Using Royal Mail to Kill, sorry Ship fish.

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clothahump
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Using Royal Mail to Kill, sorry Ship fish.

Post by clothahump »

A member on my site purchased a Zebra Plec from ebay, it was sent to him via Royal Mail, it arrived this morning DEAD due to poor packaging and mostly I suspect because Royal Mail are not set up to handle Livestock.
The question is, who should be prosecuted for the slaughter of such a lovely rare Fish???
The sender, Royal Mail or eBay???
:x

Jo's Zebs
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Post by Jo's Zebs »

I work for royal mail I can tell you for a fact that it is clearly stated in royal mails policys that fish are not allowed to be posted so the fault is on the people who agreed to send and receive the fish using that method that would be the seller & the buyer, poor packaging will go no way to keeping a fish alive in the post will it.
As for legal action how???? the buyer agreed to having the fish shipped against the carriers public stated policy, not got a leg to stand on IMO.
I just feel sorry for the fish and for us posties who get the blame for poor packaging and miss-use of the services.
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Ameekplec
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Re: Using Royal Mail to Kill, sorry Ship fish.

Post by Ameekplec »

clothahump wrote: it arrived this morning DEAD due to poor packaging
Sounds a lot like your fault. You sent it: 1, poorly packaged, 2. over mail, poorly packaged. I would only send fish if you are confident and successful in other attempts.[/b]

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John
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Re: Using Royal Mail to Kill, sorry Ship fish.

Post by John »

Ameekplec wrote:
clothahump wrote: it arrived this morning DEAD due to poor packaging
Sounds a lot like your fault.

??????????????

Sounds to me like clothahump is not the sender or receiver so why should it be his/her fault?
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sam
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Post by sam »

it is clearly stated in royal mails policies that fish are not allowed to be posted
I have to disagree with Jo's Zeb's statement. Having read the posting restrictions on Royal Mails website, I am even more confused as to whether you can or can't send fish through the post.
It says that fish fry can be sent with restrictions.
I have sent and received roughly 50 fish using royal mail special delivery and have never had any problems and feel really confident in sending them.
I would be interested to know how they were packaged as I think that is the most likely cause of death.

BTW I am also a postie, but unfortunately am writing this in a lot of pain as I was attacked by an Alsatian today!!

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Post by Jo's Zebs »

In the policy it states you can send fish fry and eggs. The point I was making was that poor packaging is no excuse to flame Royal Mail they can do a good job of ennoying the public on there own LOL.
I myself have and do send baby zebs by Special delivery and know how the SD parcels are handled. I take it Sam you are on delivery?I used to do that 18 years ago don't think I am physicall upto it now though. Hope the bite is not to nasty, I got chased once by a dog on delivery but I made the gate before it got me. :lol:
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Ameekplec
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Re: Using Royal Mail to Kill, sorry Ship fish.

Post by Ameekplec »

John wrote: ??????????????

Sounds to me like clothahump is not the sender or receiver so why should it be his/her fault?
Yes, sorry, my mistake I misread. Definitely the sender's fault. I thought he was the sender, but am mistaken; however my opinion that it is entirely the sender's fault does not change. Poor packaging and not understanding the postal system is definitely not the buyer or carrier's fault.

Sorry again clothahump.

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Post by clothahump »

It was nothing to do with me, I thought you might be interested to know that somebody in the UK does not care about the Zebra Plecs they are offering for sale.

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Post by NetsuaiAngel »

Any purchase of live fish/animals through any mail service is a risk that we all take.

In my online purchases, I am always in a fret hoping the mail carrier doesn't park their delivery trucks directly towards the sun and fry up any living fish/animals that are sitting in a dark box, waiting for their unknown future.

Online purchases. I hate it but love it at the same time. The question I would ask is if the purchase was made on eBay, did the buyer use PayPal for the purchase? Also, if the sender provided a live arrival guarantee on their eBay advertisement? If so, the buyer could go through PayPal's and eBay's policies and see how to get a refund, since the sender did not uphold their end.

