On Mar 12, 2014, DerPlantMeister Palm Shores, FL wrote:
I have ordered from this company numerous times over the past few years and always have been very satisfied with their products and service.
Over the past few months I have set up a dozen or so tanks (5g nanos to 150g Freshwater tanks).
Orders placed by the weekly cutoff time (9am Monday Arizona Time), usually shipped out that week, otherwise there were in the Air the next week. All their orders go next day AIR, and I haven't found another supplier who ships next day AIR for less.
Sure it's expensive if you are ordering a small amount of flora/fauna, or if you're ordering larger non-air ship items (contact them to get the ground shipping rate), but Next Day is really the only way you can guarantee live arrivals.
DOA's do happen, but they are relatively infrequent, and Pete has always worked with me to get things squared away.
I would say I've got a 90% great condition plants/animals, and only a 10% issue rate - not perfect, but great when dealing with live animals/plants.
My last order with them - 3 dozen assorted plants (Stems and pots), 50 nerites, and 24 True SAE, arrived on time, but I did have 4 SAE DOAs and 3 DOA nerites. Always plan ahead and order 10% more than what you need to ensure any DOA's are covered with the overages.
Overall I've been very happy ordering from Pete over the years, great customer service, and awesome selection of plants and animals.
If you're just stocking a small tank, or need a handful of fish, your better off going to your LFS, but if you are doing a large amount of stocking, AZ Gardens comes very highly recommended.
I'm a fool for returning. However, I will say that the first order of just plants and shrimp was satisfactory, yet not impressive.
The second was atrocious. I received my complete order in a timely manner, a few of the shrimp and fish ordered were DOA. I called their customer service line (they have quite the audacity to claim it to be so) and spoke with whom I believe to be Peter Yunger, the owner, about getting a refund for the dead fish/shrimp.
I have never been spoken to so rudely in my life. He ridiculed me, then refused to give me a refund other than store credit (which is absurd, I'm not returning the dead fish because I changed my mind about owning a dead fish, it's a faulty product in my book).
He hung up on me several times when I demanded to speak to a manager, that was before I found out that this was a small shakedown "business" run out of his garage.
He finally ended the conversation by by saying that I had issues, and told me to "TAKE THEM OUT ON MY WIFE OR GIRLFRIEND ON MY OWN TIME". How despicable.
I later called back to let him know that I contacted the BBB, and disputed a partial charge ( the same amount he offered me in store credit, no more...which now I regret not disputing the whole thing) through my credit card company.
He replied by saying that I was stealing from his family and that I should be ashamed. He began to go on about how I should feel bad every time I look at my fish tank...but his wife quickly grabbed the phone from him and screamed "F*CK YOU" and hung up...
All in all, I will never do business with them again, and I wouldn't recommend them to my worst enemy.
I placed an order with this company on the 12th. After receiving no contact or shipping information I called them on the 19th and was assured that my order would ship the following day and an email with the shipping information would be sent. I was also told that I had missed the previous weeks ship date by a few hours. Thursday afternoon after not receiving shipping info I tried calling to no avail and decided to try email. Friday afternoon after no response I tried their DOA line to see if I could get a response. A few hours later I received a reply saying "What is your name? I'm not psychic. I can't help anyone. Patience or understanding in this hobby is criteria. Also you may want to watch the news as its been a difficult week in Arizona. Sheesh!" I sent my name to the person and a few hours later they replied, "Your order was skipped due to it not being ready. If you chose to take the low road and cancel or do a charge back (which cost us $40) then so be it but you will have burned a bridge with my family's company and never be allowed to order from us again." I told them to do a refund from their end as I'm not trying to cost them money but after being lied to and a severe lack of communication I did not trust their word anymore. They replied, "We need customers that are better understanding anyway. Good luck finding another supplier." They sent the oder to me on the 27th after saying they would issue the refund and i had purchased from another supplier. They charged me for shipping and the package was open and left at my door. They said that i had accepted the package by letting it arrive at my door and so there was nothing i could do to get my money back now. I have filed charge backs through my credit card company and have taken screen shots of all of the text messages as proof of their shady dealings. I made the mistake of placing this order with out looking for review first and have found that they have a 94% negative feedback. I wanted to put my experience up here so that hopefully other can avoid this trouble.
