- good & bad

Author Subject: - good & bad
Ronda Posted At 23:36:36 11/13/2000
I've debated whether or not to post this, as I hate to ruin someone's livelihood, so I'd like to post it as advice. First, I'll start with the good: I ordered a pair of adult gopher snakes from (Sharon Herrera), and they shipped the snakes immediately upon receiving my payment. Hooray! They are beautiful, and exactly what I was expected as far as looks go.

Now the bad: These snakes were shipped in a cut-down Office Depot box that had been taped back together. It was not lined with styrofoam, there was no crumpled newspaper to keep the snakes from sliding around, and they were shipped without any heat packs. It is currently 30-40 degrees outside! Additionally, they were shipped with full stomachs, and pooped in transit (phew - what a mess!) as well as two days later. By the way, I paid $25 in shipping and a $10 box charge. I'm okay with paying for shipping, but by paying for a box charge I expect more than flimsy cardboard and two snakes sliding around inside.

I wrote to and asked them to please extend thier 24 hour guarantee to one week so that I could make sure the snakes were not damaged by their shipping experience. They did not respond right away, so I wrote back to express my assumption that they would in fact honor my request. This time they did respond, but didn't mention the guarantee. They said it didn't occur to them to heat the box, as it is still warm in their state, and that they weren't too concerned about supplemental heat for colubrids anyway. Huh?!!?

Not surprisingly, the snakes quickly came down with a horrible respiratory infection and have been sneezing, gaping and blowing bubbles for the past few days. In addition, they have very mucousy diarrhea. I don't know if that was a pre-existing condition, or if is resulted from the shipping trauma. Two days ago, I wrote to again to let them know the condition of the snakes. They have not yet responded. Tomorrow it will have been one week since I received the animals.

So, here's my advice: If you do business with this company, please make sure you insist that your $10 box charge goes towards the purchase of a box, with crumpled newspaper for padding, and for goodness sakes, heat packs! Especially in November!!
Jason Re: - good & bad (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 10:21:31 11/14/2000

I agree with Rhonda I had the same problem with them, I purchased a Dumerils Boa from them, it was shipped on time but in the same manner Rhonda discribed although they used a cricket box with some of the sides knocked out so instead of card board it was big open screen air holes, the cricket box was only 12x12 inches and the animal was 4.5 ft so you can imagine she was stuffed in their, with no news paper or stiro foam for padding/protection or insulation from the cold, the temp up here was about 45-50 degrees that day so when I got the animal I called and bitched imediatly to Armando Herrera (Sharons husband) and same as he did with Rhonda above said it was a bad judgment call on his part, also I was supposed to be buying a 5ft dumerils and this animal was bairly 4.5ft when laid out and messured, the animal I got from him is fine that I am truely amazed at because I dont think I had ever held a reptile thats body was colder, so if you choice to buy from them, buy with caution, the animal was shipped on time but I have a serious problem with people who cut corners and put animals in harms way to save money or because they are to lazy to get proper packing, so I personally will never recomened them or do buisness with them again, also the animal has a 2.5 inch black scare on its dorsal I was never informed of what its from I couldnt tell you, Jason
JKellar Re: - good & bad (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 17:17:47 11/14/2000

I have received snakes packaged in similar methods (from other breeders, not allreptiles), and definetly called to complain, and in these instances I wasn't charged a "box" charge. The fact that these people charged a box charge and then stuck them in a rigged up office depot box with no styrofoam liner and nothing to cushion the snake with (how hard is it to crumple up some newspaper) is to me very shady. I reuse shipping boxes myself, but, they are always the professional reptile boxes with styrofoam liners.
Ronda Re: - good & bad (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 20:55:07 11/15/2000

A happy ending after all? Here is the letter I sent today:


My faith in the integrity of your business is quickly diminishing. It seems I am not the only person to whom you have shipped snakes in such an irresponsible manner. In bold lettering at the top of your website you clearly state "The health of our animals is guaranteed." So, what exactly is your guarantee? I now have two very sick snakes to care for, and your lack of a response to my previous e-mail indicates that you don't care.

Please send back the $25 shipping charge + $10 box charge. I will be needing it for fecal exams (to determine why they have diarrhea) and for antibiotics (to treat the pneumonia). While I am confident that the snakes will recover eventually, it is always possible that they won't, in which case we will need to make further arrangements for compensation. I think $35 is a more than fair resolution at this point.

Again, the snakes are beautiful and I am eager for them to be healthy. Please reconsider your shipping practices so as to avoid sick snakes in the future. You are not only hurting the animals, you are hurting your reputation. You may send the refund to the following address:


Thank you,



Yes, we do guarantee our animals health. We made a mistake packing the sonorans and are sorry for that. We will send you a money order for $40 Friday. We do care. We were just waiting to see how the health of the animals developed. We thought that you would email us again in a few days (as you did) to let us know how things progressed.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Sharon Herrera

* While I still have two unhappy critters to take care of, I am impressed by Sharon's willingness to refund my shipping charges (plus an extra $5 it seems!)

Jason Re: - good & bad (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 11:49:31 11/16/2000

Glad to here it worked out for you, one thing I forgot to post above was that shortly after recieving the animal I emailed then after recieving no responce called Armando with questions about the linage of the animal, when I spoke to him over the phone he agreed he would call or email me by the end of the week with the answer because he had to talk to someone else, well its been four or five weeks know and I have not heard back, considering I called and emailed him and he has not evan had the courtesy to so much as get back to me and offer some kind of excuse I believe them to be totally unreliable as well, just my 2 cents from my experiance
Rondaq Re: - good & bad (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 23:23:05 11/29/2000

Final follow-up . . .
Sharon kept her word and sent me a $40 refund, which covered a good portion of my veterinary expenses. She has agreed to take more care in shipping future animals.

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