CVS Employee Calls Customer A 'Fucking AIDS Freak'

Check out this stunning exchange between a Philadelphia CVS employee and a customer:

His response was “Whatever, somebody needs to come deal with this because I’m about to go off…”

“You’re about to ‘Go off?’, I asked him.”Do you really think that’s the best thing to say to a paying customer?”

And at this point, with his back turned to me, the young man muttered “Fucking AIDS freak.”

Read J’s full story of how it got to this point, and CVS’ meager response, below.

Here’s J’s full email, for those of you who want a more detailed story:

In what has been one of the most horrifying experiences of my entire life, I have had a dreadful recent encounter at my local CVS. Ironically one of the other worst customer-service related mishaps I’ve ever had was at a CVS as well, though not the same one…

I was in my local CVS in Philadelphia getting my partner’s prescription filled. We are a gay male couple and my partner is HIV+. The medication, Atripla, is HIV related. We are both currently on a medicaid-related health insurance plan, a situation that is new to us and directly related to his current health issues.

I had in hand a coupon from the local paper that awarded me a $20 gift card if I transferred a prescription to CVS. I had actually used the coupon the day before for another prescription, as it says you can do use it multiple times (just not on the same day.)

On this particular day they were having a very hard time getting through to the other pharmacy to put the transfer through. The staff was also particularly snide and unpleasant; more so than usual, at any rate.

After the fiasco of getting the actual transfer put through, when the young man attempted to ring me up and process my coupon, something went wrong in the computer. Another employee came by to try and figure things out, and they determined that the coupon was not acceptable for those with Medicaid.

I got a little agitated because they weren’t being particularly polite about it, and I tried to explain that I wasn’t specifically on Medicaid proper, but on a related plan. I also pointed out that I had just used the same coupon the day before. They then called over another young man who was apparently a manager. His actual position in the store is still up for debate; he appeared to be a front-of-store manager who was doing some work in the pharmacy area.

He walked into the situation with an extremely aggressive attitude. He wouldn’t allow me to actually SAY anything or discuss the situation with him, and it was clear he was taking an “I know what I’m talking about, I know what you’re up to, and I’m going to nip this in the bud” kind of stance with the whole thing. I was getting impatient, embarassed and frustrated. The whole of the staff back there were just glaring at me, and I was extremely perturbed.

My inclination in these situations, which seem to happen more frequently these days, is to try and be rational and direct without being rude. I said to this young man “You know what? I don’t think you’re handling this very well or being very polite, and I’d like to speak to someone else about this.”

His response was “Whatever, somebody needs to come deal with this because I’m about to go off…”

“You’re about to ‘Go off?’, I asked him (probably exacerbating the situation, I admit.) “Do you really think that’s the best thing to say to a paying customer?”

And at this point, with his back turned to me, the young man muttered “Fucking AIDS freak.”

I have to be honest with you: I’m 30 years old, and in all of my adult life – with all of the bigotry and hatred I have encountered in various forms and situations – this was the absolute most shocking and flabbergasting thing that has ever happened to me.

It was one of those situations where I was so stunned and slack-jawed that I had no real faculties to handle the situation. It’s the kind of anger that silences you while your body tenses up and you try to control the shaking that’s coming from the inside out.

By this point a woman, the manager of the pharmacy, had approached me and asked – stone faced – if she could help. I told her that if her employees felt comfortable speaking to customers they way they just did, and in her presence, that I didn’t think she COULD help because obviously they felt doing so was okay. I asked her to void my prescription transfer and I left.

When I got home I immediately called a different CVS location and asked for a number to call to file a complaint. I called a local “headquarters” number and left a complaint on a voicemail for a district manager. I also called the general 800 number for CVS and left a complain with the customer service person. I was told the general manager of the store, Anthony, was on vacation until Monday.

On Monday, Anthony did call me back. Our conversation was brief and typical of what I expected. I was told that he would investigate the situation, and that if what I described did, in fact, happen, it would be dealt with. But that basically he couldn’t promise anything other than that if I ever came into the store again and something similar happened, I should ask to speak to him directly.

I can tell you now that nothing really came of the situation. The young man still works at that CVS, and I have done my best to simply not go there anymore. As it is located only 2 bocks from my apartment, and is the only 24-hour estalishment in the area, I do still go occasionally, hating myself every step of the way.

I don’t know what I expected CVS to do. I suppose – and I say this laughingly – an apologetic gift card might have been nice. But the real point is, is there any real resolution to a situation like this? Other than having the guy on video or audio tape, he’s obviously going to deny that it happened, and his co-worker chums – presuming they heard what he said (as that one part is probably the only “fireable” part of his lousy customer service) – didn’t seem the types inclined to get involved.

There’s no real great way to wrap up this report. I guess the great lesson is, people can still be complete douchebags, and sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it.

J, you may want to try writing a complaint letter and mailing it to the executive headquarters in Rhode Island—here’s a list of their executives. (We looked for executive phone numbers and email addresses in their SEC filings, but couldn’t find any.) Some people will never stop being complete douchebags, but it’s likely your complaint never made it past the district manager, and since it wasn’t adequately resolved at that level, you should take it higher.

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. Kaitydid says:

    This is absolutely horrifying. BBB, escalate the complaint, do everything you can. No one who is a health professional–even if they are only acting as one to fill in–should ever, ever be allowed to act like this.

    I would also recommend filing a complaint with the state pharmacy board. If the OP can handle going back to the store, he should ask for or seek out the pharmacist registration number (which should be displayed) and file a consumer complaint. If they won’t give or he can’t find the number, the name might be sufficient.

    • Elvisisdead says:

      Just out of curiosity, what was the Medicaid-related plan? Is it SPBP? If so, it is administered by the state, but not Medicaid. Very much like the AIDS Waiver Program. Possibly Federally funded at some level, but not Medicaid.

      @Kaitydid: Please don’t do that unless it was the actual pharmacist that committed the offense. It was probably a pharmacy tech, which isn’t any different than a clerk and has nothing to do with the pharmacist. This is an issue for CVS corporate and the store management.

      Everyone please remember to complain to the people responsible. Don’t take a shotgun approach and hope something turns up. The pharmacist has nothing to do with it. Don’t ding them with a report when they weren’t involved.

      @FunPaul: It has nothing to do with people who regulate pharmacies. The Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Secretary are responsible for HIPAA compliance. If there is a complaint, take it to them.

