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Golden Phoenix Exotica (www.goldenphoenixexotica.com)

MR.SMITH

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 15, 2002
Messages
27
SUPPORT A.T.S. MEMBERS

Positive

MR. SMITH say's, Darrin is a very cool guy, and does a great job with his Invertebrate business.
All his animals are top quality, and he backs them with a guarantee.
I will continue to get spiders from him!
I also want to add that I look forward to E-mail from Darrin, because he is a very wise man and his e mails are enjoyable to read.



MR. SMITH
 
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Billy Norton

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
10
Darrin

I met Darrin three years ago at the A.T.S conference in NM. I purchased my first scolopendra from him. The B albo. male I got from Darrin has produced around 700 lings With Joy and
Holly's females. So little Darrin (The male curly
hairs name) Has done well. I have a friend here in MN who's female parahybana is brooding an egg sack after mating with a male I got from Darrin. Darrin is a good friend and one of the most knowledgable people about inverts that I know. He is always willing to answer questions and his wit
and sense of humor Make corresponding and dealing with him a pleasure.
 

bwhatch2

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 6, 2002
Messages
43
another satisfied customer

not that he needs another good review, but here's one anyway.

i got 'em, got 'em on time, got 'em healthy.

i'll do business with him again.

bryan
 

gphx

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 9, 2002
Messages
97
What can I say

What can I say? I love you guys all of you. You make my world go round.

Darrin
 

D-Man

Arachnochicano
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Messages
356
THUBS UP!

POSITIVE! POSITIVE

I've ordered twice from Darrin and those were both excellent experiences.

1. The first order was my first buy ever. I ordered two B. smithi slings; I was notified when they shipped; they arrived the next day in excellent condition.
2. The secong order was a B. boehmei sling and an A. chalcodes juvenile. Same as above.

I like his selection, prices, service, communication and responsiveness. He has been quick to reply to questions and he resolved a problem I experienced on his site the next day.

It's your responsibility to read terms & conditions on any site before you buy and to inform the seller immediately when/if problems arise. Good communication is key Goldenphoenix is excellent!

Dario
 

belewfripp

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Messages
345
POSITIVE


I made my second order with GPE about a week ago and the experience was just as good as the first. Darrin was in the field for most of the week that I ordered but this proved to be a good thing as no one was going to be home in the first part of the week anyway. As always, I'm a big fan of shopping cart + paypal for purchasing online and the Ts got here when they were slated to, were well-packed and all were safe and healthy. Good prices, and to compensate for the small size of two of the slings he sent a nearly-full-grown C. brachycephalus instead of the 2" it was supposed to be, which is perfect because I've got a mature male C. brachycephalus that is probably only 6 months away from doom, so he may get a chance to breed yet. Overall, very pleased and when my tax return comes again next year I will probably order again.

Adrian
 

Petlady617

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 2, 2003
Messages
2
Unsatisfactory Experience

I ordered from Golden Phoenix last year. I e-mailed Darren several times and told him to please wait to ship until the weather was cooler. I live in Las Vegas and summers temps are 110 and up. I left my home phone, office phone, cell phone and e-mail. Darren shipped without my knowledge, the package was left at the post office and everything was dead when I finally was able to retrieve the box. I was very upset and contacted Darren immediately. He e-mailed a very lengthy letter that he was sorry but he was not going to do anything about it. I have shopped with Invertepets and Swift's and have nothing but praise for them. I will never shop with Golden Phoenix again.
 

gphx

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 9, 2002
Messages
97
Re: Unsatisfactory experience

It has been many months, but I remember this woman. The first thing that she told me was that every person she has ever dealt with in the tarantula industry has been a crook. That should have been my tipoff, but it wasn't. The second tipoff should have been when after spending an hour answering her questions, she began cursing me out and yelling at me when she hadn't even placed an order yet. She did indeed tell me to wait to ship. Unfortunately, she did not tell me how long to wait or when I should ship. I tried to ask her, but receive no reply. I tried to weigh carefully what she had said to figure out what she meant, to no avail. No one has ever wanted me to wait weeks before shipping an item without outright saying so. I decided that she must be expecting her package and shipped on the first apparent break in the temperature. I gave her the full confirmation info and then spent a full hour getting yelled at yet again. Later in the day she called on the telephone again accusing me of being a criminal. She screamed that the post office had no record of such a package, that she just knew that she was going to get $#%^ing ripped off again, and God knows what else. I asked her to repeat the confirmation number. The number she gave me bore no relation to the number I had dictated to her whatsoever. I gave her the correct number, which she could have instantly verified as correct and in transit. She chose not to and instead of apologizing for her error in writing down the number as most people would, she yelled at me for another hour. I asked her at this point that if she yells this much at people who have done everything they can to the best of their ability given her instructions, and who have shipped tarantulas in good faith which are arriving on time no less, how does she treat people who intentionally do her harm? After all this, when her package finally did arrive on time as promised, she was not there to sign for the package. No one can pack in such a way that animals will survive a dual trip in such heat. No one I know guarantees that animals will make it alive if no one is there to sign at time of delivery either. She may not have signed the package, but she signed their death sentence. I spent yet another hour listening to her rave in my ear. If you are a dealer reading this, be warned. This woman will be vicious to you even if you perform flawlessly. Then she will manage to screw up all your good work and then treat you even worse.

