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.
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 Feb 23, 2007, EileenAZ Tucson, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:
I've never had a problem with the quality of their merchandise, and have little shrimp from them eating and breeding away in my aquarium, and the apon bulbs have been a real joy.
That said, they really need to join the real world when it comes to their shipping practices. They're an easy 40 minute drive from my house, but flat-out would NOT let me go there and pick up the merchandise. I had to pay for shipping from the other side of town. I don't think I'll order from the any time soon for that reason. They have too much competition who really go out of their way to court your business to behave as if they were the only show in the galaxy.
Just ordered some blue lobsters from the site. The shippment arrived in good condition and the cost are fair. The cost of the lobsters were around $55, but the shipment cost is $70 for a 5lb. package from AZ to CA!!. It might not be their fault, but there is not even an estimate of the shipping charge. I called them to ask them if they can just put an estimate of the shipping charge on the website in the future, it seems the person on the phone was not very friendly and insists the website provide enough information on the shipping charges. I wish I have done a little research and found this site before I made the purchase.
I ordered water plants from them. The plants arrived in very good condition and were very reasonably priced. Why didn't they get a positive review? Their site doesn't list shipping costs when you order, and I know thats my fault for not looking into it closer, but their shipping costs are very high. If you can get the shipping cheaper, a good place to buy from.