      • Kaitydid says:

        @Elvisisdead: The pharmacist is responsible for what goes on in the pharmacy. In stores like CVS, the pharmacy is a seperate entity within the same building. If there are non-pharmacists or other health care professionals making HIPAA violations within the pharmacy, it is the pharmacists responsibility to deal with the situation.

        That being said, the fact that the employee in question knew what condition the prescription is meant to treat indicates to me that he was not a mere floor manager or clerk.

        Pennsylvania’s Board of Professional and Occupational Affairs says this about complaints:

        “If you believe the practice or the service provided by a licensee or registrant of the above-named boards or commissions to be unethical, immoral, below an acceptable standard of practice or out of the scope of the profession, you are urged to file a Statement of Complaint Form with the Department of State’s Legal Office.” [www.dos.state.pa.us]

        I’d say this counts as unethical and below the acceptable standards of practice.

        • Elvisisdead says:

          @Kaitydid: You really need to read and understand what you wrote. By “practice”, they mean undertaking an effort, not a group of people.

          The pharmacist is NOT professionally responsible for any pharmacy tech. You have also most likely never worked in a clinical setting involving pharmacists.

          Pharmacy technicians are the ones who work at the counter. They don’t know as many drug interactions as the pharmacists, but they learn them as they go along. It’s also a big tip when the individual paying is paying using a state program that pays for AIDS and shcizophrenia medication.

          This is by no stretch of the imagination or easter egg hunt for the blame egg the fault of the pharmacist. This is no different than reporting a doctor for ethical violations if his scheduler committed them. It just doesn’t apply.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @Kaitydid: Logically it would make sense that no one should ever act that way. But when it comes down to it, people have bad days and no one is ever really fired the first couple of times they do something dumb. A store is going to “rehabilitate” a worker rather than fire him and have to deal with finding a replacement and being short staffed until they can find one and get them up to speed. The fact is you could be the only person who has lodged a complaint against that worker.
      If it would allow you to shop at the store again, ask the manager for an apology from the pharmacist. The manager might just make him do it. That is probably the only punishment you could cause him to receive.

      • Tyr_Anasazi says:

        @Corporate_guy: Actually, I’ve known quite a few people who had been fired for doing something dumb the first time or having a bad day. and if the OP can generate some fallout for this clerks actions, that may well be the result. While a company does spend much money hiring and training employees, if they need to bite the bullet and offer a sacrificial lamb to stave of negative press and perception, then out that employee goes…

    • jswilson64 says:

      @Kaitydid: A CVS front manager is a “health professional” ??? Really?

  2. Crabby Cakes says:

    I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but it never ceases to amaze me that people can treat other human beings this way. Over a $20 giftcard! It’s not your $20, asshole pharmacy guy, why the hell are you making such a big deal out of it!?

  3. SahuaritaSam says:

    This is horrible. CVS should try to put the fire out that this ignorant employee started.

  4. gwelgrin says:

    I believe you might have basis to file a HIPPA complaint.

    By making a public comment on a medical condition even if is not one that you have but that you are picking up an Rx for, that clerk has violated HIPPA.

    Check out [hhs.gov] for information on your rights.

  5. emilymarion333 says:

    This is horrible! I would file a complaint with the BBB and also contact the Exec’s. Does not matter what prescription you are picking up – no one should ever be treated like this.

  6. youbastid says:

    Check out PA’s laws when it comes to hate crimes and assault. That could most certainly be considered a hate crime in some states, and I’m sure CVS would “take it seriously” if it were brought up to them in that manner.

  7. Skankingmike says:

    that’s one of many reasons Philly sucked when i lived there, If you’re in Center City (as I was) everything closes early!!! the only thing you had was a few deli’s and bars and CVS! (of course 7-11 and wawa were around but CVS for whatever reason was more plentiful)

    How can somebody be a bigot in Philly? I mean 13’th street is like the broad street of the game community it has the countries 3’rd largest gay population that’s a really bad idea to live there if you’re a bigot or idiot.

    I’d say you should sue them, CVS should have training for the employee’s on discrimination.

    • roger2001 says:

      Most likely that store already has cameras. Any stores put in a “higher crime” area or a 24 hour location usually get cameras. One caveat, they do not have sound.

  8. Ron Draper says:

    Is it generally advisable not to punch some snot-nosed punk in the face for that, or does that come after a failed EECB?

  9. FunPaul says:

    Isn’t that a HIPAA violation to disclose one’s medical condition?

    If the pharmacy employee said it loud enough that other people could hear it I would think that that would constitute unlawful disclosure.

    I would think that would be interesting to whatever organization it is that regulates pharmacies.

    • shorty63136 says:

      @FunPaul: That’s EXACTLY what I was thinking. I’d get his pharmacy license # (which like another commenter said – should be displayed) and file all sorts of complaints against CVS as well as the pharmacist individually.

      I know it was a frustrating and horrifying scenario, but this should NOT be tolerated.

      (figurative) Lemon juice and razor blades.

  10. FunPaul says:

    By disclosing, I mean calling someone an AIDS freak. ^^^

  11. laila says:

    Unbelievable. I would pursue every single way to nail them. HIPAA, CVS Corporate, City of Philly, Pharmacy Board, and State of PA. The fact that this happened is inexcusable and CVS’ tepid response is even more appalling.

  12. HIV 2 Elway says:

    People in Philly are assholes? I’ve heard it all.

  13. 4ster says:

    Would it be possible to share this story with a local gay rights or AIDS rights group, who could help you speak with a louder voice on this? It could perhaps keep you from feeling like it is you against an enormous cooperation.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you.

    • sleze69 says:

      @4ster: He should absolutely do this. There are several Gay/Lesbian rights groups in the Philadelphia area that are VERY connected and are very agressive with anything resembling gay bigotry.

      Post the store number.

      Post the store location.

      Post the name of the employee.

      The public shaming will be swift and brutal.

      • syndprod says:

        @sleze69: Seconded. I work in CC and try to avoid all the CVS stores there anyway, but this just gives me more of a reason to do so. I want to know where this CVS is.

        Also there are several very good “specialty” pharmacies in Center City that just do RX. (Imagine that – a drugstore with just drugs!) I’m sure they would love to have your business.