Almost all of my clients have been exceptional. This woman was abusive beyond belief even before I knew for sure that she was going to make a purchase, when I was only trying to help her by providing information. When someone believes that every dealer she has ever dealt with is a crook, it isn't the dealers who need to treat people decently. Don't deal with this woman or you'll be shooting yourself in the head. My mistake is that I believed she was mistreated in the past and tried to help her. Don't go there.

My only regret is that she found me in the first place. Thank goodness that in this community such nasty people are in the minority. Please note that her experience at this point is the only profoundly negative experience on this entire list. Personally I consider it scary that she has enough anger at the world in her to remember to post something like this about something that occured six months ago and that was entirely due to ineffective communication on her part.
 

Petlady617

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 2, 2003
Messages
2
I find it very sad that this man has to lie to excuse his behavior. As I wrote I have ordered from other dealers and have had excellent service. I never yelled at Darren or was rude. I was only upset that the spiders had to suffer and die. He shipped when the temperatures were in the 100's. I would never order any living creature in this unbearable heat. Even with a cold pack I would be afraid to chance it. Belive me, I am not the crazy lady Darren depicts in his reply. I had a bad experience but I am certainly willing to forgive and forget. It was, and is, Darren's attitude that upsets me more than anything.
 

gphx

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 9, 2002
Messages
97
Ok, I've done my homework.

Petlady contends that she placed an order instructing me to wait under the weather got cooler for delivery. She contends that I shipped without notifying her and that due to the hot weather everything died. She contends that because she did not know about the shipment, she was unable to get the package until days later.

I contended that first, she did not tell me how long or what to wait for, leaving me to guess. I stated that the weather had broken. I contended also that she was not present for delivery and that this is why the animals died.

Now my homework comes into play. I had also contended that she was abusive from the beginning and for that reason I retained her shipping info.

The package was shipped 9/12/2002. I have the original packing slip. If you like, go to http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KLAS/2002/9/11/DailyHistory.html and you will see that on 9/11/2002, the day before I shipped, the maximum temperature in Las Vegas was 84.2 degrees, the average temperature that day 77.6. This was surely a break from 110 degree temperatures! Because the weather the day before had been cool, I shipped on 9/12/2002. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KLAS/2002/9/12/DailyHistory.html and you will see that the maximum temperature that day was 91.4 and the average temperature was 78.8 degrees.

I had no way to predict the temperature that day or on any future day as I am not a weather psychic and can only go by the fact that the previous day the maximum temperature was 84.2 degrees. In any case, I have just demonstrated that her claim that I shipped when it was over 110 degrees is a lie. I have just shown that I waited and gauged a break in the heat as best as anyone could expect. This is immaterial anyway as we routinely ship in 110 plus temperatures. Clients emailed us yesterday to tell us that 40 C. exilicauda scorpions arrived safely despite 115 degree temps. Another that 3 X. immanis arrived looking quite well despite the same conditions. Our losses are minimal because we know how to pack, but no one can pack for abandonment.

I stated that I shipped on 9/12/2002 and that she was not present to accept delivery and that this is why the scorpions died. She claims I did not notify her. We are known for sending notification immediately upon shipment to our clients. Even if this was overlooked, she was notified by the post office as I will demonstrate. The package was shipped 9/12/2002. She did not receive the package until 9/16/2002, an elapsed time of 5 days! Why? The post office had attempted delivery several times but she was not present to sign for them. Post office policy for Express packages should this occur is to attempt multiple deliveries, leaving a notice each time. Only when no one is there to receive the package the third time is it returned to the post office for good. Even if we accept her claim (which is doubtful) that she was not notified by us, she would certainly have been notified by the post office multiple times.

I had the post office pull up the info off of their mainframe since it was so long ago. See http://www.goldenphoenixexotica.com/uspsfax.jpg for a document from the post office showing that the package was finally picked up at the post office on 9/16/2002 after an elapsed time of five days. I don't currently have an operating scanner (the post office sent me that document by fax) but if anyone would like a copy of the original packing slip within a reasonable amount of time I will get one.

Her contention was that I shipped when it was over 110, that she was not notified, and that the deaths of the animals were my fault.

