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Petcenter USA {now Arachnocenter} (www.arachnocenter.com)

P

Pixelator

Guest
Petcenter USA (now Arachnocenter)

Positive

Paul and his staff at Petcenter are enthusiastic and have always been lightning-fast in the shipping department. There are some very good prices on his list if you look a bit (takes a while since it's sorted via common name instead of latin). I got two big adult females from him recently - T.blondi and C. crawshayi, a couple of heavyweights... They arrived perky and totally healthy, less than 24 hours after placing the order.

He's also willing to cherry pick spiders, look for new ones and let you know when he gets something you want. I got a gorgeous huge P. ornata from him last year - a real showstopper.

Big thumbs up for Petcenter from me, and I've been buying spiders since the 80's ;)

bill s.
 
M

Mendi

Guest
Positive

I recently ordered from here and think that they did a great job. The spiders were described very well and all have a picture that will make-up for any lacks in the description. All were packed very well and shipped without any problems, and they came quite away from me. There is a huge choice in types and sizes to pick from. I would buy from again without worries
 
D

Dean

Guest
Positive

I've ordered from PetCenter USA several times now, and I've always been pleased. Their prices are very reasonable, and their selection is great.
 
C

Code_Monkey

Guest
Neutral - would have been positive except for some minor quibbles


I ordered five slings from Paul Becker of Arachnocenter (formerly PetcenterUSA) - an A. avicularia, A. geniculata, A. versicolor, B. smithi, and a C. cyanopubescens. Ordered on a Thursday, they were shipped the following Monday, and received Tuesday (west to east coast). The packaging was fine and everyone arrived healthy with all eight legs and a ready appetite. Not considering the A. geniculata, which is still too small to identify, all species were as ordered. Except the A. versicolor, all slings were the size promised or a bit larger. The versicolor was supposed to be a 1" sling but it is at most 3/4". Not a big deal, it is a nice specimen and I paid less than listed by any other major vendor. The B. smithi and C. cyanopubescens are particularly nice specimens.

The only real catch to the whole process was that due to some confusion related to a multi-part order, my credit card was overcharged. The problem was taken care of without argument after an email to Paul.

The highs:
Friendly service. Very wide selection and some of the best prices out there. The stocklist is updated regularly which is unusual for most vendors. Nearly every specimen has a picture and the picture reflects what is for sale, not a five year-old adult if he's selling a 1/2" sling. Healthy slings of, at the very least, approximate size advertised. Competitive ($25) shipping rates and good packaging. Ships when promised so you know when to expect the order.

The lows:
A bit dodgy on communications. I was never able to reach anyone by phone during business hours and had to rely on email for all communication which added to delays in getting followups to questions.

Less than perfect billing methods. My credit card was charged at the time I placed the order and each time I made an addition to the order. My feeling is that a mail-order business shouldn't charge a c.c. until the order is ready to ship. This combined with the accidental overcharge takes a few points off for me.

Sloppy on the stocklist. Paul doesn't seem to care whether the scientific or common names for tarantulas he sells are spelled right or sometimes even remotely accurate. I would be cautious of ordering anything from him you found doubtful because he will not guarantee the ID beyond what his web page already says. As an example, there's currently a "Brazilian Black and White, B. colorvilatosum" listed. It's almost certainly a Nhandu coloratovillosus (which was formerly Brazilopelma coloratovillosum), but you have to decide if you want to take a chance in these type of cases.

Conclusion
A perfectly satisfactory business experience but not one that jumps out at you and inspires loyalty. Assuming he had what I was looking for and cheaper than other vendors I would order from him again. OTOH, if there was no financial incentive to go with Paul, I would be equally likely to try other vendors for future orders. Quality of product was great but the service side of things could use some improvements.
 
C

Curt Williamson

Guest
Positive

After my first order, I would have said negative. The cobalt blue I ordered had a missing leg. However the Indian Ornamental sling was good to go, so I gave them another chance. The asian chevron came great and as mean as ever, but the Camaroon Red was DOA. I immediatly emailed them, and with my next order came a large, healthy camaroon red. The Thailand black (I think, except it's 7 inches, and that seems a little big) came in great condition and was so active that it even shook the packing it was in when it got angry (scared the UPS man to death!). The chilean rose was also in great condition with this order. With their prices and shipping speed, as well as the enthusiasm which they expressed in replacing my DOA baboon, urges me to give them a positive rating.
 

Fuggrur

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
40
Negative

I have ordered 4 times from Paul Becker. I must say, That with every additional order that arrived, I was less satisfied.

