Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In
The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website

Pet Smart Grooming / horrible customer service

United States Review updated:
60% 72
My husband and I had taken our Yorkie to PetSmart for grooming over 1 year ago and received TERRIBLE service. The grooming was awful (tips on ears unevenly cut, silky hair cut too short, visor was crooked, w/big chunks of hair missing, and his inner ear hair was not plucked as it should have been). Not to mention, when we dropped him off, we were told to leave instead of staying to watch, because it may be too upsetting to him. I can understand dogs get anxious under grooming conditions, but why have a grooming department with glass walls?!?!?!... where everyone in the store can watch him, except us?!?!?!? A year has passed, and we thought we would give them one more try, as we are desperate to have him groomed before we leave for vacation. So tonight we stopped in the PetSmart in Hiram, GA to inquire about an appointment for this week, and we were rudely told we had been "red-boxed" and they were refusing service to us!!! What a joke... "Red-Boxed", obviously some ridiculous term PetSmart executives have come up with in order to belittle and insult their customers. THEY were the ones who messed up our dog's hair!! We were completely insulted and WILL NEVER SHOP THERE AGAIN! It was really the most ridiculous thing we had ever heard of... refusing service to a 10 lb harmless dog, just because THEY screwed up last time! I suppose they think they have some sort of "monopoly" on the pet store industry, but actions such as this will surely be the end of PetSmart!

There are plenty of other pet stores out there, and hope all of you pet owners who are reading this will consider shopping elsewhere. I'm sure you would hate to find out you had been "Red-Boxed" too!!!


Sort by: UpDate | Rating
A  28th of Jun, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
I too had an equally and insulting time at the Petsmart grooming counter. I was running late, I called to tell them "hey, I am running late" should I cancel or can I still come in? They said sure, we can take you. I get there and there are 2 other people/dogs in front of me. I patiently wait. The first lady's dog is finally processed and taken back to the groomer. The second lady gives all her details and then is told she needs a note from the vet to show that her really big and fluffy dog is up to date on it's shots. The lady doesn't have this and I suggested that she look at the tags on her dog and call the vet. She the lady reads off the numbers and the Petsmart person calls the vet. Unfortunately, the dog isn't up to date on the shots. She the lady (who lives far away) is turned away. Now it's my turn. I gave the Petsmart person my name and told her I was on file (gasp, a repeat customer) but that I was running late. I told her that I called from my house and asked them if they could still take me today and they said sure. So, I got my dog, put him in the car and went directly to Petsmart. She looked at the time I was supposed to check in 10:00am and what time it was now (about 10:45am). She went to the back and came back to the counter and told me that I was too late. I explained that I called and they said it was fine. She stressed that I didn't come RIGHT-A-WAY. I told her where I lived and that I came right over (plus I was standing in line waiting for my turn). The Petsmart person said that the groomer has too many dogs and that they are leaving at 3pm. I said will what about that last dog you turned away. The Petsmart person just said "sorry". I was furious. 1) It wasn't nice to make me drive all the way out there to be turned away. 2) It didn't make any sense and 3) Don't say sorry when you don't mean it (you can't fake sincerity).
A  4th of Jul, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
It was July 4th and raining heavily in Houston; I was 27 minutes late for my 12:30 appointment to have my dog shaved. I walked through the store no was in sight. I went to the grooming area and was greeted immediately - and that would be the last good thing to have happened on this, my last visit to PetSmart.

The associate, Valerie said I was late and tried to make me feel as though I had done her some personal wrong by not driving faster to get to the store despite the heavy rain outside. I had to ask her several times what exactly "You're late" was supposed to mean.

Valerie looked at the dog and then asked her coworker from across the room if she could see another dog today and was told "no". I was told again I was late. I had to ask for the third time what that was supposed to mean and thats when she said I would not be able to get the dog seen today. I understand a business being busy and being booked solid. I don't understand why I was being talked to like I was third class citizen.

There was no eye contact, no smile; but there was a very real feeling that it did not matter if I left the store happy or angry. No other appointment times were offered, no "... may I call you if someone cancels or if we find ourselves ahead of schedule". Nothing. An offer to call another store could have been made. Something, almost anything rather than just ignoring me as if I was not right there in front of her at the counter. She acted like an ### who was more than willing to let me and my money walk right out of the store.

I was walking out of the store when I heard the overhead speaker calling for someone. I thought "Great she is calling the manager on me to make herself out a hero or something". That is when I said to myself hell no I deserve to be treated better than this and I intend to let someone else know it. The manager was a professional but really did nothing to help the situation sort of giving me his business card.

