If you haven't read my company review regarding my experience with Pocket Pets, then you might want to do that before reading this post.
Behind the Scenes:
But anyway, here's what's happened between then and now. Because of that review I received a call from Adam, my local Pocket Pets representative. Sadly I was in a bad reception zone (dang cell phones!) and the call was dropped before we could actually start the discussion. He at the time thought I hung up on him and passed it to his boss, Virgil the owner of Pocket Pets.
Virgil sent me a VERY long letter (as an email attachment) that while intelligently and civilly written, basically accused me of slandering his company and warning me off before I get caught up in a huge lawsuit. (If anyone would like to see the copy of this letter, let me know.)
Wait, what? He's accusing me of slander? No way! Since when is a customer review slanderous? This is basically what went through my head as I read it to the end. Almost immediately, I typed up a reply email to Virgil (again, if you'd like to see a copy, let me know).
The gist of the email was along these lines...
- A review based of personal experience isn't considered slander and is a common place practice among customers of numerous companies
- I described some concerns that I had regarding my personal experience
- I mentioned that I was insulted that both he and Adam thought I hung up on Adam earlier
- I requested that we continue this discussion and can come to a solution peacefully and maturely
- I promised that if my concerns were taken care of satisfactorily that I would post a public apology with a full explanation (hence this post)
Yes, there was a BIG misunderstanding. And I did get caught up in the passion too fast. No I never saw any proof of the accusations (and I never actually posted those accusations as my own). But, for my part in the drama, I definitely apologize. I was wrong.
My Reasoning Behind the Apology:
Now that you have the back story, here's what happened next. Virgil himself never emailed me back (according to Adam he's too tired of the accusations to believe in diplomacy, lol). However, Adam did call me back (during the lunch hour of 1/14/11).
And during a phone conversation that lasted just over an hour, Adam explained the history and the reason behind Virgil founding Pocket Pets. He also discussed at length with me regarding various concerns that I had regarding my experience and some of the accusations that I had heard during my lengthy research. (Sadly there's not many sources out there that I can utilize!)
No, I didn't take notes. But, he was very respectful and obviously passionate about his work, his side of the story, and his love for his own Sugar Gliders. And, as far as I'm concerned, they alleviated my worries and suspicions about their ethical standings, concern about the sugar bears, and business practices.
Would I run the business different? Maybe. But I truly cannot know since I don't know nearly enough about Sugar Gliders and that type of industry. And, as of now, I respect where both Virgil and Adam are coming from.
A Note to Those Who Might Be Upset Regarding My Change of Mind:
I have a feeling that I'm going to disappoint many people with this post. So here are a few things that I want to say to them.
- I was in no way frightened or bribed or tricked into this
- I'm not the type to 'change sides' without VERY good cause
- I still greatly respect your opinions especially regarding the care and quality of life of Sugar Gliders
- Fritz and any other gliders that I get will be kept in a LARGE cage, be fed the HPW diet, receive plenty of interaction and enrichment
- I will still assist with the education regarding the care options regarding sugar gliders
- I will assist with the challenge of breeding mills (as long as there's concrete proof)
- I will assist regarding the collection of valid data to help reduce any confusion regarding the best care for our favorite little snuggies
- If you can provide me with CONCRETE (aka can hold up in court) proof that the accusations made against Pocket Pets and affiliates (real or not) are true, then you'll have my full support
If anyone would like to question me further regarding this change of mind, please feel free to message me here or on sugarglider.com or glidercentral.net (I'm KatFarrell).
Ok, now for a lighter topic, I want to hear your favorite sugar glider stories! :D
P.S. - Adam, now you can show this to Virgil and hopefully increase his faith in the sugar glider caregiver community! :D