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Old 10/04/2019, 12:08 PM   #1
ATI_Reefer
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AutoTopoff.com (Don't waste your time)

Not sure where to post this, but I couldn't find the vendor/sponsor feedback forum. So I'm apologies if there is one. Mods please move there if available.


First of all, I wanna mention that this appears to be a one man operation out of Austin, TX. The guy is slow to return emails which is really annoying. I found out there is no phone number to call him. What I ordered was different than what was pictured on his website. That frustrated me because now I needed to leave my house and go buy different fittings that would work for my application. Long story short...there was a better solution for what I was planning to do so I sent the solenoid valve back after finally getting in touch with the guy via email...I offered to pay return shipping because I had a feeling this guy would refuse to pay it. Then... after he receives the valve, he only refunds $48. I purchased the valve for $56. So he basically took it upon himself to apparently withhold $8 of my money even after I paid the return shipping. Not cool. The valve was brand-new, not a scratch on it, was never used other than me blowing through the hole! I even sent it back via priority mail and bubble wrapped it extra nice for him so that it would not be damaged in shipping. The fact that he took $8 of my money pretty much confirms that he wouldn't have paid the return shipping either. I sent an email to ask why he didn't refund all my money back and what do you know, the guy doesn't respond. Classic! Never again will I trust a ridiculous operation like this.


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Old 10/04/2019, 01:20 PM   #2
mcgyvr
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Was the original shipping cost $8 ?


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Old 10/04/2019, 02:36 PM   #3
mcgyvr
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@ATI_Reefer
Free returns/1 day shipping,etc.. from Amazon and the like have spoiled all of us.

Sometimes we need to remember that in order for the little guys to stay in business they often times need to enact policies like "We cannot refund original shipping costs on returns".

If the item was defective I would hope that the cost of the original shipping was refunded.. But I can see how if it was your decision to return the product that the original shipping cost would not be refunded.. The vendor cannot request that money back from the shipping company so anytime a customer returns something like this they would be out that money..


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Old 10/04/2019, 02:39 PM   #4
wrott
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Get 1 or 2 of these, best ato:
https://premiumaquatics.com/products...-auto-top.html

i use 2 for redundancy. They will usually fail to low water, no overflow.


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Old 10/04/2019, 05:13 PM   #5
ATI_Reefer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgyvr View Post
Was the original shipping cost $8 ?
Not sure, but even if it was I still think it's wrong.


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Old 10/04/2019, 05:16 PM   #6
ATI_Reefer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgyvr View Post
@ATI_Reefer
Free returns/1 day shipping,etc.. from Amazon and the like have spoiled all of us.

Sometimes we need to remember that in order for the little guys to stay in business they often times need to enact policies like "We cannot refund original shipping costs on returns".

If the item was defective I would hope that the cost of the original shipping was refunded.. But I can see how if it was your decision to return the product that the original shipping cost would not be refunded.. The vendor cannot request that money back from the shipping company so anytime a customer returns something like this they would be out that money..

Yep, I agree except for I paid the return shipping. I won't do business with places like this anymore.

Was my mistake and it won't happen again.


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Old 10/04/2019, 08:39 PM   #7
SantaMonica
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I ordered some of their stuff years ago, and got it right away.


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Old 10/06/2019, 06:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
I ordered some of their stuff years ago, and got it right away.
Iím glad you had a positive experience 2 years ago. Wish I would have too.

This guy just now emailed me back and basically called me a liar. He said it was my fault for not noticing the drop down arrow. I mean I just didnít see it and his website mentions nothing about being able to change fittings on the valve. I had no clue that the option was available. I mean if it doesnít mention it, why would I be looking for it. I just thought I was ordering what he had pictured. I think most people would.

I told him I wanted to return it because the solenoid valve restricts flow and wouldnít work for what I needed it for, but there were also other reasons too. I just didnít feel the need to call him out on it and upset him about his product. It did not have the correct power cord pictured, and there definitely isnít an option to change that. The valve nut was damaged, but itís stainless steel and would work anyway so I didnít mention it to him. Maybe Iím too shy to tell people the truth. Since the fittings were push connect and not the barbed fittings that I needed, I had to go and search for them which was unsuccessful because Loweís was out of stock. I just feel like he should have at least elaborated in the text about additional options. Maybe it was completely my fault.

