Saturday, October 19, 2013

Phones and Pharmacies

I really hate talking on the telephone, I am not sure why, probably it is a remaining vestage of the chronic shyness I suffered from into my teens.  Whatever the reason, it takes something major to make me pick up the phone.

Today I got a letter from Walgreens.com, informing me that they had debited my account with $79.94 and there was an outstanding balance of $6.94.

I knew this had got to be related to the comedy of errors I experienced just last week when I attempted to refill my prescription.

First, Wednesday of last week, I got an email from Walgreens informing me that I had a prescription due to be refilled.  "Just respond to this email and we will fill it for you".  No thanks, I don't like that method so I logged into my Walgreens account and sure enough, it was due to be refilled, so I said "yes" and I will pick it up at the local store.

Next day I got an email saying they needed to contact my doctor before they could fill it, hello?  in that case it was NOT ready to be refilled.  Anyway, Friday I got another email saying they were now ready to refill the prescription, please reply to this email... eh?  no?  Again I logged into my account, selected to refill and pickup and completed my transaction.  Even got another email confirming this.

On my way home from work I called in to collect it.  After a short wait I was told they didn't have it in stock, come back tomorrow - Oh, and they also said they had called my cell phone and left a message to tell me this important piece of information.  There was no message on my cell phone.

Tomorrow.. Saturday, I called in again.  This time they said it was "for some reason" filled in Arizona.  "Oh" I said, "I am afraid I won't be able to pick it up there today".  Apparently I was the only one amused by that remark, the girl behind the counter continued to fiddle with her computer and look confused.  She said they couldn't give it to me till the Arizona prescription had been reversed and could I wait.  I said, "no I will come back".

Monday morning I found the " message on my cell phone " on my voicemail at work, not very useful at that stage.  On my way home I called once again and finally picked up and paid for my prescription.  $73 dollars for a 3 month supply, not bad for a brand name medication, thank goodness for decent health care insurance.

You would think that would be the end of it, at least until next January.  Today I got a letter in the mail from Walgreens.com.  They informed me that they were unable to process my credit card  and my account had been debited with an amount of $79.94 and I still owed $6.94.  To be honest absolutely none of that made any sense to me. But, I had two clues, the letter came from Arizona, and my credit card had expired and been renewed at the end of last week.. actually in the middle of the fiasco over my prescription renewal (which fortunately was NOT for high blood pressure).

Naturally I assumed that they were trying to charge me for the prescription filled in Arizona and then reversed - but where the $6.94 came from I did not know. So, I was irritated enough to actually pick up the phone and call them.

Like any customer service department, I think I got to speak to 4 people, I had to explain my complicated situation to all of them in turn, while at the same time remaining calm, reminding myself all the time that it was probably not the fault of the individual to whom I was currently speaking, though I could have done without them repeating frequently "thank you for your patience " and " be well " .. be well?  Almost sounded like " may the force be with you" and definitely did not sound sincere, and as for my patience, it was wearing thin but I do appreciate that these unfortunate front line individuals do tend to get yelled at a lot, and it really is not their fault

I finally established that yes, they had made a mistake and had since reversed the $73 charge for the reversed prescription paid for in my local pharmacy instead of in Arizona - and the balance of $6.94 was remaining due to an accounting error on their part - last June - when refilling a prescription that was fulfilled via mail order.  At this point, I didn't care, I paid the balance and now I wonder if perhaps I need to move my prescription to a pharmacy that won't take up quite so much of my time!