View Full Version : Business ethics

12-18-2007, 11:52 PM
This topic is because of a link in the Day Gecko forum. If a customer buys whatever amount of geckos from a breeeder and some arrive dead who's responsibility is it to replace them. Obviously the DOA is because of carrier error, I certainly don't think someone would send a dead gecko. Is it the seller who should send a refund or the buyer takes the risk of possibly losing a great deal of money. I will explain the exact situation I am in. My cousin and I ordered 5000 dollars worth of geckos two years ago. 17 of the 21 geckos arrived dead. It was without doubt the shipping companies fault as temperatures dropped far to low and because there was a max/min thermometer in the package this was easily proved. Because the package was not insured the shipping company( Lufthansa cargo for those who are interested) is only liable for a certain amount based on the weight of the package. It worked out that I was credited 56.06. Combined, me and my cousin are out around 4000 dollars. Is it not up to the seller to insure an order of this magnitude? There was no mention that the seller was not responsible for carrier error, which some people make very clear during a transaction. I will not mention the sellers name because we are still trying to work out the issue. He is stuggling with the shipping company but according to international shipping laws the most that they are liable for is 56.06. So when he finally reaches the conclusion that Lufthasnsa will not reimburse him for the losses am I out 4000 dollars or should he replace the geckos. I am planning on getting other geckos from him, other than the ones that arrived dead in the other order and am more than wiiling to pay for the shipping costs. In other words I am not asking him to refund the 1000 dollars it cost to ship the geckos, just the geckos themselves. He can send the replacment geckos with the other ones I ordered and I will pay the 1000 dollar shipping cost again. I am interested in everyones opinion on this matter so please feel free to coment.

12-19-2007, 03:30 AM
Crazy story, hope everything works out.

If the shipping company guaranteed live specimens on arrival they should pay you your losses.

If the seller wasn't smart enough to get the proper insurance or indicate the right transport conditions he should get your money back or compensate with new animals. You payed for life specimens not dead ones.
When he decides to replace the animals make sure this time you determine the shipment specifications(company,insurance,...)

good luck

12-19-2007, 11:25 AM
The shipping company doesn't guarentee live arrival but they do guarentee that the shipment would be shipped within a certain temperature gradient. They definatly didn't follow through with that. Unfortunatly the shipping company will probably have to be the same one but we will insure the shipment this time. The seller did specify that the animals had to be shipped within certain temperatures but the shipping company didn't follow through with their promise and temps fell far below what they guarenteed.

12-19-2007, 12:33 PM
Then he should get a refund. What do you think happens with bananas that aren't delivered on the right temp.
not accepted by banana distributor and the shipping company get stuck with a couple of tons of bananas.
4000$ should be peanuts for the shipping company.
On the other hand with the banana case a refund per weight makes more sense.
I'm afraid your gecko contact didn't specify the shipment/insurance requirements enough and he will have to turn up for the costs you suffered.

12-19-2007, 12:52 PM
If the shipping company said it would maintain a certain temperature and they didn't, and you can PROVE they didn't (this is usually their "out") then they should pay you for your losses, and if they don't you go to court.

12-19-2007, 12:54 PM
unless there's a policy the refund is determined by weight and it's pretty probable this was the case.
It works for food industry and such but not for precious little reptiles.

12-19-2007, 01:29 PM
The shipping company is paying the losses which worked out to 56.06. That is the most that they are liable for according to the weight of the box. If the temperatures stayed within the parameters and there were still deaths then they wouldn't pay anything. If you want to look up the laws governing international shipping the law is called the Montreal Convention. In my opinion they broke our agreement. I agreed to pay a 1000 dollar shipping fee and they agreed to ship my order between certain temps. They broke the agreement and in my opinion should have to refund the entire shipping fee but they are only liable for 56.06 worth of geckos but they won't ever refund my shipping costs. I just don't think I should have to take such a loss, the seller should absorb these lossses and I get free replacement geckos. Like I said though I am willing to pay the shipping fee again.

