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Discussion Starter #1
Well, today I went back into the pet store that I bought my girls from and informed them that both have respiratory infections from being on pine bedding, and also that both had to be tested for worms. (Which turned out to be negative, oddly... yet fortunately enough.)

I flashed the vet bills, but unfortunately wasn't feeling bold enough to tell them it's their fault I've had to pay over $200 in less than 2 days because of their treatment of the animals. I do regret not saying that now. The manager just kept on saying "ok, ok, ok" and just before I left I said "So.. you know... you should take them off pine, or talk to someone higher up than you about it." She just said "ok" again and I left.

Sometimes I really wish it wasn't so hard for me to be an angry customer. :|
It has to be the fact that I work in retail too. I also get my share of angry customers and I know they're a huge pain in the bum. After a few minutes of listening to them kick and scream about small things you just wanna smack 'em.

Of course, selling sick animals is NOT a small thing for anyone to be upset about, but I still have trouble kicking and screaming about it.

I know they're not going to do anything about the bedding, so all I can do is tell other people what expenses I had to pay not even 2 days after bringing home pets from there, and warn them to stay away from that store.
 

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I do not understand why some pet shops know nothing about rats, yet take them in. :roll: Not putting them on the correct bedding, even when a customer (and probably others) tell them.

Hopefully one day, it will get through to the staff and managers, and they'll change the rats bedding. But for the time being, like you said, you should just tell as many people as possible not to go there.
 

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I find that going into the store is WAY too scary for me - to complain anyway. (I'm a chicken at heart :lol:)

Are they a chain? I would write to the head office/store and complain, send copies of the vet bills. Explain it's due to the bedding they were on etc etc. I'd tell them you want compensated for their lack of comptenance and if you don't see an improvement in the bedding at the store, you'll contact your local animal authorities.

Ok, it'd be one complaint - but it's one complaint that many wouldn't have taken the time to write.
 

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I complained at our local pet store not too long ago cos they were using dusty bedding and kept male and females in same tanks and stuff.

They surprise surprise started using good bedding and they have bigger actual cages for rats there now, and the males and females were not in same cages anymore. Also all of the other animals got better cages/tanks now.

Im rather annoying and horrible when I get mad. I complained aggressively and threatned them alot :p
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nenn, could you come to Virginia and yell at these guys for me? XD

I don't think they're a chain... I think Pets Creatures and Critters is a local pet store, but I could be wrong. When I lived in Washington (state) I had never even heard of them before. There are a couple other stores in this area besides just the one, but they're small. I don't know much about what's considered a chain or not. n_n;
 

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Hmm, I think it would take way too much time from me to walk all the way from Finland to Virginia :D
But otherwise , sure!
 

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Sami, I think you should definitely write to them. Or go back in and talk to some other manager about it. I personally dealt with a problem like this not too long ago... I posted about it on here. And the store paid for my vet expenses IN FULL. Two hundred dollars is a lot of money, and they should cover at least part of your vet expenses. You should type up a formal complaint and leave that with them after your personal complaint. Make sure it sounds professional and well written, etc. You should also ask the vet to write up a quick note that the URI was actually from the improper bedding, and make sure they sign it. Make it official and professional. Also, when you go back in tell them that the VET suggested that you inform them about the problem and ask for the help with the costs. You don't have to be mean and raise ****, you just need to be confident and serious. At home, write down what you want to say, so you don't get flustered when you actually speak to them. You can do it!!! We believe in you!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Ari. :)

I know the big companies like Petsmart and Petco will pay vet bills in full if you come back and complain to them, (I work at Petco, and one time we had a girl with a ton of vet bills return a bunny to us, and make us pay all the expenses.) but I have a feeling this pet store will just remind me that they don't guarantee their rats' health, and send me on my way. Before buying the girls I would come in a lot and just look around, checking out the other animals to see if they all look healthy, petting the bunnies, scritching the macaw's head, and asking a few questions now and then to the employees about their rittens, and the parents of the rittens.. since they breed their own small animals.

The first time I complained about the animals being on pine they ensured cedar is the only wood you have to worry about. I knew that wasn't true, and told them "Actually both can cause respiratory problems." but the girl promised they've never had a customer complain about their animal's health before.

I also corrected the manager when she was telling other customers that pine is a good choice for their small animals, and she gave me a death glare, while the customers considered what I said. One of them even said "Now that I think about it, I've also heard that pine can be bad." :p

I just might write a letter though. That's a good idea. I could make copies and drop them off at all the stores in the area, which is only like.. 2 or 3, but still. Local company or not, there has to be someone running the show who all the complaints get forwarded to.

