Big Apple Herpetological, Inc.

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Big Apple Herpetological- The biggest bunch of "snakes" on the internet!
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HAUPPAUGE, NEW YORK -- I recently placed an order with Big Apple Herpetological, an online pet supply company specializing in reptile (herpetological) related items. I ordered some lighting equipment for my snakes from their online catalog, but when I received these items, I discovered that they were misrepresented in the company's online catalog, as they were of inferior quality. Since the lighting equipment was cheaply made and not worth what I had paid for it, I decided to return it for a refund. As per the company's return policy, I called up the company for a return authorization number, but I was given a hard time by the person who I spoke with. They tried to talk me into keeping the items, and when I told them no, I was told that I would have to pay for return shipping, and a 10% "restocking fee" would be deducted from my order. I told them that I would accept their terms for the return of the item, and I sent the item back to them via UPS. The company received, and signed for my return 2 days later, but after two weeks had gone by and my credit card still had not been credited for the return, I once again called the company. At first, they told me that they had not received my return, but when I told them that I had proof that they had received my return, they told me that they would have to "look for it". Well, I gave them two days to "find" my return, and when I called the company again, they said that they had located my return, but there was a problem. They claimed that the item was returned "incomplete", and was not in "re-sellable condition". This is untrue, as I had returned EVERYTHING which they had sent to me, including all packaging and paperwork. They said that they could not issue me a refund, and they would send the return back to me if I would like (at additional cost to me, of course). I told them to keep the return, as I would pursue other means to obtain my refund. I submitted a chargeback to my Citibank Visa card, and I have been issued a provisional credit pending the outcome of their investigation.
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User Replies:
AtBigApple on 11/15/2007:
I live in NYC and have dealt with this company for about 7 years and have had nothing but phenomenal service. If they say you returned something in not resellable condition I believe it. In the manner of your writing it is apparent that you are an angry individual and probably were upset that you were unhappy with whatever you received and sent it back in a condition which disallowed a refund.
Danielle on 12/05/2013:
Of course he is angry. It is frustrating to order online and feel helpless when the company makes it difficult to return. If the customer simply decides they don't want the product once received, then a re-stock fee and return shipping charge is reasonable. But otherwise, it should not be so difficult. I place a large order with Big Apple Herp (over $700) and when I set up the Monsoon and realized it was not working correctly (broken), they said they would not take it back since it had been used. Clearly I would have to use it once to conifrm it was not working. They said I would have to call the maker of the product. I will not order from them again as I want to be ensured that, if a product is not working, I can return it for one that is. In addition to that, my 125 watt ceramic bulb just stopped working after a little over a month (says they can last up to 5 years). It is made by Big Apple Herp. I have three other ceramic bulbs (Exo Terra) and they are still working after 9 months. Anything that states it is made by "Big Apple Herp" is not comparable to another brand. I will not bother calling Big Apple Herp regarding the bulb as I know they won't take it back. I will only be ordering from customer friendly sites in the future (many are out there). I want to know they stand by their product and are willing to take an item back if the customer is not happy.
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