Posted on February 9, 2010, updated April 9, 2010
Posted on February 5, 2010, updated February 9, 2010
I should have done my homework, but I guess I've become a bit lax after having such good internet purchasing experiences for many years. My plants -- $60.57 worth -- arrived mostly frozen, packed in a too-large box in plastic bags and newspaper. Not even a warmer in the dead of winter. I had stupidly assumed the $5 "box" fee would include either a warmer or one of those nice little styrofoam boxes -- or both. Of course, to be fair, I need to mention an ice storm delayed delivery; nonetheless, the plants were not packed for winter shipping. I have sent two emails, the first asking [per the website instructions] what action should be taken, the second asking for a refund of $17.94 for three plants that were not included. I have received no response. In addition, the website says everything is "fully guaranteed" -- except for any problems incurred during shipping. Further reading in another section of the website states pretty clearly that things aren't truly guaranteed: "It is YOUR #1 responsibility to properly acclimate your new aquatic life, and make sure your tank has all of the appropriate water parameters and environmental requirements the particular species needs to thrive. DOA's that occur after your animals are installed in your water are your responsibility." BTW, that includes plants. So, how wonderful! Let's all leave the frozen plants in nearly dry, frozen plastic bags instead of attempting to revive them! I'd also like to mention quality: I paid $29.99 for "Java Fern Lace mounted on driftwood." The website states: "Microsorium pteropus "windelov") Lace Java Fern mounted on Driftwood These are 10 - 12" pieces of driftwood with about 20+ plants of Lace Java Fern generously rooted in." I received 4 root sections with 18 individual leaves not "rooted in" but superglued onto the driftwood. The white superglue is very ugly and is clearly new as there are no roots actually attached to the wood.
Finally, the shipping, which just showed up on my credit card, was a whopping $53.02. So in total, I've spent $136.53 [including the charge for the three plants not shipped] for some mostly -- others totally -- dead plants and a piece of driftwood covered with ugly white superglue. I don't know who I'll buy from next, but it won't be this guy.
On February 9th, 2010, lkarnatz added the following:
Just a quick update: still no response to my emails. I guess they simply ignore complaints.On April 9th, 2010, lkarnatz added the following:
Another update: never received a response to my emails nor did I get a refund for the plants that were not shipped. Of the others, only three survived, but all my original plants are fine.
I ordered a variety of aquatic plants and 2 different fish species from this company. The charges for product were @ $55.00. Although the site tells a buyer that they will be charging separately for air freight, I assumed that they would tell me what thse charges would be before the order had actually been placed. Not so. Not only did they not advise the freight charges, but they immediately charged my card for the goods....$10.00 more than they quoted! As soon as I saw that the charge had been made for more than the quoted selling price, I e-mailed the company canceling the order and demanding a refund. Within a day I got a confirming e-mail stating that my card had been credited....again not true. We went around and around on this until I simply decided that this was a scam operation and turned the matter over to my credit card company. They got the issue resolved but it took 30 days to do so.
My advice would be to avoid this web site at all costs. It is a torturous ordeal doing business with this company and frankly I am surprised that any credit card company would allow them to have a merchant account with them.
On Nov 10, 2009, lindaroot Yucca Valley, CA wrote:
On October 21, my husband discovered the website, and filled out an order form for 6 celestial pearl danios, and advanced to the next page expecting shipping information, but instead got a confirmation of order. He immediately emailed and told them not to fill the order until he was advised re shipping costs. We heard nothing further, no confirmation of order, NADA for ten days. Then on November 2, after we had purchased other fish we received email from Nick Jones of AZgardens indicating shipping costs were actual, and referring to link in an updated website that gave us some information, and nowhere indicating there was an existing order. I am a California lawyer and my husband's immediate notice to them not to ship weeks before is a legally sufficient notice of recission. I responded tto Ms. Jones email that I would likely submit an order on the next Monday, i.e., Nov. 9, which is a pretty clear indication of our understanding that we had not ordered anything. On November 4, I visited this website and others, and became aware of problems others have had with AZG. At that point I had no intention of ever ordering from AZG. That afternoon to my great surprise, without any acknowledgment of any order or any notice of shipping, we received a package containing two dead, one dying, and three stressed but living CPDs, packed in a huge used box for which we were charged $5 in a bag containing charcoal or some similar abrasive. Shipping costs were nearly $32. Two more fish died before the day was out, and the next day, the last one died in his hospital tank. I sent photos. Today Jones offers to give us a credit or replace the two that I can prove were DOA, i.e., $13.98. Out of pocket loss on this transaction is $76.00, for which we received absolutely nothing of value. Why would I spend another $32 in shipping, $5 in box fees to possibly recover less than $14! STAY AWAY from this vendor.
