Lakeway Tilapia - The tilapia farming experts.

Fair and honest policies

Shopping at Lakeway Tilapia

Call Lakeway Tilapia at (865) 262-8289 today!

Our commitments and agreements with you

As our customer, you will be taking advantage of many benefits and offers, some of which you may not even think of until you need them. We pride ourselves on instituting fair and honest policies for each and every transaction to ensure that everyone gets the care and respect that they deserve. Under the headings below, you will find our plain language explanations, terms, and conditions for every benefit and offer at Lakeway Tilapia. As always, if we haven't made things perfectly clear, we urge you to call us for an in-depth explanation.

Our 30 day replacement plan

This option is available only on our Food Grade Blue and Nile fingerlings. The whole point of this program is to ease the stress of getting started with tilapia. Mistakes happen, and we don't want you to have to pay for them. So we will replace any tilapia that don't survive under your care for 30 days. This is a no-fault replacement plan. In fact it doesn't even matter if you kill them intentionally. We will replace them.

The terms and conditions for our 30 day replacement plan

  • The dead fingerlings will be replaced for free.
  • You are responsible for the shipping and packaging charges, which will be invoiced to you.
  • The 30 day count-down begins on the day that your tilapia arrive.
  • Do not dispose of or destroy any dead tilapia without our consent. You should freeze them in a freezer bag.
  • You agree to email photos of any dead tilapia to us upon request.
  • This is a one-time replacement only. If the replacements die under your care, they will not be replaced a second time.
  • When selecting the replacement tilapia, we cannot match the size of the tilapia that died. The replacements will be approximately the same size as were originally shipped.
  • Replacement tilapia orders will be added to the queue and shipped in the order received.

Live arrival guarantee

When you purchase live tilapia from Lakeway Tilapia, we guarantee that your fish will arrive alive and in excellent health. We ship hundreds of boxes every month and only one out of a thousand encounters any loss along the way. In fact, our success rate is so high that we don't need to add extra fish to our shipments. We simply don't anticipate any losses. That said, one out of a thousand boxes gets fumbled in transit and the poor fish don't make it.

Specific live arrival policies

  • The tilapia don't belong to you until after they arrive alive. Until that time, they still belong to us.
  • Your fish were shipped for free because we charged enough to cover the cost of shipping in your purchase price. However, when refunding any fish lost in transit, we will not refund the cost of shipping if the box contained less than 20 percent dead fish.
  • If the box contains less than 20 percent dead fish, we will refund the cost of each fish as follows: food grade - $1.40 each, aquaponics grade - $1.10 each, pond grade and fry - .80 cents each.
  • If the box contains more than 20 percent dead fish, we will re-ship the fish lost in transit or refund the entire purchase price that you paid.
  • Our live arrival guarantee is null and void if you are not present to accept the delivery of your tilapia. If the tracking information includes information indicating that nobody answered the door or that a notice had to be left for you instead of the fish, any dead fish are your responsibility.
  • You must follow the written instructions included with each box.

General Refunds

We accept returns and offer full refunds on everything we sell for up to 90 day after purchase provided that our general refund policies are followed.

General refund policies

  • No refunds will be given on purchases that have not been returned to us.
  • Live tilapia must be returned to us alive and only living fish will be refunded. If fish arrived to you dead, other guarantees apply.
  • Tilapia food must be returned to us unopened in it's original sealed packaging and in a condition suitable for re-sale.
  • You must obtain a return authorization email from us before you ship anything back.
  • No refunds on items that have been held longer than 180 days awaiting customer readiness. See "Held orders" below
  • No refunds for customers who do not communicate with us for three months. See "No communication - No refund" below.

Held orders

Ordering well in advance is one of the benefits of Lakeway Tilapia. Many customers order months in advance to ensure that they have tilapia and supplies exactly when they need them. We will hold your order for years if necessary, but we are not a bank.

Specific held order policies

  • The decision to ask for a refund must be made within 180 days after placing the order if the hold was discussed prior to making the purchase.
  • The decision to ask for a refund must be made 90 days after placing the order on hold if the order was purchased before discussing the hold.
  • Orders previously placed on hold become non-refundable after they have been filled. For example, if you put an order on hold for 60 days and call at the last minute while your order is in the process of being filled to push it back another week, your order becomes non-refundable.

Please note that the above policy does not apply to weather-related holds. If we are holding your order for winter weather concerns and the shipping date is as soon as possible, we do not consider that a "held order" as far as this policy is concerned.

No communication - No refunds

Buying live fish isn't the same as buying inanimate objects on the Internet. We face daily shipping challenges that would never occur to the typical online merchant. As a result, good communication is a must.

Specific communication policies

  • If we attempt to communicate with you via email concerning your order and you do not respond within three months, we will consider the sale final and no refund will be given.
  • If you call and leave a voice mail concerning your order and do not leave a call back number, or you do not answer when we call you back and your voicemail is either not set up or full, we will consider this as "no communication".

Breeding Colony Refunds

Breeding colonies are more of a service than a product. The tilapia themselves are only worth a couple of dollars each. The service is performed in our hatchery and begins immediately after you place your order. Many human hours are put into creating each breeding colony which is from where most of the cost comes. Therefore, we do not offer refunds on breeding colonies if you cancel.

Specific breeding colony refund policies

  • These policies only apply if you cancel your order. Obviously if we cancel it, a full refund will be given.
  • No full refunds on Breeding colonies after 24 hours have passed.
  • $72 maximum refund on Breeding colonies after seven days have passed. This is the amount of your purchase "not yet used" by us at this time.

Shortage Claims

Every live order that leaves Lakeway Tilapia is counted twice.

Prior to shipping, every order of tilapia is put into an aquarium by a hatchery technician. We normally stage orders like this one day in advance to acclimate the fingerlings to their shipping solution, and to allow them time to purge themselves of internal wastes. To ensure that the picker selected exactly what the customer ordered, and to make sure that they are still in excellent condition, another hatchery technician inspects the fish and snaps a digital picture through the aquarium glass. The fingerlings are counted a second time as they are put into the transfer container that is used to carefully pour the fish and shipping solution into the shipping bag. Finally, the exact number is written on the top of the insulating foam prior to closing the box.

In spite of all of this effort, every once in a while a customer will claim that their order was shorted and requests that additional fish be shipped.

Specific shortage policy

  • All shorted orders must be returned to us at the customers expense so that they can be re-counted. Note: We can not bring previously opened fish into our hatchery nor will they be accepted, so do not return them to the sending address. Instead, contact us for an alternate return address.
  • We will reimburse the customer's shipping expenses after the live fish have been returned if a shortage is discovered.
  • We will replace and reship the fish with the quantity originally ordered.