It’s that time of year and, once again, I had to take advantage of Jamie’s annual Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. The video above contains my full review plus a short video of me rehousing one of my newest acquisitions. This time around, I snagged a pair of B. albopilosum juveniles, two Orphnaecus sp. blue Panay slings, a T. gigas sling, and what was supposed to be a P. pulcher sling (more on that in a bit).
Although I was left quite happy with the tarantulas I ordered, Jamie’s packing, and the promptness of her shipping, there were a couple points that I feel I should mention.
Beware the 2-day Shipping Option
Now, this is absolutely not a knock on Jamie; she did her part and packed and shipped my order immediately. I chose this shipping option knowing the risks, so this is on me (and on the undependable US postal service).
Normally when I order tarantulas, I choose the FedEx overnight shipping option, as it’s dependable and keeps the spiders from being stuck in transit for longer than necessary. However, I’d been using Jamie’s $17 shipping with LAG option for years, and with the exception of one time when my package arrived a day late, it has always been quite dependable. So, as the years went on, I stuck with this option out of habit (and, if I’m being honest, because of the savings), even though I knew better.
After my latest experience, I will ONLY be shipping overnight from now on. Again, this is in no way, shape, or form a slam on Jamie, as she shipped my order promptly; the delay was entirely the fault of the USPS. My package was shipped out on Monday, the tracking didn’t update for four days, and when it did I saw that my package was sitting at my local post office. This was quite irritating because I paid for 2-3 day shipping. As I didn’t want my spiders going out on the truck the next day due to the heat pack likely cooling off and our temps falling into the low 40s, I called and asked if I could pick it up.
The guy told me that the package was there but hadn’t been properly scanned in yet. Not wanting to cause too much of a stink as I didn’t want them abusing my package, I asked if the box could be held for pick up the next day. I figured my animals would be safe in the heated post office overnight. He said that it wouldn’t be a problem and marked it down for “pick up”.
I raced to the post office after work the next day to discover that my package had been sent out for delivery despite the hold I put on it. The clerk was less than apologetic, and had it not been for an adorable little girl who was with her mom in line next to me, I might have gotten myself into trouble. Still with no package, I had to race home where I just caught my mailman as he was pulling up. Ugh.
Needless to say, I’ve learned my lesson and will never use this service again. The $20 saved isn’t worth my stress or the stress of the animals. Granted, Jamie’s fantastic packing ensured their safety, but five full days in a box is more than I’m willing to put my tarantulas through, heat pack or no. If you choose this option, please be aware that there is no guarantee that your order will be delivered in the 2-3 day period.
A Note about Communication…
Also, in the video, you might notice I hesitate when I pick up the vial labeled “G. Pulchripes“. Well, that’s because I didn’t order a G. pulchripes, and I thought that this new little guy might have been added as a freebie. As it turns out, it wasn’t; I ordered a P. pulcher and was sent the pulchripes by mistake. Personally, I don’t find this to be a huge issue and, with the amount of sales she likely had, I can certainly see how this could happen. And, quite frankly, it’s happened to me before with two other vendors (and both times, I was left more than satisfied by the outcome).
Now, let me be very clear; I know how busy Jamie is and understand completely that accidents happen. Having run a small online business in the past, I can definitely appreciate that errors are sometimes made. Jamie has always been fantastic to me, and I have not doubts that I will be taken care of in the end.
That said, I emailed her the day the package arrived with the order number in the subject and “question” in the heading. I informed her of the mix-up and asked if it was possible that the spider was mislabeled the vial really contained a pulcher. After all, I would have to prepare a new enclosure if it wasn’t the species I ordered, and I expected the speed and temperament to be a bit different between the two species. The response took about two days.
It needs to be said that I am very patient, and because of my past dealings with Jamie, I had no doubts that she’d eventually get back to me. And, heck, perhaps there is a perfectly good reason for the late reply. I believe that she does the tarantula business part-time, and I’m sure that sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day. Again, I wasn’t sweating it.
However, I also realize that many people read these reviews and order from Jamie’s, and I feel as if I would be remiss in not mentioning that communication can sometimes be a bit inconsistent. In my experience, she always gets back to me, but lately it can sometimes take a day or two. Over the past couple years, I’ve heard murmurs that she can take a bit to respond, and few keepers have expressed their displeasure with this issue. A couple folks who I recommended Jamie’s to also relayed that, although they had fantastic experiences with her, it took her a couple days to get back to them when they emailed. As prompt communication is a must in this business, especially when live animals are involved, I don’t expect others to be as forgiving as I am.
Again, this is NOT a big deal for me. However, I would imagine that someone else in my situation who didn’t have years of experience with her would definitely be upset by being sent the wrong species followed by a late reply on their query.
Jamie is making right by me and shipping out the specimen I ordered no charge, and I get to keep the other spider as a freebie. Despite the mix-up, I am very pleased with my purchase. Again, I have bought from Jamie for years, and she is still my favorite vendor to buy from. I will be ordering again in the near future without reservations (but choosing 1-day shipping this time!) I just feel that with many people clicking from my site to hers, I need to be forthcoming about the communication so that they are aware of what to expect. If and when you order from her or email her with a query, it may take more than a day before you get your reply. I do believe, however, that the little wait always proves to be well worth it.