I made an order for 6 (orange) rabbit snails. Only two snails made it alive. The next thing they are not even orange they were white. Those died soon after delivery. I called the owner. 'This is a useless endeavor.'
Not only did he know what my complaint was in advance. He seemed to enjoy sitting on the edge of his set to yell at me. It was like some sort of game for the guy. I listened to a few rants before just having to hang up on the guy.
DO NOT ORDER FROM AZGARDENS.COM
Not only was he not entertaining. I received the wrong dead snails. A $41.94 experience I hope you will not take with this guy.
If he had not been such a rage-aholic. I would have asked him to please send me the product I had ordered. If you only have white (ORANGE) snails, Then name them (cream with no orange snails) I'm sure people would buy them and you could at least be honest about your product. However I do think he enjoys his roll as a troll.
They order there fish and plants from other farms and work out of a garage at there home. i know this first hand. the owner is a rude inconsiderate man. He only cares about money not customers. they are the middle man and need to be checked up on from the AZ game and fish department because they should not be shipping certain fish and plants to certain states. the fish most of which are dead when they get them usually die soon there after if not during 2nd round of shipping! DO NOT BUY FROM THEM! The pics they post are fake from the internet. literally they run there shit out of a garage lined with fish tanks reminds me of a puppy mill for aquatic species. I am one of many that have worked under the table for them, yeah they don't pay employment taxs on there workers just the owner and his wife i believe. So if you buy beware.
This was my first time with mail order fish and plants, and probably my last. I was setting up a new tank and this company had a large selection of plants I can't find around here. In trying to meet their minimum order I went a bit crazy and wound up with $90 worth of stuff, fish and plants. It shipped out according to the schedule on their website and I did receive the email with tracking number.
The shipping box was a used shirt box and the bags of fish and plants were wrapped in newspaper with a sheet of styrofoam on the bottom and the whole shebang encased in bubble wrap. One of the bags at least had leaked though it was not clear which. There was a heat pack, no longer hot by the time I got the box. There was one substitution (of snails) and one item which was not in stock (some shrimp). The shipping invoice said "your account has been credited for items out of stock at time of shipping"
There were no DOA, but One rasbora looked puny right out of the bag. He did not make it through the acclimitization process. Another rasbora died shortly after going in the tank. The rest of the fish, though stressed on arrival from the trip, are now swimming around happily. All the inverts (cherry shrimp and rabbit snails) were healthy. The plants were so so. I have bought many a better looking plants in a plastic box at Petsmart. The potted baby tears was very nice looking, The bare root plants were tired looking and very puny. The bunch/stem plants were okay, kind of smallish and only one came with a weight. The java moss was really brown and I am not sure it is going to make it.
I checked my credit card account and nothing had been credited by AAG for the out of stock items. I emailed Pete and asked fo ra refund on the out of stock shrimp and on the difference in price for the snails they subbed for what I had ordered. about $20 all told. No answer after a few days, but after reading these reviews I am not hoping for an answer. I will just take it up with my credit card company.
It wasn't all bad but out of all the livestock I ordered the only two things I could not get locally are the only two things they did not ship me. It wasn't worth the extra cost of shipping for sure. I might order plants online again (but not from here) but will stick with the LFS for fish from here on out.
Posted on November 28, 2012, updated November 30, 2012
Third order with this company, first two where for plants, shipped incomplete. The last order was for fish and they forgot to to put the heat pack in and all fish arrived dead. Sent email with no response, called spoke with someone there who said he would have the owner call me and work something out- 2 weeks have passed and still no call - sent a second email 3 days ago and still not response. I wish I had used Dave's garden before I ordered from them, but after reading the reviews it's a wonder that they are still in business after 28 years. Pete is the owner and a nice guy and if he reads this you need to wake up and treat customers right. If you can't fulfill the order than call people, don't ship incomplete orders.
On November 30th, 2012, Boomchuga1 added the following:
Sent Pete another email -still no response.