    • SinisterMatt says:

      Looking at the story the way that it’s presented here, I’m not entirely convinced that this is necessarily a gay rights issue. Sure, the guy’s partner has AIDS, and he is gay, but the two are mutually exclusive. You can have AIDS and not be gay, even though AIDS, in my limited understanding (from high school biology) of the distribution of HIV among the general population, seems to be more concentrated among homosexuals in general than heterosexuals. Someone correct that if I have that wrong please.

      Privacy violation? Yeah, most likely, in some degree. Gay Rights issue? I doubt it, and it would be hard to prove that the guy was doing it out of malice or hate. If the manager had said “blanking queer AIDS freak” or some such thing, then I would say call in the activists.

      Just my thoughts on the matter.

      Cheers!

      • Crymson_77 says:

        @SinisterMatt: AIDs and HIV support groups would argue that I believe. In addition, the fact that one man was picking up the HIV prescription for another would lead a bigot to assume the person at the counter was gay. Personally, I believe that it doesn’t matter at this point beyond the fact that the “manager” in question made such disparaging remarks brings all of it, including the idiot’s intent, into question and any and all possibility that it was gay bashing should be included. Frankly, had I been nearby I would have an assault charge right now for punching the guy in the back of the head (stolen from previous commenter).

      • BeeBoo says:

        @SinisterMatt: Groups that protect legal rights for gay people often pursue related cases that don’t actually involve gay people, such as cases related to AIDS, adoption or employment discrimination, or student organizations.

  14. MrMold says:

    Oh Mr Gay Entitled, you show up once every whatever. He and the co-workers (recall this) spend days with each other and that will place you outside the tribe. You are a visitor to the village. Whining, petulance, delusions of entitlement…all would mark you as less than desirable.

    Stay calm. Ask for a manager if things are icky. They are paid to listen to all sorts of stoopid. The clerks are not. Their work usually consists of stocking shelves and getting your purchase out the door quickly. Don’t believe? Read a retail employee manual.

    Your words give you away.

    • Kaitydid says:

      @MrMold: also, excuse me? There was nothing entitled or frivolous about this man’s complaint.

      He was grossly mistreated by someone representing a pharmacy, which is a health care facility and is licensed at the discretion of the state of Pennsylvania. He has every right to complain and should do so, loudly and voraciously.

      If the employee in questio was a mere clerk, it does not matter. He was behind the pharmacy counter and he represented the pharmacy. If he was not qualified to do so, he never should have interacted with the consumer under it’s auspices.

    • @MrMold: Huh?

      Seriously, huh?

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        Also give your local newspaper a heads up on this, a hate crime story might make for a good little article.
        @dragonfire81: Seconded. No reason the OPs neighbors should have to suffer this first hand as well.

        HIPPA violation in front of co-workers and superiors and no one cares? Any newspaper would eat that up. Five bucks says that the letters section will get filled up with stories from other people who were treated badly as well.

      • thelushie says:

        @enriquez the water bottle: I realize that the offending person has been banhammered (Roz, you are my hero). I think it would be good for all of us to remember (and I am not perfect either) to not feed the trolls. Ignore them and hopefully they will spread their hate elsewhere.

        This is pretty terrible. I have feeling that HIPAA has been broken. But it does say it was muttered so unless someone was standing around (who didn’t work at the pharmacy), probably not much can be done. Also, he would have to prove it and assholes tend to stick up for one another.

        Jesus. Our society has become terrible. I am seriously looking into private islands.

    • MayorBee says:

      @MrMold: You’re disgusting.

      There is nothing do indicate anyone was acting “entitled” in the post. A paying customer was denigrated and somehow this is acceptable to you? Telling a person that has been robbed of their humanity to suck it up is ignorant to the Nth degree. But I suppose if the “clerk” had used a racial slur, it would have been fine by you, huh?

      @PrestonBerryworth: Bad advice. An assault charge is never worth it.

    • BytheSea says:

      @MrMold: He did ask for the manager, and the manager spewed a hate-filled epithet. He then asked for another manager, who was indifferent.

      I think feeling ‘entitled’ to not be on the receiving end of hate speech shows a healthy sense of self esteem.

      Read the article before you shoot your mouth off.

    • HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

      @MrMold: I am absolutely shocked you haven’t been disemvoweled yet.

    • @MrMold: Talk about entitled. You’d better hope he’s “one of those wussy gays”, because I’d beat the crap out of you for a comment like that. And I’m a girl. …I guess it just goes to show that in every situation, no matter how obvious and completely unacceptable it is, there WILL BE an asshole who blames the victim.

      In addition to the awesome advice the other commenters have largely produced, I’d seriously consider calling any local papers, especially specialty ones. (Here we have a GLBT rag called “Between the Lines” that’s an obvious choice, but it wouldn’t necessarily have to be related to sexual orientation — I can see publications related to your neighborhood, to medical care, or to civil rights all finding this of interest.)

      Then make darn sure CVS knows that you called them. Every. Single. One.

      So terribly sorry you went through this. And congratulations on handling it so well — I’d have spent the night in jail, guaranteed. >,<

  15. Kaitydid says:

    Consumer information from the Board of Pharmacy of Pennsylvania: [www.dos.state.pa.us]

    PDF of Consumer Complaint form: [www.dos.state.pa.us]

    Main office phone number: (717) 783-7156

    nail ‘em

  16. Don’t settle for anything else but a personal apology from the dick, preferably performed in front of the entire CVS store staff and a few paying customers.

  17. You should of bit your lip and then spit at him…he doesn’t know those pills are for someone else.

  18. friendlynerd says:

    Which Philadelphia location is this? I’d love to know so I can avoid it.

    I can believe that a CVS employee talked to you like that – what I’m shocked at is that someone in the actual pharmacy would. I’ll admit I’m fairly ignorant of the applicable laws, but it seems like it would be a violation of something to make fun of a customer because of what prescription drugs they were buying.

    • BytheSea says:

      @friendlynerd: Which Philadelphia location is this? I’d love to know so I can avoid it.

      This is actually a good idea. There’s a problem with all these customer problems we hear about with corporations – itdoesn’t affect the company to boycott them, because it’s not the company, it’s that employee at that location. I’d say that it’s the employee culture at that location. However, if we boycott the place where the problem actually happened, the managers would be forced to take action against the problem employees.