This happened on July 4th a 1pm at 10075 Almeda-Genoa Road. The manager was Jim Powell. I have to go to Walmart now.
D  5th of Jul, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Who ever thinks a 10 lb. yorkie is harmless has never groomed a dog before. They have more attitude than most big dogs and they are the quickest to bite. And of coarse rabies vacs. should be required, groomers are putting themselves at rist grooming dogs every day so we can make your pet look nice, or so we can take the matts off your neglected pet and at least they should have the comfort of knowing that if they get bit they wont get rabies and have to go through a series of painful shots. I am sorry to hear about the rude service, but grooming takes time and late customers put a groomer behind for the rest of the day for their clients who made a point of getting there on time. If you show up late for a docots appt., not only do you have to reschedule, but you pay a fee. Please try to see things from the other side.
D  14th of Oct, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree +3 Votes
Amen to Powers' comment. A ten pound yorkie can do plenty of damage. Just because your dog is cute and friendly at home doesn't mean it behaves that way for the groomer. In regards to the glass windows, your dog isn't going to care if a stranger watches it, but if your dog sees you, he/she may become excited and bounce around the table hoping you'll come get him/her. This will making grooming the dog very difficult.
D  11th of Nov, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree +3 Votes
I will let you know that I disagree with this complaint. You were late! They have other appointments scheduled and are busy its not the groomers fault you are late. By the way A cute 10 pound yorker can be a matted mess where the groomer has to do what they can do to fix your little dog.
D  14th of Nov, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree +3 Votes
Hmmm. I don't know what "red-boxed" means, but I do know rude and insulting. I have to wonder about exactly what happened and the attitudes of the clients as well as the groomers or receptionist.

Also, why, if the little Yorkie looked such a mess didn't the person call for a manager and have the dog worked on until they were satisfied.

I have a Yorkie-mix and a Chihuhua-Maltese mix, and I have an appt this morning for them. It has been too long since I've had them in, as it was last time. But I was greeted with courtesy, treated with respect, and the dogs (I really hate calling them that :-)), who are apprehensive of anyone but me, were treated well, kindly, and calmly. They looked precious when I picked them up and I was told how sweet they both were to work on.

No, I absolutely would not stand outside the window while they are worked on. In fact, I get out of the way as soon as possible. If they see me, they will definitely start trying to get off the table. While they are with the groomer, they need to see her as the Alpha. I'm sure all of the dogs above are precious and very loved. But, rules are made for a purpose and usually not just to be mean. PetsMart on Almeda-Genoa has been especially good to me, and I will continue using them until they prove otherwise.

However, I will say that an employee should never be rude or insulting, and if there is a problem with a customer, it's better to call for help while keeping a smile on your face than to play tit-for-tat with someone who is already unhappy.
N  8th of Dec, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
I am personally a groomer and I have been sent to the emergency room before because of a 4 month old yorkie biting the crap out of my hand. Some of the sweetest dogs can be the worst dogs to groom. Also, obviously they red boxed you for a reason. I have seen many angry owners in my time as a groomer and only rarely do we refuse service to someone because of a little complaint. It makes me wonder how rude you were to employee. Also I would just like to say... ITS HAIR, IT WILL GROW BACK!!!
N  8th of Dec, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
Oh yeah, also about the comment about the lady being late....you're late! Calling to say your late is one thing so I will give you that much. But as for the lady that just showed up late without calling. What do you expect? It isn't fair to the customers that showed up on time. By them taking your dog, it puts them further behind and makes every dog they already have there take longer to get done because now they have to work you in too. Also, did it ever occur to you that maybe they had taken a walk-in dog because they didn't think you were still coming. And about the big hairy dog that they tuned away, it could have just been a bath dog. Bathers and groomers are too different things. A bather cannot take your groom dog in because they had to turn away a bath dog.
D  14th of Jan, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
Well first of all i am a groomer at Petsmart, and "red boxed" means that you pretty much are a ### not that i know the situation but we have never refused a person that is "red boxed" we have to serve the person ..not only could it be you that is red boxed it could be your precious little dog that is the problem because it could of been that your dog was the reason they refused to serve you. And like the person in the previous comment said you were LATE! we have time for some walk ins but most people dont make them and if it was on a weekend they deff were booked up.. rabies is a must we wont even do a simple nail trim on a dog without rabies or we could get FIRED! or have to get 7 shots in the stomach ok id rather not get your money than have that.
N  18th of Jan, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
I have had some mixed experiences with petsmarts grooming department. I think its really a hit and miss with groomers. At our typical petsmart (in Evansville, IN) the groomers have alwasy been great! They treated our little yorkie puppy like she was some form of a princess and she loves going to get groomed. The people are gentle and are the best. However, we brought our Yorkie to one in Northern Kentucky and it ended in a terrible vet experience. The woman said our Yorkie wasn't the problem, she just was talking to someone else, not payin attention, and our Yorkie's paw pad. The manager on duty really wasn't for sure how she accomplished this but she was rushed to the Banfield. The vet said she was good to go, gave us some pet medication, and was off.