Thanks for the no response. Your lack of concern for customers is unbelievable! It's a true wonder that you are still in business seeing how many negative reviews you have. I also saw that you deleted my negative post in the red cherry shrimp area. Maybe you should spend a little time working on customer service and less time deceiving people by manipulating your website to show only positive comments. I will be forwarding all documents to the better business bureau of Arizona along with the Arizona state attorney to look into your fraudulent business practices. I have also posted on several blogs advising to stay away for your fraud of a business and will continue to pass the word to any and all how hobbyist.
FYI my wife is in PR field and will be releasing of series of press releases detailing your bad business practices.
Just remember that bad news travel faster than good news.
PLEASE BEWARE WHEN ORDERING FROM THIS COMPANY. On Nov. 1, 2012 I received what I thought would be my full order. Upon inspection, three Galaxy Rasboras were not in the box. Also, the Hoplo cat looked suspiously like a Mud cat (brown/gray, no spots). Also, one crab arrived dead in pieces, and serveral snails were dead. The dead arrivals I can chalk up to the harshness of the trip. However, when I phoned AAG to let them know of the missing 3 Rasboras, I was told that they had indeed been packed in the box which was double checked. I explained that I could not find them anywhere in the box, and perhaps a mistake by their company had been made, and couldn't they just ship the missing Rasboras to me? At this point the "gentleman" basically called me a liar (implied) and said that he had no way to prove that I did not receive the fish and I would have to pay for them again plus shipping if I wanted them!! He also insisted that my non-spotted catfish was a Hoplo, not a mud cat. Whatever it was, it was not a Hoplo. He did agree to refund the charge for the 3 Rasboras, but after reading others' testimonials about AAG, I have my doubts. It is so unfortunate that this company treats it's customers so poorly, as I was hoping to order much more from them in the future. I will never order from AAG again...plus I will thoroughly investigate any company I deal with in the future. I give them an "F".
My order was incomplete and the shipping charges where a $150 more than their shipping charts said it should have been.
When I contacted them they apologize for the mistakes and I was promised that this would be taken care of.
Nothing has been done to complete my order or refund my over charges. I have tried to contact them many times but no one will answer my E mails or phone calls.
Now after two months still nothing has been done to fix my problems.
Watch out for this company.
They sent the wrong order a week early. I spent the better part of the day researching what they sent me so I could find homes for the mostly alive fish. The golden severum had terrible ich. Many plants were in terrible shape - brown and rotting. They sent 2 gars (1 dead) to California where they are not allowed according to my LFS. They ignored my timely and informative emails and phone messages about the issue. Now, two weeks later, they're shipping the (theoretically correct) order that I requested to have cancelled long ago, which I only find out from the UPS Quantum ship notification, as they have yet to respond to me in any way. Off to the next review site to let others know.
On Jun 25, 2012, MrMarine57 Lake Havasu City, AZ wrote:
**WARNING SCAM ALERT** **WARNING SCAM ALERT**
Arizona Aquatic Gardens runs a "BOILER ROOM" operation. I ordered over $60 worth of Water Lilly's from "Pete" and they showed up looking like hell, one died almost immediately and the other two are failing.
They have failed to respond to four(4) e-mail requests for assistance and the same for a voice message I left. NOW they REFUSE to answer either of their two phone numbers. One says their mailbox is full and the other just rings..and rings..and rings..and rings...
DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY HERE!! Go to a reputable water garden company and NOT here.
On May 25, 2012, jaerickson Minneapolis, MN wrote:
Never Again! I really though Arizona Aquatic Gardens had it together. Was I wrong. Their website and their automated emails lead you to believe their company and products are strong and healthy, not so.
I ordered the Easy Life Habitat for a 10 gallon tank plus 3 water lettuce for my small pond. After placing the order I received a call from Peter telling me he needed my credit card info again to finish the shipment billing.
So my order shows up two days later (that was good) but it was incomplete. The 3 water lettuce plants are not in the box. Of the ten items in the Easy Life Habitat, the Ambulia is DOA, the Anacharis is mostly brown and dying, the 10 tall Sagittaria were only about 1 inch tall and half were dead. Finally, the small red-spot Ozelot Sword they sent is actually a monster mother plant. Thank goodness I wasnít planning on putting all these into a 10 gallon tank the Ozelot Sword mother plant would be at least 50% of the tank.
