Thursday, September 19, 2013

At The Corner Of Not-So-Happy Today

“If you took one-tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you'd be surprised by how well things can work out…Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won't make us happier.” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
I’m a fairly patient person.  I expect good customer service.  I demand that my doctor, my insurance company and my pharmacist take good care of me.  When that doesn’t happen, well, I can be a bear.

I have an app on my Smartphone that allows me to scan the barcode on my prescriptions for refills.  On Sunday, I scanned two refills; one for my insulin injector pen and one for the pen needles needed for use with the pen.  I requested that they be ready on the following day by 10:00 AM.

This allowed plenty of time for the pharmacy to contact my doctor’s office for authorization of the refills.  Like most pharmacies nowadays, my store is open 24 hours a day.  I drove to the drive-through window Monday and told the pharmacist at the window that I was there to pick up two prescriptions.

I was told that they had not heard from my physician yet.  Alright, I thought.  I’ll stop by tomorrow night after work.  No problem.

Tuesday night, I drove up and was told that my refills weren’t ready.  Huh?  A pharmacy should instinctively order drugs based on what their regular patients need on a regular basis.  They order drugs and dispense drugs.  That’s their gig.

I drove away feeling assured that the next night my prescriptions would be ready for me.

Nope.  Last night I pulled up to the window and some goofball whom I have never seen before looked at his computer display, set down the phone, walked over to the refrigerator, walked back over to where the hoppers are filled with prescriptions that are waiting to be picked up and then walked back to the window and said, “I don’t have anything for you.  I honestly don’t know what to tell you.  We got a delivery today but there is no Lantus® in the refrigerator.”

He offered to call another Walgreens for me.  I shut him down saying that I did not want to ride around to find my insulin because I was tired.  I could barely hold my eyes open.  I was that tired.

This guy looked like a deer caught in the headlights.

He asked, “Is this an emergency?”  I answered, “Son, I’m not stupid enough to wait until I’m out of insulin to refill my prescription.  I’m not an idiot!”

I’ll admit it.  I squealed my tires pulling away from that window!

This morning, I called my local Walgreens and spoke with the pharmacist on duty.  I told her that I was becoming disillusioned with her company.  I recounted the events of the last few days and informed her that this incident and the one last January was prompting me to take my business elsewhere.

She scrambled to explain that the goofball from last night was a “floater” and that her research indicated that another vendor was delivering their pharmaceuticals.  She offered to call another store and have someone pick up my insulin and have it ready for me tonight when I try for the third time to pick up my medication which is vital for treating my diabetes.

I appreciate her willingness to correct a bad customer service experience.  I am not done yet, though.  I reviewed a consumer affairs site where I skimmed through some of the complaints lodged against Walgreens.  Reading some of the complaints chapped my ass. 

A letter to corporate will be on its way.  The little guy has to stand up.  With the cost of medicine continuing to rise and the level of customer service declining, somebody needs to know that this sort of thing is unacceptable.

I know I could easily transfer my prescriptions to another pharmacy, but that doesn’t solve anything.  Walgreens must be held accountable.

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