I hate the risk and danger we put our beloved fish through...I'm sorry for your loss and wish the buyer their best in their pursuits.

-Angela

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Post by I_Need_Zebras »

Well, I am going to put everyone's mind at rest, I was the seller of these fish. The buyer was from the Isle of Man, I will not name ther buyer as he is not at fault here.

The fish was placed inside a large polystyrene fish box in a 12x10" fish bag, then surrounded with newspaper balls to pad the bag out and prevent any movement.

The polystryene box had a heatpack in it and the bag was given oxygen tablets. All this was then placed into a thick cardboard box.

The item was sent RM Special next day delivery before 1pm, as before 9am was not an option for my location to the buyers.

The fish was starved 24hrs prior to shipping to save on ammonia in the bag and then great care was taken at 5am in the morning to catch and bag him/her.

Off to the post office, got a tracking number and provided the details to the buyer.

Next day I received an email from the buyer saying the box is damaged, god did my heart sink, he sent photo's and I must admit it did look very bad.

I sent the photo's straight to Royal Mail to see what they could provide in information wise. I was told by a supervisor there after waiting about 2 hours, that the pictures show the bag was burst from the centre, this is more and likely down to the aircraft pressure when in transist.

I told the royal mail office where I posted the parcel what the contents were and was told they would label it appropriately, this now looking at the photo's of the box was never done.

Fry and small fish can be posted via Royal Mail, "If labelled properly", but not done in this case.

The bag had expanded due to the oxygen tablets in the water and the aircraft pressure. Once burst, the poor weee zeb had no chance, the water leaked everywhere and the zeb died.

I don't want to make excuses, but this is being discussed on another forum also, which I am a member of and will not reply on that topic, but I am being accused of being a money conscious thief and don't care about my fish. how wrong they are, I do care about my fish collection.

The minute I heard about the disaster, I contacted Royal Mail and started the recovery process to see what happened. Once I knew the outcome I went to work and emailed the buyer when I got home. As this was our fault, we the next day sent another fish out to him immiediately, which thankfully we now can say has arrived alive, but annoyingly, again the bag was burst.

I have not heard anything back from the buyer today, but do know the fish is in the tank and hopefully settling.

So yes, maybe the fish was packaged wrong, but I did my best to ensure the well being of the fish. The only thing I did not do on both occurances of delivery is double bag the fish. I have sent and received many fish before in the same way I receive them, but truthfully nothing that used an aircraft in the past, so unaware of double bagging the fish to combat the aircraft pressure.

Now that I have stood above everyone and announced it was me, please give me your comments.

I do care about these fish, I have travelled the country many of times to get them, theres no way I am going to stand back and let them die and have everyone say that I do not care from them, how little do people know about me. I am not going to hide away and keep quiet and let things blow over, thats why I have stood up and announced it was myself.

The people who have seen my fish house will know, that I have spent thousands of pounds on the setup, bought the best equipment etc to ensure they are healthy and well looked after.

All I can say about the whole process is that I am sorry for the little ones death, if anything I more upset than the buyer, it was a nice strong healthy 9month old fry looking full of life and had a good future.

I am also sorry for the buyer who had to take a day off work to receive the fish, and to find him dead in a bag.

All the apologies in the world will not resolve this, but I do not like the way people say that I do not care, that I will defend myself on.

I am leaving for work now, so cannot post a reply until I get back, so I am not hiding away but visit this thread on my return.
Last edited by I_Need_Zebras on Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

clothahump
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Post by clothahump »

As you seem to know what you are talking about maybe I can give you a couple of hints for better delivery.

When oxygenating the bag with pure Oxygen leave the bag slightly deflated, this then allows for pressure changes, if it is like a balloon it will explode as you have found.
Pack space around fish bag with bags of warm water, the bags have less chance of moving than with rolled up newspaper.

