Pet owners and PETCO

Discussion in 'Community' started by mashinhead, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. mashinhead macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    #1
    I'm doing a project on petco and wanted some feedback from people that actually shop there. Stuff like:

    Why do you shop at petco.
    what do you like or not like about it.
    what would you change, or what do you love.
    What do you remember most.
    do you shop online from them.

    I guess any experience you've had with them for any pet or pet need. :rolleyes:
     
  2. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #2
    I love PetCO. That's where I have bought most of ferrets and I always enjoy going in and playing the baby ferrets. Makes me feel bad sometimes though cause I just want to take them all home with me.

    jon
     
  3. Eevee macrumors 6502a

    Eevee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    #3
    Petco usually do not have enough workers, esp the one in North Haven, CT. They are usually busy and can't help. There are many times I was just standing there waiting for someone to help me get a fish. Don't get me wrong, the workers are friendly. Just that they are overworked and can't help the customers.

    One time someone was trying to get a fish out for me. Turned out that he didn't know how to NET a fish. He screamed in front of me and other customers "Come out you!!" as he bang the fish with the net. After he bag the fish, he was panting and said to me, "Is he still alive?"

    Of course he end up killing it in front of me. I was depressed because I really wanted that fish.

    Talked to one of the workers. She told me that since it's a chain store (i.e. like Walmart), they are overworked, and can't be as helpful as other pet stores.

    That's my experience.
     
  4. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #4
    Closer to home than PetsMart.

    dilikes - small, dirty, poorly arranged, understaffed

    likes - location, P.A.L.S. card (though could be easier to get a free bag - lower requirements), good staff in Herndon VA

    Never shopped them online[/QUOTE]
     
  5. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #5
    Don't like them.

    Store in Annapolis is staffed by ex-cons, dirty, poorly stocked, badly organized, animals poorly taken care of.

    PetSmart = better.

    Clean, organized, decent staff (at least in Annapolis).

    PetSmart also does a lot more with the SPCA and adopt a pet organizations here than PetSmart.

    They also do obedience training in the store, and as a runner, I love any place that helps owners take control of their pets!
     
  6. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #6
    I've heard a lot from Petno that colors my perceptions... But that aside, I much prefer Petsmart, which is clean, well-stocked, and staffed by people that are really animal lovers. Petco isn't exactly dirty but it's dingy, and i don't mean they need more fluorescent lights. Tho they've been remodeling a lot to improve that. The staff at Petco also seems less likely to be animal lovers, but rather people who just got a job at a pet shop.

    So, while it's loads better than some of the locally-owned places around here, I go to Petsmart if I can at all help it. I'm just not comfortable giving money to a store that purportedly refuses proper care to many "commodity" animals...
     
  7. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #7
    - Why do you shop at petco.

    Mainly due to the prices, which seem to be generally lower than PetSmart, and the whole free food thing is nice. They also always have the brand of food I feed my dogs.

    I haven't had issues with the staff in the Schaumburg, IL store, and in fact find them to be very helpful.

    - what do you like or not like about it.

    It's not as well arranged as PetSmart, and tends to be dirtier/darker, and the stores are generally older.

    - what would you change, or what do you love.

    Add more light! The stores always seem dark. I don't know that there's anything I really love about it.

    - What do you remember most.

    My kids watching the ferrets and hamsters. They love them.

    - do you shop online from them.

    No.
     
  8. mashinhead thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    #8
    this is good, thanks. Keep them coming. Also if you remember any specific or unusual experience that would be great to know too. thanks again.
     
  9. apple2991 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #9
    Writing a book?
     
  10. mashinhead thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    #10
    nope advertising project, getting some user feedback.
     
  11. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a

    Black&Tan

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    #11
    Yeah, the one in North Haven isn't great. It looks dingy and messy. The fish section looks very dirty, although I occasionally bring my son to check out the fish there (he's only 2 and loves Nemo). That store was pretty nice when it first opened...but things have gone downhill, especially since Sports Authority has left.
     
  12. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #12
    This is really just reiteration of the points that others have already made, but perhaps it gives you another data point.

    We have both PETCO and PETsMART stores locally in the Madison/Huntsville area. The PETsMART store that I shop at is newer, cleaner, better-stocked and has more helpful staff on the floor. I've almost always been able to find things that I was looking for without any help, but when I have needed help, there was always someone available to do that.

    So, in contrast, some of my complaints about the PETCO store are that it's dirty, poorly-stocked and short-staffed. They do carry the brand of cat food that we use, but they didn't have the fancy water fountain that my cat demands. I hadn't ever picked up on the poor lighting issues, but now that some others have mentioned it, it is noticeably darker in that store than it is in PETsMART. I wouldn't say that the staff there is unhelpful, it's just that there are only so many customers that a handful of workers can help at a time.