Either way, I was very disappointed in the way that he handled it. When he kept $8 of my money when I paid the return shipping and packaged it better than I received it was frustrating. Especially when he sent a damaged product that had wrong power cord, wrong fittings, etc. IMO, he should have paid the return shipping and let me have a full refund since it was sent back to him in perfect condition. Ohh well, you live and learn.

No more small one man companies for me. No more dealing with a company who doesnít list a phone number and who canít respond to emails within two business days. Buy at your own risk! Youíve been warned.


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Old 10/06/2019, 07:57 PM   #9
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Ummm.yeah


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Old 10/08/2019, 02:37 PM   #10
lpsouth1978
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Nothing wrong with a one man operation, I actually like to support the little guy when possible. In fairness to the seller, it is not easy running a small business like this (making all of the products, shipping, sourcing parts, etc.). I have ordered from him MANY times and currently have one of his ATO's on my 40b. I have NEVER had a problem with any of his products, no failures of any kind.

That being said, his communication is definitely not up to par. When I placed my last order I never received a confirmation and wondered if he was even still in business. Then out of the blue my order was in my mailbox.

IMO, the product is great quality at a good price, but communication could be improved.


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Old 10/08/2019, 04:43 PM   #11
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Old 10/10/2019, 12:49 AM   #12
bnumair
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I agree, there is nothing wrong with 1 man show.
I sell quarantined fish online to all over USA and I am 1 man show.
I have purchased many ATO's from them before and never had any issues on delivery, timing or communication.
But it's been 5 to 7 yrs ago.


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Current Tank Info: 350g DT,95g sump, 50g Frag tank, 4800gph return 4x Sea swirls. 6x AI Vega Color. 200# Pukani rock, dual recirculating skimmer, Biopellet, GFO Carbon rx's, Cal rx. Closed loop. 1.5hp chiller, genesis renew. Apex & RKE
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Old 10/11/2019, 02:18 PM   #13
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Yup, bought a bunch of stuff from him, no issues. Just need to pay attention to what you’re ordering.


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Got back into the hobby ..... planned to keep it simple ..... yeah, right ..... clearly I need a new plan! Pet peeve: anemones host clowns; clowns do not host anemones!

Current Tank Info: 450 Reef; 120 refugium; 60 Frag Tank, 30 Introduction tank; multiple QTs
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Old 10/11/2019, 03:02 PM   #14
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If you need it and the cost plus any shipping costs is what you believe the product is worth to you - buy it. If it isn't than - don't buy it.

If you can get it elsewhere for a lower total cost - then buy it there.

That's what the free market is all about.


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Current Tank Info: 2 Barred Rabbitfish, Yellow/Purple, McMaster Fairy, Possum, 2 Leopard Wrasses, Kole, & Atlantic Blue Tangs, 2 Percula Clown, 4 PJ and 2 Banggai Cardinalfish , Swallowtail and Bellus, Flame, Coral Beauty Angels
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Old 10/12/2019, 09:11 AM   #15
rocsec1
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I’ve bought him and it was top notch.


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Old 10/21/2019, 04:23 PM   #16
Daddyrawg
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I bought my first ATO from him and he returned my emails/calls.. Maybe he is on vacation?

anyway, I recently replaced it with the Duetto ATO and love it.. don;t even think it costs that much more.


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Old 10/29/2019, 07:23 PM   #17
stiltman
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I ordered from this guy so long ago I cant remember exactly when. Probably more than 8 years. Quality ATO that has been running everyday since I bought it and still going strong.

Sorry he did not meet your standards, but given the price and reliability of the product I'd highly recommend buying from him.

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Old 10/29/2019, 08:43 PM   #18
Daddi0
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I bought my double float switch from Autotopoff.com years ago and I love it! The man is a craftsman and this unit has worked flawlessly without maint. for over 2 years. I would not hesitate to buy from him again and again.
Cheers! Mark


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Old 10/31/2019, 12:37 AM   #19
billwill
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Iíll take a stand here to defend autotopoff.com. Iíve been buying systems from them for many years now, and they started and still continue to offer a solid solution to the semi diy approach to auto top off for us. Itís not their fault that you didnít fully understand what you were buying, itís yours. Awesome products and very affordable prices.


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Old 11/04/2019, 06:38 PM   #20
KenBry
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I got some parts from Autotopoff.com last week. One of the valves I ordered was out of stock. The site got in touch with me and asked what I wanted to do. I emailed him back, got a different valve. He refunded the difference between the valves. Parts all arrived and I’m very happy.

Op had a tough run.. I didn’t.. I would order again.


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