T5 Lights from Catalina Aquariums

Discussion in 'Lighting, Filtration & Other Equipment' started by d2mini, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. d2mini

    d2mini VIP Member

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    Well, I'll just lay it out flat and let you make of it what you will.
    I ordered a set of lights from Catalina and they shipped close to a week later. They arrived several days later and when i opened the box I found this...



    [​IMG]



    3 (out of 6) broken bulbs.
    So i emailed them right away with the pic attached.
    This was saturday when they arrived and I was really needing light on my tank so I decided I would just buy replacement bulbs locally and asked them if they could just credit my credit card for the 3 bulbs. I figure this would save the hassle of shipping and more possible damage (since they didn't seem to know how to pack in the first place). I received a response back within the hour. No apology for the damage or anything, just a one-liner...

    "i can give you a $30 credit or reship monday."

    :shock:

    These bulbs will cost me $25 a piece plus tax locally. So I responded...

    "$30??? That's crazy. You can go ahead and ship and I'll have extras."

    20 minutes later i get another one line response...

    "are the bulbs 39 watt"

    :shock:
    Don't you have this information on file with my order?

    So i replied "yes, 39 watt" and that was it.

    Meanwhile, i went out and got the bulbs. Installed them and everything works great. I wouldn't have posted this thread or the pic normally because stuff happens, boxes get dropped during shipment, etc. But shoot... at least show a little compassion or something for your customers. If $30 was all you could credit me maybe an explanation to go along with it would have been nice. So anyway, that's my experience with Catalina Aquariums.
     
    d2mini, Nov 10, 2008
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  2. d2mini

    HeavyHittah LivingReefs is like home

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    It always amazes me how some businesses seem to not care or only care a little when it comes to their customer service. When all it takes is for someone to give them a bad mark and turn off hundreds of protential buyers.
     
    HeavyHittah, Nov 10, 2008
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  3. d2mini

    daugherty part time reefer

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    i have the 8 54w fixture and they shipped find. many places do not cover bulbs in shipping because of that i dont know how many times that i have ordered bulbs and they come broke i bet they were only going to give you credit for what it costs them for the bulbs.
     
    daugherty, Nov 10, 2008
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  4. d2mini

    dustin_P74

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    i think catalina is a one man operation
     
    dustin_P74, Nov 10, 2008
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  5. d2mini

    reeffreak

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    Broken bulbs are all to common.Seriously,all they have to do is put foam support under the bulb.Their bulbs are cheap,poor PAR,that is why they are only refunding $30.In the long run,you are better off replacing them with the better ATI and UV bulbs.
     
    reeffreak, Nov 10, 2008
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  6. d2mini

    Melonbob

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    Ok, time for me to chime in, I planned on it for a week, and just haven't gotten the time.

    I bought a catalina 8x80w t5 fixture about a month ago. When the fixture is shown on the website, it has nice looking plastic endcaps with fan mounts, and a nice thick plexiglass splashguard. When mine arrived, the endcaps were flat tin, cut with a bandsaw, and not even repainted where they were cut. One end was bent already. There were no splashguards, and no way to mount one as the bulbs sat lower than the fixture. You can check out pics on my build thread. I contacted Catalina, they said they do not make plastic endcaps. I asked why there were pictures of them everywhere on the site, I got no answer. Two of the 8 bulbs were broken. They sent three replacements, and only one survived the trip.

    About a week after all this, I am working on the tank and touch the light, and I get zapped. I touch it again to make sure! POW! Again. So I start troubleshooting and notice it doesn't do anything when plugged into another socket. So I tear apart the recepticle and find there is not ground. This fixes the problem of me getting zapped, but does not fix the fact that there is a problem with the light. There should be no voltage leak at all. I contact Catalina and they say that I have to send it back to Cali, and they will be happy to refund me. Of course at my expense. SOOOO I shell out 100 dollars I'm never getting back and off it goes.

    Four days later I notice they received the light, so I email. No response. again. No response. I finally call and when she answers she tells me light has been looked over and they can find nothing wrong with it even though they are able to duplicate the problem without a ground. I tell her that a ground is a safety for a faulty product, and just because its keeping someone from getting electrocuted doesn't mean that there is nothing wrong. She tells me fine, she will refund my money, but she has to charge me 15% restocking fee as the light is not resellable. I hang up. She also sends me pics of the light taken apart by email

    I email back and say I do not find this an acceptable solution. They refund me anyways, minus the 15%, which adds up to another 90 dollars. I email again and tell her that I feel the product was falsely advertised (endcaps, fans, splashguard) I also mention that I noticed in the pictures she sent that the ballasts were NOT Fullam Workhorse 5 as they advertise several times on their site, rather some Advance, I've never heard of. I have yet to hear back, its been about a week now.

    Anyways, so far, my BIGGEST mistake in reefing to date!
     
    Melonbob, Nov 10, 2008
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  7. d2mini

    dustin_P74

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    that sucks bob
     
    dustin_P74, Nov 10, 2008
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  8. d2mini

    d2mini VIP Member

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    Bob, you can file a chargeback with your credit card company. You did not get what you paid for.
     
    d2mini, Nov 11, 2008
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  9. d2mini

    Melonbob

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    I'll call right now
     
    Melonbob, Nov 11, 2008
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  10. d2mini

    Melonbob

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    actually, I have to get all my info together, and find the receipt from Catalina
     
    Melonbob, Nov 11, 2008
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  11. d2mini

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    I was thinking ordering a set from them,Not now.
    I'd do what ever it took to get my money back.Including a report to the BBB.
     
    yote, Nov 11, 2008
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  12. d2mini

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    That sucks for both of you, I'm sorry you've had such an awful experience. I had always heard pretty good things about them until recently, but it really seems as though they've gone downhill lately. Your stories are enough for me to definitely discourage anyone from buying from them if it comes up again.

    In any case, I got my lights from www.aqua-medic.com and they were very affordable and have great customer service. You may want to try them instead (maybe they deliver to Canada?)
     
    Bifferwine, Nov 11, 2008
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  13. d2mini

    Melonbob

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    Melonbob, Nov 11, 2008
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  14. d2mini

    dustin_P74

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    bob if your disappointed with those then your satisfactory level is to damn high
     
    dustin_P74, Nov 11, 2008
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  15. d2mini

    d2mini VIP Member

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    Melonbob definitely got the short end of the stick on this one.
    My only complaint was their customer service attitude.

    Unfortunately, not many companies make T5 retrofit kits, especially ones that don't require any kind of wiring so I didn't have much of a choice. All i had to do with these was mount them to the underside of my canopy and so far they are working great. Now that i have all 6 bulbs.
     
    d2mini, Nov 11, 2008
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  16. d2mini

    dustin_P74

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    reefgeek.com sells pre-wired T-5 retro kits
     
    dustin_P74, Nov 11, 2008
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  17. d2mini

    Melonbob

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    mini, seeing as you got a retro kit, does it have workhorse ballasts?
     
    Melonbob, Nov 11, 2008
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  18. d2mini

    d2mini VIP Member

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    Ya, reefgeek were the other one I was looking at.
    But I didn't see a 6 x 36" configuration in the prewired setup and with moonlights. And they were a lot more expensive.
     
    d2mini, Nov 11, 2008
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  19. d2mini

    d2mini VIP Member

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    Bob, from their website...

     
    d2mini, Nov 11, 2008
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  20. d2mini

    Melonbob

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    yeah, exactly, but when they sent me pics of my light taken apart......

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure who advance is, but I'm sure they are not Fullam Workhorse
     
    Melonbob, Nov 11, 2008
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