Hopefully I have just conclusively demonstrated that I shipped the day after an 84 degree day, that, even though I had know way of knowing in advance, the day I shipped the high was only 91 and not over 110 as claimed, and that she would have received multiple notifications from the post office if she did not receive them from me, and finally, that she caused the animals to die by not being present to sign for delivery and causing the animals to be in transit for days, an event which no one can pack to ensure survival. Again, she left them in limbo for FIVE DAYS.

My contention that she was a bitter woman (who promised to 'get me' on message boards by the way) should be demonstrated by the fact that she is still bitter and has just written my only bad review up to now one year after the transaction occured.

She claims that I have a bad attitude. Yes I do. I always have a bad attitude when people leave tarantulas to die unnecessarily and then rather than accept what they have done seek to take it out on someone else.

I may not have perfect recall of the events that transpired which is why I did homework to supplement my memory. It was a year ago. If my memory is at all faulty or if there is something that I could have done that I did not, I apologize. I am not aware of either.

I wish this person nothing but a bright future filled with good experiences with whomever she deals with.
 

bluerich74

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
589
Ive dealt with a Darrin a couple times and was well pleased with his service.Ive emailed him several times with questions that Im sure are tedious to him,but he has answered every one of them promptly.I have the highest respect for his knowledge and service...Rich......................Plus he gave us all a great account of a bite from a poecilitheria.
 

Sean

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 18, 2003
Messages
718
I met darrin at the locale spider party we had aug 9th, he was a cool guy knows his stuff...I got a h.gigas from him who was in great shape he also was nice enough to give me a male usambra for free because i mentioned to him that i needed a male soon to do a breeding project and he said well i already have a few so he gave one to me for free...i just wanted to say thanks and props to you darrin ill deal with you in the future:D
 

dementEd1

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
16
POSITIVE

Darrin is a good guy and his prices are very reasonable. I have ordered from him twice now, and can honestly say that my experience has been a good one.

Give a synopsis of what the deal was;
10 Arizona Bark Scorpions and 1 Desert Hairy.

What was good about the deal/dealer;
Good service and good prices.

What could have been better about the deal/dealer;
Nothing really. Very satisfied customer.

A brief conclusion;
Good stuff. Even got an extra scorp.
 
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Gail

Arachnopixie
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
555
Golden Phoneix

NEGATIVE
I placed my first order with Darrin on Sept. 3, 2003 via PayPal. Darrin had been very prompt in answering my email as to availability of stock before I ordered and he answered my questions about his stock. I asked in the comments section of the PayPal form the following...
Please ship for receipt on my end this Thursday 9/4 or Friday 9/5 - please email confirmation upon shipment so I know when to expect package. Please ship only female G.portentosa if possible.
Thank you.

Darrin replied in an email that "we can't promise a specific date but that is a broad window and likely to be accomplished" - it should be noted that when he replied to further emails he had edited that portion of the email out. He sent an email on Sept 9 saying that the "end of the week is quickly approaching and the hot weather is breaking..." - it was as if he was pretending that I had said to ship for delivery on 9/11 or 9/12.
After seeing no package for over a week I sent him the following email...
Note: Please ship for receipt on my end this Thursday 9/4 or Friday 9/5 - please email confirmation upon shipment so I know when to expect package.
Please ship only female G.portentosa if possible.
Thank you.
Date: Sept. 3, 2003
Time: 04:52:13
Status: Completed
Amount: $87.00

Darrin, the above is from my paypal summary of my order to you. I am a patient person but I am not a saint. I placed 4 other invert orders on or after the order to you, including one that I mailed a money order for 2 days after I placed your order! I have received ALL of the other orders. Two were from areas with very hot weather. Today is Sept. 11 , 7:50 PM - I placed my order with you on Sept. 3 , early AM - what exactly is the problem here? I want to just cancel this order - please refund to my paypal account since obviously you are not shipping today for delivery tomorrow and I really don't feel like having to run into work on a day off to pick up a package. It's one thing to say you can't promise a specific day, but it's another thing entirely to drag it out this long.
Gail

I then received an email from him on 9/12, once again, edited so as not to include the above email or the dates I had asked for shipment, telling me that my order had shipped...
Hello Gail,

Just a note to let you know that your order was shipped via USPS Express, confirmation number ER186967136US.
The current e.t.a. is by Saturday at noon local time.

We purposely delayed sending your package in an attempt to hit your target window. Then someone called unexpectedly from Japan saying that a package was already enroute to us, and we had to wait here for two days to receive it. It unfortunately never arrived. On the plus side, weather conditions are now just about ideal whereas we were in the 100's last week. Thank you for your order.