    Have never shopped at either of their online stores.
     
  13. strider42 macrumors 65816

    strider42

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    #13
    DON"T BUY FROM PETCO! Petco sells animals. you should never buy supplies from stores that sell animals, and you should never buy animals from them either. Pet stores that sell animals tend to house them incorrectlly, feed them incorrectly and often get the animals through breeders who keep the animals in terrible conditions and often get to you sick, or in the case of small animals like rodents, pregnent and sick. You are much better getting your animals from private breeders, or specialty stores. For instance, if youa re into fish, you'd want to buy from a specialty fish shop that sells only captive bred stock for the most part and certifies that any wild caught stock aren't caught using poisons (its a big problem in the fish industry, and unreputable dealers can hurt coral reefs or damage freshwater ecosystems). When buying dogs, cats, or small animals, adopt instead. Lots of animals need homes, and buying from petco will only reinforce bad breeding techniques. Here's a good page that talks about it some: http://www.cavyspirit.com/petstores.htm Its specifically about guinea pigs, but the truth still applies. Petco is not a place you want to support.

    Buy from retailers who don't sell animals. Petfood express and Petsmart are good choices. Petsmart even holds adoptions ont he weekends around where I live. Local pet stores are great too, and you can often get food and the like in bulk and much cheaper (and healthier for your pet).

    PetCo = Bad. For them the animals are loss leaders, and I don't think pets shoudl be thought of that way.
     
  14. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #14
    Specific instances... OK, heres one, it's not interesting but all I can think of.

    When I had my very first hedgehog, I realized it was going to be a lot of work keeping her at 80*. So I go to Petco, looking for those stick-on heat panels for aquariums... adhesive on one side, usually made for reptiles. Wound up talking to a staffmember, who told me not to use the pads, but rather a UV heat lamp. Now I'm still not sure but I have a feeling hedgehog skin (especially albino, which 3 of them were) doesn't react as well as lizard skin to those things... Even if he was right, and it was OK to use, it still made me very uncomfortable and I didn't want it. But he actually argued with me about it, I could tell he wanted to personally insult me. Incidentally I think this was a high school kid... Meanwhile the staff at Petsmart, when they heard of my hedgehogs, would ask questions and give me tips from their friends who raise them.

    Since my last hedgie passed away last week ( :( ) and all I have is cats now, i don't have any special need to go into either of them anymore, Target's pet section is fine... and I don't wind up feeling sorry for half of Target's merchandise.
     
  15. SFVCyclone macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    Pasadena, Ca
    #15
    dislike: get a better freezer for fish food, the last time i was there the "frozen" brine shrimp was not actually frozen it was kinda soft to the touch and that went for everything else inside of it too. i really did not want to get the food because of its condition but i was seriously out of it at home so i had to. and also the cashiers, they always have little animals on them, it was cute at first but now it's annoying and they dont even try to be friendly, they are JUST there, almost emotionless.

    likes: generally i get good service in the fish department when getting new fish. i like how they have those large hamster tubes in the store but i forget exactly what they are for.
     
  16. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Socal
    #16
    The only pets I have are tropical fish, so I can only really comment based on that department at Petco.

    Basically, the consensus about big chain pet stores and the comments above is that it's not a good place to buy fish. They're housed in poorly designed tanks, often without any gravel. Some of the water pumps are much too strong for the fish in the tank and they end up swimming fast constantly to keep from getting whirled around. Like another said, it's a toss-up whether the employee knows the proper way to get a fish from a tank. (The right way: fast, as few motions as possible, use a second net or cup if necessary.) Improper netting not only endangers the fish you want, it stresses all of the fish in the tank. I have bought some aquarium supplies at Petco because of the lower prices, but it makes me feel a bit guilty about not supporting the smaller pet stores.