Now after five emails with no response and five attempted calls, either they will not pick up or you get the message that all voice mail boxes are full and not accepting any new messages, still no reply.
Also note, a $38 order will cost $32 to ship 2nd day Air. Didnít expect that one.
I have never had such a horrific Customer experience in my life. These people (Pete) have charged me for an order 4 times, they have shipped horrible quality, and on top of that they have shipped LIVE ANIMALS on 5 day standard freight. If anyone doubts this, I have the documents and pictures to back this all up. It's one thing to defraud a customer, it's another to engage in practices which endanger and kill living animals.
There is no excuse for this. I would sincerely think hard before giving these people your business and credit card number.
On May 18, 2012, azgardensucks Columbus, OH wrote:
Holy cow. Buying from AZ Gardens was one of the worst experiences I've ever had.
I was a little suspect at first, when I saw their strange method of billing for shipping costs. I couldn't find the fish I wanted elsewhere, so I tried them.
All 5 animals showed up dead. They don't include their phone number on the shipping documents. Then I learned that they don't answer phones on Thursdays or Fridays. They don't answer emails, and their voice mailbox is full. All bad signs.
I finally got through on the phone. Pete said that fish die, and I should get over it. He offered me credit on the fish, but not the shipping. When I voiced dissatisfaction with the packaging, he turned into an angry 6 year old. (I won't share what he said.) Then he sent an email threatening lawsuits if I gave them a bad review.
I think the most telling part was in his email. He wrote, "...frankly, we are tired of dealing with nasty customers like you..."
Don't buy from Arizona Aquatic Gardens! They charged me $54 for 8 teeny tiny microscopic clown loaches (which all died between shipment and 48 hours). The first shipment arrived cooked in a heat pack. The replacement shipment wasn't much better, I only live across town. They won't refund my money and his response was "Get over it already. Fish die, it happens." After I complained with no response (several calls, emails, and a fax) for almost a week, he tells me I'm a negative person and go to walmart! Believe me it will be petsmart next time. So $54 later i still have an empty fish tank (my fish got ich from his and died) ........all Peter Yunger would do was credit me on my next purchase! Really?? AS IF i would give them another penny! really.......UNLIKE! FAMILY OF FISH GRIFTERS & MURDERERS!! To top it all off he tries to tell me how nice he and his family are and his 8 year old wouldn't have gotten as angry as I did. I can only hope it cost him $54 to block me from his website.
I ordered from this company before I had seen any reviews. I was quite disturbed to see so many negative ones after I had already placed my order. I got the package in the mail and was happy to see that everything was still alive and in great shape. The only mild issue I would say I had was that I didnt receive an email letting me know when the order had been shipped.
On Apr 30, 2012, mathenjr1 Garden City South, NY wrote:
I made approximately $150/- worth of purchases from them and am fast coming to the conclusion that they are Scam Artists. (1)They send me the wrong items, despite my clear instructions " No Substitutes, Please" (2) One item was entirely missing. Yet they pocketed the payment for the entire order. (3) They will not answer emails or phone calls. I shall have to report them to Arizona department of Consumer Affairs.Any possible ways to deal with will be Highly Appreciated.
On Feb 26, 2012, DECarlson Franklinville, NY wrote:
Wish I had read these reports BEFORE I sent over $50. to A-G. Product was unavailable. My credit card was processed. I cannot get through to their phone line - busy any time of day - dozens of tries. My emails are ignored. Horrible, horrible company to deal with - and crooked to boot.
i'm way guilty of researching az aquatics after placing two consecutive orders, must state my experience has been similar to many here: one order of several fish was completely missing, another order was incomplete by a few fish, many of the other fish were ok tho with my second order (i know i know) 16 of the green neons arrived doa, the other four disappeared in my tank within an hour...with their inflated shipping costs i'm chalking this company up to an unscupulous scam as per the claims on their website...i sent them two detailed emails weeks ago after each order was received, documenting what was missing, doa, etc...i've heard nothing back...i'll proceed to share my experience with this company so that those with the sense to read a site like this before ordering are at least forewarned...shame on az aquatics
Started a new aquarium. Bought an "easy Life Plant Habitat"
plant assortment, then a selection of fish in 2 shipments. I was somewhat irritated about being unable to get call or email answer to some questions per the web page. BUT the plants and fish arrived the next day and fully met my expectations. A few casualties but such is life. and it was December. Bought some odd fish unavailable elsewhere as best I can tell at reasonable prices.
