Sunday, January 11, 2009

Why I am no longer a Walgreens Customer

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Walgreens Store Locator
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149 Deming St, Manchester, CT 06042
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(860) 644-1210

Store Hours
M – F: 7:00AM-10:00PM
Sat: 7:00AM-10:00PM
Sun: 7:00AM-10:00PM

Pharmacy Hours
Open 24 Hours

Most of the time I write about politics or the economy or sometimes even music. This time I am writing something purely to bitch about how stupid a company can be when they really put their mind to it.

I live right around the corner from a Walgreens pharmacy and since I am basically lazy this is my pharmacy of choice. I will, however not ever be shopping there, or any other Walgreens, again and here is why.

A month or so ago I ordered refills on some prescriptions expecting to pick them up on sunday evening after spending the day watching football safe in the knowledge that my favoured store was open late. When I went to pick up my prescriptions after the ball games were over I was surprised to see that the pharmacy was closed. The assistant manager was very nice about it but she said that their usual Sunday hours were to close the pharmacy portion of the store at 6PM. I told her that it would be nice if they had information matching that on their website. She was nice enough to let me show her on the site where the information for her store was and how it was wrong.

I was directed to the nearest 24 hour Walgreens store (just a couple miles away) and they filled my prescriptions quickly and efficiently. Little did I know that this would come back to haunt me.

I sent a note to Walgreens customer service and got a very nice phone call from the manager a week or so later. He was very apologetic and said that such things were looked after by corporate but that I could rest assured that it was being fixed.

So, today I went on the Walgreens website and ordered refills for the same 3 prescriptions as I had previously filled at my favorite store. They were also the same 3 prescriptions that I had filled at the 24 hour store last month. Remembering my problem from last month, I put in that I would be picking them up at 5pm and ensured that I was there in lots of time. I should have had a clue that something was wrong when my email confirmation came back that two of the 3 were ready for pickup. Silly me expected that it was just an oversight and thought nothing of it.

Just for a chuckle I checked the store locator to see if they had managed, in the previous month, to get the store hours corrected. As you can see above ... nope. Ever the helpful sort I sent a note to customer service again and I figured that I would tell the store manager when I went in later since that was more likely to actually have some impact.

When I got there at about 5 pm this afternoon to pick up my prescriptions I was surprised to see that indeed there were only 2 prescriptions ready. When I asked about the other I was told that since it was a controlled substance (Xanax) I was only allowed to transfer it once. Naturally my question was .. when did I transfer it?

Yup, you guessed it. When I was forced to use the other store to pick up my refills last month that constituted transferring my prescriptions. I explained what the circumstances had been to no avail. I guess I was supposed to magically know that this was Walgreens policy because certainly no one at either pharmacy bothered to explain this to me or I would have gone one more day to get that prescription.

The pharmacist was pleasant enough and he sent the order over to the 24 hour pharmacy and off I trundled.

So .. in the fullness of time I returned home and pondered what to do.

And thus this bitchfest.

I know that the couple thousand worth of drugs that I buy every year is no big deal to Walgreens but nonetheless I have decided to not use them anymore. The reason though is not merely because i was inconvenienced. What concerns me is that if they show this little attention to detail in customer service how can I possibly trust that they pay any more attention to filling my prescriptions or making their store brand concoctions.

Now I know that you will say .. oh rob you are just pissed off and over-reacting. That may be so but if everyone that received shitty service from Walgreens (or any other company) actually DID something, rather than just bitch and whine and then return to the same store like sheep, then just maybe there would be enough impact so that these companies would get their shit together and treat customers properly.