I've purchased a lot of coral from a lot of sellers and vendors in the last few years. This is the first negative feedback I've given.
Typically I stay away from the "Chop Shop" type vendors that are obviously turning a quick profit on recently acquired purchases from wholesalers, but every once in a while something catches my eye that Mr. Salty puts up. In this last group of chalices and zoa colonies he put up I saw an interesting zoa that I was going to split with a buddy so I forked out the $50 for the colony and the $40 for shipping.
The box came in and was packaged well. No leaks and the bag seemed to be fairly warm which is good since the weather has been so cold. Honestly, that's where the good experience stopped.
Normally I like to take a look at the coral while it's still in the bag to see how it's doing. Not happening with this shipment. Through the bag it is obvious the water is full of debris and brown in color. I float the bag and then open it up. The water was brown, putrid smelling(kind of like when you've left anything biological in a cup of water for way to long), and full of debris. Anyone that has shipped before knows to fill the bag with fresh tank water and try to shake the frag free of any detris that may have settled onto it to avoid this issue.
The zoas where obviously perturbed. All were pinched shut and deflated. Now if the bag came in cold I would expect this, but since it was about the right temp I'm blaming the water quality. I've ordered plenty of zoas from Travis (PlanetZoa) that are open in the bag or open within minutes of being in the tank. I take a few pictures and send them over to Mr. Salty just to inform him of the issue. I know that even in this state they will probably open up, but I was trying to give him a heads up on how they arrived. I always like feedback on my shipping.
After thinking about my purchase I realize that the rock I have doesn't appear to be the same as I remember so I look through his site just to double check. Turns out I have a rock that is still for sale on the site. I understand he has a lot of frags and that orders can get mixed up, so I let him know he made a mistake. I'm not looking for a refund, I just want the zoas I ordered. He did offer me credit for the zoas but not for the shipping costs.
After informing him that I would like the correct order shipped to me at his expense he tells me I am more that welcome to repurchase the zoas that I've already purchased when he puts them back on the site tonight. I'm assuming that would be at my expense for shipping again.
My stance on this is that Mr. Salty made the mistake of shipping me the wrong zoas. Why not just "eat" the $40 shipping charge and send me the right order instead of trying to make a quick buck. I don't really need nor want a store credit. After this experience I wouldn't order from him again anyways because I think there is something wrong with the way he ships.
This could have easily been resolved in one e-mail. "Hey man, I made a mistake. I'll get you the right frag shipped out tomorrow."
People, I know he has cheap coral and you may even get something nice out of it, but its a *** shot. You might win or you might lose. I just wanted to inform the public of how he deals with a mistake he makes.
If anyone wants the actual e-mail exchange shoot me a pm and I'll be more than happy to forward it on to show how bad business is done.
Product or Service Mentioned: Saltcritters Shipping Service.
Monetary Loss: $90.