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Update On US Snail

We ordered 1,000 snails from U.S. Snail in Omaha, Neb., last fall. It now appears we may not lose our entire investment as we feared for months, but reaching this conclusion nearly gave us fits.
Here's why.
We sent the company a check for $2,280 (U.S.) for the snails on Nov. 19. It was cashed on Nov. 25. On Dec. 6, we received a letter from U.S. Snail telling us that we had to get an import permit from the Plant Protection Division of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Ottawa. We filed an application right away, were granted the permit, and our government informed U.S. Snail about it. Then we waited - and waited and waited - for our snails. Next, we were told on Feb. 14 by the company we'd have to get a second permit. We didn't receive the second permit until March 20 and it listed J.D. Rider of Rochester, N.Y., as shipper.
We tried repeatedly to contact U.S. Snail but our calls and faxes went unanswered. When we finally contacted Rider, he told us he does not ship for U.S. Snail and never has. What's more, he told us he'd received calls from other Canadians, inquiring about long overdue shipments for U.S. Snail.
Finally, U.S. Snail agreed - two days after we threatened on April 12 to go to the Nebraska Attorney General's Office - to refund our money. How that shakes out in practice remains to be seen. But, as of April 25, our understanding is that we'll be reimbursed 75 percent of our money in monthly installments beginning in June. But, in this all-or-nothing offer, it appears we'll have no choice but to accept the remaining 25 percent in South American snails. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, we figure.
We thought perhaps some of your readers could benefit from our experience. Also, that you might be able to help anyone else in Canada who may be having similar problems. (Mac and Nancy Breadner, R.R. 2, Meaford, Ontario, Canada N4L 1W6; ph 519 538-2218).


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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3