I ordered from Arizona Aquatic Gardens last week, and still have not received any emails of confirmation, or fish. If the fish aren't ready to be shipped, they should be labeled 'sold out' or 'out of stock'. It should not take a week to ship fish. I ordered a tool off of ebay and it arrived faster than this! I am now nervous after reading all the negative posts, and wish I had done this research sooner. I will call them as soon as possible to let them know about this, and because today's thursday, I won't be able to call them. I wonder what they will do about the late shipping charge, though... I used a one-time safe credit card to order, and didn't put any more than the present order dollar amount... I will call them, I will file claims with the BBB against them, and I will continue until I get my fish. Seriously, how long can it take to ship four fish and a can of food? If they are a family business like they say they are, why can't they take orders more personally? With all these negative comments, only the people who are ordering for the first time - and probably last time - they can't have that many customers. They never sent a confirmation email like all the REAL companies do, or maybe just the professional ones. I will keep you updated on what happens. STAY AWAY!!!!!
On April 22, I ordered some pond snails (10 Japanese Trapdoor and 6 Zebra Nerites) which through an error by FedEx arrived dead after 5 days in transit. I paid $41.24 for the snails and $14.30 for shipping. At that time, I called and talked to Peter who said he would ship out a replacement because their shipment is guaranteed. The reship consisted of snails I didn't order (15 Olive Nerites), plus they charged me another $37.98 for overnight shipping. When I called Peter, he said I would have to pay extra for overnight shipping. I could not seem to get him to understand that I didn't order what I received. I emailed several times with no response. I finally called and spoke to Nick who said he didn't know how that error happened and that he would refund that shipping cost and send the original order. Neither event has happened. On 6/19, I finally emailed and asked that they cancel my order. Nick replied that my order would be shipped Tuesday June 23. This shipment also never took place. I emailed again asking that they cancel my order. I have since gotten my pond snails locally. I also have filed a complaint with the BBB. AZgardens has not responded to them either. I only used AZgardens because they were closer to Utah, but I'm now back to using thepondguy.com.
On Jul 21, 2009, phishnplantz Lakeland, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:
I too have been a victim of AAG's shipping "policy". As a first time customer only because I received an unsolicited $6.00 coupon in my email, did I make the mistake of ordering from this company. Due to their policy of not determining shipping fees till shipment, they do not include the shipping fees on the invoice for what you purchased.. I ordered a few plants, less than $30.00 worth and was charged $50.55 for FedEx Priority Overnight Shipping separately. I was stunned when I saw this amount appear on my credit card. I have never purchased anything on-line that I wasn't privy to all charges prior to shipment. I took the advice of another writer in this area and have filed a complaint with the Arizona BBB. I encourage everyone to do the same.
Do Not Buy From Arizona Aquatic Gardens.
On August 17th, 2009, phishnplantz added the following:
UPDATE: After forwarding my dispute information to my credit card company regarding the unprofessional and blind billing issues with AAG, I just received a full refund on the order and shipping. I also provided the BBB rating of "F" and they are not an accredited business due to their failure to address the majority of complaints.
On Jul 1, 2009, jillofall Colorado Springs, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:
I have some issues with this company, although they also have some good points. They billed me when I ordered the minimum order size of mosquito fish (51 for $35.19 + $5 for box). I prefer to be billed when they ship, especially since they didn't ship for 3 weeks. They also do not send email so you never really know what is going on. They were very polite when I called, and did call back when I left a message. The fish arrived just fine. The BIG problem was the cost of the shipping. They claim they can't calculate shipping until they ship, and then they make a second charge on your credit card for shipping. In my case they shipped to Colorado, not far from AZ, but the fish were shipped in a large styrofoam box FedEx Priority. I was shocked when I was charged $81.36 for shipping. This is very high and I would NOT have ordered the fish for $35 had I known it would result in $120+. Just be prepared for this. This was not the handling charge, but the actual shipping charge from FedEx.
