Dear Walgreens’ CEO Gregory D. Wasson,
I’ve been a huge fan of Walgreens over the years. For the longest time, it was my favorite place to run in to pick up something quick, grab a soda, or a quick 6-pack, and I’ve exclusively used your pharmacy for years.
And then you guys decided to buy USA Drug. Up until that moment, I never had a complaint. I had great service. Rarely had to wait in line. The pharmacists were always helpful and the techs always courteous.
That has consistently not been the case since your company took on USA Drug’s clientele. It’s not the employees’ fault they are overworked and understaffed, but you know what? It’s DEFINITELY not the customer’s fault either.
Now, we’ve had similar experiences at various Walgreens in different locations, but the purpose of this letter is to talk to you about the store in Bryant, Arkansas. We have decided that this location is probably a combination of the 5th, 7th, and 8th Circles of Hell…right here on earth.
My partner is on a Schedule II controlled substance and has been for 15 years or more. He has had this same prescription for as long as he can remember. Last month, when he took his prescription in, the pharmacist gave him some flack, but filled it anyway. However this month, the pharmacist refused saying “I have never seen this prescription written for a man your age, and I’m not going to fill it.”
Um. Well, he’s not the physician, so the dosage is not his call.
So we called his physician and had him “approve” the prescription as written. They also sent the information to the insurance company so there wouldn’t be anymore push back from the all-knowing pharmacist.
We called and spoke to a pharmacy tech last Thursday, a week after all the approvals were sent through because we had not been informed that his prescription was ready. The tech said the prescription would be filled and ready to be picked up after work.
Imagine my partner’s surprise when he arrived after work, waited in the drive through for 15 minutes only to be told they were out of the medicine and it would be at least a week before they got more in. There was no offer to send the prescription to another Walgreens and there was no offer to return the prescription to him so he could have it filled elsewhere.
I would like to say the story ends here, but sadly, it does not. At this point in the story, he has been more than a week without his medication.
Friday, he calls his physician to see if they can recommend a real pharmacy that will actually fill the prescription as prescribed. The office tells him to go pick up his prescription from Walgreens and gives him the address of a new, legitimate pharmacy. He drives to Walgreens, goes into the store and waits for a half hour while they look for his now missing prescription.
Yes. somehow, they’ve lost a prescription for a schedule II controlled substance. So he now has to go to his physician’s office, pick up a NEW prescription to take to the new, legitimate pharmacy.
Since Walgreens is on every corner, you’d think it would be convenient, huh? Well, obviously not.
I have never had too much of a problem with this particular store until recently when they’ve run out of medicine and not informed me prior to pick up. Lately, I’ve had to wait in line for up to 30 minutes to get my medicine, and that’s not really convenient, but it’s not a game changer for me.
However, Friday, June 14, 2013…the very same Friday Walgreens lost a prescription for my partner’s schedule II controlled substance…I went to pick up my refills to go out of town. I had received my confirmation call and a text message telling my prescriptions were ready. I get there, I wait in line 15 minutes and I’m told that there is no prescription ready for me. I showed the girl the text message and say, clearly there should be. I tell her I’m going out of town and need my BP meds before I leave. She tells me they’ll get them ready for me in 15 minutes. And they do…however, I have to wait another 30 minutes in line to pick them up!
This is inexcusable and bad business. Between the multiple bad experience my partner has had, and then the experiences we both had on Friday at the same store, we are done.
It seems that purchasing USA Drug was not such a good idea because your customer service has bitten the dust. Your pharmacies aren’t stocking their medications properly, and your pharmacists (at least one at the Bryant store) are practicing out of their scope. Losing a prescription for a controlled substance is unprofessional and as far as I’m concerned, unredeemable.
Losing our business probably won’t do much to your bottom line, and that’s okay with me. But, I am quite certain after our experiences, we are not the only business you’re losing. I’m just one of the few who will let you know why.
Melissa Francis, author, mother, partner and now FORMER customer
ETA: Update on the Walgreens at the bottom of this blog post.