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Terrible shipping experience

Posted by Lauren at 7/29/2020 6:38:48 PM

I just had the worst shipping experience of my reptile-keeping life. 

About a week and a half ago, I paid in full for a Pueblan milksnake from a seller in Utah. I had asked them to hold the snake because temps here on the East coast have been hellish. On Saturday, I messaged the seller and said "It looks like the first week of August should be much cooler and I think we could ship then." I got a reply of "Okay, sounds good," and then a request for my phone number and email. I've had sellers ask for this in advance before so I wasn't too concerned. 

The weekend wanes... and then on Monday night, I get an email, late, at like 8:30 PM saying my package has been picked up by FedEx and will arrive on Tuesday, July 28 to be held at FedEx. It's from a shipping site called "ShippingHawk" and shows FedEx shipping info but no tracking number.

At this point the package is already gone... so while I'm hella pissed that they shipped the snake because it's been 100* for days... there isn't anything to be done.

I wake up Tuesday morning and the shipping email shows that the package arrived in Memphis at 1:30 AM. Nothing else. So I go to work, checking the email constantly to see when I need to go and get him. Nothing. Still says Memphis, TN. Finally at 12:00 I call FedEx to see about the package. They won't talk to me unless I have the shipping number, which I don't have. 

So I message the seller. No response. I drive to FedEx and they still won't talk to me because I do not have a number. Finally two hours later I get a response that the bosses are busy but some lackey might be able to get the shipping number for me. I go to the FedEx website and type the number in and it still says Memphis and "delivery estimate unavailable." 

So I message the seller and say firstly I'm pissed you sent the snake as I asked you to hold it until next week. They say I didn't, so I screen shot them the part where I said "the first week of August." Oh, sorry, we missed that. 

I then say "Now the snake is lost in FedEx. They don't know where it is, and it's 100* here. I don't know how hot it is in TN." 

Their response? "We have been having this happen all season, it's fine. Had a snake missing in Miami for 4 days and they were just fine." 

They were just completely unconcerned, and that really bothered me. First... if you consistently have packages going missing... why are you still shipping? I actually messaged some other breeders and they said they haven't had any issues. I am wondering if it's the third party shipping company these people are using. 

Second... as a customer who is purchasing a living creature, I expect you to be concerned if the package goes missing. There's only so long an animal can live in a box without water. At the very least I'd expect you to say something like "Oh, man, I am sorry to hear this, let me reach out to FedEx on my end and see what we can find out." 

It's like these people just did not care at all. 

By 8:30 last night I had gotten an update that the snake was in the Baltimore distribution site, and by the time FedEx opened this morning, he was available to pick up. He seems okay-- he bit me straight out of the box which is a first. lol Another man was there receiving a ball python from ShipYourReptiles and he had no issues. Has anyone else had problems with shipping this year? We had issues with personal packages earlier this spring, like April and May, but everything since has been smooth sailing. I am waiting on a couple of other snakes to hatch out and now am very nervous about shipping.... 

 Comments: View Oldest First  

Sonja K. ,
Posted At: 7/29/2020 7:53:34 PM  

I've shipped out about 35 packages in the last 6 weeks. There have been a couple that didn't arrive by 1030 am at a residence, but there is no by 1030 guarantee currently. I have strongly tried to sway people to pick up at a ship center, and I always take into account the destination temp as well as the temp at the sort facility; be it Memphis or another. Reptile Express that I use for shipping even gives the forecasted temps for the origin, the sort facility, and the destination because all should be taken into account. Above 92 and the recommendation is to only ship to a ship center. At or above 100, shipping should not take place. I have never heard of Shipping Hawk and in googling, it doesn't look to be a reptile oriented third party. When I've had a package get held up, the reps at Reptile Express make calls and do their best to correct the situation or at minimum let me know what's going on so I can convey to the customer.  I would not want to purchase from that seller again. Way too many red flags. It's very sad that they didn't seem to care. Was it even shipped via priority overnight?

Lauren ,
Posted At: 7/29/2020 8:18:15 PM  

Sonja- I always have them hold my snakes at FedEx, no matter the time of year. I lost my first snake in a shipping debacle due to too-hot temps on the truck (she died a couple days after she came) so ever since then I've asked the snakes be held at FedEx. The snake came in what appeared to be a normal reptile shipping box and once I was able to reach the FedEx site, it did APPEAR to have overnight shipping. The snake was $100 and the shipping was $30... I was very surprised it was that low, coming from Utah... it seems the seller is using this discount shipping site that's not supposed to be used for animal shipping. This is not some nobody, either. I'm not willing to say the name, as the situation seemed to have worked out, but this is a person that breeds and sells a rather large number of snakes each year. 

George H. Wessel VII,
Posted At: 7/31/2020 10:08:14 AM  

Wow. I definetly wouldnt do business with them again.

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