Hello, this is Joe- the owner of Manhattan Aquariums writing. I don't usually get involved on this platform, but I do read and appreciate your messages. I'm a fish and coral lover first and foremost and I try to stay focused on that.
However, this thread greatly affected my staff. They were all bummed out this morning and I had to inquire what the matter was. They have asked that we set the record straight so everyone can move on.
The customer that came in around 6pm last night was indeed looked after initially by the service manager Scott who typically does not handle retail sales. He then asked staff personnel Taso and Carlos to assist in this sale. When the customer decided on his various items, over time he continuously asked my staff for deep discounts. The manager green-lighted various discounts, and the staff did as well, probably beyond their allowed maneuver room, to appease the customer. We try to accommodate the customer to the best of our abilities in every request. My staff stayed with him past closing time of 8pm to well after 9 pm. Unfortunately at this late hour, the manager Scott had to leave, having been at work since 8am. He was on the subway and unreachable for some of the situation. It is unfair to ask my staff to be reachable this late in the evening, although they often volunteer to be. In this instance he was in the subway.
When scratches were discovered on the tank system (previously hidden from view), we offered to order a new replacement stand at a discounted price, the customer asked for delivery. We do not typically offer store deliveries, however we agreed to deliver the stand to Upstate New York as a courtesy, for free. The customer demanded Friday delivery but all of our vehicles are booked Friday for prearranged jobs. Also the delivery time of the new stand to our store was unpredictable. We offered to deliver it early next week and the customer refused, demanding either Friday or his full money back. At which time we fully refunded his money.
Throughout this 3.5 hours time, 3 store employees gave their attention to this matter and helped the customer to the best of their abilities, beyond normal business hours, with no sale. As a result of this experience, I am asking my staff to see the positive in it and learn from it. We strive always trying to improve and make things better.
Regarding pricing in our store, I strive to bring to market the healthiest, most high quality marine life. I pay special attention to place of origin, quality of holding facility, shipping methods, and sustainability. Our prices may be a little higher on some items, but in the end you are also paying for value, quality, and assurance. Having the largest store in Manhattan comes with high overheads and expenses. We just hope that having the best quality, selection, assurance, and knowledge makes it worth-while.
On another note, there are some insanely exciting things happening at our sister facility on the west coast. I won’t blow the lid just yet, but the caliber of the worldwide facilities/cultivators directly working with us will be a testament to our hard work finally paying off. We can’t wait to pass the value onto you, our cherished customers.
Wow, no one said anything after Joe. So i'll follow triggerman and say something. Joe first I thank you for getting back on this matter instead of ignoring it. In any job you get people that are never satisfied no matter what you do for them ( I'm not talking about anyone here). I dealt with someone the first time i went and bought a bunch of corals and fish. Until this day I still visit because of that person. But, if I feel ignored I just look around and if i find anything I like, i grab it. if I'm just curious about a coral or a fish I try to ask for help and if I get ignored I don't ask twice I just leave. I still go there and look around once in a while, and im sure most of us do because you guys have the biggest selection I have seen so far in one store. And I know that some things are expensive because it requires a bigger budget to run a store like yours. Keep up the good work and we demand a sneak peak at whats going on on the west coast .
A very fair response from MA which seems to shed a lot of light on the situation. Without that response, (as a consumer) I certainly would have sided with the OP.
Edit - also, it seems that MA tried to go above and beyond in an attempt to make the customer happy.
+1 The OP kinda just sounds like he was being a jerk now lol I have dealt with customers that no matter what you do they are never happy and like I mentioned before everyone always wants everything for fee. If you're going to a high end store you should expect higher prices bottom line and it did sound like they really tried to help the guy so If he's that pissed about 50 bucks it's a little ridiculous to make a big stink about it.
Im glad Joe responded as I know I have come down from Albany several times to visit the store and buy corals. I credit Joe with stepping up to set the record straight and for using restraint before responding. MR has one of the best selections of corals around and I believe their prices are fair especially given their location and selection. I believe anyone that has a product in their car and starts haggling on price probably has used this approach to beat people down on price before. I am almost finished with my 180 build where the tank will be ready for animals and will certainly be visiting MR again as I have done in the past.
I was at manhattan aquariums this afternoon at around 630 and i gotta admit i was a bit uncomfortable about this thread , and please know that i was not swayed or pressured in any way by this thread but it was on my mind for a few reasons.
1) i never had a bad experiance at m.a. I have been to the shop at 1230pm , i have been to the store at late afternoon and on weekends!! Its never dead or totaly empty, and when it has been empty , the employees are running around like maniacs doin water changes and maintanance on the tanks !
2) i have never had a question that was not answered or that went ignored, if the person didnt have the answer he would get someone that did ! I know we all have issues at home with our own tanks so you can imagine how it must be doing it on these bigger tanks , and also how hard it must be when a group of guys has to tend to the entire tourist city of manhattan!! I have been to jersey shops where a bunch of guys sit around like star wars geeks discussing light sabres and thats the pace they operate at , here in tourist country , this shop deals with those who know reefs, those who know nothing about reefs and tourists who wanna look around and ask a million questions.
3) some of us have become saltwater gurus and would like others to lay out a red carpet upon our arrival cause they spend a couple of hundred dollars and expect to be treated like royalty and may have even developed a friendship with some of the employees at manhattan aquariums but face it , some of us like to go there and spend zero money and absorb the staffs time talking about our tanks only cause we feel like talking coral!! And now you wanna criticise them!!!! Guys get real its a business not a club house !! I went todsy for a large bucket of salt , did i get it yes and did they talk a bit with me yes was it work related absolutely and was the floor wet from a group of guys sweating and doing tank maintanance ? Totaly and the tanks looked good And the corals looked awesome!!!!
This thread was about a specific issue and now its a gripe session , and i guarantee some of the babies that have used this thread to increase thread counts will be there this weekend yet killing the staffs time!!!! I guess reefing is also for children !! Grow up boys!
My tank is so special because i only buy , Jonathan wolf corals!!!
Last edited by saltwaterinbrooklyn; 05-09-2012 at 10:44 PM.