As one user mentioned above, He doesnt seem to know the latin name of alot of the bugs he sells. Communications ( Via Email ) Are SLOW Most of the time it took him 3 days to reply. Of the last order I got from him, 2 out of 8 spiderlings died. One was pretty much DOA ( still had some life, but not enough to move much ) and the other died two days later. Up until that order, I had never had any Spider die on me. Half of the spiders I got from him were much smaller than the list had claimed. I would say that if you are going to order from him, Expect a 1 inch T on the list to be 1/2 or even 1/4 inch when it arrives. He also told me he didnt want the ups man knowing what was in the box ( Which is understandable ) So I told him he may want to Get rid of the screened boxes, But of course.. he didnt, and the Ups man asked me what was inside. Ho hum

Bottom line:

I personally will "Never" again do business with him. He does not follow his own Live Arrival Guaranteed policy.

Thats all folks
 
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Gail

Arachnopixie
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
521
Negative

I never ordered from Paul before and I never will again. Here is what happened to me. I am posting actual content of emails to be completely fair and honest.
On August 14th, 2002 Wed. I called Paul to place an order. He seemed very nice on the phone and assured me that he would pick me out the spiders I asked for and that his goal was complete customer satisfaction. I ordered 2 adult female WC Pink Zebra Beauties, which he assured me he would pick through the 100 or so that he had and definately send me gravid females. I also ordered 10 PZB slings which were to be 1/3" and 5 Curly Hair slings which were to be 1/2". He honestly seemed to me to be a really nice guy on the phone and I felt completely comfortable ordering from him.
My package arrived the next afternoon. I had somewhere that I had to be by 5 PM and they didn't arrive until after 3:30 PM so I hurriedly unpacked them and put them into their new homes, doing a really quick inspection. The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was a rather unpleasant odor, which became stronger when I unpacked the one PZB but it looked as if there had just been something on the damp paper towels he used to wrap her in which sort of smelled like old pinky remains so I thought nothing of it. Both of the PZB were scrunched up tightly about themselves and in no mood after their trip to unscrunch so I just gently deposited them into their enclosures. Paul included one extra of each type of spiderling I ordered. All spiderlings were alive but they were definately not the size they should have been. The curlies were only about 1/4", maybe a little more, and most of the PZB were 1/4" or less, with 5 of them being so tiny they were barely specks. But I wasn't going to quibble over that since I guess everyone measures thier bugs a little differently. As soon as I unpacked them I sent Paul an email to tell him that "they had arrived and that all appeared alive and well at first inspection" I thanked him for sending the extra spiderlings.
As I was getting ready to leave that strange smell kept making me wonder and so I called to tell my people that I would be late. Then I inspected the adult PZB more closely. The one female was in very good condition, but appeared to have shed recently. The second one still didn't want to "unfold" herself so I got within a few inches of her with my loupe to inspect. The rotten odor that assailed my nostrils was worse than pinkie remains. So I gently stroked her ceph with a finger until she unscrunched herself to walk away and that's when I saw her damage. I immediately sent the following to Paul...

Hi Paul,

Bad news. I called in to say I'd be late so I could stay a while and closely check the spiders I just got. The one PZB female is badly damaged. I didn't see it when I first took her out because she was scrunched up. I attached two pics of the damage - missing leg and cracked connection between ceph and abdomen which has some fungus on it. I got in really close to check with my 10x loupe and I think she's badly infected as I can smell a rotten odor. Please let me know what we are going to do about this as I am sure she will die on me. I'll probably call you once I send this.

I did call him, several times before I finally got him and to make a long story short when I told him about the damage he said that it had to have happened in transit. I didn't see how it could have since she was packed in such a way that she couldn't even move. I pointed out to him that there was no leg in the packing so it couldn't have happened during shipping. I firmly believe in always giving a person an "out" in a situation like this so I was being very polite and I said that I wasn't blaming anyone because I could understand that if she was all scrunched up and he was packing in a hurry that he could have missed it. He immediately retorted with "We only sell quality animals here, I'd never send out anything like that." I replied, still calmly, that with how far on the infection was she had to have been injured long before coming to me, but, I repeated, I can see how you could have missed it if she was scrunched up and you were in a hurry. I just want to know what we are going to do about this. So he tells me I have to ship her back. I asked if I would be credited for the shipping and he said no. I asked if I had to use next day since she was likely to die and unsalable anyway and he said yes, he wanted her alive because he wasn't going to give up on a spider that might have a chance (trying to pull my heart strings there I think). I politely told him that I didn't think that was fair because it was his fault for sending me a spider in such bad shape. Then he went into a boo hooing about he doesn't make any money on shipping and these are WC and cheap at that, etc. etc. After a few more tries at trying to get him to at least pay shipping he finally said "why don't you wait the 48 hours and if you still want to send her back send me an email telling me to expect her. Or if she looks better and you want to keep her then let me know that too." I realized at this point that I could talk until I was blue in the face and I would get nowhere so I said fine and hung up. Then I put my posts up at petbugs and the spat started over there. I admit that I was very upset and I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to post comments about dealers. I fired off another email to Paul...

