This is a complaint against the Pet Supplies Plus store in Findlay, Ohio, as well as their corporate division's customer service department.
On 18 October 2006, my husband & I were in this store, buying supplies for our pets, as we do every 2 or 3 weeks. On this occasion, we observed a probem in the ferret enclosure. There were 2 ferrets in there. One was asleep, but the other one was chewing frantically on one corner of the plastic litterbox. There was also a food bowl in the cage, w/ inapproriate food in it (watered down & mushed up kibble, which may be appropriate for young kits, was not appropriate for the older ferrets in the cage). There was Carefresh litter mixed in w/ the food. There was one toy in the cage - a jingle ball, which was mostly buried in the litter at the bottom of the enclosure.
That ferret was obviously chewing on the litterbox for 2 reasons: boredom, because of no toys to play w/; & because the food offered to these ferrets was not hard food, that they need to maintain the health of their teeth.
Ferrets have a very small intestinal tract, & about a 4 hr intestinal transit time, from food to feces. A piece of plastic swallowed could very easily cause an intestinal blockage, which undetected, would result in death in about 36-48 hrs.
My husband & I mentioned this in passing to the teenage cashier on our way out, & she said, "I guess that's something *else* I have to do now." Since she didn't seem overly entusiastic, my husband suggested I call the corporate HQ, & let them know, in case the people in the store didn't do anything about it.
The following day, Thur 19 October, I was greeted at about 8:30a by a phone call from their regional manager who covers the Findlay, Ohio area. He informed me I was "banned from entering" this store ever again, as I was a "troublemaker", & "continually harrassed them".
For the record, I've shopped at this Pet Supplies Plus store for about 6 yrs. I that time, I've called about problems w/ sanitary conditions on 2 occasions. Both times, I was called back & told that the problem was noted, & the store was told to clean things up. About a yr ago, I worked w/ Pet Supplies Plus in communicating to 8-in-1 Pet Products, about the fact that moldy FerretBites were showing up not only in Pet Supplies Plus stores, but in per stores all over the US (as many of my online friends informed me as they found in their shopping). Friendly lines of communtication were established, the problem was found & solved by 8-in-1, & both companies (that would include the corporate people at Pet Supplies Plus) thanked my for my assistance in getting the problem solved.
And now, I'm "harrassing" them, because of this one incident. The regional manager, one Craig, stated they were "keeping a file" on me. When I told him I'd be happy to give my money to their competitors, & that I'd certainly tell my friends about my experience, he said, "I don't care, go ahead, feel free." My husband later called the corporate's customer service person, named Linda, & she told a bunch of lies to him about my supposed "harrassment"; that I called them "repeatedly" about flies in the store (that happened once, several yrs ago, during one of my legitimate calls, which I was thanked for bringing to their attention); that I had "yelled" at the store manager on this particular occasion (not true - we didn't even see the manager, just the teenage cashier); 8 that I came into the store on a regular basis, just to harrass them, & that I never buy anything there. We had indeed made a purchase on the 18th (a bag of Totally Ferret food, & 3 boxes of FerretBite treats). It's a 48 mi round trip to this store - the idea that I come in there "on a regular basis" just to "harrass" them, is ridiculous & patently untrue.
I have let many of my friends on the ferret message boards on the internet know about this situation, & requested that they no longer shop at Pet Supplies Plus, & that if they're so inclined, to contact them (either by phone or by email) & let them know *why*.
I owned & operated my own successful business for 12 yrs & one thing I know for certain - the customer always comes first. Any business that treats their customers (esp customers who drop roughly $1,000 - 1,200 per yr in their store) like Pet Supplies Plus has treated me, & others around the country who have shared their experiences w/ me, will end up losing customers, as well as the money that covers their paychecks. This could happen to *anyone*, & I sincerely believe that Pet Supplies Plus should be aware of the revulsion expressed in the ferret owners who have heard about this, & do something about their customer relations, before they feel the pinch of people boycotting their stores.
Thank you for listening.