      • oneandone says:

        @BytheSea: Definitely the employee culture at that location – I’ve had extremely compassionate CVS pharmacy people in Philly and was shocked to read this story. I’m also disappointed at the lack of a strong CVS response, since I’ve had very good opinions of them.

        LGBT groups (esp those local in Philly) could definitely organize some serious trouble. Hopefully there will be updates.

  19. SuffolkHouse says:

    This will all be solved when corporations replace all paid staff with automated kiosks.

    That’s where we are headed.

    In the end, however, who will have any job to pay for anything?

  20. the-perfect-face-for-radio says:

    the “about to go off” may have meant that the employee was about to go off shift. if he had another thirty seconds before his eight hours were up, and replacement employees were clocking in and the task you presented would have taken several minutes, going off is the most reasonable option. on the minus side, “fucking aids freak” makes him a very poor representative of his company; feel free to tell his boss.

  21. MrMold says:

    Good luck GE, once the Commonwealth hears your complaint and investigates…nada. They have fraud, deaths, and idiot KKKristians who refuse to dispense meds. A guy with a beef over non-subservient store clerks will be very low on the priority list.

    Next time, avoid the superiority issues and get the manager. “Stone-faced” tells me there is more to the tale. Throwing a hissy at that point is also an indicator of less than adult behavior on your part.

    Remember folks, these are crap-wage jobs. A little politeness will be very appreciated. Treating clerks as human beings is far more efficient and will more likely get you what you want. Taking the stand that clerks are slavies and should kowtow to your every whim will place you in the “when Hell freezes over” category.

    • friendlynerd says:

      @MrMold:
      Nobody involved threw a “hissy.” And for someone talking such a big talk about how to treat other people, you might want to take some of your own advice.

    • BrianDaBrain says:

      @MrMold: So is that bigotry? You seem to be making a lot of assumptions here. And what’s up with this “gay entitled” business? He is entitled to good service. Period. If the clerks, however much they are paid, are not willing to offer polite service, they need to be held accountable. Stop defending them.

    • malvones says:

      @MrMold: Do you work for CVS?

      Your response is baffling.

    • everfade says:

      @MrMold: You’re a lousy excuse for a human being.

    • gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

      @MrMold: Are you for real? I don’t see anything in this story that says he was rude to the clerk or that he treated the clerk badly. Grow up and understand what you are talking about before you comment and call the OP out.

    • Aisley says:

      @MrMold:

      “Treating clerks as human beings is far more efficient and will more likely get you what you want.”

      Look who’s talking. An failed project of human being, that can’t even feel empathy for someone that has been mistreated. This is not an issue of low wages or low IQ, mind you. The problem is that CVS has a history of placing confrontational people in positions dealing with the public.

      As for your accusations of “entitlement”, yes he behave as someone entitled. Entitled to decent and appropriated behavior from a store employee. I would love to see how YOU’ll behave if this happens to you.

      And on closing, you may want to wear a hat, so people don’t notice the whole in your head. Smooches

  22. Ubermunch says:

    I would have said…

    “Come over here and say that right to my face, pal.”

    I’m betting that he didn’t have the stones to do that… certainly not to me. Say something derogatory to my face and I might demonstrate what happens when you use “fighting words”.

    Reference:

    Fighting words doctrine. The First Amendment doctrine that holds that certain utterances are not constitutionally protected as free speech if they are inherently likely to provoke a violent response from the audience. N.A.A.C.P. v. Clairborne Hardware Co., Miss., 458 U.S. 886, 102 S.Ct. 3409, 73 L.Ed.2d 1215 (1982). Words which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace, having direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the persons to whom, individually, remark is addressed. The test is what persons of common intelligence would understand to be words likely to cause an average addressee to fight. City of Seattle v. Camby, 104 Wash.2d 49, 701 P.2d 499, 500.

    The “freedom of speech” protected by the Constitution is not absolute at all times and under all circumstances and there are well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which does not raise any constitutional problem, including the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or “fighting words” which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 62 S.Ct. 766, 86 L.Ed. 1031.

    SOURCE: Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition

    A pop in the mouth may not be actionable when it’s kicked off with something as inflamatory as “AIDS freak”. Or perhaps wiping the entire pharm counter display to the floor with a “that’s what us AIDS freaks do!” as a parting shot.

    What assholes… they should be fired. All of them.

  23. Antediluvian says:

    Chris, thanks for continuing to post these stories. As disheartening as they are, it’s still important to read them.

  24. BrianDaBrain says:

    WOW! That’s one of the worst stories I’ve read in a while. Myself, I probably would have reached across the counter and punched him in the back of the head. Congratulations on being more rational.

    Regardless of that, you cannot simply say “they’re not going to help me, all well.” Be persistent and polite, but work your way up the chain. Drop that awesome EECB if you have to, because you deserve something better that “We’ll look into it.”

    • gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

      @BrianDaBrain: You are so right on that one. I honestly would have had to restrain myself if I was there and heard that. I am all about standing up for my gay brothers. As a gay woman I am treated so differently than gay men and I hate what they have to go through.

  25. rbaldwin says:

    You can file a HIPAA complaint at: [www.hhs.gov]

    They will send someone out to survey the site and remedy any violations.

    You can also file a complaint with the PA board of pharmacy: [www.dos.state.pa.us]

    If nothing else they can stop this from happening to another individual.

    As a health care administrator I will say that it’s usually against the law for companies to offer incentives for patients to use state/federal funded programs. So let’s say Medicaid funds a health plan for someone and they get kickbacks for using the service, it’s counted a fee splitting and is generally forbidden.

    [en.wikipedia.org]

    The coupon should specifically state that it’s not valid for state funded programs. CVS staff have no excuse to offer poor customer service.

  26. junkmail says:

    Normally, when someone throws a fit about being called a name, I’d be the first in line to yell “get over it!” This, however, is a completely unacceptable situation. For a health “professional” (and I use that term in the loosest possible sense), to use an attitude and language like that should be immediate grounds for dismissal and permanent loss of license. This violates so many aspects of common sense and human decency that it seriously makes me ill.

  27. MrMold says:

    Katydid,

    Read it again. Use those skills that you picked up during college/life/high school to suss out the truth.

    The term of derision used by the clerk? was not meant to be overheard. Somehow, our intrepid lad managed to hear it and not mistranslate. Such godlike powers.

    Anywho, if the clerk? did say this, the manager will have at least words (documented) with the employee.