I'm somewhat surprised at the negative comments. Except for communications problems I was quite satisfied with the three experiences and will definitely deal with these folks again. I wonder if someone is trying to sabotage their rep.
On Dec 24, 2011, vitussaint Grand View Estates, CO wrote:
Posted on December 15, 2011, updated December 24, 2011
Beyond horrible. Their shipping is expensive and my shipment came in a cardboard box with the dead fish flopping around and a heat pack thrown in. Everything was dead. They do not respond to emails. They do not answer their phone. A total rip off!
This is way beyond a small company that can't keep up. This is just wrong. I can't believe they are still in business.
You don't have to trust me....Do yourself a favor and go to the AZ Better Business Bureau (They get an "F!"):
On December 24th, 2011, vitussaint added the following:
I want to continue with my review. All the fish I got from AAG either arrived dead or died soon after. The shipping costs were high and the fish arrived very poorly packed and most of them were dead. In fact a few of those fish had eyes popping out. That's just not right.
Multiple attempts to contact "Pete" and no response.
If you have been ripped off by these cons I hope you'll:
- post reviews on the forums
- contact your credit card company
- contact the better business bureau
The bottom line is not only are these people ripping us off but they are abusing the animals they are shipping. That bothers me a lot.
Their website states that it could take a week or so delay on shipping because of something not being in stock. It took FOUR weeks for my order and not only did I not receive one of the fish I ordered, the other I got was completely wrong! I ordered a Hillstream Loach and what they sent me was a Freshwater Flunder.
I've made multiple attempts to contact them but they never pick up their main office phone, their secondary line's voicemail box is full so you can't leave a message and they never respond to my emails.
Horrible company with horrible customer service. I'm all about supporting small, family run businesses but this is one of the few that should be driven under because of their horrible communication and customer service.
Posted on July 12, 2010, updated September 29, 2011
Avoid this company, better ones exist. I ordered some fish in May. The prices (for just the fish) were reasonable but they didn't indicate shipping cost...the order indicated this was a TBD at time of shipping. That should have been a bigger red flag for me.
Bottom line: The shipping costs were exorbitant...$80+ (for about a dozen fish)...which I had to check my credit card "hit" to find out about. The fish arrived in an old beat up cardboard box with only newspaper to protect the bags of fish. Several fish were DOA, they said they would replace...but I'd get hit with shipping costs...plus the mysterious $5 special packing fee...for crappy packaging. I decided to cut my losses with these folks and never order from them again.
FYI, I notice that they have now (late May?) gone with a "flat fee" for shipping...certainly better than the old approach but it's still high plus does not change my general negative view of this company and quality of product/service.
On September 29th, 2011, kjbbasic added the following:
One other point on this company...just try and get off their mailing list...I haven't been successful. The unsubscribe link says you've been removed but it didn't work for me (several attempts). I finally just enhanced my junk mail filters to always bit bucket them.
On Sep 25, 2011, fatal_fishies Sunnyside, NY wrote:
Can I, in ANY WAY, post a 0 star review. TERRIBLE.
My boyfriend ordered 2 ranchu (goldfish) - 1 black, 1 calico. 4 Zebra Snails and 4 Ivory Snails. The total was $54.00, (shipping included).
The order was timely... but the day the package arrived. AMEX contacted my bf about AZ Gardens trying to place a charge for an additional $101. Thank you AMEX, for stopping that transaction.
Now - the order. One of the Ivory Snail were dead. The other 7 snails, were OK.
