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I Am So Sick of Bad Customer Service

August 9, 2010 · 76 comments

in Commentary

Warning:  Rant ahead…

So, on Friday my son had his impacted wisdom teeth removed.  While waiting with my son for the anesthetic to wear off at the Oral Surgeon’s office, I was told his prescription was called in to Walgreen’s, and would be ready for pickup on the way home.

After a bit, we got to the car and my son said he just wanted to go home and asked if I could go back out to get the prescription after I dropped him off.  That was fine since I also needed to get some mashed potatoes and gravy for him anyway.

I got to the Walgreen’s pharmacy, and the pharmacy worker said ‘oh, it isn’t ready yet, we need 10 more minutes’.  (It had already been an hour since it was called in.)  I think really what she meant to say was ‘we haven’t even started filling his prescriptions.  You need to wait in this little chair for more like 25 minutes’.  I could accept 10 minutes, so I just waited.

As the 15 minute mark passed, I started to get frustrated.  My new best friend was happily chatting behind the counter with the pharmacist, and I was stewing.  After 25 minutes, she looks at me and says ‘what prescription were you waiting for?’.  She had completely forgotten about me!  I told her the last name and she said ‘oh’, and started digging for it.  So, obviously it had been done somewhat earlier and she was so busy jabbering that it escaped her mind that I was rotting in my little chair.

Once I got to the counter, I could not refrain from sharing my feelings.  I asked her what the real benefit of having a prescription called in if they had no intention of filling it until you actually showed up.  She had a real snarky attitude and said ‘well, sometimes people wait for days to pick up their prescriptions, so the call-ins go to the back of the queue’.  (Yes, I am sure tons of people have prescriptions for antibiotics called in and just show up whenever.  Why would you go to the doctor if you didn’t plan on getting your prescription filled promptly?)  I told her I was mad, that my son just had surgery and that I was told the prescriptions would be ready 45 minutes ago.  I then got a barely audible ‘sorry’, which was totally fake.  Then, while I was talking, she walked away from me!  I wanted to hop over the counter and smack her.  I shared my viewpoints with the pharmacist and I got another sorry.

So I am debating, do I now avoid this Walgreen’s forever?  I don’t think I can look at that worker again without having my blood pressure skyrocket.  Or, am I overreacting?  Keep in mind, my poor son was waiting at home for his medicine and his food, and you should never mess with a mom with a sick child!

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

bw August 9, 2010 at 6:55 am

I would not go back to that Walgreen’s. That’s totally unacceptable!


Dave August 9, 2010 at 8:03 am

I say that you ask to speak to the Walgreen’s store manager and explain to him/her why you will not be coming back. Bad service is never acceptable, but in this economy there is no excuse not to do your best every day. That lazy employee is lucky to even have a job.


Budgeting in the Fun Stuff August 10, 2010 at 11:21 am

Spot on Dave! I’d tell the manager why you’ll never be returning so at least your extra driving to other pharmacies won’t be in vain.


Dianna August 9, 2010 at 8:57 am

That is terrible! Especially with something that’s needed after surgery. I think you should call/write to corporate. They need to know about bad service. Hope he’s feeling better! (And your blood pressure has returned to normal…)


Nicole August 9, 2010 at 9:06 am

Poor guy. Yeah, I would go with Dave or Dianna. Give them a chance to make it right, or just let them know why you’re moving all of your prescriptions to another pharmacy.


The Biz of Life August 9, 2010 at 9:20 am

Bad customer service is everywhere these days. But try different pharmacies next time. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find a good one.


Bethany August 9, 2010 at 10:27 am

You are NOT overreacting! I’ve worked in customer service for YEARS and there is never any reason to give the customer and excuse. A simple, sincere “I’m so sorry you’ve had to wait so long.” Would have gone a long way.


Cradledonthewaves August 9, 2010 at 10:33 am

I would likely avoid that Walgreens for a while if I were in your position. I can completely sympathize, I just had four wisdom teeth removed last May and had to pick up my own prescription. Thankfully they were very fast at my pharmacy, I think my just out of surgery face probably helped speed things along. I can only imagine how you felt.


sherie August 9, 2010 at 10:45 am

What a bad experience… poor Nathan and You! I wouldn’t go back. I have had similar or worse experiences at a few places and complaining didn’t change anything. Not only that, but I consistently had the same bad experience at those places when I gave them the benefit of the doubt and tried again. I love the Target Pharmacy on Coolidge and will drive out of my way to go there because they have consistently provided good service since they opened many years ago. Don’t waste your time with that pharmacy or give them your money either. Loosing your business will send the message the loudest especially if others have the same experience and follow suit.


Split Cents August 9, 2010 at 11:08 am

Ooof, that is so frustrating… that happened to me a couple times at a mom/pop pharmacy until I moved my prescriptions to a Target pharmacy closer to where I lived. Despite my expectations, the service at Target was amazing: the pharmacist remembered the names of everyone in my family and all our prescriptions after a couple months.

