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Has anyone else had this issue with LLL Reptile?

Discussion in 'Reptile Vendor Reviews' started by Compnerd7, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Compnerd7

    Compnerd7 Member

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    I've been going to LLL Reptile since I was kid, when they had only one store down in Oceanside CA. I use to skate down there from my house all the time when I lived there and the people were cool, their husbandry was great, and they were knowledgeable.

    In the past 5 years or so they have changed so dramatically it makes me very upset. I've had the opportunity to talk to the owner ( a very wealthy man who lives on the coast in Carlsbad ) and their main philosophy that he really pushes is to make money. I've seen them push reptiles out of their stores like candy. They tell minimal care needed for each reptile, and A LOT of their herps die because they fail to give COMPLETE husbandry care :dodgy:

    With the opening of their 2 newest stores ( Menifee and Mission Valley CA ) I have gone in both posing as someone who knows nothing, and showed interest in different herps, and gotten horrible advice. I sent my friend into the Menifee store once because they had a potentially deadly scorpion for sale ( Androctonus bicolor, a species with LD50 venom ) and I used him as a dummy as well... The advice they gave him was horrible, even saying that he, an inexperienced scorpion owner, could hold them if he was " careful ".

    I've had many arguments with the managers about how to properly care for a lot of their " Big Sellers " IE Ball Pythons ( they brag selling 80 a week @ each store ), Chameleons, Tortoise species ( mostly Russian and Sulcata ), Poison Frogs, and the list goes on...

    My once loved childhood reptile wonderland has completely changed to the " Petco and Petsmart " of the reptile world, which disappoints and angers me.
  2. Dana C

    Dana C Member

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    RE: Does anyone hate LLL reptile as much as I do?

    I recently bought a couple of snakes from them and received pretty good service and the packing, heat packs etc. was great. Their prices were very much in line with most breeders as well.
  3. Compnerd7

    Compnerd7 Member

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    RE: Does anyone hate LLL reptile as much as I do?

    I don't deny their prices are good, their shipping is quality is good... Hmm maybe I just have this personal vendetta against their sales methods.
  4. chelvis

    chelvis Active Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    RE: Does anyone hate LLL reptile as much as I do?

    Their online service people are pretty good with questions, but some of the stores (Mission Valley) has some crappy customer service. I go to the one in Escondido and I am always impressed when I go in. Cages are really clean, no cricket smell at all and to my surprise none running lose. They often work with local schools and day cares to have kids come in a meet with some of the animals (balls, leos and the beardies mainly). They do a great talk on how to care for the animals and the set-ups they need. I love this one and even though the Mission Valley one is on the way to my moms house I still make a trip up to the one in Escondido. I think it really depends on the manager of the store. Both the Oceanside and the Escondido one have had time to mature maybe the other two just need some more time.
  5. Josh

    Josh Administrator Staff Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    RE: Does anyone hate LLL reptile as much as I do?

    I wonder if maybe they're using commissions to increase sales - thus the bad advice...?
  6. ReptileGuy

    ReptileGuy New Member

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    RE: Does anyone hate LLL reptile as much as I do?

    I totally agree with you compnerd....I only heard wonderful things about them when they were first starting up, and now people tell me that they are pretty terrible. It is very sad when business's get too big to properly care for the animals :/

    Anyways as a test I asked how you care for a BRB (Brazilian Rainbow Boa) and they said it was identical to Red Tail Boa's which I told them I keep. This kind of thing really frustrates me. Not only that, they said that BRB's only get 4-5 feet!!! IDK Maybe it was just that employee but I don't trust them at all after that call....
  7. LLLReptile

    LLLReptile New Member

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    RE: Does anyone hate LLL reptile as much as I do?

    Compnerd7,

    A few things. First of all - some of the things you say are cheap, pointless shots at someone you know nothing about (the owner). Some of your other points seem to have validity. So - let's address both. You know absolutely nothing about the owner, or where he lives. And speaking like you do makes your post have less value. Keep that in mind when you talk about anyone or any business. Know the facts. The owner lives in a 1 bedroom duplex - and works about 80+ hours a week, traveling to most every reptile show in the country that we attend personally himself - because he loves the reptiles and the business. Donates large amounts to USARK, and taking his "vacations" to learn more about the animals as well. Your assessment is just dead wrong about him. He works harder than any employee, and really most anyone I know. Period. Don't speak like you have any clue what drives him, or who he is.