    I will also point out we are getting a very spun version of events.

    • Kaitydid says:

      @MrMold: Unfortunately, I just ended the part of the day I put aside for arguing with condescending assholes.

      I’m going to spend the rest of my day trying to imagine scenarios where a) it’s acceptable to say hateful things about a person in a professional context as long as they’re not be heard and b) the term “fucking AIDS freak” could be intended positively if not “mistranslated.”

    • Crymson_77 says:

      @MrMold: I can’t hold back, I MUST comment on your…statements. I have worked retail. I worked retail for a long time. I saw any and all types of behavior while working retail. The asshat who called him a freak should be fired immediately and brought up on charges. He violated HIPAA (yes, he absolutely did. Worked in the medical industry for a couple years and HIPAA is REQUIRED knowledge). HIPAA violations will seriously put a crimp in their bottom line as it can include the removal of any licenses that allow them to operate as a pharmacy. Your comments have proven only that you agree with gay bashing and ignorance. This incident is unacceptable and I personally will not do any further business with CVS until it is remedied to the OPs satisfaction.

    • Phydeaux says:

      @MrMold:

      So. You’re the asshole behind the counter, I guess?

      No? You weren’t there at all?

      Huh.

      How very hypocritical and odd.

    • trujunglist says:

      @MrMold:

      It was clearly meant to be overheard. The employee essentially threatened the customer! Did you not read the part where the employee said “I’m about to ‘Go off'”? That means the employee is about to fuck some shit up and/or get irate at the customer. Maybe you don’t know slang. Then, the customer was like “oh yeah? you’re gonna “go off” huh?” and that’s when the dude turned around and said it. That’s passive aggression defined.

  28. The_Atomic_Pod says:

    I don’t think this needs to be turned into a situation where we look for loopholes to make this a hate crime, or a breech on confidentiality. One human was rude to another human, lets keep it at that, and agree that it was an awful thing that this man had to endure.

    I definitely think however, this employee needs to be swiftly tossed on his arse, and the consumer given some swift, comparable recompense.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      @The_Atomic_Pod: It was a breach though. AIDS freak coming from somebody behind that counter would certainly lead me to believe that the freak in questions was getting AIDS medication. privacy…..breached.

  29. madfrog says:

    That is just awful, it seems that CVS is getting worse by the day.

  30. npage148 says:

    Those coupons are the devil, they annoy both pharmacy’s involved and promote poor continuation of care. AND they state right on them they are not valid for Medicaid.

    But you shouldnt have been called a freak

  31. bunjyzeke says:

    Their website lists a phone number that looks like it is a corporate HQ

    CVS Caremark Corporation
    One CVS Drive
    Woonsocket, RI 02895
    (401) 765-1500

  32. biswalt says:

    To be fair, I’ve never heard of any discount program coupon or otherwise used with medicaid. So to me it sounds like the first store did something they weren’t supposed to, and now the customer wanted it at the second store. I’m guessing when the customer didn’t get it they started complaining about how the other store did it. In my opinion it’s the governments fault, I routinely encounter people who have no idea what their medicaid or medicare will cover, seems to me that’s what started this problem.

  33. MrMold says:

    FriendlyNerd- read how he reacts to the manager. Sure looks like hissy fit.

    MayorBee- read the post. Use the skills that I mentioned to Katydid. Then recall the use of the word “uppity”. Context and word choice have meaning in language use.

    For those not used to retail, a stone-faced manager should indicate that our intrepid reporter is being less than forthcoming.

  34. snapdoodle says:

    There is a CVS outside of my job that I frequent. Not anymore.

  35. jaydez says:

    two words:

    Lawyer Up.

    They will take care of it for you. Your legal rights were violated by a biggot. There have to be at least 200 laywers in Philly who will take this case for you.

  36. MrMold says:

    Gee, many stores don’t accept coupons..or Food Stamps..or anything that affects their profits. Clerks end up having to tell this to customers all the time. Not a happy moment in retail.

    Good service? Sure. Subservience? No. I used Gay Entitled as the writer was self-identified as homosexual/Gay and the writing revealed a rather entitled tone.

    I am far too familiar with retail. But not with CVS. Oh, I am not keen on their business practices…but I do not take my wrath out on the clerk who just happens to be earning a living.

    Umm..most retail folks take their cue from the customer. Act Entitled and they will be less than enthusiastic. Treat them with respect and common courtesy–I have yet to be mistreated when I have done this.

    • glacier206 says:

      @MrMold: Treat them with respect and common courtesy–I have yet to be mistreated when I have done this

      And I have. Did you have an intelligent point you were trying to make, or do you really believe that nothing anyone says is true unless it has also happened to you?

    • varro says:

      @MrMold: I think the “entitled” people are those who think they can be anything other than professional with customers/patients.

      If the doctor prescribes a drug, you examine it for drug interactions, fill it, and explain it and its possible side effects to the patient. You DO NOT lecture the patient about anything, or refuse to fill the prescription because your god tells you not to.

      This means every drug – AIDS drugs, herpes drugs, boner pills, Plan B, RU-486, SSRIs (Scientologist pharmacists, anyone?).

    • azntg says:

      From outright rude clerks/pharmacists to poorly managed and disorganized stores… I guess CVS really doesn’t want to try hard at shedding some of its less than ideal image.

      @MrMold: I assume you’re saying what you’re saying because you haven’t experienced things along the same line. I hope that you won’t ever experience them, but if you do, I’ll promise that you’ll change your tone (even if you don’t admit it).

      As of retail stores not accepting coupons, the dodgier ones don’t. Most stores (while they might not be terribly happy about it) accepts coupons and food stamps.

      Everybody’s entitled to their own opinions and whatnot, but you really have to try harder.

      Could you not make every single comment one that blames somebody (especially unwarranted situations) or one filled with condescending and snarky tones?

  37. 2719 says:

    Sue him? Yeah go ahead…

    With no proof and only your word against him and his co workers who will of course be on his side you have ZERO chance.

    What happened to you was really bad. But there is no resolution. CVS has no proof this really happened.

  38. FunPaul says:

    @Elvisisdead Thanks for the clarification. When I received HIPAA training they did not tell me who regulated the rules, they just gave us rules to follow regarding PHI.

  39. davere says:

    Wow. My heart goes out to this guy and his partner.