Paul,

I've been talking to others who ordered from you and it seems this isn't the first time you sent out bad stuff. I tried to be very polite on the phone and give you the opportunity to make things right by saying that you could have missed it's condition if it was scrunched up and you were in a hurry but you chose to take the stance that you did nothing wrong. I didn't want to accuse or slander, I always believe in giving a person a chance to correct a mistake and save face, but the truth is that there is no way that spider was damaged in transit, the infection is far enough along that it stinks so that didn't happen over night, and if you were really checking your animals you would have seen it. You dropped the ball on this one and now you expect me to pay to ship it back to you. I didn't even want to ask if you expected me to pay to have the replacement shipped to me. You cry about shipping costs but this could have all been avoided if you'd just checked your animal before you sent it. YOU messed up, I should not have to eat the cost of that. You say you want it back because you never want to give up on a spider - I know when someone is trying to play me and that definitely is it. Even if it doesn't die now, that scar will be so deep that it will never be able to properly molt and it will die then. I did not just ride in on a bunch of pumpkins. I would hope that you would do the right thing and just credit my card for the $20 because I will never order from you again so a credit isn't going to do me any good. And if you want the spider back you are going to have to send a call tag for it because I don't feel that it is fair I should pay for that shipping. Unfortunately, from what I've been hearing, you probably won't do that though so this has just been a $20 lesson learned the hard way for me.

I finally recieved a reply from him on Friday night...

Gail, how’s she doin..??

I sent a reply to him...

She is eating. I am treating her with strong antibiotics. I doubt that even if she lives through this that she will live through her next molt as the scar will be very deep. As I said in my other email to you, I will not send her back and pay for postage, you will have to send a call tag and I really think you should refund the $20 to my credit card. This spider is not one that should have ever been sold and even if she recovers she should not be sold because of the fact that she will not be able to properly molt next time. I am highly disappointed with your business practices.

He had not responded by Saturday afternoon so I sent him another email at 5:12 PM (please keep in mind that he was expecting an email from me on Saturday to tell him if I was going to be sending her back so I would think he would check)...

Hi Paul,

I need to know what you have decided to do concerning the issue with the Pink Zebra Beauty that you sent to me damaged and infected so that I can decide on my own course of action.

I have recieved no response as of 9:40 PM Saturday and so I am posting this.
I would never recommend that anyone buy from Paul Becker and I will never buy from him again. I will be contacting my credit card company on Monday to report that I was sent damaged merchandise for which the vender will not make good and which did not fit the description of what was advertized nor what I was told verbally I would be getting.

Gail
 

Kugellager

ArachnoJester
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2002
Messages
2,354
Neutral

A few months back I ordered several scorpions from Pauls store over the phone. It was near closing time for them and the regular person who took the phone orders was not there. My order was taken anyway. I had asked the order to be sent out on a specific day because the weather forcast called for it to be warmer (It was January) for a few days.

Anyway, the day my order was supposed to arrive it never came. I called Arachnocenter later in the day they did not know of mu order but eventually discovered my order was sent to an address in Oregon. I had ordered 4 each of H. spinifer and M martensii but they were short one H. spinifer.

To rectify the situation I was sent a P. irninia sling and had the balance on my order dropped about $20 off of the cost of the remaining animals I received. The final order I received was shipped overnight which I did get as promised.

The animals arrived packed well and healthy and the heatpack was still warm. I didn't get exactly what I wanted but thatks to him I am now involved in the Tarantula hobby as well.:rolleyes:

Because of the mix-ups I have to rate this dealer as NEUTRAL

John
; ' /
 

emp

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Messages
2
Positive

I ordered a o. apser scorp on a Saturday he shiped it on on Tuesday got the next day

the packaging was fairly good[I have seen better]the scorp arived and wasn't responding to touch or anything so i thought that is was doa but i let it sit fo awile and it started kickin again.
my only worry is how fat he was.he's bigger around the mid section than my p. imprator. all in all it was good though :confused: :)
 

Botar

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
1,442
Positive

I'll give this site a positive with a small disclaimer. E-mail communication was slow and a bit inaccurate. I did not attempt telephone conversation. My order was supposed to be shipped on Wednesday for arrival on Thursday. Instead it was shipped Tuesday and arrived Wednesday. Caught me a bit by surprise, but all animals arrived healthy and in good condition. Not all of the T's were labeled, but the order was only 10 T's and a freebie, so I was able to figure it out. The most important thing to me was the health and quality of the animals... everything else was filler. I would order from this site again, if selection and price were right.
 
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