Don't ask why I ended up buying babies from them. I still don't regret getting my sweet OzDust and dear little Gohma. ...Just that the store sucks worse than I thought it did at first. :/
 

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They are all about selling their products. I'm sure pine and cedar are cheaper otherwise they'd probably never be sold. I could be wrong though ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
JulesMichy said:
I've had pet store employees tell me that pine is okay, it's just cedar that's bad, too. I wonder where they get this stuff?
I know. :?
Cedar has aromatic oils. Pine has aromatic oils.
Why would pine not hurt a small thing with tiny lungs, when cedar would?

Sometimes at work I even get customers who are buying pine for their small animals and I try to talk them out of it. I even mention that not only is Aspen safer for their pets, it's also a lot cheaper than pine, but for some reason many of them blow me off saying the same thing that this pet store said: "No. Pine is safe. You're thinking of cedar."
 

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Sami said:
Thanks Ari. :)

I know the big companies like Petsmart and Petco will pay vet bills in full if you come back and complain to them, (I work at Petco, and one time we had a girl with a ton of vet bills return a bunny to us, and make us pay all the expenses.) but I have a feeling this pet store will just remind me that they don't guarantee their rats' health, and send me on my way. Before buying the girls I would come in a lot and just look around, checking out the other animals to see if they all look healthy, petting the bunnies, scritching the macaw's head, and asking a few questions now and then to the employees about their rittens, and the parents of the rittens.. since they breed their own small animals.

The first time I complained about the animals being on pine they ensured cedar is the only wood you have to worry about. I knew that wasn't true, and told them "Actually both can cause respiratory problems." but the girl promised they've never had a customer complain about their animal's health before.

I also corrected the manager when she was telling other customers that pine is a good choice for their small animals, and she gave me a death glare, while the customers considered what I said. One of them even said "Now that I think about it, I've also heard that pine can be bad." :p

I just might write a letter though. That's a good idea. I could make copies and drop them off at all the stores in the area, which is only like.. 2 or 3, but still. Local company or not, there has to be someone running the show who all the complaints get forwarded to.

Don't ask why I ended up buying babies from them. I still don't regret getting my sweet OzDust and dear little Gohma. ...Just that the store sucks worse than I thought it did at first. :/
No problem Sami. I definitely think you should write a letter. You should also mention in the letter that it is totally unethical for them to not guarantee a pet's health when it is sold. I got my rattie boys on an impulse from PetSmart. Never again will I buy a living thing there again. But I love my boys soooo much
 

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MopyDream44 said:
They are all about selling their products. I'm sure pine and cedar are cheaper otherwise they'd probably never be sold. I could be wrong though ;)
That's what I figured as well...and then, lo and behold, I went to buy some aspen because I was sick of the smell of CareFresh. And the bag of aspen, exactly the same size as the bag of cedar, was $2 cheaper. I was baffled by that one...

And Sami, I definitely agree with Ration and Ari...write a letter! :) They can make a surprising difference sometimes, usually more so than just going in and talking to a manager. And that way you can make sure what you're expressing is being written with a clear head and you aren't leaving out any points. I have only written a formal complaint a few times, but each time I ended up getting a full refund and an apology letter. Plus, it just made me feel better to get it off my chest. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If they'd pay the vet bills that would be the most wonderful thing since... bringing the girls home. :D

But even if they don't, simply taking their animals off pine bedding, and putting the rats in more appropriate cages would be enough to make me feel better.
 

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Ok I got this off of the Petco website. I know that Kaytee isn't good for rat food. But what about bedding? I just realized Kaytee is the brand of the bedding I have been using. This is the description:

Kaytee Total Comfort Critter Friendly Bedding

Introducing the critter friendly bedding with so many advantages; it's super-soft and comfortable, virtually dust free, and naturally helps control odors. Plus it can be flushed or used as a compost or mulch. Highly absorbent material is free of aromatic oils. Total Comfort controls odor naturally and is a great alternative to wood shavings. Made from reclaimed resources of wood fibers, Total Comfort provides a fresh and safe environment for pets.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That bedding is extremely dusty. I work at Petco and we used it for a few months before finally talking the higher-ups into letting us switch back to Carefresh (which I still hate, but it's better than Total Comfort).

I'd relate Total Comfort to the insulation dust you find in attics. In one bag I even found a very large chunk of wood.

The only Kaytee-brand bedding I'd use, personally, is Soft-Sorbent. I think it's the most dust-free thing Kaytee sells, plus it's recycled paper, appears to be very comfortable for the rats, and my girls had a blast ripping it apart when I put it in their cage for the first time tonight. ^^
 
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