BackwaterReptiles.comUnethical Business Practices

T Review updated:

I emailed backwater reptiles inquirying about a snake I wanted. They cost over $400 so I asked for some more info then just the name and stock photo. What I received was nothing short of bazarre! Right away some guy named "Sam" accusses me of being a "spy" for another company and that no reptile company would ever waste time emailing photos. He could have just said, "NO"! The next day I get another email containing a link to this website: www.complaintsboard.com. Sam tells me, "I know you work for Florida Herps, and every single time I get an email asking for proof I have what I am selling I will create a bad review for your company". For the record, I do not work for Florida Herps and have never been a customer of that company. I work for Verizon. After I read the review started by Sam on this website here I thought it only prudent to start one of my own. I also emailed Florida Herps letting them know about Backwater Reptiles. Florida Herps replied with a series of links showing this same person Sam has been doing this for weeks and has even been caught via IP addresses and still hasn't stopped. www.reptilewebsitereviews.com has links prooving the owner of Backwater Reptiles is a liar. At any rate I just wanted to let everyone know what a ridiculous "company" this Backwoods, I mean Dumpwater, I mean Black... Backwater Reptiles was. Thank you.

Responses

  • Es
    esperanza13 Sep 03, 2013

    I have ordered live silkworms from Backwater Reptiles several times and unfortunately, both times were considerably less than stellar experiences. The problem stemmed from the fact that even though I placed the order on the day of the week that should have ensured the quickest shipping...and most expensive...it took *quite* a bit longer for the silkworms to arrive...so long in fact, that the company I usually order from finally had theirs back in stock and had TRUE 2-day shipping with FedEx! Backwater Reptiles NEVER gave me 2-day shipping, even though I paid a premium price for it! The last order I received from them took 8 days to arrive and despite my requests to refund my shipping or refund my order as I waited and waited and waited for the worms to arrive for my hungry bearded dragon!! There is no way to phone these people and most of the time the e-mails are never signed, so you never know who you are really dealing with. I never received an apology from the company by clearly what was *their* error...twice!! I won't be fooled again...don't anyone else be fooled. Since this incident, I have done my reading and have found numerous complaints about this business and about how the owner writes his own fake reviews to make his company look good. I will NEVER USE BACKWATER REPTILES again and highly recommend herp lovers out there STEER CLEAR!

    1 Votes
  • Li
    LizardGuy Jan 20, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    This past week I ordered a 5 foot iguana from Backwater Reptiles and it arrived 2 days later cold, and very skinny! Upon close inspection I found it to be covered with mites! I have an appointment scheduled with my vet tomorrow and hopefully he will be ok. He is very skid dish and has not eaten. I tried to contact them; sent them an email about the mites but they have not responded. I will never order from them again! Wiser in va.!

    1 Votes
  • La
    Laroe1 Apr 17, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am dealing with the BBB with this company. they are ###. dont ever order from them. They are shady and probably teenagers with no moral fiber.

    1 Votes
  • Py
    PythonGirl Apr 10, 2015

    AVOID BACKWATER REPTILES!!! My boyfriend and I ordered two baby Reticulated pythons from them only to have them arrive skinny and severely dehydrated. That night the male died very slowly, curling himself into a pretzel and honestly looking possessed. It was absolutely heartbreaking to watch. The next day we brought the live female and the dead male to our exotic animal vet. After doing a blood test he confirmed that the male was infected with a virus which COULD NOT HAVE COME FROM US. Retics can sometimes overcome the virus but only if they are in good health and strong, which these two were NOT. The female died later that day of the same illness. When we contacted backwater reptiles they were extremely rude, and when I demanded a refund instead of a replacement (why would I pay another $40 for shipping to receive another two half dead snakes??) they told me I should be more grateful. They are currently still refusing to refund me the forty dollars they charged me for shipping, so now my boyfriend and I are out 40 bucks and had to witness two beautiful creatures die a painful death. AVOID THEM AT ALL COSTS; their reptiles are in awful condition and they are incredibly rude!!

    1 Votes
  • Lu
    LuvsHorror May 19, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have had a great experience with them, two orders, beautiful animals, shipped quickly. Plus several different feeders. Any questions or communication through email happened fast and politely. I keep finding negative reviews, but my experience was so good that my mom was impressed enough to buy her Jacksons chameleon from them, which she adores. We will both continue to buy our reps and feeders through them. I'm sorry anyone had a bad time. But I did not.