Back just before 9/11 this I ordered plants fish and tools from this company. They told me twice my order had shipped. Turns out only half of it had shipped. When I asked about the rest they came up with this lame (jingoistice) excuse that it was the muslims fault!? They specifically pointed out they did not want to deal with the muslims (Pakistanis) that were supplying some of their tools. They expeceted me to take their side! 9/11 was terrible but to use it as an excuse for your TERRIBLE service was awful. I decided never to use them agian
I ordered several Nerite snails from AZ Aquatic Gardens. After waiting over a week for an order confirmation, I emailed the company to inquire about the order. Several days later I still had not heard anything from them, so I cancelled the order via email, web page, and phone message. The next day I received an invoice. I never received any snails from them. This company is a FRAUD. Do not buy from them.
I ordered some shrimp, snails, and supplies from these guys. The snails were not in the box. They do not respond to E-mail. They are thieves. They charged me and I did get what they charged me for. Do not order from these people.
Read the comments below, this company is deceitful in it's charges.
I ended up paying $40 more in shipping than expected.
The plants were sent out on Thursday, holding them up in the fedex center for the weekend, with my smaller plants arriving like squishy spinach. We'll see if they live.
I just had a situation with a "Arizona Aquatic Gardens". I emailed them asking about a SOLD OUT fish on their web site and this is a copy of the email they sent back. I thought it was unprofessional and RUDE!
(This text was ALL BOLD Notice they don't have spell check) ...
You must re-read the site. We have a $35 dollar minimu for live goods. and we DO NOT sll sexed fish, this is mentioned on every fish page on the site. I copied and pasted below. (End bold text. This was copied from their page. I didn't change a thing)
We ship most "Fish, Shrimp, & Snail Only" Orders out on Tues nights.
We do NOT sell sexed animals, please do not request paired or sexed fish.
Please make sure your live good order is at least $35 bucks. There is NO minimum order amount for shipping dry good or non-perishable items. You may combine Dry Goods and Live Goods to get to our $35.00 mnimum. (I didn't touch the spelling. That's all on them!) We always ship "Plant Only" Orders out on Thurs nights.
YES, You may combine Fish, Shrimp & Snails with your Plant Order and they will be shipped in one box on Thursday night as well. You must have your order placed by Monday night at 7pm for same week delivery. Orders placed after our Monday deadline will ship
the following week. You will get an email confirmation from us
when your order ships out.
All of this information is available in more detailed form by clicking the "Ordering" or "Shippng" (more spell check needed!) tab above
With this said. I won't be buying fish or plants from them, and I won't be emailing with stupid questions. They may have me arrested next time!
I placed an order with Arizona Aquatic Gardens on 3/16. They substituted whatever plants they felt like and have yet to send other plants. I ordered 2 lillies, and they charged $12.99 for additional shipping because the plants were coming from another source. I have e-mailed and left voicemail messages (no one ever seems to be available to answer the phone) MULTIPLE times without answer. TERRIBLE customer service!
I ordered over 100.00 dollars of live fish from them. When the order came in the living fish were all in distress. The ones that were dead were 2cory cats, 12 clams, Those that were dying and died were 2 killifish. I managed to save the rest. I am out over 25.00 dollars. I have e-mailed them with no response. I will never purchase any living item from them again. Their plants came in in good order. They shipped the clams in wet printed newsprint with no water in a plastic bag.. I thought everyone knew how toxic the ink was on newsprint. I guess these people do not know.
After only two days, all 21 shrimp have died along with the flying fox and an Oto. The shipping box was POORLY insulated - just the top and bottom with 1/2" styrofoam and a hand warmer on the bottom. The temp of the water in the bags was 60F. I picked up at the Fedex store.
I took two hours to aclimate the shrimp. They looked great when they went in, but in two days, they all croaked. My tank is well established and stable.
I should have questioned their intentions when I noticed my presale questions were not being answered. I was anxious, so I went ahead and ordered. Mistake.
I just finished submitting a Credit Card dispute.