    I’m done with CVS. It’s Walgreen’s for me from now on. They are both a block from each other on my way home and I rather not give my business to a company that obviously doesn’t know how to handle a situation like that.

  40. MrMold says:

    FriendlyNerd.

    If you had actually done retail for 10, the reading would have given you the clews that led me to the conclusion of Entitlement.

    “Leopards never change their spots”. This indicates habitual behaviours and, if you recall psychology, some modicum of culturally stereotypical behaviours. Short version…the writing screams of not telling the whole truth and indicates a strong sense of Entitlement. Another is “ring of truth”.

  41. MrMold says:

    Glacier,

    I must admit to having the benefit of appearing upper middle class. This precludes many issues. Our society has given me a pass on many problems and I do recognize this.

    • glacier206 says:

      @MrMold: I must admit to having the benefit of appearing upper middle class

      Not to anyone here you don’t. Do you think that using the British spelling of “behaviour” makes you look smart? It’s pretentious. Your words give you away.

  42. dragonfire81 says:

    Unfortunately the OP got stuck with an immature, homophobic clerk.

    I don’t care if you feel certain ways towards certain groups but if you are working in a service job then LEAVE THE BIGOTRY at the door or find a new line of work.

    You should try to contact the store manager of that CVS and take it from there. Also give your local newspaper a heads up on this, a hate crime story might make for a good little article.

  43. SOhp101 says:

    I would say that the best course of action is to report this to local GLBT groups in the area.

    I don’t know how effective a lawsuit would be, especially since it would be hard to prove that it actually happened. Sure the other employees would be under oath and obligated to tell the truth but they could just as easily lie and get away with it. It would only work if there have been repeated reports of these violations from the same store or employee.

  44. AMetamorphosis says:

    My sympathy for this gentleman.

  45. MrMold says:

    Bigots don’t change. If this clerk? was a homophobe, this will come up again. If it was the clerk? venting about the Entitled customer from Stoopidvania, it’s over.

  46. MrMold says:

    Varro,

    I agree.

  47. weakdome says:

    I’m having trouble understanding why “Someone [else] needs to deal with this because I’m about to go off” was taken to mean anything other than “I AM ABOUT TO GO OFF MY SHIFT”.
    Am I correct in understanding that the OP thought the employee meant “I’m about to go off ON YOU” as in, be really upset/angry/crazy?
    I don’t want to side with the employee since his next remark was obviously way over the top and uncalled for, but, telling someone that your shift is about to end doesn’t constitute being rude in itself, does it?

  48. M3wThr33 says:

    Let’s play ‘Complete the Phrase!”

    Go Off….

    THE CLOCK.

    As in, he wants to go home and he’s tired of dealing with coupons and problems in the system. Unfortunately you probably copped an attitude with him and he made a remark about that.

  49. jaybeebrad says:

    I’m the person who filed this story, and I appreciate (most) of you responses and input. There are a lot of good leads here as to how I can move forward and stop this from happening to other people.

    One clarification: There is absolutely no question at ALL that the employee in question meant “I’m about to fly off the handle” when he said “I’m about to go off.” I was there; you weren’t. Intonation, facial expression and posture have a lot to do with intent, and he was clearly indicating that he was annoyed and that if someone didn’t step in and handle the situation he was in danger of losing his temper. I’m not an idiot; I can tell the difference between A and B. ;)

    • Kaitydid says:

      @jaybeebrad: Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you consider undertaking some of the actions proposed by myself and other commentors.

      I work for the physicians licensing board in MA and I can assure you that we….wow, I almost said “take these things seriously.” You know what I mean. I’m not sure about PA but it never hurts to try, right?

      I also particularly like the idea of notifying advocacy groups. Never underestimate the ability of those who are outraged for a living (and I mean that in a good way) and what they can accomplish.

  50. This doesn’t surprise me one bit. I had an issue with a prescription from CVS (all the pills in a blister pack had been popped out) and the most I got from the store manager or customer service rep was “Well, at least you got your pills, right?”

    No apology at all.

  51. MrBiggles says:

    If we are talking about the only 24 hour CVS in center city, we must be talking about 18th and Chestnut. I shop there, and I can confirm that the staff there are probably the rudest, nastiest, completely disrespectful bunch that you will encounter anywhere in the city. Though I’ve never had a problem with a pharmacist or a pharmacy tech there, I’ve definitely had problems with other staff members (cashiers and such). But I’ve never had anything this severe happen.

  52. Lady Di says:

    I have had some very bad and some very good experiences at CVS which have ranged from them taking over a week to fill a script and let me go a couple of days without my meds (which they have changed policies in the region so that doesn’t happen again after I complained) to only 1/2 filling a script… but on that one they at least believed me and filled it right away with huge apologies. Other times they really have gone above to help me with something and were very nice about it.

    I think CVS needs to do some serious training with their pharmacy staffs. It’s nice that they are 24 hours and nationwide, but that doesn’t mean they can let customer service go ESPECIALLY in the pharmacy department!!!

    I think it is absolutely horrid that this person said that hateful comment and I hope they get fired for it! You should continue to pursue this until you get some sort of resolution!

  53. jaybeebrad says:

    MrMold: There’s probably no point in even addressing your comments. Suffice to say you’ve surely gleamed a lot about what kind of person I must be from one story I’ve told.

    I know exactly what kind of customer you’re talking about. They walk into stores and expect to be treated like royalty. They go into The Olive Garden and treat the server like a slave. I am not that person.

    Be that as it may, when someone goes into a store, there are, in fact, certain things they are ENTITLED TO. One of those things is a courteous and professional attitude from those in a position of customer service. It is, in point of fact, part of their job to make a customer/client feel welcomed and appreciated. It is not simply their job to do the mechanical functions of working within the store.

    You have obviously envisioned some kind of flaming queen (not that there’s anything wrong with that ;) ) who sassed up the store employees with a demanding attitude. You’re filling in a lot of blanks that aren’t even blank. My story was told exactly as things unfolded. You can take it or leave it, but don’t fictionalize a personality for me.

    Oh, and also…when I said the pharmacy manager was “stone faced”…that wasn’t an insult about her facial attractiveness. That term means that she was emotionless; dead in the face, as if she knew there was a situation and she was dreading having to deal with it.

