ED Magedson – Founder
PETLAND6131 Ronald Reagan Dr Lake Saint Louis , Missouri USA
PETLAND BAIT AND SWITCH SCAM!!! Lake Saint Louis Missouri
My husband and I were decided to add to our family and after much research we decided on a German Shepard puppy. I have four years of experience as a veterinary technician before I decided to pursue a future in law and I also have a two and a half year old son. With the knowledge that I have obtained I am aware that purchasing a pet is a big decision especially when a child is involved. We visited the Lake Saint Louis, MO Petland for one hour (past closing time), once at 10 am the next morning, and again at 5 pm that evening to ensure the puppy would play well with our son. During our first visit (Andrea as I am told by the GM) told us about the pet deposit if we wanted to ensure that no one adopts the puppy, who shall now be referred to as him throughout this correspondence.
Andrea was aware that we were looking at a puppy at a rescue also, and I asked her if we decided to go with a dog elsewhere could we use the deposit for leashes, food, or whatever else our puppy might need and she told us on several occasions that it would not be a problem and yes we could. The next morning Rachel opened the door for us and was extremely pushy, I felt like reminding her this is a puppy and not a pair of shoes! She, too, mentioned the deposit and again, I confirmed that if we decided not to adopt him would we be able to use the money for supplies for the other puppy, which she was aware of, and she, too, said yes!
We knew we were going to need supplies because we are getting a puppy from one place or the other so if it didn't work out no big deal we would not be out any money that we weren’t already going to spend, so we put down the deposit. When we showed up at 5 pm we had every intention of adopting him if all went well, however, he was more aggressive and grabbed my, already shy, son by the pants and actually bite his leg and was pulling on him. Rachel witnessed this and realized this wasn’t going to work, and took the puppy. Obviously this was not the puppy for us, and she immediately tried to show us any other puppy in the store, but as I mentioned before we were seeking a German Shepard puppy.
My husband asked her how the $100 credit worked because we need to get some items for the whatever dog we end up with and Rachel said she would check , she went in the back, and completely avoided eye contact with us for 10+ mins .I finally went to the front register and asked for a manager. The manager came out and immediately (before anything was said by me) told me she was on the phone with the owner and they refused to do a refund. I explained we were told we would get a store credit and I did not want a refund. She called me a liar and said that no one on her staff would say that!!! Then went on to tell me they only give refunds in special circumstances... Is this not a special circumstance? Please elaborate what constitutes a special circumstance.
My son was bitten by the dog that we really wanted and we didn’t want another dog, again we were not shopping for shoes, but a lifetime companion for our family! I was furious. Why on Earth would I ever give someone money without some arrangement to use the money elsewhere, knowing the possibility that this would not work out with our child? Yes, the receipt does say Nonrefundable, but it does not say nontransferable, therefore, I believed what I was told by multiple staff members. After a very heated discussion with the GM (as she identified herself) I asked to her to bring out the employee because the one from last night (Andrea) was off today. Rachel blatantly lied to mine and her bosses faces. She said and I quote “I told you this morning when you asked me that question that I would check to see if you could use the $100 for in store credit if you didn’t buy the puppy, but I never gave you an answer”.
WHY WOULD I GO OUT OF MY WAY TO ASK THIS QUESTION AND THEN JUST HAND OVER MONEY WITHOUT A RESPONSE? Honestly, think about it, if I am so concerned about this and have asked so many other employees and was confirming once again, why would I give her my money without some sort of agreement or understanding? She then went on to tell me she would not lie to her boss, which is of course another lie, and then the GM told me that she believed Rachel and not me, to my face in front of Rachel. I told her I needed to call the police to file a report and she told me to call the police, she will talk to them, and told me she didn’t have time to talk to me, and went back to hide in the back corner of the back room. Once I made the phone call, I asked to speak with her, again.
When she came out I asked her to come to the other side of the store by the mice to avoid a scene in front of the other shoppers. She directed me to the chairs and sat. I calmly asked her why would I be making this up and told her to look at the facts. Multiple trips, a background in animals, two different employees telling me the same thing, why would I make that up? She then told me that she “has a hard time believing two seasoned employees would tell me this”. I had to interrupt her and ask how seasoned these employees were because Rachel is now insisting she didn’t know the answer to what the GM was making sound like a very simple and routine question! Her reply was that people come in ALL of the time and put $100 deposits and never come back and, once again, repeated they only do refunds for special circumstances. I reiterated that I DID NOT want a refund, I wanted the credit I was promised so I could buy my new puppy some supplies!
She tried to tell me the dog part brought in business that was separate from the fish and food, etc. She also told me I could use it for a different puppy, but we wanted a German Shepard. She then, again, said the special circumstances and that the receipt says nonrefundable. I told her that it does not say nontransferable and she replied very forcefully “WELL IT WILL NOW”! Then, again, told me to call the police, she would talk to them because she had other things to do. I was even more confused after our conversation because I never left the premises with the puppy, I was told no one else had come in to look at him, so they did not miss an opportunity to adopt him, I just cannot wrap my head around the issue here. I was told I would receive a credit by multiple employees and then when the dog BIT my son, I was automatically the bad guy for expecting something that I was promised by multiple employees??
I have contacted the corporate office multiple times to resolve this issue. On the third attempt, I, finally, received a response that stated they could not help me and I was redirected to the store owners Tom and Jeff Hartmann to resolve this complaint. Conveniently they are never in and the rare times they are in they are busy and I am assured by the employees that my message will be placed directly in their hands. The corporate office could care less about this or any complaint (Google Petland reviews) and the store owners only care about the money, which, I guess, is what I should have expected from a puppy mill wholesaler. This complaint has been going on for over two months and I have never received an email or phone call response from any person affiliated with Petland, outside of the generic redirect from corporate. Only a response from Petland to my bank calling me a liar. If you read the reviews online you will find way too many complaints regarding the bait and switch that occurred with my family. I guess it is not against corporate policy to lie to the customers about a store credit or (in some cases with the online reviews) a refund because they have been made aware of these unethical practices and have done nothing to stop them.
Before purchasing a pet or any item from this store DO YOUR RESEARCH. I now know they are a puppy mill wholesaler, none of the pets that they are selling come from the “good breeders” that they will try to convince you of. (Online reviews besides the “bait and switch” are generally regarding very sick animals or not actually AKC registrable pets that they REFUSE to refund- there are tons of them everywhere including BBB (which they are not accredited) Rip off reports, as well as, the standard review sites) I am ashamed that I did not do more research before I entered the Lake Saint Louis, MO store Petland store, although, it has become apparent that these disgusting practices occur in every store in the country. After reading the reviews and researching complaints, and newspaper articles, I am surprised that this company is still in business. There are plenty of local stores that support animals and animal welfare and do not treat their customers like they are the scum of the Earth. I would recommend going anywhere, but Petland!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/01/2013 08:33 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/petland/lake-saint-louis-missouri-63367/petland-bait-and-switch-scam-lake-saint-louis-missouri-1063515. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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