When the forecast is 10 F, you would think they would delay or better insulate. Wrong.
I am very disappointed. I cringe at the thought of looking at my Overnight shipping cost. Just like my stock portfolio, I will not look until the statement comes.
Avoid these people at all cost. They want to sell only.
Save your money. Do not buy fish from this company. Their aquatic plants are still OK but their customer service is very poor now. They used to be a good company years ago before they started to offer tropical fish. It is hard to envision this company will survive in a long run with such poor feedbacks, considering they are many other companies who offer much better service and prices out there.
I have been royally screwed on shipping charges and have lost the fish I ordered! I ordered 5 siamese algae eaters and 6 cherry shrimp, the total for these was around $57. When I went thru the online checkout there was an estimate given of $35 dollars or so for shipping. The day after I received the package 4 of the 5 SAEs were dead, and I found the 5th one dead this morning. I've seen a couple of the shrimp, but fear that some of these may be dead as well. My tank is already established with several other fish that are doing perfectly fine right now. I called AAG today to find out what they could do about this. The guy I talked to just told me about all the stuff that I could have done wrong, talking about adding salt and other chemicals to my tank, then he told me that he'd send me some new fish if I'd pay for the shipping again. However, he couldn't tell me how much that would be. He switched me back to another person who looked up what I had paid for shipping. There's a reason they don't tell you when you order what shipping will be, because the shipping charges on my order (for a 4 lb. 10"x10"x10" box) was $76!! What a freaking ripoff!!! Don't waste your time or money on these clowns.
I ordered from Arizona Aquatic Gardens in July. They did not have the items I wanted in stock so I then canceled my order. I had several major problems with this company.
1.) Yesterday, November 13, I found a package on my porch. After opening this package, I noticed it was packed with bags of fish. They sent my order 4 months after the date of purchase, and after I canceled my order!!!!
2.) In addition, their website states: "Back orders generally stay in our system for 4 weeks automatically, after that they are cancelled. You will have to order them at a later date when they become available." WHY DID I RECIEVE A SHIPMENT FROM THIS COMPANY FOUR MONTHS LATER, EVEN AFTER EMAILING THEM TO CANCEL MY ORDER?!?!
2.) After cancelling my order, my credit card account was never credited.
3.) I received no email from Arizona Aquatic Gardens that this shipment was being sent. Therefore I was left to improvise on an aquarium for the livestock. However, I did receive a tracking report email from FED EX. I just so happened to check my email after the fish arrived.
4.) They sent me the WRONG SPECIES. I had ordered two bumblebee gobies of the species Brachygobius doriae, which are a brackish water fish. I received four freshwater bumblebee goby species, Brachygobius xanthomelas. These are obviously different from the brackish water species. They have a horizontal band running through their eye, their dorsal fins greatly differ, they are less robust then their counterparts, and they are very ugly compared to the other species.
5.) Arizona Aquatic Gardens also replaced a tiger goby with two bumblebee gobies, without my permission. The statement indicates that this was done at no charge, except cost of the Tiger Sleeper Goby was not removed from my bill. In addition, two bumblebee gobies cost $7.96 while a tiger sleeper goby cost $9.98, a difference of $2.02.
6.) A tongue sole I had orderd was DOA.
After my encounters with Arizona Aquatic Gardens, I wouldn't recommend anyone to order anything from them.
I ordered a lotus earlier this year, received it when promised and though it was small it did appear to be a healthy root. I will be attempting to contact the company soon as it has yet to send up any viable leaves. The root still feels firm, but all it has managed are three very spindly stems with no leaf formation on the ends. I will up-date here with their response. The reason I am commenting now is the cost of shipping. I sure wish I had read comments here before ordering. The plant total with tax was $41. Shipping was $45!! Not overnight.....just their standard rates. I won't be ordering again soon.
If I had known about the shipping costs, I would never have considered using this company. The shipping cost nearly as much as the order, and the order was a little over $100. That, in my opinion, is ridiculous, and misleading, especially to withhold costs and then give estimative figures as low as 20-$45 on their website. What do you have to do to get $45 in shipping, order a single plant or fish? This is a qualified negative review, however, as Arizona Aquatics does have some good points.
