Ramblings of Silver Blue


14 Jul

I *DESPISE* Eckerd Drug

Why?

OK, as those who follow my blog and website know, I enjoy photography. A LOT.

So, since I now work basically in the digital format, it makes things a lot cheaper, but a lot less “hands on.” There’s just something satisfying about having 4x6s in your hand fresh from the photo lab. Because I don’t necessarily like taking my CompactFlash media and inserting it into strange machines (I work on PCs all the time, so I’m used to people contracting viruses this way), I started looking for a company that has their own “in house” photo lab (meaning, they print on the premises and I can pick up), and they allowed you to upload the photos over the web.

Well, since there is an Eckerd Drug (Store 8262 at 3701 Kecoughtan Road, Hampton, VA) in my general vicinity, I said why not? So I go online, create my account, upload the photos, and then I find out… if you do them over the Internet, they have to be processed off site and SENT to the store.

It’s not the “one hour service” I was willing to pay for, but… OK. I submit the order, and am told they will be processed, and shipped to the store to arrive 3-5 business days AFTER I place the order. Personally, I think this is unacceptable, because of 2 day service you can get with regular film. Seriously, folks, if all you have to do is print the digital file, it should not take *longer* when there’s no processing involved.

So, as I was saying, I placed the order. On June 27. On June 29th I receive an email saying the photos had shipped to the store.

On July 3rd, I stopped by the store to pick them up. No photos. The photo manager told me “oh no, we don’t do that. They don’t ship to this store any more.” I explained what had happened and she went and knocked on the managers door, yelled the info over, and had the manager yell back over the wall, “no, we don’t participate in that. He’ll have to go check the Eckerd’s in Phoebus”.

I left. Ticked. But…

On July 6th, I’m sitting behind the keys and remembered the email I received.

The photos you ordered from PhotoCentre Online have been processed. They will be ready for pickup in 3 to 5 business days from the time your order was placed.
Your order number is: 80010619

Pickup Location:

Eckerd #8262
3701 Kecoughtan Road
Hampton, Virginia
7577282913

We hope you enjoy your photos. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Regards,
Customer Care

If the email I received said they were shipped to THAT store, then I don’t care WHAT the manager says. They were shipped to that store. So I go back in. The photo manager says cheerfully, “Oh no, the photos have never come in…” and turned a whiter shade of pale when I showed her the email. She calls the Assistant Manager up. The Assistant Manager says “No, they don’t ship photos to us” to which I responded “well, according to this email, is this NOT your store? Is this NOT your address?” She gets on the phone with her regional office (I guess) who tell her she must call the Photo People. She calls the wrong company. When she finally gets the correct phone number, the “call center is closed because it is after 5 EST”. She takes my number and says they’ll call me the following day.

Friday comes and goes with no communication, as does Saturday and Sunday.

By Monday, I’m over this hack of a drug store chain. I go to their website and file the following complaint:

Worst customer service in the world! I ordered prints online (Order 80010619). Prints never showed up, manager and photo center employee said “Oh no, they no longer ship to our store” (even though I have an email stating photos were shipped to THAT store. On 7/6, I took the email to the store and the Assistant Manager claimed the call center was closed and they would call me on Friday. Guess what? No call. With service like this being standard from this Eckerd Drug, is it any wonder why I’m taking all my business to Walgreens?

Their automated response:

Dear Eckerd Pharmacy Customer,

We apologize for the service you received in one of our stores. Your concerns have been forwarded to the District Office in your area. The office will be in contact with you within two business days. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Cordially,
Customer Care Dept.
1-800-ECKERDS (325-3737)

It’s now July 14, and shock of shocks! No contact whatsoever. NONE. Just one more example of how customer service doesn’t matter because of the thought process of “there are more customers out there than just this one.”

It’s not just the photo department that gets my goat. If you’re not willing to stand around breathing your germs on people, this particular store refuses to fill your prescription the same day. “It’s our policy” the pharmacy tech says, “that if you do not wait for it, you must pick it up the next day.”

“So, basically, what you are telling me,” I retorted, “is that even though you tell me it will be 90 minutes to fill my prescription, I must stay in the building, or you will delay my medication until tomorrow?”

“Yes,” the tech says, “that’s Eckerd’s policy.”

With these two things combined, is it ANY wonder why Walgreens is cutting so deeply into Eckerd’s business?

(As a side note, there have been a couple times I have uploaded photos to Walgreens and it’s taken 70 minutes to get confirmation my photos are ready to be picked up, but you know, at 19 cents a print versus Eckerd’s 29 cents a print, I don’t mind the fact it takes longer than an hour, especially since I know (1) I don’t have to wait 3-5 days for the order to be shipped and (2) I have people who actually GIVE customer service and respond, unlike Eckerd’s.)

Yes, the drug store chains have been consuming themselves at a terrifying rate (think of how there are no longer Revcos, People’s Drugs, SupeRX Dugs, etc anymore due to CVS, Eckerd, Rite-Aid and Wallgreens acquisitions), but that doesn’t mean that we, as consumers, have to stand for shoddy service, from the local store on up the corporate chain.

Update, 4:48p.m. — it’s interesting what can happen when you post something like this to a blog. I received a phone call while I was out apologizing for the “inconvenience” and stating that the order never made it through — excuse me, but if the order didn’t make it through, then why did I receive an email stating it had been shipped? The person offered to have me bring in my media (on CD or whathaveyou) and they would do my prints for free in one hour as an attempt to make the matter right. The point of the matter is that it can’t be made right. The prints that I ordered (that I needed well before now) I received — from Walgreens. My prescriptions — either from Target or Walgreens. Simply because I know I don’t need to stand around the store like some bump on a log just so some Pharm Tech doesn’t decide “well, they must not need the meds, so … PAUSE … until tomorrow.”

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