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#21 Offline BugFinder - Posted March 18 2015 - 8:42 AM

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I don't think you are out of line at all. If we're not honest with our own feelings, then how can we expect to better our relationships with others. It's better to be truthful than to harbor mistrust and ill feelings. Of course, it's always nice to cushion the words and phrases so that it makes a soft landing towards the person it is directed to. We're more likely to get the results we want if we avoid making the other party upset. We must remember that we are not perfect beings either, so some forgiveness here and there helps us to all get along in a world that is less than perfect. Most vendors contribute something tangible to our hobby even if it's just an idea rather than a product that we've all been waiting for.

 

 

I think that's very well said.  Do you think I didn't cushion my comments at all?  I think Mikey has contributed a lot to this hobby.  Hell his videos act like a funnel directing people into it, which is wonderful.  That's how I came upon all of you guys.  I do think he should know what his customers expect, and I do think he should know why I'm irritated with him.  If he's interested in maintaining happy customers, he should read this thread and answer my questions, but for now I'm done reaching out to him.  Going into that chat, I was thinking about purchasing an Omninest vertical and an ant box, and I really wanted to buy a Habitat Burrow.  As of right now, I'm not going to buy any of the products from him I was considering buying, and as much as I like it, I'm undecided about whether or not I will buy a hybrid nest, when/if it's ever available for purchase.  All of this because of the way he has dealt with not answering these questions.

 

I have a Nucleus on the way from Tarheel, and I'm excited to see what Byformica is about to unveil.  Small as it is, we do have enough options in the marketplace to use our money to reward great service and great products.


Edited by BugFinder, March 18 2015 - 8:43 AM.

“If an ant carries an object a hundred times its weight, you can carry burdens many times your size.”  ― Matshona Dhliwayo

 

My Journals:

Pogonomyrmex subdentatus

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Tetramorium (sp)

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#22 Offline drtrmiller - Posted March 18 2015 - 9:14 AM

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I have a few questions for you Mikey.  Love your videos btw.

 

1.  The ant box sees like a really interesting formicarium, but it's a pretty big investment.  Is it pretty popular at that price?  Just looking at it it looks like it would require less labor to make than an omni nest, but it's twice the cost, so I was wondering about that.

 

2.  Is there any chance you'll bring back the burrow?  I would love to buy one of those from you.

 

3.  Do you have any plans to sell a founding chamber style formicarium in the future?

 

Thanks for your time answering those questions MIkey!

 

If these were the same questions you emailed him, I can emulate what any shopkeeper's reply might be, although I will be clear and say I don't at all speak for Mikey:

 

1) It is not customary for privately held companies to engage in the practice of disclosing pricing, costing, or sales figures to the public.  I can't imagine Mikey or anyone telling you how many of a particular product they sell, or what their expenses are.

 

2) He did say in chat that he could possibly make a Burrow for you.  I'm not sure if he actually will, and I wouldn't hold him to it, as the trend for AC products is more toward automated fabrication versus the legacy hand-made products.

 

3) Mikey said in chat that he views his formicaries as adequate for antkeepers with 20 or more ants.  Personally, I disagree with this characterization, but I am not an expert on his products.

 

Best of luck.


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byFormica® is the manufacturer of the iconic nectar feeders and Sunburst Ant Nectar.
byFormica ant products always deliver consistent performance, convenience,
and reliability, making them among the most beloved ant foods and kit enjoyed by
ant keeping enthusiasts worldwide. For more information, visit www.byFormica.com.

#23 Offline Ants4fun - Posted March 18 2015 - 9:20 AM

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Mike told me that the ant box costs more to make, and shipping is really expensive.
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#24 Offline BugFinder - Posted March 18 2015 - 10:15 AM

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Mike told me that the ant box costs more to make, and shipping is really expensive.

 

So how hard would that have been for him to say in the chat the other night.  I'm a business owner, I understand the factors involved in pricing....


“If an ant carries an object a hundred times its weight, you can carry burdens many times your size.”  ― Matshona Dhliwayo

 

My Journals:

Pogonomyrmex subdentatus

Camponotus Vicinus

Camponotus sansabeanus

Tetramorium (sp)

Pogonomyrmex Californicus

My Ant Goals!


#25 Offline Ants4fun - Posted March 18 2015 - 10:35 AM

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He did say it in the chat... That is where I asked him.



#26 Offline BugFinder - Posted March 18 2015 - 8:04 PM

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I asked him those three questions repeatedly in the chat, then when it was obvious he was dodging them, I posted them here and told him they were here for to respond to, and when he didn't do that I followed up with an email.