    -3 Votes
  • De
    dead crickets Jun 03, 2015

    I ordered 1000 live crickets from Backwater Reptiles. They were sent to me next day air and every cricket in the box was dead upon arrival. So I tried to call them but they do not offer a phone number to contact them. The only way to contact them is email. That should have been a red flag right there.They must have done away with their phone number because of all the complaints they get. So I emailed them stating that all the crickets were dead. The responded by shifting the blame and responsibility to their supplier. I didnt order them from their supplier I ordered them from Backwater reptiles . I dont need to hear excuses. So Backwater said they would submit it to their cricket supplier to see that it gets resolved. I responded by saying " please ship me another box of crickets today, thank you" I got no response. I emailed them again 3 hours later asking them if they were going to send me more crickets. Still no response. A few hours later I sent them an email telling them what I thought about their crappy business. Funny how they decided to respond to that email and not my others. Their response was them calling me unintelligent and that they were hereby banning me from ever ordering from them again.. Talk about unintelligent??? It doesnt take a rocket scientist to realize that I would never buy from them again anyway! They sure do have some bright rednecks working at backwater reptiles. I think the guys name was Darelict that sent me the email. Very poor and rude customer service! Do yourself a favor and spend more money to buy from a professional business..

    1 Votes
  • So
    Southeastant Jul 01, 2015

    Unfortunately I did not do my due diligence before ordering from these clowns. The first red flag was not listing a phone number. They would obviously be taking calls from dissatisfied customers that received dead animals on a daily basis. This operation needs to shut down or at least not be able ship animals anymore.

    1 Votes
  • Re
    respectreptileownerspix Jul 03, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I recently found an old photo I took of my Mali Uromastyx at Backwaterreptiles.com and they use it without my permission to publicize their uro sales.
    This is the link where my photo appears. http://www.backwaterreptiles.com/uromastyx/mali-uromastyx-for-sale.html
    They most likely stole my photo from my Flickr album or Yahoogroups. I did not purchase my lizard from them and don't have a relationship at all with Backwaterreptiles.com
    My Mali's photo also appears here with other photos of uros. http://www.backwaterreptiles.com/uromastyx-for-sale.html
    If you see a photo of yours or someone you know there, and did not give permission for the photos to be used, I would encourage you to try sending a DMCA Notice. http://www.whoishostingthis.com/dmca/
    I will send one, and so far it looks like Facebook is the best way to reach them and get a quick response. There is no customer service hotline or a proper mailing address on their website.
    All the best!

    Comments

    1 Votes
  • Ch
    Chase Dekker Dec 18, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    The first Ball Python I ordered from this website was perfect. I still have her, she's now two years old, gorgeous, and has never once gone off feed. With her in mind, I decided to order my Leopard Gecko from them this time. A mistake.
    First they delayed the order by two days because 'they just got a fresh shipment in and would like to send me one of the new ones'. Then the poor creature arrived dead in a badly secured package. When I emailed them with pictures and questions, I got a response saying I would need to pay another 40$ in shipping, or if I wanted a refund, they would ONLY refund the cost of the dead animal, not the shipping cost, and I would need to include all of my credit card information in the email itself so they could process the new shipping charge. So not only do they want my private card information because they 'dont have access to Purchase records', they want me to pay a total of 80$ in shipping + the original animal's cost just for a leopard gecko... which may or may not arrive alive the second time either.

    Every email they sent me was also covered in emojis. Utterly inappropriate and unprofessional after I just explained how distraught I was over the unnecessary death of an animal they'd sent me.
    Horrible.