Luckily, the manager at petsmart themselves was great! He wasn't exactly comfortable, giving my mother her business card and said feel free to go to our own vet. Well, we brought her our vet and what was suppoe to be a "few days of medication" ended with a month of medication and stitches. Petsmart themselves was great about the whole experience, the groomer was not.

I say don't blame petsmart or be rude to the people. Just go somewhere else. As I said, its a hit and miss, just like any large chained business.
A  23rd of Jan, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree -2 Votes
Most of the traners teaching there groomers are not qualifid to groom. The managers training managers are not qualifid to manage. DMs fier only there best qualifid help to protect there own positions. Bad employes do not get fierd for any reason. all employes are abused.
There is little to no profesional matenence to salon equipment, all expected to be done by the 19 year old grooming manager. Water and elect. dont mix. The new power washer being introdused is shore to take out a few eys and reduse quallity and effort from
Over charging is policy (steeling from customers).

I can go on but it only gets wurst.

Speaking from close observation over the last 4 years of A north east district
D  25th of Jan, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree +3 Votes
I personally don't like small dogs as they often bark, bite and have attitudes far bigger than their size. They are treated with so much lenience by their owners who DO NOT discipline their little shmoopy whoopy. Dogs are dogs whether BIG or small.....they need exercise, discipline and then love. I can't even believe how many small dog owners don't WALK their tiny dogs to burn off their anxious energy!!!!

My St. Bernard and Bernese love PetSmart in Mississauga & Barrie Ontario, Canada. I frequently DROP IN w/o appointment to get their nails done. The groomers do their best at a job that doesn't offer DANGER PAY. I like them!
N  25th of Jan, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I know one good DSM that was lucky to escape back to Canada
Canadians are nice people
N  30th of Jan, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Southern New England PETsMART nowlonger offer nail trims. You must get full nail @ ear packedge.
N  6th of Feb, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
I am a groomer, and believe it or not, we actually have a pretty tough job. It's not playing with cute puppies all day like some people think. Cut us a little slack. Dogs are unpredictable, so we are constantly on edge. Plus, we not only have to deal with bad dogs sometimes, but also bad owners. We can't please everybody all the time.

Would you be happy all day at work if you had to clean up pee, poop,anal glands, and vomit? Or if you had to shave down horribly matted dogs, treat dogs with a flea infestation, or be the one realize that some of the pets you're working on are suffering in a bad home? What about with people calling you a "###" or an "###" because you follow the policies and don't make exceptions just for them. What if you were being watched through a window all day long like a circus sideshow?!
Grooming isn't as easy as it looks. If it were easy, I wouldn't have to be trained for it. If it were easy, I wouldn't have a job. And if it were easy, I wouldn't have to fix your dog's jacked-up haircut since you decided you wanted to play with the scissors today! Mistakes are made in grooming as in every job. So if you can do better... then do it. Simple as that.

All we ask is that you make an appointment, show up on time, let us know about any problems, trust us with your dog, and pick the dog up on time. Its nothing out of the ordinary, only out of respect. I'll have no respect for you if you walk into my salon with no shot records for your pet, and give me grief because you drove in from out of town. Lets go back. You walked in. You forgot the records. You didn't bother to call and ask questions. I have better things to do than ruin your plans. Sorry to disappoint.

When you drop your dog off for grooming, there is no need for the tears. You're leaving it for a bath, not a major surgical procedure. Don't wait outside the window for hours with tears in your eyes and fear on your face. If you're going to do that all day, you really need to find something better to do with your free time. Let go of the chain, seriously. We love animals. If we didn't, we wouldn't have taken a career in caring for pets. Asking us if we beat dogs is an insult to us, and is not funny. People often ask if their dog was good for grooming. If you cant handle the truth of whether or not your dog was good , then don't ask. We will tell you if something is wrong. If your dog is so bad for grooming that we cannot handle it, we'll simply send it home. If it's viscous, it'll go on the red-block list. If you're viscous... so will you.

And by the way, I don't know about other salons, but our equipment is maintained properly.