    However - to your other issues. Every employee has their own opinions on how to care for reptiles - and I would argue that our employees all have their specialties (what drove them to get into reptiles in the first place). But their general knowledge about every herp in the store is better than most any "reptile" store I have ever been in. We make sure of that. We encourage that. But they are not infallible. The Mission Valley store was our last store we acquired (previously another reptile store) - and it came with prior employees. We have really worked hard to change the attitude at that store, but I would say we are not 100% there yet as we are in our other 3. We will be very soon there... Customer service is our #1 priority - by far. You mentioned Menifee. Go in there and talk to the manager Jen. She (yes, she) will school most people on most reptile care (especially ball pythons - as she breeds high end morphs along with breeding some other crazy lizard and gecko species herself). And yes - she will argue it as well, as she has cared for such a huge variety. Elliot & Coop are not far behind (other employees at that store). Jono (manager of Escondido) will do the same. His book knowledge is ridiculous and he has written articles for Reptiles Magazine. Loren (owner) is in Oceanside, and Nate (manager) is in Mission Valley, and Nate knows his stuff (and his tattoos, lol). When you walk into our stores - our animals are 100% properly cared for - beyond the norm - and that is blatantly obvious. Trust me when I say - we care 100% about our animals, and our customers.

    Now. Every human has a bad day. We have 26 employees. I am pretty sure one will have a bad day every day with 26 options. They are entitled to have a brain lapse sometimes as well, and are entitled to still learn about reptiles every single day. But to throw a blanket across the business just seems out of line - and as I said, your comments about the owner are so far off it is ridiculous. This is the same guy who is currently on the Exo Terra expedition in Sri Lanka right now to learn more about reptile's native environments (see our facebook page for some absolutely awesome herp pics of never before seen stuff they have found, along with a huge selection of care videos, product videos and one on one talk with me and manager Jen from Menifee anytime). This is the same guy (the owner) who just invested a massive amount of time, energy and money into a new 4000+ square foot, top of the line breeding facility so we can offer even more CBB than we currently do (2/3 of our animals are absolutely CBB) along with trying to breed stuff that has not been done before in the US. (see a few pics of it at our website) We have built friendships through the years that allow us to buy from the top breeders in the country - in turn, we can offer the best (in our stores, and online). You mention that we flip 80 ball pythons in a store per week? So far from the truth. Even in "season" in a few months when babies are around - with the exception of Oceanside that ships all our reptiles across the country (that is right - the owner packs your orders personally when you order off our website most of the time so he can oversee the quality being packed) - our other stores will have 10 - 15 on hand a week.

    Yes - we run a business. Yes - we want to grow our business. The fact that we can support 26 employees that have families and now children - is absolutely awesome. Doing a business that we love and have passion for? Can't beat it. To dump on a business making money just doesn't make sense. We have not grown too big, but are always working hard to improve every detail, and every employee learns more every day. I responded to this to ask you to reassess your idea of us. If you use to like us, but have had a few recent issues - stop by and talk to one of the people I mentioned - and tell them your issue. Don't go in there looking for a problem. I promise - if you have an issue, or if you think the information is incorrect - discuss it (or PM me on this site with names and information so I can correct it) We are happy to try to correct things like that, but can't do so when someone doesn't say anything. If you care about the herps, and think something can be improved, then that would be the thing to do! Customer service is our #1 priority. That is my point of this post. I take pride in where I work as do all our employees. And we would still take the time to give a full reply to a post like this around the net, as it deserves the reply.

    Hope some of this information finds you well. Again - if you have any direct questions - PM me or stop by. If you are not local - hop on our FB page or call us anytime. Thanks guys/gals.

    Scott
    LLLReptile & Supply
  8. Compnerd7

    Compnerd7 Member

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    RE: Does anyone hate LLL reptile as much as I do?

    Thank you Scott, for your in depth reply.

    I appreciate your company's move to improve. I know Jen ( the blond haired woman, yes woman ), never had beef with her she's awesome, also she knows her poison frogs. She was the one who told me directly, last year, they were pushing 80 balls a week. I don't remember his name, but he is a large nose piercing, works in Oside ( and has been there for a long time ), He's your best sales associate IMO although he my be somewhat quiet at times, I've had long talks with him.

    My argument was never with your quality of animals, or your in house husbandry care. Your statement " To dump on a business making money just doesn't make sense. " well, if you were against abortion wouldn't you dump on a business for selling stem cells? If you were against the deforestation of our rain forests, wouldn't you dump on a business making money burning them down for farm land? So I believe I should be able to " dump " on a business for cutting corners on things.