 

It's clear he has ant love, but not so much customer love.


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“If an ant carries an object a hundred times its weight, you can carry burdens many times your size.”  ― Matshona Dhliwayo

 

My Journals:

Pogonomyrmex subdentatus

Camponotus Vicinus

Camponotus sansabeanus

Tetramorium (sp)

Pogonomyrmex Californicus

My Ant Goals!


#27 Offline ToeNhi - Posted March 18 2015 - 10:07 PM

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Don't be mad Jay, you can ask him in person when he visits the Bay Area and has lunch with you.
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-ToeNhi


#28 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted March 18 2015 - 10:56 PM

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I asked him those three questions repeatedly in the chat, then when it was obvious he was dodging them, I posted them here and told him they were here for to respond to, and when he didn't do that I followed up with an email.

 

It's clear he has ant love, but not so much customer love.

After liking this, I decided to finish my "hostility" towards him... Even if all this is true, he still brought more attention to this little hobby than any of us, or even this forum has, so on that aspect I just cannot be angry. Heck, if it were not for his videos, I would not have gone looking through the internet for forums like this, and would have continued probably just keeping a single Pogonomyrmex or Solenopsis colony at a time instead of collecting and doing all these amazing this which I am so happy to be able to do.


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#29 Offline BugFinder - Posted March 18 2015 - 11:35 PM

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Don't be mad Jay, you can ask him in person when he visits the Bay Area and has lunch with you.

Lol, yeah that's not gonna happen is it, rofl.


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“If an ant carries an object a hundred times its weight, you can carry burdens many times your size.”  ― Matshona Dhliwayo

 

My Journals:

Pogonomyrmex subdentatus

Camponotus Vicinus

Camponotus sansabeanus

Tetramorium (sp)

Pogonomyrmex Californicus

My Ant Goals!


#30 Offline Vendayn - Posted March 20 2015 - 4:29 PM

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I emailed Antscanada a while back, sent him a private message on antdude's forum (this was a few months ago and before I moved to these forums) and he always ignored me.

 

In fact, I emailed him a couple months before that even...and those too were ignored.

 

I tried talking to him on antdude's chat once, and he talked to everyone else, and he ignored anything I had to say to him.

 

I then asked him on his own thread on Antdude's forum, and he went right by my post and STILL didn't answer or even try to communicate to me.

 

I found it rather rude.

 

I kept quiet for a long time as I don't want to deal with drama and bad mouth people, but if he is still completely ignoring people...figure the best way to make change is actually say something/do something about it. So figured I'd just post my own experience with him to the public.

 

On the other hand, the Tarheel guy responds super quick...really helpful and is much better overall. Which really makes me want to support him. Now right now I don't have money for that, so I can't get anything from him...but still

 

Customer service is really important when selling a product. No matter what the product is. If you feel like you are actually a part of it in some way (like tarheel even lets you custom some stuff to your own preference) and are helped with even the "dumbest" (though there isn't actually any dumb question) questions are answered...that makes a vastly better experience.

 

I had the sense he didn't like me for whatever reason so chose to ignore me. Maybe he doesn't like certain people on the ant forum(s) so just ignores them. That was my sense of it. Still bad business if that is the case.


Edited by Vendayn, March 20 2015 - 4:43 PM.

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#31 Offline AntsCanada - Posted May 31 2015 - 4:08 AM

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Hello guys,

 

First, let me say I did not purposely ignore anybody. This thread shocked me when I read because I had no idea some of you guys sent me messages and I thought two of you in particular were my friends. Vendayn, really? Me ignore you? You and I are long time ant buds from Antdude's forum! And Bugfinder, I did answer you in the chat but I think you may have missed it. I never have anything to hide from anybody (except maybe product blueprints and such) and those who know me and actually take the time to reach out to me and talk to me know this. 

 

I really suspect that a lot of emails were lost to my gmail spam filter. I discovered this a few months ago when I checked one day and found a whole bunch of customer service emails there. I have recently changed the contact page of AntsCanada to a contact form and that has proven much more effective at not filtering out real AntsCanada emails. I spend 2-3 hours every morning and night going through all AntsCanada emails and if you run an active online store, you will know that it is not an easy endeavor. Trust me: drama is not on my itinerary so I am not out to make enemies or hurt anybody's feelings.

 

Anyway, Drew created a new subforum in the Marketplace section and so I have written out my sentiments in my first post there and will from now on hang out mostly there. Overall, I am not here to make enemies out of anyone, not here to scam anyone out of their money, I run an honest business, and care only about learning more about ants, growing the ant keeping hobby, and helping other ant keepers get the most out of their ant keeping experience.