    As an FYI, avoid buying fish at any store that:

    - has dirty tanks or just bare glass on the bottom instead of gravel

    - leaves puddles of water on the floor for any length of time

    - doesn't have tanks marked as "sick" or "new fish", for fish that aren't in a condition to be sold at the time

    - leave dead fish in tanks for very long. Plenty of fish will die after the stress of shipping, but the store should be vigilant about cleaning them out in a timely manner

    - has a smelly tank area. Some odors are natural from that environment, but nothing should smell really fishy or rotten


    Signs of a great fish store:

    - they don't use dyed gravel at all

    - when you inquire about a certain fish, an employee asks how big your tank is and what other fish are already in it

    - uses natural plants in tanks

    - talks you out of buying a certain fish if he thinks it's a bad idea, even if it costs him/her a sale
     
  17. r6girl Administrator/Editor

    r6girl

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #17
    i used to shop at petco, but found a better local chain that i much, much more at which i now shop for food and supplies.

    when i shopped at petco:
    - i thought their prices were fairly reasonable
    - they had a good selection of toys and treats for my dog
    - their customer service was horrible - i was once rung up by a cashier (whom i later realized was the manager on duty at the time) who talked on the phone the whole time she rung me up (on a personal call) and asked me to do a price check on something i was buying that did not have a tag instead of calling another staff person to do that. that was the last time i shopped there. i was going to complain, then i realized she was the manager on duty already. also, when i've asked other staff questions about dog food quality and such, they have never been familiar with their own products and answer vaguely ("yeah, that's supposed to be a good food. it's expensive.").
    - i would definitely change the performance expectations for their staff (to be focused on customer service and be familiar with products) and/or their hiring requirements. it may have something to do with what they pay/reward their staff as well (you get what you pay for, in a sense).
    - i remember the poor customer service experiences i've had there the most.
    - i do not shop online with them, but imagine that i would if i found a product there with a better price than anywhere else.

    for what it's worth, the current store i go to (pet food express - i think it's only in the san francisco bay area) is great. i always get greeted when i walk in, the staff is very knowledgeable about all products (i usually get MORE information than i was expecting when i ask questions), and they actually pay attention to my dog when i bring him and give him treats (after asking me if it's okay). they are very active in the local community and support pet adoptions and other stuff. great store - highly recommend them.

    marianne
     
  18. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #18
    Oh how did I forget this story? Was at a petco a few months back, they had one of the round (freestanding) plastic cages divided into 4 parts, each with a ferret in it. Ignoring the *rediculously* small environment for such creatures... one of the ferrets had gotten stuck between the dividers and the top of the cage! Head on one side, tail on the other, and he was not in good shape... i think it was starting to crush his ribcage. Not to mention the damage the other ferret could have done to him. Were there any staff members attending to it? No. I pointed it out to the nearest person (i'm fairly alarmed by this point), who toddled off to get someone or something (or maybe just to go have a smoke, i didn't see him again). 30 seconds later I just grab the cage and put enough pressure on the sides to bow the top up, allowing the ferret escape. I almost bought out their ferrets that day from sheer compassion, but I would have had to find a new apartment which wasn't an option. Keeping the animals safe should be a priority above even customer service, considering the clientele Petco serves.
     
  19. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #19
    - Why do you shop at petco.

    Used to shop there due to convenient location and reasonable prices.

    - what do you like or not like about it.

    No longer shop there because I found a local store which is staffed by vastly more knowledgeable employees who seem to genuinely care about animals.

    - what would you change, or what do you love.

    Love: nothing - liked the prices, didn't love them
    Change: lighting is fine in my area, but store is terminally understaffed. Always. Long waits at checkout. Always.

    - What do you remember most.

    Trips there took forever.

    - do you shop online from them.

    No, but I would, as my complaints about them wouldn't be an issue, and presumably prices would be good. However, I support my local pet store now and will continue to do so.
     
  20. mashinhead thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    #20
    sorry about your hedgehog
     
  21. Eevee macrumors 6502a

    Eevee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    #21
    I agree it's not a good place to buy fish from a big chain pet store. Unfortunately, petco in North Haven is the closet one that sells fresh water fish. Thus, I do not have a choice. There is also a Petco in Hamden. There, some of the fish tanks were LEAKING water and the floor was wet and dirty (that's why the aquarium section was dark?). The workers just keep adding tap water. Again, it's not their fault because they are working in a big chain store that is profit driven. They are trying their best to be helpful.

    There is a local exotic salt water store near New Haven. The guy was really helpful and knew how to properly net a fish. As a result, he has many regular customers.
     
  22. Eevee macrumors 6502a

    Eevee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    #22
    paulwhannel, that's awful! Good idea to help that ferret out.
     
  23. Eevee macrumors 6502a

    Eevee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Haven, CT
    #23
    Have you checked out the one in Hamden? Even worse!!! Though one time they had 4 blue Australian Lobsters! Cool, but cost $40 each!
     
  24. chewbaccapits macrumors 6502a

    chewbaccapits

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2001
    Location:
    Torrance, Californizzel
    #24
  25. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #25
    Depends on what they have in stock. I wouldn't buy from brands that add beef byproducts that come from unsavory slaughter houses. You can tell which brands are good simply by asking your vet. I'd stay away from any store that sells crap petfood.
     

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