Spend an extra couple of pounds and send via APC couriers, they are set up better to deliver Fish than RM IMO, £15 for a large box.
The packing was much better than the first time but did leave a lot to be desired

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Post by Barbie »

This sounds like an honest mistake that was instantly rectified by our member to the best of his abilities. Just because the fish are expensive doesn't mean everyone is born knowing how to ship them. I've received dead zebras twice now. Once a shipment from one friend to another where I was the receiver as I could be home when the post office would deliver, and another time when a friend was shipping me her adults because they weren't doing anything for her and she was afraid she might kill them! She ships me fish regularly with very few problems, but the idiots at Southwest airlines in Chicago left them sitting outside over night, rather than get them on the flight they were scheduled for. It was a SERIOUS disappointment, but it happens, even when you do your absolute best.

The first post in this thread is a bit inflammatory about a situation that was obviously stressful for everyone involved, but seems to have been well resolved.

As to shipping, I catch quite a bit of guff because I refuse to use any of the mail services available here in the US. I paid for inspections to become a known shipper and I ship my fish with the airlines. They STILL manage to murder some here and there, but not nearly as often. Saying you won't ship with more convenient methods can really frustrate some people! I bought special bags that are 8" x 24" so that I have plenty of room at the top. I take the first bag, make it tall enough to fit snugly in the box and tie the top in a knot with a little play in the bag. Then I take that bag and drop it into the next bag after 1/4 turn, so the corners of the inside bag are on the flat edge of the next one, preventing fish from getting trapped. I then twist the top of this bag and tie another knot, but about 2" above the first one. That way if pressure expands the first one and it loses integrity, the second one is there to handle it.

I know that I would be extremely ticked off to have someone add double the weight to a box of fish by using water. It's a great insulator and keeps the temperature stable longer, but it also doubles the cost. With proper packaging there's no need for that. 1/3 water to 2/3 air, oxygen tabs if you want to use them, packing peanuts or something that doesn't crush when wet (including bags of air, obviously not overtightened) or even additional styrofoam all work well. Heat packs stay warm well only when they aren't wet and there's sufficient air around them. One supplier I have tapes them to paper plates and lays them on top of the shipping bags. That's been the most successful method I've seen used to date.

When I first started shipping I had people send me pictures of what the bags and box looked like on arrival. It helped quite a bit with the learning curve. All in all, it sounds like this shipment was very educational and while it's terrible to lose zebras, another breeder and I were discussing the other day that less than 1/2 the fry we've managed to get survive to adulthood anyway. It happens. No matter how careful people are, it IS still a very unnatural hobby.

Thanks for taking the time to explain yourself I_Need_Zebras. It definitely sounds like you went above and beyond in this instance to make things right. Hopefully the customer will see that and stop playing the blame game.

Barbie
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Post by Jo's Zebs »

I have had very bad experiances with APC used them on 2 occasions to courier discus both times the boxes were delayed one for 2 days!!! fish arrived dead second time delivered to the wrong address again resulting in dead fish yes they had there excuses broken, van new delivery driver out come the same never again.
And I did not get any kind of refund for the fish because as they stated I could not prove they were live when I bagged them up !!!!!!! :(
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Post by clothahump »

Adding extra bags of water will not cost any more with APC as long as total weight remains below their £15 rate, you would not know this Barbie so a duff comment in this conversation.
Nobody in their right mind would use Oxygen tabs to ship livestock, you should only use pure Oxygen, thats what all the exporters use.
APC have delivered hundreds of Discus for us from the shop and in only one instance in 15 Years was there a problem, perhaps they deal with regular business customers differently.

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Post by clothahump »

Taking this a bit further.

It was obviously not an honest mistake, it was nothing more than poor packaging, poor labelling and a poor choice of Carrier.
Moves are under way in the UK to outlaw this sort of thing, it is Cruelty and should be treated as such.

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