Obtaining Octopus and the Dilemma of Instant Gratification

Discussion in 'Culture' started by cthulhu77, May 4, 2005.

  1. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    As of late, there have been quite a number of posts and threads regarding the procurement of captive cephs...
    One of the bad things about our society today seems to be that everyone has gotten used to getting things immediately...no longer do you have to wait for a rare book (amazon.com) , a hard to find knick-knack (ebay), or even an animal (fishsupply, etc)...so when something isn't at your doorstep within a week, you flip out!
    Patience needs to be cultivated here...in the case of Oxybelis fulgidus ( a type of vine snake), I have been waiting for 7 years for another adult pair...I don't rant and rave at the seller if he doesn't call me every week, or month, to let me know they haven't arrived yet (collecting bans are just being lifted again...maybe this summer).
    Two years ago, you could not purchase cephs any where as easily as you can today...all due to the seller's who have sacrificed time and money to pursue a possibility...as we all know, cephs are not available year 'round, and frequently you will have to wait six months to a year to find one...or you can rush out and get one on it's last legs and watch it die in short order. Your choice. Personally, I will wait for the quality animals.

    These people need our support, not our selfish attitude.

    greg
     
  2. thom

    thom Blue Ring Registered

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    Who wouldn’t be impatient to receive their octopus 
    I think people have always been impatient, and that internet businesses have only served to raise the expectations of people as to what they can get their hands on. There are so many things I wouldn’t have dreamed of having access to only a few years back that are pretty much becoming main stream now, thanks to pioneers like octopets…
    Besides, if I pay for a product, whether it be in town or online, I think it is natural to expect that product as fast as possible. This is hardly a bad thing, just convenience and good service.

    On the other hand, when you’re dealing with things other than inanimate objects, like live fish/octopi, then i guess patience IS often due. But the reasons for this have to be made clear to the customer. Education breeds understanding, and once they know that waiting is in their best interest, they will most likely be willing to do so. I hardly think that an unknowing buyer is necessarily one with a selfish attitude.

    cheers,
    thom.
     
  3. VL

    VL Larval Mass Registered

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    Greg, the posts in question have to do with the total lack of respect for customers.

    It's not a matter of getting an octo the same week, but rather having the respect to respond to emails and phone calls when asked about orders.

    Ignoring them tells the customer that you really don't care about them. So if that is the case then the guy in question here (Octopets.com) should simply shut down his web site and stop selling octos.

    No one is complaining about not getting an octo NOW. You seem to be the one here with the problem.
     
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  4. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Hmmmm.... I am not the one whining...VL.

    So, go buy your stuff somewhere else...but realize that virtually ALL of the captive octos in the US come from octopets...so be prepared to wait no matter who you are getting them from.

    And, yes, as a consumer, you DO have to understand the seller...part of the process. Wake up.

    If too many consumers bitch and whine enough...Octopets will close and just sell mussels (his business)...and NONE OF YOU will have access to captive bred octos. I wouldn't want to put up with your emails and phone calls either.

    greg
     
  5. VL

    VL Larval Mass Registered

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    At this point I hope he does shut down. He has horrible customer skills and should not be selling anything if he ignores his customers like this.

    As far as him being the only one selling captive raised octo, who cares. That doesn't give him the right to be non-responsive to customers.
     
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  6. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I know its frustrating, but we have to give him a break.
    He is doing cephs as a side business, and I can't imagine the amount of emails he is getting - you wouldn't believe the amount of email I get if I post that my cuttles laid eggs, or if I just post that I have cuttles. I ignore some of mine in the name of staying sane, I would imagine he does the same.
    He is selling cephs because he likes them, and saw there was a small need. I don't think he is making much money because he has been plagued with problem after problem (raising cephs is HARD), and I can completely understand his not wanting to deal.
    He absolutely has the right to be non responsive, just like you or I have the right not to buy from him.
    Do I think he should put something up on his site saying 'don't email me' and/or 'Problem x is happening please be patient', sure. Do I think people should give him a massive break because he is basically the only source of non wc cephs in the US, you betcha!

    If you don't like his business don't buy from him. I, for one, appreciate his efforts and will do everything I can to support him. If we want cephs that aren't ripped out of the shrinking wild, we need to support people like him.
     
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    I think the thing to understand here is that Octopets IS just one person, and he's doing a lot more than raising octopuses. Also, he's had some setbacks recently, the loss of a whole generation of bimacs.

    It's not lack of customer skills (Jim has very good interpersonal skills and is fond of his bimacs) but lack of time and money to communicate with everyone regularly.