Sometimes my words can be harsh, but they're also strong. And I do not apologize for things I say when I believe in them. I stand behind my job and my fellow associates.
A  19th of Feb, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
I took my labradoodle puppy to Staten Island PEt Smart the ladies were so rude and they did not even look at you they treated dogs in the grooming areas as they did not care screaming to them, hitting them to be quiet. When I came back my dog was extremely nervious as somebody tried to killed him, he was scared, crying and very anxious. I dont know what they did with him in the bathing area but these miserable people just are a big corporation without any consideration to thei principal customers, our pets!
D  20th of Feb, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I don't know where you people live, but as far as Colorado, the petsmarts here are very professional and courtious. If they piss you off, then just stop going. There's plenty of other people for us to get our money from.
D  6th of Mar, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
A) If you see people yelling at or hitting the dogs, why would you leave your dog there???

B) If PetSmart groomers are hitting dogs, they are fired. If you actually see that, you call a manager and tell them what you saw. Then that person can be fired. That is not tolerated at PetSmart. They DO care about animals, and only hire people that they think care about pets, and if that person turns out to NOT care about pets, they're GONE.

C) It is human nature to treat people how they are treating you. If you are rude and mean, it is very difficult for the person you are treating that way to be pleasant and courteous to you.

D) If you are rude, they are perfectly in their rights to not accept you as a customer.

E) If your dog's haircut looks bad, there are two reasons, one more common than the other: 1) (not common) the grommer does the cut a different way than you are used to, i.e., some groomers do a "square" poodle head but most people are used to a "round" poodle head, and it is no reason to stop going to that shop because the groomer did a square head on your poodle. Just ask for a round head and that's what you'll get. Or 2) (most common) your dog was a brat and wouldn't sit still and kept nipping at the groomer and wiggling etc. so the groomer couldn't get a straight cut line.

IT is up to YOU, the Pet's Family, to train your dog to accept being groomed. Groomers are not trainers so it is wrong to expect them to do it for you. You need to do that yourself, at home. That doesn't mean you have to get some clippers and all the stuff you are paying someone else to have, just teach your dog how to sit still, accept brushing, accept having its feet and nails handled, its legs lifted, accept loudish, constant noises without freaking out like a vacuum or hair dryer, and how not to bite people if he or she doesn't like something.

It you don't know how to do that, go to a dog trainer.

And please keep in mind that most people who work with pets do so because they love pets. Usually more than they love people. If they are in the industry, they DO try REALLY hard to work with the people who have the pets, but if you are rude, demanding, "###", etc., they are perfectly in their rights to be rude right back.

Also, check your dog when you get it back. If her ears weren't plucked, say, "You forgot to pluck her ears," and guess what? They'll FIX it! Amazing, huh? If you don't like the result, SPEAK UP. They will do whatever they can to make it right. Don't go home and sit and stew about it for three weeks until finally calling the store to complain once there's nothing that can be done and you're so upset that there's no talking you down, when it's your fault you're so angry anyway because you didn't SPEAK UP at the time so they could fix it!
A  13th of Mar, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I've been a groomer for nearly 20yrs, and at the same shop for 14yrs, which has been in business for 25 yrs. PetSmart came to our town, Muncie, IN. , I'd say 7 or 8 yrs ago. PetSmart affected our business at first, at bit, but now we joke that we should be sending them a thank-you card for all the business we recieve via their dissatisfied customers.

We get several new clients a week who "took their dog to PetSart last time and" . People openly tell us that their dog didn't act right when they picked it up/brought it in, the cut was bad, the groomer was rude, they were handling the dogs rough, etc. As a groomer, I know dogs need to be handled firmly, not roughly, and I know alot of groomers are rough. If you don't have patience, you shouldn't groom at PetSmart in front of a big window.

It all depends on the groomer. Our shop isn't fancy, in fact it's a mess. We book up quick, so we're not very convenient. We're not the cheapest shop in town, but yet this mega company can't compete with us and it's because of the difference in the skill of the groomers.

Complaints about PetSmart groomers, in my opnion, should be directed at the groomer themselves. Although PetSmart chooses to employ groomerswith poor skills, the groomers themselves who are lacking skill.
A  23rd of Mar, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I understand your complaint, and some of the others as wee, regarding Petsmart and sympathize, to a point.
Some of the complaints were that the staff did not seem to care if you spent your money there or not, that they were rude and unfriendly, etc. Well, that sucks, but what do you expect from a big box store like Petsmart? The staff are poorly treated by management and customers alike. They get beaten down to the point where the goal is to make it through the shift.
When you shop at one of these types of places, you get what you paid for. These low prices do not materialize out of thin air: they materialize out of cutting corners and poor service.

Go to a real groomer which is staffed by people who love dogs, where the store is owned by a dog lover, and your dog will get a loved dog experience.

Post your Comment

PetSmart Logo PetSmart
Customer Service
19601 N. 27th Avenue
United States - 85027
+1 321 309 9065
View Full Information

Reply to