Sunday October 25, 2009

Goodbye to Walgreens.com

Sometime back, CVS Pharmacy took over what was Longs Drugs. We didn't notice much difference until early September, when I went in to the store and said "Oof". CVS had done a complete internal remodel... and I didn't like it at all.

Well, we have several Walgreens stores in the area. I decided to switch a prescription from Longs/CVS to walgreens.com.

I got on the website and found the "transfer a prescription" section with ease. I filled in the online form, providing the current pharmacy and Rx number as well as my insurance information and credit card number.

The next day I received two voicemail messages. I checked and I also had two "secure" messages at walgreens.com. One said they needed valid credit card information to process my request. The other said they needed current insurance information.

Didn't I already fill out that form?

I checked my profile and saw the CC information. Maybe there was a typo. I re-entered the info.

Then I scrolled down and discovered that my profile included information for insurance I haven't had for three years now. Huh. Apparently, if you already have a profile, the info entered in the "transfer a prescription" form is ignored. (I had forgotten that I even had an existing profile at walgreens.com).

Unfortunately, Walgreens.com does not allow customers to edit the insurance portion of the profile. You have to "contact your pharmacy".

I don't have a brick&mortar Walgreens pharmacy. I vaguely recall filling a prescription once at a Walgreens, at least 5 years ago, but I don't remember where or when. So, I responded again to the original message that had asked for my insurance info.

A few days later I checked my profile and my current insurance carrier had been added. Good. However, the old insurance carrier was still listed, now marked as "primary". Not good.

I replied again to the original request for insurance info. I said "Please remove the old insurance." Nothing changed.

So I clicked the link to send email to customer service saying "This is who I am; there are two insurance carriers listed in my profile. The 'primary' carrier is wrong." Walgreens responded telling me I needed to contact my pharmacy.

I tried again. I received replies asking me for my birth date, replies telling me to contact my pharmacy, and replies (via email) asking for my email address. I also received 4 blank messages on the site.

I started sending more messages to walgreens.com, this time via the "problems with our site" link. I told them they had ignored the insurance info I had originally entered. I told them my profile was broken. I told them I was getting empty messages. I told them they had a serious quality control problem with their software.

I got a few email messages in reply, asking for my date of birth or telling me to contact my pharmacy. Eventually, after a few weeks, I received a paper letter, acknowledging my concerns about the blank messages and including a $10 gift card.

I still had incorrect insurance information in my profile.

Finally, I received a response that told me where I could call. I reached a woman in the Walgreens "Mail Services" pharmacy who said "I only see one carrier in our records." I said "I see two.". I sent her screen shots of my profile and she promised to escalate the issue to IT.

A few days went by. Nothing changed.

I wrote back to the woman I had spoken to. She said she would check with IT again. Finally she sent me email saying "Our database has been updated."

I checked walgreens.com. The outdated insurance information had, indeed, been removed from my profile. In the process, the database update had also removed the current insurance information as well as my credit card information.

Rich asked "How much do you dislike CVS?" My sister asked "What about Target?"

I hadn't realized Target had a pharmacy. The next day, I transferred my prescription to Target.

Goodbye to Walgreens.com ( in category Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Sun, 25 Oct, 18:11 Pacific | «e»


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