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Dec 2012

Marineland's Customer Service

By: melev | Tags: 400g | Comments: 0

Everyone has been asking me about the newly repaired tank, if it has been set up, when am I going to reveal the latest aquascaping, etc. The tank is empty, just as it arrived.

After waiting patiently for months for the rebuilt tank to arrive, I was very excited when I got notification that it was going to deliver soon. I'd already lined up a bunch of helpers to bring it inside, and the crate arrived on schedule in perfect condition. Saturday morning, before all the lifters arrived, I uncrated the aquarium so we could get the tank on the stand without delay. It was then that I discovered the mistake: the aquarium was built with the Starphire panel on the backside, and the regular green glass on the front. I was so discouraged, yet tried to see if there was anything I could adjust to make it work. As my friends arrived and began to look at the beast, I tried to keep my feelings to myself. It was when one walking up the driveway asked "why's the tank built backwards?" that my mood degraded.

The reality is that each time the tank has to be shipped, it costs about $1000. I'd received the brand new(ish) tank intact, and to expect that Marineland would agree to ship it back to Indiana and then back to Texas for another $2000 seemed unlikely. Leaving it in the elements wasn't an option, so we brought it in and put it on the stand. It isn't like I could call anyone on a Saturday to discuss. Suggestions were made, but there's no good way to make this tank work with the Starphire side facing the living room. Everyone left, and I cleaned off the suction cup marks and tried to process the situation. With relative certainty, the tank is going to hold water for 10 or more years, so could I live with the error for the next decade? Would I have to put my prettier corals in the back facing into the fishroom to be viewed, and try to ignore the color of regular glass? Keep in mind I've only used Starphire tanks since 2004 because it is indeed a big difference. Internally I grumbled about the situation for about 14 hours, and then finally around 2 a.m. wrote out a long email to Marineland explaining why I was upset, how it completely nuked my plans and my motivation. I didn't post about the blunder, and surprisingly my friends didn't post about it either. My email went out late night Saturday so I had to wait until regular business hours for any kind of response.

Monday morning I got a phone call from Marineland expressing their embarrassment for the error. We discussed options, similar to the various ideas that took place months ago after the original leak. When asked what I'd prefer, I was frank and said that I wanted to open up that crate two days ago and find my correctly built tank inside, so I could finally get my reef up again. Yes, I asked for the impossible. I was told they'd get back to me. I waited patiently, and about two weeks later got another phone call telling me that they were going to take care of the situation. They are going to build a replacement tank, and at my request will build it with Starphire on all three viewing sides. The front, the back, and the end panel will all be low-iron glass.

Naturally, it will take some time for them to receive the custom-sized Starphire glass panels necessary to build it, and as soon as those arrive they'll build it. Once cured, it will ship out. I'm thinking the reality will be that it arrives in March. Getting custom-made tanks takes time, plain and simple.

What impressed me, and I told them this twice, is that they chose to take care of their customer. So many companies seem to do all they can to pass the buck, to get out of any claims, and to avoid customer service. Marineland did the exact opposite. They admitted their mistake, and are going to take care of it even though it will cost them thousands to do so. There's the cost of the glass panels, the employee labor to build it, crate it, and yet another delivery truck to get it here. I really appreciate that they are stepping up to resolve this, and my patience will surely be rewarded. This may be premature, but I want to thank Marineland for committing to getting this resolved, and the 400g will reboot with version 2.0 in early 2013. In the meantime my livestock will continue to dwell in the 215g aquarium and the upcoming 60g cube.

I need to figure out what to do with the 400g sitting on the stand. I was told I could do with as I wished. Feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions. It is completely new with 3/4" glass walls on all four sides, double eurobracing on the top, bottom internal bracing along all four walls, the hidden external overflow, and the one scratch that happened on Day 1 in 2011. I checked and it is possible to hire a guy to polish that out, making the tank brand new & perfect. It just needs to face a room where the front and LEFT panel are the viewing panes, with the overflow on the left.

I like to also state that it seems so often I see people try to blackmail companies into fixing problems by threatening to share their discontent with others online. I'd recommend that you contact the company directly and give them a chance to correct the problem. It can't hurt and you might be pleasantly surprised. I'm still going to have to wait some more, but at least I won't have to live with this one. I'm getting my dream tank, as planned.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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