The fish arrived in remarkably good condition, though the corydora species ordered was not the corydora species that arrived. It was a species that I personally like bettter, however, so I wasn't too upset. In fact, I was rather pleased that Arizona Aquatics isn't as abreast in corydora identification as I am. The plants are also healthy, albeit on the smallish side, and I, as a aquatic plant specialist, do not agree on their method of transporting plants. It is too hot in the Summer to rely only on a plastic bag. You need at least a soaked paper towel or newspaper to keep the leaves moist.
It is a shame, really, about the shipping, because otherwise, I would gladly continue to give them my business. I've ordered plants online and opted for Overnight, and at the most, have been charged $45, for an order that weighed twice as much as this order did. Truely a shame.
A long story short, if you've got the dough to fork over for shipping and want some quality stock, by all means, use Arizona aquatics.
I wanted a Momo Batan lotus really bad, and I found one here. I also ordered water lettuce and parrots feather from them. The lotus looks *ok* but the water lettuce and parrots feather look terrible! The water lettuce doesn't have any roots and the parrots feather is like mush. Also, I paid $35 for shipping!! I will NOT order from them again.
After reading all these negative criticisms, I am now nervous. I wish I visited this site earlier. Last week I bought some fish and tool from them. The charges for shipping and handling, in my case, seems to be acceptable. I often buy wild caught Alaska King salmon and some other fish from Pike Market in Seattle. The costs for overnight delivery is almost over $50 to Ca. But the package always arrived next day in front of my door, never any problems. i have never had any problems receiving merchandise bought on the internet. My experience, however, with Az. Garden, so far, is not good. First of all, after I placed the order, they don't send me a confirmation E-mail. Every other on-line business does. I do lots of on-line shopping, so I can say that. After waiting for a few days, no e-mail, I decided to call them. Of course, nobody answers the phone. Finally, I sent them an E-mail asking about the delivery. They replied, advising shipment would be made 4/8 and I should receive the package by 4/9. I chose to pay extra $2 for "signature required". I waited since early this mornng and constantly going on my computer to tracking the delivery because it shows "in transit". However, by 8:45 p.m., no package. The shipping company web site still shows "in transit". I finally decided to call the shipping company and found out that driver arrived but could not enter the main gate. She said they will make another attempt tomorrow morning. Here I am, very upset, wondering if those fishes will still be alive, and what if the driver again fail? i had wasted one whole day sitting home waiting. In my case, I think Az Garden is equally to be blamed, and who is OnTrac (the shipping company)? I might receive the package tomorrow, the fishes might still be alive (barely, maybe), I certainly hope so. Will they be what I ordered? We shall see. I will be back soon to keep you all updated. In conclusion, AZ Garden is not "professional",
On Mar 18, 2008, Pameladragon Appomattox, VA wrote:
Arizona Aquatic Gardens has some very unusual and interesting aquatic plants that are difficult to find. A friend and I placed an order that totaled over $100 and included liverworts, vals, moss balls, etc.
The 3 pound package arrived overnight and I took it right from the hands of our FedEx guy. It was opened immediately and with great excitement which quickly turned into disappointment. Our liverworts were mush, the vals had badly burned ends, one plant was mislabeled, one item was not shipped and another was in pretty rough shape.
The stuff that was right was beautiful however, I have to give them that.
However, the plants were not wrapped in damp newspaper, just stuffed into plastic bags and stapled shut. This may well account for the sorry condition of the valsinarias. The liverworts looked exactly like a wad of drained frozen spinach, well drained chopped spinach. Perhaps if they had been shipped wet they would have fared better.
The plants arrived Friday and I called Monday to report the problems. The person I spoke with was pleasant, offered either house credit or credit card refund, and did not argue with me. However, when I requested the shipping charges I was nearly knocked off my feet. It cost us $78.27 to get a three pound box of plants from Arizona to Virginia!
I've been buying plants by mail order for years and have never been socked with a charge like this. I can't imagine that fish stores pay these rates either, otherwise they could never afford to sell plants as reasonably as they do.
If you are looking to buy aquatic plants, find another grower. Arizona Aquatic Gardens may have nice offerings but until they find a more reasonable shipping system and learn how to properly pack plants they are not worth your money.