It must depend entirely on who they have behind the counter!


Kevin@InvestItWisely August 9, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I second Dave’s suggestion. There is never an excuse for that type of bad customer service. The worst that could happen is that the manager could tell you to take a hike… that’s when you use the power of viral marketing and tell all your friends. Bad news moves much faster than good 😉

It’s unbelievable how some guys stay in business though. I had a bad experience with Bloomex (I talk about it at http://www.investitwisely.com/chargebacks-a-handy-weapon-in-the-fight-against-unscrupulous-merchants/), and so have literally hundreds of other people, yet they still have their merchant accounts and are still in business. It’s strange…


Squirrelers August 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Perhaps you could contact company headquarters and really press the issue. Im sure they want their customers to be treat well. P
perhaps if this episode was put in that person’s personnel file,it would encourage better customer service going forward.


Steph August 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I would be quite mad as well.
I have always had terrible service at every Walgreens I tried. I switched to a CVS in my neighborhood, and it’s been great so far.


Khaleef @ KNS Financial.com August 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I don’t think you are overreacting at all. You should either speak with the store manager, or contact their corporate customer service department.


Divine and Debt Free August 9, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I would avoid that store.

I recently had a BAD experience at apple bee’s and instead of getting heated I just decide I won’t give them my business. HOWEVER there are times when taking action is MORE that necessary and I will support which ever you decide.

I try to pick my battles carefully but if my child was involved I PROBABLY would not take that sitting down!


Money Reasons August 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm

I would probably just never go there again!

After all, who’s to say that they aren’t careless filling the actual prescription during one of their chat sessions.

You can complain to headquarters or the store manager, but I would still never go there again, especially if you have plenty of other options…


Kris August 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Thank you so much for all the replies and advice. I have decided I will write a letter to Walgreen’s and avoid that store at all costs. Plus, Walgreen’s seems quite expensive for their prescriptions.

So here is a new question- which pharmacy does everyone find the cheapest?

Thanks again everyone!!


bw August 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Costco! 🙂


Young Mogul August 9, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Sadly enough, bad customer service seems to be the norm these days. If only owners would conduct unannounced drop-ins to their place of business to see what really goes on when they’re not there, I think customer service would improve.


Suba @ Wealth Informatics August 9, 2010 at 10:14 pm

You did not over react. I am glad you are going to write a letter to Walgreens. And you have already done a good job by letting everyone know of your experience with Walgreens. Next time when some one else have a choice between this Walgreen’s and some other pharmacy they will remember this. I like target as well. Cheaper generic and better customer service. I like my Costco too.


Sandy L August 9, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Must be a rant kind of day as I just posted one too.

My son has been on a lot of antibiotics and CVS did the same thing to me..but they gave me a less bitchy answer that made sense.

They told me that antibiotics only have a shelf life of 7 days once they are mixed and need to be refrigerated right away after mixing (but not before). They told me they won’t ever fill the call ahead prescriptions for antibiotics because of the risk of them going dormant.

Still..no excuse for her not paying attention to your filled prescription sitting there (that’s happened to me too while feeling like hell…it really is torture being there when you just want to go home and curl up in a ball).


Budgeting in the Fun Stuff August 10, 2010 at 11:23 am

I would have blown a gasket. You handled yourself very well comparably! As I said above, tell the manager at least. I’d also write corporate. Good luck. 🙂

Hubby just had dental work too, hope your son is feeling somewhat better…sorry it takes days…


Daniel August 15, 2010 at 6:20 pm

I totally hear what you’re saying, that stuff drives me mad too! There was a woman who got out of her car at a McDonalds because they had no mcnuggets left and tried jumping through the window. You could have been her, but the Walgreens (and far less drunk) version! Way to keep your cool, is there another pharmacy nearby?


MoneyCone November 3, 2010 at 10:15 am

I can totally relate! Call up and complain, better still write – written complaints for some reason carry a lot of weight.

The person behind the counter got that way because she realized she could get away doing what she was doing.

Write, let Walgreens know. You are paying for the service as well.


Kris November 3, 2010 at 8:10 pm

It is amazing what the written word can do. I wrote to Hudson’s a long time ago and they gave me all kinds of discounts and apologies.


Charles February 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

The great thing about social media is that you get to amplify your “bad customer service” experience now to 100x of people instead of just your inner circle. Customer Service is critical.


Heather July 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm

My brother-in-law had a prescription filled incorrectly at a Walgreens nearby. (It was a while ago, so I don’t remember if they gave him an old prescription of his, just the wrong meds, or what.) He realized it after a couple of days, went back, and had a fit, wrote a letter, etc. Their response? They offered him $25.

I stopped using Walgreens when I learned that it’s the same parent company as Walmart (where I stopped shopping years ago).


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