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Re: Drs. Foster and Smith and Big Al

Paul Armes described an undesirable incident with the Drs.:

> Just had an interesting episode with Drs. Foster et al. {I'm a little
> trembly typing this, what if I'm sued?) I placed my first order with
> them
> last week. Had no major difficulties although I did have to call them
> twice
> to get a tracking number for my shipment.
> Earlier this week I placed another order-this time for an Eheim 2026.
> Called
> twice for a shipping number. I was told last night that the item was
> out of
> stock and backordered (until March 29th). There was no indication of
> the
> fact that they were out of stock on the web site and still no change
> on the
> site today. I told the customer service representative that in light
> of the
> time involved, I would like to cancel the order. She then told me
> that it
> might not be possible to cancel the order. After I picked up the
> phone she
> said something about the fact that it was already "invoiced"
> (mistakenly)
> and it might not be possible for the staff to wade through the 15000
> or so
> orders to pull mine from the future delivery list. She then said "You
> could
> always refuse the order and send it back" and I said "Can you assure
> me that
> my credit card will not be charged?" to which she replied "I don't
> think I
> can guarantee that." After talking to her manager, she said they
> would issue
> an "emergency cancellation" order and get in touch with me next week
> notifying me whether or not the order has, indeed, been cancelled.
> Please don't misunderstand. The service rep was polite and efficient.
> I
> think. however, she and the company are working with a system that is
> not
> anywhere close to being up to speed. Like it or not, we live in the
> days of
> Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble online ordering.
> I wrote a very polite extended note to them explaining that I love
> their
> site and the wide variety of items they carry, but that I would not
> be
> ordering from them until they were able to do email notifications
> regarding
> processing, shipping and tracking.

It seems to me is as if the Dr.s are nothing more than a storefront
that collects orders and enters them into a computer.  After that
another company that actually has the item packages and ships it and
there is very little communication between the companies.  I am only
saying that it seems to  me like this.  I don't know what their actual
setup is.

I thought it was illegal, certainly improper, for a vendor to charge
someone's credit card before an item is given to a shipping transporter
(USPS, UPS, etc.).

> Anyone had any experience with BigAlsonline?

Lots of folks on this list have commented on this Canadian vendor. 
Generally, quite favorably.

This store is better than the Dr.s regarding tracking or order info--
although they don't automatically send you a tracking number, you can
get one on the telephone and they won't mislead you about whether a
package is in transit or not (in my experience).  You can try and find
an email address for Big Al but it's not on the "Contact" page -- I
don't know where it is.  They do send order confirmations, but mine
often arrive after the item has been delivered.  They ship quickly (1-2
days rather than 2-5 days) and take care of any problems that occur
with sympathy and a smile.  I find the site not a nice to navigate as,
for example, ThatPetPlace.

They promise to beat others (in-stock item) prices, as does

Scott H.

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