 

Hope that sets any of that straight. 

 

Mikey


Edited by AntsCanada, May 31 2015 - 4:10 AM.

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Ant love forever! 

http://antscanada.com


#32 Offline Ants4fun - Posted May 31 2015 - 5:45 AM

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Makes sense, thanks for the clarification, and good to have you back!

#33 Offline BugFinder - Posted May 31 2015 - 9:22 AM

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Hello guys,

 

 Bugfinder, I did answer you in the chat but I think you may have missed it. 

 

 

 

You certainly did not.  I asked those questions repeatedly in the chat, again in this thread, and in a private email to you.  Everyone in that chat saw those questions went unanswered.

 

You've been completely silent until just now.  My suspicion is you're simply trying to re-vision what happened. It's not going to work, at least with me.  

 

 

I run an honest business, and care only about learning more about ants, growing the ant keeping hobby, and helping other ant keepers get the most out of their ant keeping experience.

 

I'll buy that when you start dealing with me in an open and honest manner.  Until then, it's just talk.  Talk is something you're really good at.  Lets see if you're interested in being good at service.


“If an ant carries an object a hundred times its weight, you can carry burdens many times your size.”  ― Matshona Dhliwayo

 

My Journals:

Pogonomyrmex subdentatus

Camponotus Vicinus

Camponotus sansabeanus

Tetramorium (sp)

Pogonomyrmex Californicus

My Ant Goals!


#34 Offline BrittonLS - Posted May 31 2015 - 9:43 AM

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I asked him those three questions repeatedly in the chat, then when it was obvious he was dodging them, I posted them here and told him they were here for to respond to, and when he didn't do that I followed up with an email.

 

It's clear he has ant love, but not so much customer love.

After liking this, I decided to finish my "hostility" towards him... Even if all this is true, he still brought more attention to this little hobby than any of us, or even this forum has, so on that aspect I just cannot be angry. Heck, if it were not for his videos, I would not have gone looking through the internet for forums like this, and would have continued probably just keeping a single Pogonomyrmex or Solenopsis colony at a time instead of collecting and doing all these amazing this which I am so happy to be able to do.

 

I want to say more, but I don't want to add fuel to an already off topic discussion. But I wholeheartedly agree with Gregory. I wouldn't have become as invested in ant keeping or found my way to this forum if it wasn't for Mikey and his videos. I probably never would have made it past buying a gel farm and a couple mail order worker ants. So thanks, Mikey. (Whether or not you see this lol)


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#35 Offline dean_k - Posted May 31 2015 - 10:01 AM

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I am subscribed in his channels, two of them, and I can see that he is leading an extremely busy life. It is conceivable that he has indeed crossed Bugfinder. I know Bugfinder is a good guy and, if he is upset, he must have valid reasons.

 

At the same time, in Mikey's defense, he has a huge fanbase following him. It is also conceivable to think that he has mistreated some because quite frankly you cannot please everyone. The bigger your customer (or fan) base is, the more complaints you will receive. That is just the nature of how things work.

 

To lighten up the mood, I think Mikey moved to down there to get more exotic ants. I mean look at all those amazing species he has right now. if you are crazy about ants, it's enough to make you drool like a chained starving dog in front of his food dish he can't reach.


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#36 Offline AntsCanada - Posted May 31 2015 - 5:56 PM

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Hi BugFinder,
 
Can I just say that I am sorry you felt like I ignored you, but I promise on my life that I had no idea you were being ignored.
 
As much as I appreciated the invite from Drew for that scheduled chat, in retrospect I can see that the chat was a disaster all around. First, it was not being regulated or moderated which was the first mistake. It would have helped if someone was there moderating the questions so there was a queue. I was bombarded with questions all at once in that chat. The whole time, I found myself being bombarded and criticized by Terry about the patenting of our Hybrid Nests that I felt like I had to defend so much on that issue. Because of that topic, there were several questions that initially weren't answered, questions which to me were about ant keeping which was what I thought the chat was supposed to be about. It was my bad for not discerning that while the chat was happening.
 
I did see your question about the Ant Box and like Terry and Ants4Fun already adressed in this thread, I answered you in the chat, BugFinder. They saw it. I don't know why you didn't.
 
To make matters worse, one of my business meetings was moved to a time slot during the scheduled chat, so for an hour and a half of the ant chat I was in a boardroom listening to a presentation WHILE ANSWERING EVRYONE'S QUESTIONS! Can you imagine what a mess that was?
 