So, I had to go into work and pick up the package. It was a sweater sized USPS box - the contents had been wrapped up into a ball with tape and there was no insulation or stabilizer in the box - the animals just rolled around inside as the box was much larger than the ball of tape they were wrapped up in. Once I got the package opened I was even more upset with what was quickly turning out to be a very bad experience. I sent him the following email...
Order arrived this morning and I went to pick it up immediately. I am not at all happy. The hissers were dead - suffocated is my guess since there were no holes in the container and no substrate or toweling in with them, you only sent me 10 b.giganticus not the 12 that I paid for and they were so infested with tiny flies that I had to unpack them in the garage with the door open so as not to infest my entire collection. The 2 spiders seem to be OK but the substrate for the Mexican Blonde was full of bright orange fungus. I expect to see an immediate credit to my paypal account for $12.00 - $6 for the two b.giganticus that I did not receive and $6 for the three dead hissers. I've attached photos for you showing the deplorable condition that the hissers were shipped in and the 10 giganticus plus the spread out substrate so you can see that there are none hiding in it. I would also suggest in the future that you start using insulated packing boxes and stabilizing the contents so that they don't juggle around inside.
He did refund my $12 but he also responded with a lot of excuses - Not putting a piece of crumpled paper towel in for the hissers to hold onto was an unfortunate oversight and likely the result of packing your shipment after midnight to be taken directly to the airport near 1:00 a.m. for ideal conditions on departure. - and a lot of waffling about how his packing methods work great 99.9% of the time, and even sent me a "happy customer" email to prove how great his business is. I wonder what ever happened to the "we respect all life" bit on his web page (under shipping) - I guess that it's hard to respect all life at 1:00 am when you are in a hurry to get an order out that a customer wants to cancel.
In any event, I wasn't actually going to post this review until I found the Carlsbad Green I got from him dead 2 days ago - a wasp larva emerged from it. I haven't seen the New Mexican Blonde since it went into it's borrow and I fear it may have suffered the same fate.
In conclusion, I won't do business with Darrin again, nor would I recommend anyone else to. He is a man of a million excuses and he can waffle with the best of them. His stock was infested with flies and the dead hissers were covered with mites. One of the spiders was definately infected with a wasp larva and I may find out that the other was too if I get up the nerve to dig it up. I'm sure he will come back and reply to this post with all sorts of waffling and excuses and I will not be drawn into a long back and forth with him. These are the facts here people - no lies, no exaggerations - decide for yourselves.
Gail
 

Spike

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 28, 2003
Messages
517
Positive

Got two healthy scorps, even arrived one day earlier than expected (which was good :) ) . Nothing but praise for Darrin. Answered all questions packaging perfect everything just good good good.
I would recommend him to any one.
 
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gphx

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 9, 2002
Messages
97
'The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry' - William Shakespeare

The two main complaints posted here to date (one in 2002 and one in 2003) have something in common. That is people who request and insist upon shipment when the temperature is over 100 degrees. Very few dealers will do so in the first place. Of those, even fewer will offer any kind of live delivery guarantee at all under such circumstances. Fewer still are willing to drive to an airport facility to drop off a package at 1:00 a.m. to give the invertebrates every advantage.

Still, we aim to provide the best experience possible. In the year/s since those two complaints we've given our packing procedures a serious overhaul. Where before, like most other dealers, we did not offer a live delivery guarantee under extreme weather conditions, we now offer a live delivery guarantee in any weather, hot or cold.

As to a parasite in a wild caught 'Carlsbad green', that is a most unfortunate and rare situation inherent to wild caughts. We've been preaching the benefits of captive bred stock for years. At this point most of our stock is either bred in house or bought from hobbyist breeders in support of such efforts.

It has been said that in being human, mistakes are inevitable, so we should judge others not by what happens but by their reaction to it.

Our response to Gail after her experience in September 2003 was to give her a refund for animals not received, to revamp our packaging procedures so such an experience would not be repeated, and to extend our live delivery guarantee to all weather conditions. The wild caught specimen which happened to have a parasite through conditions beyond our control or prediction is now being offered as captive bred specimens.

We agree. Excuses are useless. The feedback we've received from clients over the past year would indicate that our response to these issues has been effective. We think you'll agree.

If anyone has further suggestions for our improvement please feel free to let us know.

Cheers.
 

Arachnoboards

Arachnoboards Team
Staff member
Joined
Sep 23, 2002
Messages
234
Arachnoboards Announcement

Due to a glitch in the forums the original posts in this thread needed to be split off into their own thread. The original posts can be found here.

Sorry for any inconvenience,

The Arachnoboards Team
 

Critterfarm

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
274
Excellent

My son's birthday is coming up, and one the presents he wanted was Rubio's Scorpions - A Complete Pet Owners Manual (smart kid huh?). I ordered this from GPHX and got excellent service even though it was an extremely small order. To me, this shows a high level of customer care.

Thanks again Darrin, and I'm sure my son will have a list for me to order from your site after he reads the book!
 
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