I had a feeling it was gonna happen sooner or later. I just got an email from a customer that his 10 lb. trophy Rainbow trout replica mount that he just took out of the box has a broken tail. About an inch broke off the top lobe. This happened because the guy was so excited to see his mounted fish, that he just tore open the box and in his excitment, bumped the tip of the tail the fish that was still cold from being outside in a USPS truck overnight. Evidently the fella that Reasearch Mannikins uses as their "fish guy" does not use any fiberglass as reinforcement in the flexible resins they use for their replica's fins. Why would he do this? It's not hard to put in a layer of fiberglass. I guess it does take alittle more time to wet it out and lay it in, but come on!.. For the price they charge for their fish blanks-they can afford to put in some fiberglass, not to mention have way better detail!#*@#!
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It is not important who spilled the milk but just to pick it up! With that said Jeff the high road is where you want to travel in business correct! Typically this is where I write in my usual positive way to give you some direction or thoughts to better the situation however I'm just don't read into how it may sound at first. There is a positive message in here for anyone who has been down this road in business. With that said!
It is totally irrelevant who or why is to blame for the tail being broken and I certainly sure you haven't told your customer that a supplier whom you purchased the repro from made a critical flaw in your opinion in there manufacturing procedure. I would like to believe that when you received the call all you relayed to your customer was how inconvenient this unfortunate situation is and told him to immediately ship it back to you for a timely correction to the situation.
Look at it like this for a moment if a company had the greatest blanks in the world yet there fins were made of a material that made them brittle to cold what steps would you take to compensate for potential difficulties or future problems which may occur? This is the anticipation of problems when it comes to business. In any business the longer you look at a problem and don't take steps to prevent them then you're gambling with potential disaster. Be it a "non-reinforced) fin or a real one the fact of the matter is your customer could have drop the entire fish in his excitement and broke the many more fins to boot.
It may sound like I'm picking on you a little and I hope you are not taking it this way at all Jeff! This is just a little contrastive help because I want you to be and sound like a good business person both to your customer and to your self. May be you could have thought it is after September now and the weather gets cold and this type of thing could happen and may be you could have informed your customers of the extra care when unpacking. May be extra packing to the caudal or other fins may be inline if you continue to use this product line of repro's to help prevent any future potential occurrence of this problem after all if your work is good and a customer being a customer they will be excited after all! There may be a 100 different ways to look at this spilled milk but there is only one thing to do. Pick it up. Bottom line the fish got broken because it got broken and now it needs to get fixed.
Jeff I don't know you but you sound like a guy who cares or you wouldn't have taken the time to write about your frustrations to this unfortunate situation. Take the high road when ever you can my friend and deal with the situation as a good business person as well as a good taxidermist. Remember no one cares (especial your customer) who or why or how the milk got spilled just that it gets picked up. These things will happen and then some. Just say to your self I learned a bit from this one and move on. I want you to read what I said as helpful at some level and not a negative response at all! I and most of us have been here a time or two just like you I just saw the opportunity to give you some of the same advice that was given to me a long time ago... It sure made me look at a lot of things differently and I only could hope a few words may do the same for you my friend!
My Best to you Jeff!
312 Chesterfield Rd
Hinsdale NH 03451
I mounted a large fiberglas repo trout for a client once and when he took it to his office and tried to hang it on the wall he dropped it and broke the tail and two other fins. I ordered a new fish, and started over and hung it in his office myself all at no charge. I used the first fish in a lifesize black bear mount with moss and sticks placed over the broken parts. I have received NUMEROUS referals and untold good PR for bitting that money and time. Sometimes this type of thing is just the price of being in business and you just have to turn it around for the best and think long term. Over the 30+ years I have been in taxidermy I could tell you several other stories like this I have been through. Jeff, pay the price and time and shipping and just make it right for your client, it will pay off long run and you will feel better afterward.
Definately need to suck it up, and handle that one. Odds are you will get something out of your efforts by taking care of the guy.
I can understand your frustration with research's replicas, but you need to ask yourself what replicas you would use if research was not available?
They make pretty good blanks. -Not the best, but then you are paying less for them too.
Good luck with your customer service dilemma, and don't feel like the lone ranger on this one.
Been there, done that...
The fish mount WAS packaged and boxed very well (you could stand on the box). I just had to vent. It was my own fault by not including a "caution note" about the fins being fragile like Starfish does, and I should have gone ahead and added alittle fiberglass to the backs of the fins for some added strength. The cool thing was that the customer said he knew it was his fault so he repaired the tail himself to where you really cannot even tell it was broken, even though I said I would pay for shipping and fix it for him. Live and learn..you'd think I would know better after doing this fish thing for over 30 years!