    Enough negativity here now, you reached out saying " We are happy to try to correct things like that, but can't do so when someone doesn't say anything. If you care about the herps, and think something can be improved, then that would be the thing to do! Customer service is our #1 priority. " and I would really like to believe that again! Instead of laying your faults that I have see over the years publicly, I will PM you.

    I don't really wish to argue the owner issue with you, isn't Lauren still the owner of LLL Reptile? Or was he replaced in the last 8+ years since I last talked to him? For all I know he could have sold LLL or moved. Or was I talking to an impostor? My best friend worked in your Oside store years ago, and he was fired for a prank call we made to the owner ( actually a funny story down to this day between us, basically because we we were being stupid teenagers ).
  9. Dana C

    Dana C Member

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    RE: Does anyone hate LLL reptile as much as I do?

    For what it is worth, the snakes that I bought, a Florida Albino Pine and a Madagascar Hog Nose are beautiful and like I said were very expertly packed and shipped. Naturally I made a ton of calls, being the worry wart I am and I have to say that everyone I spoke with in the internet sales are was great.

    I most definately will do business with them again.
  10. LLLReptile

    LLLReptile New Member

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    RE: Does anyone hate LLL reptile as much as I do?

    Compnerd7,

    Few things. First - Loren is still the owner. Same guy :) Second - thanks for the reply. It shows a lot. 3rd - you are friends with him? LOL. That was Jarred and I forget the other kid's name (blonde, and he was originally the issue). Hope he has grown up - as it was not just the crank call. They were not "employed" by us - they volunteered. He said much worse in an online forum than just the crank call. He took that way too far and to this day - owes myself and the owner's now ex wife a major apology. He said some jacked up stuff. But - that was years ago - and he was only like 16 at the time. We all do stupid stuff at 16!

    Every store has employees that some people relate to, and some don't. We have a good variety. Some clean cut, some - not so much - all have a great deal of knowledge. That was my point. We all bust our rears daily for the business - and to most, it shows. Glad you responded - and stop by sometime and say hi to Loren. He is in Oceanside during the week. Take care![hr]
    CompNerd7,

    If I can put in a request - if there is a way for you to change the title of this thread to remove the word hate, and just an LLL inquiry - I don't mind the thread, or the questions, but to ask if anyone hates us more than you is a bit much :) If you can edit the title - cool. Maybe you can ask the admin on here to do that if it won't let you. If not - so is life. Thanks again
  11. Compnerd7

    Compnerd7 Member

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    RE: Does anyone hate LLL reptile as much as I do?

    Wow I can't believe you remember that lol yes Jerred B. and my friend ( short blond kid, rather not say his name, but I can assure you he is a changed person these days, 10 years later, still banned from the store, still afraid to go inside lol ) but yeah I agree the online forum post took it too far. And yeah he wasn't an " official " employee, but worked for store credit. Anyways yes I will petition an admin to change the word " hate ".
  12. LLLReptile

    LLLReptile New Member

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    RE: Does anyone hate LLL reptile as much as I do?

    Thanks again Comp. Nice talking to you, and thanks for the private info as well. I will be passing it on at our next meeting - just so you know it did not fall on deaf ears. Take care!

    Scott
  13. dragonlady0519

    dragonlady0519 New Member

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    I purchased 3 bearded dragons from this company and 2 out of 3 died on the fourth day of having them. They would not eat any insect given to them. They were thin and lethargic, not to mention, they were so small, literally maybe days after being hatched. So disappointing and heartbreaking. Will never order from them again.
  14. TheDiabolicalTruth

    TheDiabolicalTruth New Member

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    this is one of the least professional places i have ever dealt with. i purchased a sulcatta tortoise and they sent me a sick dying tortoise. since i got him he hasnt moved he lays limp doesnt eat or anything i have him 3 weeks and he ate about 4 times when i put him in his food dish. ive put him in his dish many times but he only ate the 4 times. im not even sure how hes still alive. they gave me a store credit minus the $45 shipping which doesnt suffice.when i made the purchase i agreed to the policy (which says you do not get a refund for shipping) with the belief i would be receiving a healthy animal. once an unhealthy animal was shipped the policy no longer applies and i should have been refunded or shipped a new tortoise. instead im stuck trying to nurse an unhealthy tortoise back to health and mostlikely hes going to die so i have to deal with that as well. they expect me to believe the tortoise was fine when they shipped it to me less than 24 hours earlier. if you go to their facebook page they do not allow posts about purchases. (hmm i wonder why) after some research it appears im not the only one who was shipped a sick animal. be very careful dealing with this place. very untrustworthy business.

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