    In all honesty, if someone had said – from the get-go – something to the effect of… “I’m so sorry, I don’t know why that other employee let you use this coupon. It’s prohibited, and it was a mistake on her part. I wish I could help you out here, but I just can’t”…I would have said “thank you for trying” and walked away a happy camper.

    Again, thanks to everyone’s suggestions; I feel much better equipped to follow through on this!

    • lamorevincera says:

      @jaybeebrad:

      I will echo the people in this thread who told you to bring this to a gay rights organization’s attention; this absolutely needs to be publicized.

      I’m so sorry that this happened to you, and my heart breaks that there are those out there who would still even think that way. You and your partner are in my thoughts, and I wish you nothing but happiness, freedom from this sort of idiocy, and good health going forward.

    • Span_Wolf says:

      @jaybeebrad:

      I registered just to comment this story. As a fellow gay male regardless of how safe I am AIDs is one of the biggest fears I could ever have, so my heart goes out to you and your partner, but hearing somebody use something that terrifies me so much as an insult in such a way makes me feel ill.

  54. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    Folks, I’ve removed MrMold’s comment privileges. Please do not feel you need to respond to him further.

    As for everyone else – insults towards the victim / blame of the victim is not allowed. Please keep your comments civil.

  55. Etoiles says:

    Wow.

    I used to work for CVS and if anyone had pulled ANYTHING like that while I was the supervisor in charge, they would have been sent home early, or, barring that, asked not to come back the following week.

    Too bad that the management at that store apparently doesn’t believe in running the store right.

  56. RStewie says:

    Wow. This has degenerated. Where’s Roz?

    So far as the OP…Submit a formal written complaint letter to the CVS HQ execs via snail mail. A lawyer is not necessary, and more than likely would be counter-productive. Dealing with people you’ve already spoken to is also a waste of time, so I wouldn’t bother to call the manager or district manager again.

    Be sure to keep a copy of the letter for yourself. A written letter delivered through the mail is more likely to get the attention your situation deserves. Just be sure to address it to a person, and not a department. If you don’t get a response, I’d be very surprised.

  57. Meggers says:

    Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

    To the OP- Have you contacted anyone in your community with this story? It seems like CVS will not do anything to rectify the situation on their own and it may be time to get this story out to the locals who shop at that particular store.

  58. SkokieGuy says:

    J, you’ve already got some good advice on places to go. Let me add my own thoughts.

    You don’t need gay hate crime laws for this to be illegal. As noted above, the outburst was potentially a HIPPA violation and likely considered ‘fighting words’ not constitutionally protected speech. Read your insurance policies, interfering with the obtaining of a lawful prescription or interfering with a receipient of government assistance, etc. all may be separate crimes.

    If you wish to pursue this, consider reporting this to the police immediately. Any drugstore has security cameras and you must have the police obtain the videotapes a.s.a.p. It may be too late already. Many stores recycle the tapes every week or two. If you can get the tapes, you have the documentation you need to pursue prosecution.

    I took a fast look, but I suspect an organization of CVS’s size has a ‘diversity’ commitment or possibly even a GBLT organization. That might be another avenue if you don’t wish to pursue legal action.

    Finally, to get attention on a nationwide level (besides the ever fabulous Consumerist) consider sending details of your story to Pam, one of the nation’s top LBGT bloggers: [www.pamshouseblend.com]

    It’s a whole lot easier to shrug off abuse. Good for you for being man enough to not just take it. Great big hugs to you and your partner.

    • Crymson_77 says:

      @SkokieGuy: Very good points!
      @jaybeebrad: Nice to be able to tell you directly…sorry this asshat caused such an issue! As stated previously, I will avoid CVS in favor of Walgreens until you feel satisfied with CVS’s response or the events that will surely take place. In addition, I would lightly recommend (wait until the police and your lawyer are involved) involving the press. Yes, consult with a lawyer as your rights have been violated on several levels and report this to the police this moment so that they can get the evidence from the security cameras immediately (as recommended by SkokieGuy).

    • @SkokieGuy: I don’t see the OP having any legal recourse unfortunately. I actually don’t think it passes as a HIPAA violation as the statement “Fucking AIDS Freak” lacks any individually identifiable information necessary for a violation, and also it appears that the information isn’t actually accurate PHI. While oral violations are covered – I’m guessing they’d need to be recorded to be used as evidence.
      As far as lawyering up for what the clerk said – what would you actually file charges for? The OP wasn’t denied service, just received really awful service. (And occasionally still patronizes the store – which could hamstring any civil proceedings.)

      That said – this story totally belongs on this site, and CVS really needs to fix this situation. Why they would want someone to treat a customer in such a shitty way to represent them?
      (For the OP – here is a link for filling a HIPAA violation – not sure how successful you’ll be, but one never knows. [www.hhs.gov] )

      • SkokieGuy says:

        @Im a people person. Who drinks.: I sure hope you’re wrong. Since Jay was clearly the person the “AIDS Freak” comment was directed to, anyone else in the store has now been informed of his medical condition.

        Let’s say you’re at your doctor’s office in the waiting room. The receptionist points to you and (without giving your name) says, “Hey you with the gonnoreah, the Doctor will see you in room 6″.

        Would that not be actionable, since your personal identification was not disclosed?

        • mmmsoap says:

          @SkokieGuy: Well, my understanding from reading (and re-reading) the post was that the OP is not HIV+, so technically “f***ing AIDS freak” is not factual information, thus HIPPAA violations may not apply. However, there are a lot of laws that specifically cover disclosing HIV/AIDS status above and beyond HIPPAA, due to the stigma attached, that may pertain to this incident. (I don’t know if these are state or federal, just that we’re trained at my school that we’re not allowed to ask anyone’s HIV/AIDS status, and if a student discloses a positive status, we’re not allowed to repeat it, even to other staff–including the school nurse.)

      • Crymson_77 says:

        @Im a people person. Who drinks.: In regards to the HIPAA violation, any identification of the person’s identity OR their condition is a violation of the HIPAA act. There are likely some Privacy Act violations that could be thrown in there as well. The clerk in question is in very serious trouble, as is CVS, they just don’t seem to know or understand that. The “I’m about to go off” comment is enough to earn a misdemeanor charge as well as he was threatening the OP. In regards to that, if the OP felt threatened, then the law applies. Depending on how gay friendly the attorneys general are, the charge could be upped accordingly…
        Most states have laws in place that specifically address this type of instance and some of them are felonies. Check your state’s laws in regards to homosexual rights and I bet you will find something VERY applicable to this situation.

