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Dear Parrots magazine,


I need to warn everyone about dodgy traders and how they can trick you into buying the wrong birds.

It was my long term desire to have a parrot, as a close friend has an African Grey, and it is her life. I see her a lot and, naturally, her Grey as well, so my enthusiasm was never allowed to wane.

The desire to have a Grey was such that I started to look around for a suitable bird. It was an ad on a website that attracted my interest, so I called the number. The ad described the bird as hand-reared, cuddly tame and an ideal companion. And the price seemed good at £350. The man on the other end of the phone was very helpful and quite charming, which tended to put any concerns I had, to rest. He seemed to know all about Greys and gave me lots of advice. As he was 230 miles away from me, he offered to meet me half way, which seemed a good idea, so off I went to meet him in a supermarket car park.

We met up and he was very pleasant and seemed really caring about the bird. But I was a bit concerned when he opened his car and carried the Grey out in a small carrying cage. It was looking scruffy and not very bright, but the chap said it was because of the travelling and it would perk up once settled into its new home. As he was so pleasant I accepted what he said and returned home with this Grey.

But my concern grew as this little bird did not perk up and continued to look depressed and not well at all. After a few days, there was no improvement and before I could get to a vet, he died. I can’t tell you how upset I was, as not only did I feel for the bird, but also that I had been conned. I called the man back who sold me the bird, but his attitude completely changed and he didn’t want to know anything about what had happened. I could not believe this was the same person I had met at that car park. And because I did not get a receipt from him, I had no claim.

My advice to anyone thinking to meet up with the seller like I did - don’t do it! Only buy from a reputable dealer where you will get proper advice and after sales support. And don’t let price be a factor. If you buy a parrot, it will probably out live you, so cost does not come into it. What is important, is that you buy the right bird.

Angela Rogers - by email




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