12-25-2007, 02:26 AM
im sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation but the seller does not owe you the amount of money lost. the shipping company offers the insurance service and is up to both the seller and buyer to agree on what type of inurance will be purchased. if no insurance was purchased and the package is lost or damaged then youre pretty much screwed but if the shipping company promises to ship within a certain temperature range and dont,and your animals arrive dead, then it is the shipping companies fault and they must compensate for the loss.

you need to do all you can to get your money back from the shipping company.

sune jensen
12-28-2007, 06:35 PM
..the way I see it the seller could choose to replace some or all of the geckos that died. This way he will not loose any of the money initially earned, and it does not cost that much to produce a gecko, so he will not be loosing a lot, if you see it from a certain perspective.
If somenone was getting something from me and it died on the way, we would probably talk and I would give him new geckos, (but not nescessarilty as many as died, perhaps only half as many 'sharing the damage') or perhaps other gecko species he would be interested in.
Thats would probably be my way to do it, and we could both feel that we took some of the damage. Basically its not a happy situation but the way I see it, if you want to stay friendly and be a 'gentleman' it is a bout finding a solution that both parties can live with (unless one of the parites os obvioulsy the one to blame)


12-28-2007, 10:46 PM
I believe it is the seller’s responsibility to insure live arrival. No matter what a buyer does to get the seller to ship properly, it ultimately is the seller shipping the animals and he/she should know how to do so without losing animals. While I see many "dealers" (mostly hobby types) with "not responsible to carrier errors" I don't accept that as reasonable. I would NEVER purchase from someone who did not guarantee live arrival. If the seller is unsure of live arrival then he/she should not ship or at worst, insure the shipment and if the insurance fails it is his/her loss, not the buyers.

I know of no other "industry" that would accept "dead/broken/worthless" arrival of products. I get lifetime replacement/satisfaction guarantees on plants that I purchase (and I have gotten refunds the next year if the plants did not grow to my liking). I can get a full refund for any product delivered to my house broken. I never get stuck with the loss. Until the item is in my hands it is the seller’s responsibility to get the product to me in good condition. I see mostly small hobby dealers with this ,imho crappy, policy and Ebay sellers. Buy from someone that can do the job right.

If a seller can't ship properly (and yes this includes carrier error) then don't ship. As I said, I NEVER buy from anyone that advertises "not responsible for carrier errors". There are SO many competent dealers/breeders out there that I can buy from. Can any of you imagine Sandfire Dragon Ranch not guaranteeing live arrival? Why then is a "little" (re:non-professional) breeder allowed this luxury? I am a small hobby breeder that ships quite a few high dollar geckos and I guarantee live arrival...period. BTW, I have never had to replace an animal that died in shipping as I pack well enough to withstand carrier error or don't ship in bad weather. I have received only one animal DOA and insurance took care of the cost AND the breeder sent me a few cheap dragons as additional compensations for my trouble in filing the claim. This includes hundreds of shipments over a dozen years. Also, you must remember the buyer MUST be there to accept the animals when first delivered or any loses are on the buyer (you must be a responsible buyer). You will also note that many of the breeders/dealers (Sandfire included) don't guarantee live arrival if temps are outside a certain range. In this case I simply say to them, "Ship only when you are comfortable enough to guarantee live arrival." or I don't buy from them. I am never in that much of a hurry that I would risk the animals. In fact, I have waited as long as three months for a fellow to "feel comfortable". He waited for spring weather temps and I was not upset at all. [He had to feed and keep them healthy all that time and I got juvies instead of hatchlings:D].


added: I forgot; I once received a shipment of dart frogs that half the frogs were dead due to rough handling of the box. The box was crushed in one corner. The breeder replaced the frogs right away and then argued with the shipping company about getting reimbursed. Unfortunately, he only got the shipping cost back as the company had a policy of not insuring live animals. (which he knew before shipping with them).