This company does not deliver what you ordered and paid for. In addition, they won't answer the telephone or don't choose to. We never have gotten the full order we bought, nor have they called us about the shortage. They also were late in their delivery and had inferior stock. I would never use them again for anything.
I bought cattail plants from AZ Gardens in April 2007 and May 2007. They were beautiful healthy plants; however I was concerned when I got my credit card bill in May because there were four charges from AZ Gardens. I didn't recognize two of those charges. I emailed and phoned AZ Gardens. They did not respond to either. So I called my credit card company to dispute the two additional charges. After the dispute forms arrived in my mail, I decide to try and contact AZ Gardens by phone one more time. They actually picked up the phone.
The owner said the additional charges were for shipping. He walked me through his website and true enough there is a lenghty and rather ambiguous explanation that you will be charged for shipping at a later time. He said it took him years to craft this website.
I told him I would no longer dispute his charges; however, I found that his website was less than clear about shipping charges. His response was that his second grade son understood it. I told him I thought it was deceitful and required that the buyer beware. He told me he would win this if I took him to small claims court. I agreed, he would win. Again, I told him I thought he misrepresented the shipping charges and thought it was deceitful. He called me a Hillbilly and hung up on me.
By the way, the first shipping charge was for $53.79 for a purchase of 15 cattails for $73.85. The second shipping charge was for $57.72 for a purchase of 22 cattails. I saved a boxing fee of $5.00 since I bought $100 worth of plant in the second purchase.
I just had my first and LAST experience with azgardens.com and wanted to put the warning out there for anyone else thinking about doing business with them. As others have mentioned, the way they do shipping is really unbelievable. They will charge you for the merchandise but not tell you what the shipping will be - seeing it on your credit card bill is the first time you see it. So I ordered six small fish and a small aquascaping tool - total merchandise $45 or so. A small light square box arrived a week later along with a shipping charge of $62!! There is just no excuse for it. I've ordered other places like liveaquaria.com and from ebay witihout this kind of gouging. Every other ecommerce site out there can figure out shipping why can't they?
We were even more surprised to find upon opening the box, that they had shipped the wrong fish AND not included the tool. I had to email pictures of the wrong fish, and then write again a week later before a got a terse response that the tool was on backorder - nothing about the fish. I wrote back, and finally another week later, another terse email that everything should ship out in another week. When it finally did arrive the fish were fine but they had sent the WRONG TOOL! These people just can't get their act together, they make lots of extra money on shipping and are very poor with communication. I highly recommend you AVIOD. There are plenty of other good vendors out there.
I have ordered from Azgardens.com at least three times. The first couple of times the quality of their aquatic plants was outstanding and when they stated XLarge the plants were huge. This last time I ordered 3 habitat packages. When I received them I had many plants missing, the plants that I did receive were not wrapped in newspaper but put in bags with little to no water. I called and explained the problem and was told that it would be corrected and sent out the next Thursday. The second order I received sent me plants that were in poor shape and for the XLarge show anubias coffeefolia I received regular size Anubias Barteri. I'm extremely dissapointed. I spoke with Tony on the phone the second time and explained it but I'm looking for another company in which to do business. BTW the shipping for a 4 lb box to Chicago was over $80
I ordered from az gardens and i did receive all my plants. But my stargrass plants were all melted, and most of my plant orders were pretty small. I always heard so many coments about their orders being quite generous but i didn't really see anything special. I wouldn't really want to order from az gardens.
This company has been all-around terrible. They shipped me dead bulbs, promised to replace them, never shipped new ones, took forever to respond to my emails, and now have been ignoring my emails completely and will not provide a refund.
I have filed a claim with the better business bureau (http://www.bbb.com) and would like to incite others whom have been mistreated by this company to take 10mins. to do the same. The BBB tends not to pay a lot of attention to a single claim, but if they receive multiple complaints, they will likely put pressure on this company to shape up their act so that future customers do not have to go through this treachery.
On May 29, 2003, toadlily Grandview, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:
I ordered from them 3 weeks ago. When I ordered by phone, I was told my credit card would be charged for $99.98 for the plants plus what ever shipping was (they could not tell me what the shipping would be until the package was weighed.) My credit card was charged $134 for the plants and $50 for shipping! I have tried to contact them by email with no response. I will never order from this company again.