from William at the same ReptiCon ATL show, and he died a week later. His enclosure was properly heated, kept clean, and set up perfectly with thermometers and hygrometers to monitor everything. My BTS only ate once, and vomited it all up very soon afterwards. His bowel movements were extremely runny and frequent, and he was extremely lethargic.

I took him to a local exotics vet a couple of days after I got him, and the vet told me that he had old skin issues (burns, etc.) which explained the dull, rough patches on his body. The vet also told me that he was emaciated. He gave my animal a dewormer and a protein shot to try and get him eating, but my animal vomited it all up later that day. He died that weekend. I believe he was already dying when I bought him.

I am so sorry to hear about your loss and hope I am not reopening the wound with this reply, but I wanted you to know you are not alone. No matter how diplomatic he is here or what offers he gives, I will not do business with William again.
Old 02-02-2018, 04:35 PM   #10
Originally Posted by dishay View Post
the vet told me
Could you please post the vet receipt with the diagnosis? Did you notice the 'emaciation' at the table? BTS are ordinarily sort of tubby, an emaciated one might stand out.
William, did this person notify you of this alleged illness?

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