    1 Votes
  • St
    Stinkysmom12 Dec 22, 2015

    I just want to go on record as saying this...I am truly sorry for the negative, even downright despicable experiences that the folks here have had with Backwater! However, I have recently ordered from them and have had a stellar experience both with the animals I received (who have all been in perfect health) and with the amazing customer service I have received from Meg, Amanda, Chelsey and Mr. Sam! It's like we are talking about two different businesses altogether here and I really do wish that everyone on this forum would have had as good an experience with Backwater as I have! Even when I had a little mix up with my first order, they have gone above and beyond to correct their mistake and have issued me refunds. I will not say that anyone is lying or that you all shouldn't have had better treatment, but maybe there's more to your story than you are letting on here. I don't know and gosh...I don't mean to offend anyone. I just can't accept that we are talking about the same people! All I can say is that if anyone is looking to buy from them in the near future and is using this forum to decide if you want to give Backwater your business, please remember that more times than not, the people who do the reviews on any company are those who have had bad experiences. Rarely, those who have very positive transactions think to go show a little gratitude and post something that shows the flipside of the company's service. People deserve to hear about the good stuff as well. Go to the Better Business Bureau website to see more information and reviews on Backwater for yourself before taking everything said here as biblical. Anyone who has been a reptile enthusiast in the last 25 years or so should know that they are taking a big risk as it is when ordering any live animal online, especially a reptile and/or amphibian! There's so much stress put on that animal who may have recently been scooped out of the wild and brought to the retailer just to be uprooted again to be shipped out to a new home. A lizard can look like it is in near perfect health one day and can deteriorate so quickly that it can look like a totally different animal within just a few days of that. Granted, some of these complaints seem valid if they in fact happened EXACTLY as stated here and I'm not excusing these incidents. However, there are two sides to every story and please keep that in mind if you are using this forum to make a decision of whether or not to order from Backwater. I have been in the customer service industry for 25 years and one statement I absolutely despise more than any other is, "the customer is always right" which cannot be farther from the truth! Truth is, 9 times out of 10, the customer is so very wrong and is probably trying to get something free out of his or her complaint. That way of thinking may make more money for a business, in some cases, but it surely does not do any justice to the situation, especially when we are discussing living things.

    All this junk aside, I am truly sorry for those of you who lost animals due to your experience with Backwater. Some of that is to be expected, no matter how much it may bite, when you order a live animal online. However, it doesn't make the situation any better or easier to swallow when you lose an animal and if things were handled by this company exactly as you stated, then you definitely deserved better treatment! I wish you all could've had experiences more like those I've had with Backwater Reptiles so far! Better luck to all of you here in the future with your online reptile shopping! I hope those of you who have lost animals never have to go through such a terrible experience again and my heart goes out to you! Merry Christmas to everyone here!

    Written by someone who is an authentic customer and who is NOT Sam, the owner of Backwater Reptiles!

    -4 Votes
  • Rs
    rsrsrs Jun 15, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have a negative experience with these guys too. my order arrived dead. They say they are not liable, but their website clearly states they fully guarantee everything live on delivery or money back. All i got back from them was a reply saying i am irresponsible and doing this to hurt there company. And if i try to get my money back by filing a chargeback they will report me to collections

    1 Votes
  • Ri
    Richard Knarr Dec 23, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    My son ordered a Mexican Fireleg tarantula and the package arrived on 12-23-16 after opening the box and removing a container that looked like something KFC puts there sides in with a wad of toilet paper inside. The lid was tightly secured and I opened the container inside of the aquarium and gently unraveled the toilet paper and found NOTHING, the pos who returned the email said they had video of them putting the spider in the box and that it probably got out of the sealed container and is hiding in a corner of the box. A bunch of bs, cowardly punks who know there is know way to get to them and teach them a lesson, ! Do not get scammed by these lowlife individuals by placing an order on their website.

    2 Votes
  • Sc
    scooba Jan 18, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    My baby kingsnake died about 9 days or so after i received her from backwaterreptiles. It was a very sad experience. Ive had snakes before and i know how to care for them. She died in the night after showing some obvious signs of illness the night before. She couldn't keep her balance while her head was in the air... Like she kept bobbing back and forth, it was not right and kept opening and closing her little mouth, and emitting a "popping" sound. Also not normal. I just know she already had a problem.
    Do not waste your time and money here! The owner, sam is very gruff with his customers. He accuses people and call them liars. Why on earth would a customer lie about a dead animal?? They are very unfair.
    This company sucks!! One of the absolute worst companys' ive had the displeasure of buying from.
    You can find much better than backwater-reptiles, and without a headache. I had a bad experience, my baby snake died a week later, and am out $140.
    I hope this company goes out of business, and i really feel like wherever the animals do come from, do not get the care they require. Its so sad! : (
    Reptile expos however are a great place to purchase many different kinds of reptiles. An expo can come to different states once a year or so, just research one. And you can ask the breeder questions right there! :) much better option..
    Also shipping an animal in a box long distances where they could get knocked around (And probably do get knocked around because it doesnt say "live animal", like it should). You just really never know how a business operates when they are far away.
    Also if a reptile company catches wild animals, there is a very good chance they will die shortly after being in captivity, as it is not natural for that particular animal. Wild animals do not like to be in the same spot all the time, so what will happen when they are put in a cage?

