Written on: 10/10/2009 by wonderbison (1 review written)
Having bought a vivarium setup from a previous shop, visiting the reptile centre in Northampton was comparing night with day. The layout, cleanliness, staff care and attention to us as a family, selection of products as well as reptiles was vastly superior although shop size was similar to my first experience. From the moment my family and I walked in we had a professional, caring and understanding experience. Initially we were "left alone" to wander around, look at the animals, interact with some of the baby dragons, look at the goods on display before being approached wondering if we needed help. After explaining the setup we had currently, how I wasn't convinced it was the best for us or our dragon, we discussed several options available to me. These were short term, "Stick with what you have" (I was going to be buying another dragon in December for my daughter) or "buy a setup now and here is what you will get". Immediately I realised that my current setup was even farther from ideal than I thought. I did look at different setups within the shop independently, with no sales or emotional pressure from the staff, while they let me think and discuss with my family the different options such as buy now and wait till December. I discussed with my family about what we could do and especially talked with my daughter about why we were really there (we hadn't told her that she was coming along to gauge interest in other reptiles as opposed to a dragon). As a whole, we decided there and then that a new setup immediately was the correct option. Returning to the staff they double checked our decision, made me fully aware of the costs and offered a "free dragon" as part of the setup as I was changing to a new vivarium. They double checked on what equipment I needed and what equipment I could use from the current setup.
All during this time my family and I just kept saying "wish we had come here first". Even now over a week on we are still so thoroughly impressed by the whole visit. It should also be said that our current dragon is also much happier with a larger vivarium allowing greater variety of areas and setups allowing her to have better and greater experiences with a larger variety of "obstacles" than before. Our new dragons also enjoy the large space they have to play around in and all 3 dragons (yes we bought a second from the shop as well as the fee one given). They have plants, hides, a basking rock, and bark that we can interchange and move around, as well as wood chips on the floor rather than sand which can cause impaction. The temperature and lights now work as dragons want and our first dragon now has a consistent night and day setup and is no longer awake at 4AM as she was before. She seems much more content and happy.
I just cannot recommend this shop enough. Even their online crickets and worms are the freshest I have ever had and last at least twice as long as crickets bought from the first shop we went to, and one other online retailer we have used. One last point, even my experience with questions via email have been exceptional. Clear and consistent as you would hope and expect.
You can see photos of the dragons on my website, http://www.fat-belly.com/BeardedDragons/tabid/749/Default.aspx, Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php?filter=app_2305272732#/album.php?aid=114563&id=584688404&ref=nf and my kids website http://www.titchcam.co.uk/
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