So, in short BugFinder, and this is the last time I will address this issue, but I am sincerely sorry you felt ignored, it was not intentional, and to explicitly answer your questions now:
 
1.  The ant box sees like a really interesting formicarium, but it's a pretty big investment.  Is it pretty popular at that price? Just looking at it it looks like it would require less labor to make than an omni nest, but it's twice the cost, so I was wondering about that.
 
Materials cost a lot but shipping it costs even more.  We no longer sell the ant box because of practicality.
 
2.  Is there any chance you'll bring back the burrow?  I would love to buy one of those from you.
 
No, we will not bring it back because it had some design flaws.
 
3.  Do you have any plans to sell a founding chamber style formicarium in the future?
 
At the moment, we always recommend a test tube setup but will be coming up with very useful products to use at the founding stage. This and more coming up in the next few weeks.
 
Hope this settles any of that because Bugfinder this discussion with you, though necessary because I don't want to make an enemy out of you, is more stress and energy I am usually willing to expend. Please understand that ignoring you was completely unitnetional and in th end I did not ignore you and answered your question in the chat. I also never received an email from you about any of this, but that was addressed in my last post before this one.
 
DeanK, you are wiser than you know! I know my friends Terry and Drew can agree with me on this, but oftentimes people don't know what it's like having to run something at the level of AntsCanada or Formiculture or BiFormica until you're actually there dealing with the mass of people and varying personalities. You're absolutely right. You cannot please everybody and the most you can do is hope you make as many people happy as you can. I am happy to say I have few enemies and I have worked hard at that. I am one person doing a thousands things. On top of the AntsCanada company, I run 2 other unrelated businesses and work in show business, I am currently on a world concert tour, and maintain another more demanding and bigger Youtube channel. I really hope those who find these small things like feeling ignored could step back and try to imagine what it is like to be in my shoes for a day. Perhaps a browse through my personal instagram might shed some light. This post took a good 30 mins to type and I worked on it while in transit to another important meeting.
 
EDIT: PS - I answer every and all customer service emails I get even if it takes me 2 days to go through them all. If I don't get back to you, I never got your email. I do not filter emails.

Edited by AntsCanada, May 31 2015 - 6:04 PM.

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Ant love forever! 

http://antscanada.com


#37 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 31 2015 - 6:18 PM

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That live chat turned out to have more people than anticipated. Also, it was actually most of the people in the chat that criticized the patent, not just Terry.



#38 Offline AntsCanada - Posted May 31 2015 - 6:39 PM

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That live chat turned out to have more people than anticipated. Also, it was actually most of the people in the chat that criticized the patent, not just Terry.

 

Yes, you're correct, Drew. There were a number of people addressing the patent issue all at once and that is why it pretty much dominated the chat. Even a greater reason other questions may have gone unanswered. For some reason, I remember Terry spear-heading the patenting topic. 

 

About that issue, Terry is exactly right on his assessment of the patent. I have had conversations with him already on the matter and he understands our reasons now.


Ant love forever! 

http://antscanada.com


#39 Offline PTAntFan - Posted May 31 2015 - 7:04 PM

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I just watched your "Adobo"video and I think it's awesome.  Which is pretty much what I've always thought about AntsCanada and I've never even bought any of your products.

 

I work for a big company.  I get asked technology questions pretty much, well, my work day is basically one long chat session.  I don't answer every question.  Sometimes I can't because I don't know or I am not sure how best to answer for all parties involved.  And sometimes I miss the question.  Not because it went to junk, not because I am ignoring some people I don't like.  Because I am a human being.  And so is Mikey. If someone takes the time, passion, energy and resources from other things in their life to bring something into the world, they have every right to ignore any question about it they choose, with perhaps the exception being a thing that causes some harm to other people. 

 

I think as a community our first thought should always be to hold each other up.  This is not exactly a typical hobby.  I get ridiculed in my own family from time to time.  My point is there's a fairly contrite mea culpe above in this thread from an active member in our community that has made many contributions many if not all of us have benefited from at some point.  I hope it's accepted and all of us can continue enjoying this great hobby...together.


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PTAntFan----------------------------------Pogonomyrmex Californicus*****************************<p>I use the $3 Tower I made up. See it here.

#40 Offline Ants4fun - Posted May 31 2015 - 7:10 PM

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I am surprised you even have time for the ant keeping hobby! Being a famous comedian, singer, business man, and radio host! Totally grateful that you still produce content, and take the time to talk to us. That's just my 2 cents...
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