    Good luck to those looking for a healthy reptile! :)

    1 Votes
  • He
    Hector Velar May 25, 2017
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Black water reptiles charges high shipping premiums yet they do not ship right away. I ordered 25 feeder lizards in Thursday and they got shipped on Thursday the next week with signature required so I could not pick them up right away. Their customer support was no better, they argued with me and tried to prove me wrong. Needless to say out of the 25 reptiles I ordered only 5 made it alive. 100$ for 20 dead lizards and 5 half dead!

    1 Votes
  • Ke
    kellyt1962 Aug 05, 2017

    I ordered from Backwater Reptiles for the first time last week. I ordered feeder roaches and crickets. The crickets arrived first, on Wednesday morning after ordering Sunday night. Not exactly the timeframe I was supposed to get them in, but OK. Then I opened the box and dumped out 500 crickets. At least half of them fell into a dead pile, directly underneath where I'd upended the shipping box into the nice cricket 'home' I had prepped and ready for them. I immediately took a photo of the dead pile (with a ruler next to it to judge size), emailed BackWater and attached the photo. They could tell from the time of delivery by Fed Ex, the time of my opening the box & taking the picture (within 15 mins of delivery) that the poor things didn't sit on my porch all day waiting for me. I work from home, so watching for deliveries is easy for me. I received a response within a couple of hours with an apology & a promise that a new shipment was being sent overnight delivery. True to their word, the next shipment arrived the next morning & upon opening, were mostly healthy and living. There will always be some attrition when shipping a box of 500 bugs...that I can handle. My feeder roaches arrived the next day. I'd ordered 25 of those as a trial to see what my beardie & crestie thought of 'em as food (they LIKE!). Most of them were alive & well on arrival and, per the special ad on the website, arrived with food & crystal water gunk. I've read many of the stories here and I am so sorry that your animals suffered as they did. NOTHING living on this earth should be mistreated and allowed to linger and suffer, then die. That's just wrong. While I despise any action that leads to that kind of experience, I can only report mine - while not perfect, it was overall positive. I received a speedy and cheerful remedy when the first shipment went wrong. I've yet to figure out how 500 crickets could go in a box living, and 2 days later arrive with half of 'em dead. Regardless, I'm a satisfied customer at the moment & will like order feeder bugs from them again. More to come, based on new orders!

    1 Votes
  • Tg
    Tgrey35 Jan 08, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    My bad experience with Backwater Reptiles.
    My anniversary with my boyfriend of two years was coming up and I decided to get him two frogs, I ordered a male African Bullfrog and a female Clown tree frog. I did not read reviews, as the company (from their website) seemed like they were good to buy from, and their prices were good. I ordered them on a Wednesday and the company from their website said it would be here on Friday. Well, Friday came and my two frogs were not here. Upon calling FedEx, I found out that my frogs were still in shipping and they did not know where my package really was. I emailed Backwater reptiles, telling them that they were not here and that I am in contact with FedEx to try to get them here on time, as I very much wanted them to be alive when they got here. They did nothing to help me and said to “wait until they get here as they have faith in their packaging team”. Well, after all of my time on the phone with FedEx I did not get my frogs for 5 days. As I had expected from being in shipping for so long, they arrived dead. I was devastated and frustrated about the conditions the poor little ones had to endure to get to my house. I emailed the company and they said that my live arrival guarantee was voided and that they would not refund me. I told them that I had requested that they would get their refund from FedEx as it was FedEx’s fault that my babies did not come in time, but since they were getting their refund that I would like my refund as well. They then told me that they would not be getting a refund because of a contract through FedEx. I was very doubtful of this answer as I had never heard of it before, and so I contacted FedEx only to find out that they did in fact get their refund, and on top of the refund for shipping, that the package was ensured for 100 dollars since it was shipped overnight. They got all of their money back, plus what I originally paid them and still, would not refund me or even ship me two new frogs, as I tried to have them at least do that as I did inform them that they were a gift and all of the circumstances that came with me ordering the two frogs. They said I would have to repurchase them at a “discount” which was only 20 dollars from what I originally paid since I would still have to pay shipping charges again. Not only that, but I did my research later and found out that they charge 40 dollars for shipping when they only pay between 6 and 15 dollars to have them shipping from Florida when they say they are based in California. I went through the better business bureau and through them, Backwater Reptiles changed their story on why they were not getting their refund. They want to double dip and blame the customer for the animals being dead. This company lies and steals from people who shop there and I would not recommend this company to anyone.

    1 Votes

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