All of the contact was through my fiance. (Signed 'em all with my username here purely for clarity.)
E-mail to a pet supplies company.
It is with regret I am writing to inform you of my intent to return the Habitrail OVO Loft-e-Tower Combo Starter pack I ordered from you which arrived on Thursday (02/06/11). Unfortunately, due to the design of the water bottle, my hamster is unable to use it; he has to bend himself backwards which not only can he not do far enough to drink, but it obviously causes him discomfort to attempt. In addition, due to the design of the cage, it is not possible to attach an alternative water bottle and, even if it were, I would not consider such a requirement acceptable. I raised this concern with Hagen themselves, who were of no help.
As such, I consider the item to be neither of satisfactory quality nor fit for purpose and would request your assistance in organising for it to be returned to you for a refund.
I would also like to mention, for the sake of completeness, that I have reason to believe that the item I was sent was not brand new as there was some hay/straw and dirt within the box for the loft and the box for the tower was bulging. Neither of the items were sealed. Again, to clarify, I am not complaining about this fact in particular, but felt I should make you aware. Had the cage been fit for purpose this would not have been an issue to me.
If you would prefer to contact me for a response via telephone then please ring my mobile on [blahblah numbers].
Thank you in advance for your response,
I have contacted Hagen today with regards to your reported problem and
unfortunately they will not accept this cage back as faulty because its
not actually faulty. We have not heard of any known problems with this
particular cage and after selling many hundreds of them without
complaint we are struggling to understand why you believe this to be not
fit for purpose. Have you considered using a water bowl for your
hamster? I'm afraid that we cannot issue you a refund on the cage as it
has been used and it is not faulty. I am ever so sorry that we cannot
help you on this occasion. If you would like to take this matter up with
Hagen again their customer services line is: [number here].
[Pet supplies company]"
I am completely and utterly appalled at your, and Hagen's, apparent contempt for my hamsters safety and comfort. I do not consider a cage of this size requiring a bowl acceptable. Some would say it is on the small side for a Syrian hamster already.
Ultimately, I don't think I should be the one to suffer for my hamsters size or athleticism. My hamster is approximately one year old. What disturbs me most is that If we had bought this cage when we had first bought him then this issue would not have presented itself initially. He is not abnormally large for a Syrian so I cannot imagine this is the first time someone has had this issue (I have since read anecdotal evidence on Internet forums referring to this very issue), though I would accept that you as a particular retailer may not have come across it.
Furthermore, do you have any comment on the unsealed condition in which we originally received the item?
I am desperate for some assistance in this matter as I cannot house my hamster in this cage. There is nothing wrong with my hamster so therefore the problem lies with the cage.
I would appreciate your swift response,
After no response, we e-mail them again
Do you have any further response to my queries below?
I do not consider this matter closed in any way and would welcome your response. I have given you more than enough time to respond now without having to chase you.
Aaand still, no response.
I have just attempted to reach you on the phone to attempt to bring this matter to a conclusion. However, it appears that your phone service is "closed" despite the recorded message then going on to tell me that you are open "monday from 9 until 4". It's five past twelve...on Monday!
Again, I want a reply as to why you believe it acceptable for a hamster's cage to cause him discomfort to the point where he cannot drink. In addition, you have told me that I cannot get a refund as the items have been used and are, in your opinion, not faulty, when the product I received had obvious signs of previous use on arrival. My hamster was in this cage for about three hours, if that, before I removed him due to fearing for his well being. I can wash the cage before returning it and you would receive it in better condition to how you sent it to me.
I do not feel that I am in the wrong about my entitlement. Unfortunately, through no specific fault of your own, you have supplied goods to me which are not fit for their purpose. I therefore believe that I am entitled to a full refund including return delivery charges, so that we may put this matter behind us. This is not an unreasonable request. There is no need for this to be dragged out any longer, I would rather not get other parties involved for all our sakes.
As always, I will welcome your swift response,
Basically, the water bottle is this:
As you can see, this water bottle is ridiculous. O_o I think that's a Syrian in that photo, and it is curled up weirdly on it's back to get water out of the bottle. My hamster had to keep twisting and bending his back, and still could not get water out. I didn't realise that it would be that bad, so I'm pretty dumb but now I'm in the process of getting a better home for my hamster. (Because tbh, Ovo cages are too small anyway. He now has a colossal tank that I'm building a lid for whilst he's temporarily in his old cage.)
I looked into the issue after seeing his discomfort, and it turns out that loads of people think that the water bottle is bordering on cruelty with its design and can cause serious injury.
If we still get no response (may try calling them again tomorrow), we may contact Consumers Direct.