The goldfish however - well, the black one had white grayish spots that looked like ICH, but not exactly. The Calico, we noticed didn't look too great either - turns out the had Oodinium (Velvet), which is pretty fatal apparently. (They are still alive and we are treating them, and their color is coming back.. although now scaly and white in spots).
The clincher? The Calico Ranchu .... HAS ONE EYE. No, really.. ONE EYE. One looks like it fell right out as there is a creepy, gaping orange hole where the eye should be. I can't look at the f*cking fish without getting out a lil freaked out.
After several calls and e-mails about refunding, etc.. there has been no response. AMEX is now on it investigating and trying to get the money back.
Their customer service is terrible when you have problem with your order. I ordered some freshwater shrimps from Arizona Aquatic. All the shrimps (cost $130) died when I UPS delivered the package. I do understand that it's not 100% Arizona Aquatic fault. The shrimps died are due to high temperature which was caused by poor packaging and UPS delivery delayed.
I took pictures of the unopened bags of the dead shrimps and emailed to Arizona Aquatic right after I received the package from UPS. I have sent them numerous emails but have never got a respond from them.
I filed a package damage claim to UPS. Hopefully I will hear from UPS.
This is just my experience with Arizona Aquatic. Actually, this is my third or fourth orders from them. From the previous orders there were a few shrimps died when they arrived. I did not even email to claim for the lost.
I should have read the other reviews BEFORE I ordered. Half of my plants were DOA. Arizona Gardens does NOT respond to phone calls or emails. Shipping on a $35 order cost more than the order was worth. Now I'm stuck with dead plants and a visa bill of nearly $100. Live and learn!!
With AZ Gardens, the initial experience was good. My order consisted of 2 Dwarf Babytears, 3 java moss, a 3 pack of rocks and 20 Nerite Snails (god like, supposedly). HOWEVER, when I received the order everything looked ok, except for the brown look of the moss and the Nerite Snails that had a thin layer of water in the bag they were in. I placed the moss in my aquariums hoping the brown would go away but as of yet (3 weeks) the brown has not gone away and it looks dead. The Nerite snails that they "CLAIM" are basically god like and cannot die during transport, only 4 out of the 20 are alive, the others never moved from where they were placed in my aquariums and some of them didn't even have trapdoors on them when I put them in the aquarium (I thought they were small snails and the trap was way inside the shell. I emailed this company and no response. I have called during regular operating hours and the phone simply continues to ring with never any answer. I do regular water changes and weekly check my levels and everything is always good so since there are a few survivors its not my aquariums, it was the quality of the Nerites that AZ Gardens says they will never replace or refund for Nerite Snails, because "They simply will not die." I am very dissapointed in them and have sooner found out that they are rated an F in BBB
All the negative reviews are accurate, I just recently ordered 20 neon, 20 green/fire tetras, 20 blue tetras, some plants on Monday 4/4/2011, they said they shipped out Thurs but I doubt that theyre telling the truth. Friday morning I recieved the package box from UPS directly. Bags were in a box stuffed with bubble wrap and newspaper. Water was ice cold. 1 bag with 20 fire/tetras all DOA and water dirty with plant material which look like it had been decaying for days because the water was brown colored. The other bags had 8 dead blue tetras and some still dying, the bag with 20 neon alive in cold water, and plants did not look healthy. I called and spoke to Pete who said just email the number of DOA. I did and they never responded or gave me credit. I tried to call and they never answered the phone. If your lucky , you will get the fish alive because they survived bad conditions. But theyre method of doing business is unethical to say the least. Oh, did I mention I added 4 killi fishes hoping to get a pair and they sent all males. I'll take the lost and never do business with them again. I have to change my account number because they may try to charge my account again, I dont trust them.
