I went into Petco with my son yesterday ready and willing to shell out (pun completely intended) about $450 or more on a juvenile Redfoot Tortoise and accessories. I had done my homework searching around the internet to know exactly what we would need to house the little guy. I already had an enclosure and a heat lamp. I knew I needed a UVB light, some bedding, a soaking dish, and a larger hide. And I had all those things in the basket when we finally got someone’s attention. I also knew that the tortoise was going to grow too large for the terrarium that we have. The tortoise was going to grow to 13 inches in length, but it was going to take 10 years before it was that big. And we had at least 2 of 3 years before it outgrew the terrarium we have. The young woman in the Petco shirt asked, “Have you cared for tortoises before?”
I said, “I haven’t, but I have read up on it.”
She shook her head and sighed. She said, “Well you don’t have everything you need.” She took us over to a 50-gallon terrarium that cost another $350 dollars on top of the $450 that we were already expecting to spend.
I said, “We have a 20-gallon terrarium at home.”
She said, “That is way too small. The tortoise would not be able to live in something that small.” The look on her face told me that she thought I was inhumane for simply entertaining the notion of putting it in something so small.
I said, “20-gallons is bigger than the display he is already in.”
She said, “My manager won’t allow me to sell him to you unless you buy the terrarium too. It is against Petco policy.”
I said, “By the time that he is too big for the 20-gallon tank, I will have him in a tortoise table or have built him a pin outside.” Her body language showed she had clearly never heard of a tortoise table and thought the idea of keeping a tortoise outside absurd despite the fact that every care guide gives instructions for building a pin in the yard
But when I said I was going to leave without buying the tortoise, she changed her tone. She was almost begging me to buy the overly expensive and unnecessary terrarium even without the tortoise itself. I guess Petco must pay their employees commission because none of this makes sense otherwise. Anyway, after we left, we called around and found a Russian tortoise for half the price at another store several cities over, and we went and bought him today. They did not even bother trying to upsell us on a terrarium. They said, “A 20-gallon is fine for now, but you will have to get him something bigger in a few years.” And that was that.
Uninformed Petco employees
Breaking children’s hearts
With the hard sell feigning the
Interest of the animal.
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