“Our Policy States You Must Wait Until We Serve You”

My husband had to pick up a prescription that was supposed to be ready at 5:30 pm. At 6:30 pm he still isn’t home. With the pharmacy only 10 minutes away, I am puzzled.

Here is what apparently happened:

The medication was ready in plenty of time. However, the pharmacy policy is to have a pharmacist check with each person who picks up meds to find out whether there are any questions. Nice touch except for one thing –  it took 10 minutes for a pharmacist to be available to ask whether there were any questions.

And now the really bad news: dear husband had to wait and watch while this happened to a fellow customer first. And to hear that customer say, once the pharmacist deigned to arrive,  “No, I don’t have any questions.”

So, after paying the pharmacy tech for the prescription, dear husband was told to wait until the pharmacist could get there. My husband said he didn’t need to see the pharmacist, he had no questions. He was told “Yes, you do!”

And the tech held the prescription hostage. Absolutely refused to give it over until the pharmacist got there.

It was at this point that I called him to see if all was OK. He briefly and succinctly told me that the idiots at the pharmacy seemed to think they had to follow this policy regardless of what he said about not needing to speak to a pharmacist.

He was home 10 minutes later. Apparently the pharmacy tech heard him and decided that giving my husband his already paid for prescription was the better part of valor. Dear husband now calls the pharmacy back, asks to speak to the store manager.

He told the manager it was the worst service he had ever had. He explained what had happened and that he was not happy to be told to wait for a pharmacist when he didn’t wish to talk to one, especially when he had already observed how long it could be before the pharmacist was free.

Know what the store manager said?

“It is store policy for each customer to be given the opportunity to speak with a pharmacist about their prescription. But we are short staffed and it can take time for a pharmacist to be available to speak with you.”

Now a pharmacy we have been using for over 5 years is likely to become our former pharmacy. It was apparent the store manager was not well versed in customer service (isn’t that part of the job description?). And while I can imagine why such a policy came about, it is likely not the first time the manager has heard this complaint. He or she should have already been at work to streamline the process that had shown itself to be a bottleneck.

If you were the store manager, how would you have handled it?

And if you had been the customer, what would you have said?

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