OK, I must say that I was horrified when I read some of the negative reviews, especially since I did my research AFTER placing the order on-line with Arizona Aquatic Gardens. I placed an order on Monday morning from the East Coast for several very rare and unique species of aquatic plants and fish. I carefully read the terms and conditions on the vendors website and noted that most plant & live fish orders were shipped on Thursdays. I received an e-mail from UPS informing me of the shipment and tracking number on the Thursday of that same week and received all of the plants ordered on Friday. All of the plants ordered were in very good condition, and some of them exhibited such prolific growth upon arrival, that I was able to separate them and derive several healthy plants from a single-plant purchase. The shipping charge was based on the weight of the overnight package and matched UPS' rate chart to the penny. I must admit that the shipping cost was high, but this was the rate that UPS charged to ship an overnight package. Wait... I have not yet mentioned the live fish. My only disappointment was that the fish that I ordered were not in the package with the plants that were ordered on the same day. I was so looking forward to receiving these specimens, since I have never seen this species offered in any aquarium store (I'm 53 years old) and I thought that they would complement my aquarium at home very nicely. I read the terms and conditions on their website again and it said that the invoice would show that I had a back-order if the order was not shipped complete. I also noted that AZAG would only charge 50% of the standard shipping charge for back-orders and that I would have the opportunity to chance this order if desired. I waited one week... and no shipment. I e-mailed AZAG the second Monday (since their website explains that they are very busy with filling orders the rest of the week and Monday is the best time to contact them) and I received a response from Peter stating that my order would be going out in this weeks shipment. Shipment went out as promised, confirmed by e-mail from UPS and I received my two houseguests by overnight mail on Friday. As agreed, the UPS charges were charged only at half the standard rate. Note: All specimens arrived healthy and alive and are currently thriving and growing well in my home aquarium. Although I would have preferred the entire order to arrive in one shipment, after calculating the additional cost incurred for shipping, the difference paid was negligible. Overall, my experience was good.
I too ordered a number of invertebrates from Arizona Aquatic Gardens which arrived almost all dead, but it was through no fault of theirs. My wife's brother suffered a heart attack and my wife, who is usually home, was at the hospital when the first two delivery attempts were made, so the shrimp had spent three cold days on FedEx planes and trucks before I could pick them up after work the next day. Everything was dead except for one lone cherry shrimp and the mussels. (My wife jokes that that was the most expensive freshwater shrimp ever sold, cost about a buck and a quarter for a 1/4" shrimp.) They did make a follow-up call and I explained the situation, and they were extremely nice, even offering to give me a full credit for the order (not including shipping of course.) I didn't take them up on that because it was completely not their fault and I wouldn't have felt right about it, and I never again ordered because I didn't want to risk even another $50 shipping, so I can't say for sure how they would have performed had we been home to receive the order, but I certainly had no complaints with their service. Everything ordered was correct in the order as well and was well packed in two large standard styrofoam fish boxes.
The shipping was quite expensive, but since I have shipped live fish next day air the cost wasn't totally unexpected. This was several years ago and they may not even be under the same ownership so your mileage may vary, but my experience with the company was as positive as it could have been considering the circumstances.
Many plants received were
- frozen enroute.
- smaller than represented on their website
- fewer than ordered
- were substitutes of what was ordered
Restitution was refused until a claim was filed with the credit card company. The content of the second shipment was agreed to beforehand, but was comprised of a plant mix totally different from the original order. Many of these plants were sold off to recover the money I paid to AAG.
I have totally no way of knowing whether AAG operates out of the owner's garage as is intimated in the other reviews. But Google Earth shows his shipping address on a road devoid of buildings in the middle of the desert north of Tucson.
BBB of Tucson does rate AAG with an "F" for a refusal to respond to customer complaints.
AAG has a wonderful website, however, with hundreds of plants and animals on offer. They do not accept returns, they state clearly they will substitute what they have on hand for what you order, they will only offer store credit for confirmed DOA's, they have a $35 minimum order (even for replacement and for back orders), and their flat shipping charges are twice of what UPS charged them for the box they sent me.
I made out a rather large order to this company based on their interesting selection of unusual fish and plants that are not available in my area. When I had completed the order, I did some quick research before submitting it, and discovered that this company was rated "F" by the Better Business Bureau in Tucson, Arizona. At that point, I cancelled the order.
On Jan 27, 2011, martha1776 Beverly Hills, CA wrote:
I have purchased from This company and be warned fellow gardeners that this company az gardens does not grow or raise their own plants and aquatic life which they claim on their website.