    I regard this business of breeding bimacs as more of a service to octo keepers - enabling us to get captive bred bimacs, to know what species we're getting, what age they are, and so forth. Before Octopets, you never quite knew what you were getting, how old it was, whether it would have all its arms, and so forth.

    And, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you're not removing an octo from the ocean since they're captive bred.

    Nancy
     
  8. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    I was going to ad an opinion, but Nancy and Righty conveyed everything I was thinking much more eloquently than I ever could have!

    Dan
     
  9. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    (As I am a person who has never bought an octopus, so perhaps is just being opinionated, take this with a grain of salt)

    Maybe it would be helpful to try to turn this thread around from an "attack and defend" battle of varying levels of civility to something that could be productive-- It seems pretty clear to me that a VL has some valid points, but that he/she was rather harsh, and that a lot of TONMO folks have enough respect for octopets that they are very much wanting to defend him (what's his name again?).

    It would certainly be sad if he gave up on the octo trade, and I think being overworked and frustrating his customers could be a contributing factor to that. Maybe someone with a working relationship with him could communicate the frustration in the octopus-rearing community and (gasp!) actually organize a grassroots effort to help him out in any way possible, even if that's only forming a volunteer "customer support" layer to handle email requests, or putting some better info online to let customers know that he does care, and that he's doing his best to provide a good service.

    There's clearly a lot of interest and good feelings toward his business here-- directing that in some positive way seems like a no-brainer, if there's a way to do it!

    :twocents:

    - M
     
  10. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Very good points. Perhaps there could be an "Octopets status" sticky thread. Every few weeks someone does get word on how things are going, and we could have one place where that's reported. If Jim was feeling like he had a little extra time, he could always write an occasional paragraph of how things are growing and how cute his babies are, etc. People eat the stuff up--it was the stories I read here about interaction that really cinched it for me. The key thing would be Jim could link to it from his site as "Octopus/Cuttlefish availability notices" or some such thing. This would let his customers know whats up, and also suck them into the community here.

    The sticky thread would probably need to be limited to moderators so Jim's customers don't have to wade through all sorts of messages, but there could be a corresponding discussion thread.

    Completely hypothetical, but an example of something that could be beneficial for everyone without tremendous effort.

    Dan
     
  11. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Monty and DH...both good posts!!!!

    The big problem here is that we are looking at a situation where the business owner really has other, and much more major, concerns than the availability of bimacs...


    This is equivalent to breeding oddball snakes...when they are around, they will be sold...but don't expect any sort of feedback until then.

    If people with an attitude keep on attacking him, and making really ridiculous references to Octopets...it will fold. Then we all suffer.

    If VL is soooooooooooo unhappy about customer service, perhaps he/she could start their own retail shop, and just show us all how it is done, all the while making millions of dollars in the octo trade. Yeah, sure.


    greg
     
  12. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Clueless. completely clueless. Are you new to the animal trade?
     
  13. lockburn

    lockburn O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I'm surprised some ceph lover here hasn't offered to help Octopets with their email and customer service inquiries in return for a steady supply of bimacs. They are short lived creatures after all, so a ceph lover might purchase a new one every year. Plus, by volunteering in this area, you are helping to guarantee a steady supply of octos for the future.

    Granted, it may seem like more work to answer emails than just pay for the octo, but I would view it more as a hobby than a money saving proposition. I've put a good amount of time into supporting my hobbies on the web, especially with answering the 'same' newbie questions over and over on other sites (here, I'm the newbie!).

    If I were Octopets, I would setup an instant email reply system, such as 'Thank you for your email. As you might know, we are a small but enthusiastic ceph supply company. To help keep costs down, we answer emails once per week on Mondays. Please help us by waiting until Tuesday if a response has not been received'.

    That way, people get their 'instant gratification' of an email response, and don't frantically check their mail every 5 minutes looking for a response, but rather understand that they won't get a reply until Monday / Tuesday. It would probably be much easier for Octopets to handle their email in one batch, and as well it would probably signficantly cut down on their email volume, at least the 'Hey, I didn't get a response yet' emails.

    I would also include a 'blurb' that could be updated in the email such as 'We are currently raising new bimacs and should have some available for the second week of June. We don't have any to ship before then, but will be accepting orders for this batch starting June 5th'.

    That way, it answers a lot of customer questions with minimal effort on their behalf. If Jim's listening, heck I could look into setting that up in exchange for a bimac (and some clams!).
     

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