Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Customer Service That Seriously Bites My Junk

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New Year's weekend 2011. Saturday December 31st to be precise.

Being in a shitty mood due to the fact that my friend (to whom I'm forever grateful for) told me about a little something that happened earlier in the week, the absolute last thing I wanted to deal with was someone telling me no.

So while I was out making a food stop at the local supermarket to pick up something for dinner, the wife calls and asks if I could pick up a prescription for the son at CVS on my way home. Naturally I asked how much was it going to be, simply because his meds have high co-pays (brand name + no generic = high co-pay), so naturally she told me that it would cost me an Andrew Jackson.

None too thrilled about this, I nevertheless agreed to pick up his prescription.

I walked up to the pharmacy and said I was here to pick up a prescription for my son. They asked for what, I said I had no idea for which one, all I was told that it was on hold and ready for pick up.

A couple of minutes came and went and they said that they couldn't find the 'script. So I called up the wife to tell her that and she said they had it on hold since Thursday (two days ago). So I relayed this to the pharmacy tech.

Another couple of minutes went by and I get called over to the drop off window. The head pharmacy tech proceeds to tell me that because the doctor wrote the 'script with refills, by federal law they weren't allowed to fill it and that I needed to get another 'script.

I went ballistic.

I slammed my hands on the counter (wrong move) and basically said something like this: "What do you mean I have to get another prescription?! How the hell am I supposed to get another prescription on a Saturday? What the hell am I supposed to do when my son runs out of his meds?! You guys knew about this error since Thursday and yet you didn't have the fuckin' intelligence to call us about it?!"

Her response to my wrong move was to step away from the counter and ask me if she should call the police because she was feeling threatened. Imagine, her asking me for permission to call the police.

I continued going ballistic, mostly because this was the second time in one calendar month that CVS pulled this bullshit. Last time was Thanksgiving weekend and I was forced to purchase six pills totaling $40 so that my son would have a particular med through the weekend until we were able to talk to his doctor on Monday.

Her response to my continuation of going ballistic was to ban me from ever having a prescription filled there.

My parting shot before storming out of there was, and I quote: "Go fuck yourself."

I spent the next couple of hours at home waiting for the police to show up. Fortunately for me, they didn't. However, during those next two hours, the wife (who is the voice of reason whenever I go this ballistic) was on the phone to Caremark (the company that handles the prescription plan for the State of Connecticut, which is actually a subsidiary of CVS) and to the doctor on call trying to get things straightened out.

I will admit that my response was seriously over the top and wickedly inappropriate, but the reality of the situation is that CVS sat on an incorrect prescription for two days and didn't think it was necessary to call us to let us know that there was a problem with it, thus creating a potential serious medical issue that was completely avoidable.

Overall it was a pretty tense weekend, but the son and us came through remarkably unscathed, which made us proud.

There was a decent ending to this predicament. They eventually filled the prescription, I was able to get Caremark to send me a claim form, we filed a complaint against this particular CVS with Caremark and we're moving all of his prescriptions to a 24 hour CVS located in the next town.

My friends, this is a good example of extremely poor customer service. Having a customer go nuclear because you didn't make a simple phone call to let him know that there was problem with a prescription of a highly regulated narcotic and instead waited until the holiday weekend to tell him shows everyone that you have serious issues in performing the duties of your job.

However, I will give major props to Caremark for effectively handling this particular situation and taking the time to work with us in a good faith attempt at solving the issue at hand.


  1. Honestly, I can't blame you. I get so many calls at work about pharmacies and bureaucracies and the powers that be fucking things up and failing to notify people. And based on the week you had, I am amazed that no one died ;)

  2. And I love the title of the post, btw!

  3. M: The problem with this situation is twofold: 1) the state of CT is self-insured and 2) the concessions that were passed last summer included changes to make all the perscriptions mail order.

    Which means that your scripts have to have multiple refills and be 90 days in length.

    The end result is just a lot unnecessary grief and headaches if things aren't done right to the very last letter.

    And thanks for the compliment about the title. I really wanted to use the "D" word, but that would've pushed things too far.


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