The high rate of DOA is due to the fact that they have all thier live goods and plants tran shipped to them. They will place a huge order with their supplier who is in California. The supplier or transhipper gets in the live goods from overseas. They are then sent toAZ GARDENS. By the time AZ gardens gets the order form his transhipper in CALIFORNIA, The fish, shrimp and snails have spent at least 3 days in a bag. If you examine their packaging closely you will notice that the materials used is Not of US origin.
Their plants are purchased from Florida Aquatic Nursery. They lie about growing their own plants. They will never allow you to see thier facilities or pick it up locally!! Now you know why
I should have read the other comments before ordering from this company, so I would have known that they were hard to deal with!! I received plants that were frozen. ( I assumed that they froze when they were left outside my door, and that would be the carrier's fault, but the package did not say that it was plants, that they needed to be handled with care, that they could not freeze, or anything for the carrier to know.) The package was a beat up old cardboard box with the plants in plastic bags with a piece of newspaper covering them! Hello, they were being shipped to NY...it is the middle of winter!!! I contacted the company 4 times. I left two voice mail messages, and two e-mail messages. I also in good faith placed 2 more orders asking for a reduction in total of each one as a reimbursement. I received nothing. The reply I received was totally out of line....not sure who the guy is within the company that has been contacting me, but, wow, he is bad for this company's business....he started out by saying he did not get my messages, that "e-mail glitches are common"...after a few e-mails back and forth, he became personal..stating that, "reacting is not healthy", and that if I posted on a forum that I could land in serious legal trouble....I became sooo frustrated. Most companies will work with you, even if they don't think they are at fault to keep a customer. All I wanted was for them to reimburse me half of the cost of the plants. The e-mail that I received was totally out of line, ( he was threatening me, and chastizing me like he was my father). If I had any thought about using this company again, this person made it so there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY I WOULD ORDER FROM THEM AGAIN!!!!
Oh, how I wish I had done my research! Like many others, it never really occurred to me to have to do so; I have purchased so many fish from so many vendors and have NEVER had a DOA!
That said, let's start at the beginning. I placed an order on Dec. 16 for 6 Irian Red Rainbowfish. I expected to have the fish shipped either the next day (Friday) or Monday at the latest as is customary with all other live fish merchants I have dealt with. I noted they charged my AMEX on the 23rd, so I assumed I would see fish the next day. Numerous voicemails were either not returned or unable to be left due to full mailbox. Same with Emails. By Wednesday the 29th I disputed the charge with AMEX and contacted AAG to cancel the order. Guess what? Instead of cancelling, they finally shipped the order! Next day, I was at home when UPS dropped off this strange looking box which i opened immediately and turned out to be 6 DOA fish. The packaging was totally inadequate, just some thin Styrofoam (hello? it's WINTER!), very little water and a few greens thrown in for good measure, and not marked "live fish". Poor things.....
Despite the grave reviews I saw online & the rebuttals from the company claiming reviews were written by competitors I decided to place an order. I ordered 9 fish & used their default shipping ($42.00 - pretty standard charge for overnight fish delivery). Fish arrived in a cardboard box with bags inside wrapped in newspaper & bubble wrap. The water had leaked out of one bag completely & two of the 9 fish (5 different species) I had ordered were DOA. By about 4 days later all were dead but one. The survivor by the way was a fish that I did not even order, he was automatically sent by the company as a sub for the fish I ordered. Contacted the company immediately & when everyone else died, the same person whom I had spoken with 3 times was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing & offered to credit my account for the 2 DOA's. He also informed me I would have to pay shipping again to reorder! Have been keeping fish for over 15 years & have ordered online many times before & since ordering with this company. I called before I ordered & questioned the company about the bad reviews & let me warn you they have smooth operators answering the phone who assured me I would not be sorry I chose to give them a chance. HEED MY WARNING SHOP ELSEWHERE!!!!!! At this point I paid $80 for the one remaining live fish & $60 for the order I placed elsewhere for the fish who died from this company--by the way the ones from another company came packaged appropriately in a cooler & are all healthy & happy swimming in my tank!