        • @SkokieGuy: The issue is that he had his back turned to the OP and muttered a statement with no identifier. He wasn’t looking at the person, nor speaking to him. I wasn’t there, so maybe it was more obvious, but I think as told, it lacks the personal identifiablity necessary for HIPAA. Add to the fact that neither the OP nor his partner have AIDS – it’s likely that the manager of the store did not have access to the employees health information, and was making his erronous accusation based on the coupon used. It matters.

          @Crymson_77: I think you’ve been misinformed, as I feel that isn’t an accurate description of what causes a HIPAA violation. It would require individually identifiable information – and it would have had to have been based on information from the covered entity, which also isn’t clear in this case.
          As far as the threats – maybe – but the OP admittedly escalated the situation, and continues to occasionally shop there. Not sure why being gay friendly matters in this case – people other than gays do contract AIDS, and the OP wasn’t denied service.

          I think what CVS did is heinous – I don’t see the point in adding to the OP’s frustration by offering ultimately failing solutions. E-mail the execs – and if needed, go grassroots on them.

          • SkokieGuy says:

            @Im a people person. Who drinks.: Thanks for clarifying your comment. No matter what, it seems there are a wide variety of avenues, both legal and via community activism open to the OP.

            And Roz has already dealt with Mr. Mold everybody! You’ve managed to read his comments, but miss Roz’s?

            Hugs to Roz!~

          • Crymson_77 says:

            @Im a people person. Who drinks.: Having been back-end IT support for hospital billing systems, and as part of that job being FORCED to take training on HIPAA and what constitutes a violation, I would certainly regard my opinion on this matter over yours. I do not intend to attack you, but I do have to say that you don’t seem to be speaking from a point of knowledge on the matter. This was, absolutely, without question, without preamble, a violation of HIPAA. Any mention of the person’s name, OR the person’s disease or condition, OR the medication the person is receiving while within earshot of others is a violation of HIPAA. Each one stands on its own and if more than one is involved, the fine grows EXPONENTIALLY. The ONLY person allowed to give out ANY of this information is the patient or their proxy. That’s it.

            • @Crymson_77: Yeah – I still disagree. I work for a health insurance TPA – we’ve let people go for not following HIPAA to the letter. HIPAA is the dark beast that stalks me everyday, well, some days – but it is something I certainly deal with often. It sounds like your training was more of a “let’s make everyone paranoid to be safe rather than sorry” as opposed to “let’s make everyone actually know what the law is” – as you are grossly overstating what is a violation. I have to say it’s actually kind of funny when you say I don’t speak from knowledge when I’m paraphrasing the HIPAA Privacy Act regs.

              HIPAA violations require the use of PHI from the covered entity to one of it’s trading partners. It also requires the individually indentifiable data for a violation.

              This is not, IMO, a violation as it lacks the individually indentifiable piece, as the dickhead employee was not facing, nor from what I read, addressing the OP, and he was also muttering. He also didn’t use a direct article – he just “Fucking AIDS Freak” – which lacks any individual indentifier. Even if he was looking at the OP, it may have still be lacking demographic info necessary. I’m not sure how the courts are deciding this. Next – it’s actually lacking any PHI. Neither the OP, nor his partner have AIDS. For it to be a HIPAA violation – he’d have had to actually share real information – not his small-minded bullshit – pulled from the OP’s (or in this case, the OP’s partner’s) information transmitted.

              The HIPAA Privacy Act is much more about information security much more than it is about individual privacy.

              • Crymson_77 says:

                @Im a people person. Who drinks.: Pulled from [www.hhs.gov]

                Disclosure means the release, transfer, provision of, access to, or divulging in any other manner of information outside the entity holding the information. (Page 19 of the PDF)

                Also from page 19:
                Business associate:
                (1)
                Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this definition, business associate means, with respect to a covered entity, a person who:
                (i)
                On behalf of such covered entity or of an organized health care arrangement (as defined in §164.501 of this subchapter) in which the covered entity participates, but other than in the capacity of a member of the workforce of such covered entity or arrangement, performs, or assists in the performance of:
                (A)
                A function or activity involving the use or disclosure of individually identifiable health information, including claims processing or administration, data analysis, processing or administration, utilization review, quality assurance, billing, benefit management, practice management, and repricing; or
                (B)
                Any other function or activity regulated by this subchapter; or
                (ii)
                Provides, other than in the capacity of a member of the workforce of such covered entity, legal, actuarial, accounting, consulting, data aggregation (as defined in §164.501 of this subchapter), management, administrative, accreditation, or financial services to or for such covered entity, or to or for an organized health care arrangement in which the covered entity participates, where the provision of the service involves the disclosure of individually identifiable health information from such covered entity or arrangement,
                HIPAA Administrative Simplification Regulation Text March 2006
                or from another business associate of such covered
                entity or arrangement, to the person.

                Page 23:
                Use means, with respect to individually identifiable health information, the sharing, employment, application, utilization, examination, or analysis of such information within an entity that maintains such information.

                Also on page 23:
                Transaction means the transmission of information between two parties to carry out financial or administrative activities related to health care. It includes the following types of information transmissions:
                (1)
                Health care claims or equivalent encounter information.
                (2)
                Health care payment and remittance advice.
                (3)
                Coordination of benefits.
                (4)
                Health care claim status.
                (5)
                Enrollment and disenrollment in a health plan.
                (6)
                Eligibility for a health plan.
                (7)
                Health plan premium payments.
                (8)
                Referral certification and authorization.
                (9)
                First report of injury.
                (10)
                Health claims attachments.
                (11)
                Other transactions that the Secretary may prescribe by regulation.

                These all add up to what I have been saying all along.

    • mythago says:

      @SkokieGuy: Please don’t give bad legal advice. “Fighting words” doesn’t mean that anytime somebody calls you a nasty name, you get to argue about whether or not there’s a First Amendment issue. The OP would be best off contacting an LGBT advocacy group in his area; they can advise him as to what laws may or may not apply. HIPAA violations about people’s HIV status is not a new issue for them.

      @bonzombiekitty: A “right to work state” is one with anti-union laws. I think you mean the clerk is an employee at will. That is the law in every state; unless you have a contract, or the reason you were fired is against the law (e.g. your race), you can be fired at any time for any reason or no reason.

  59. unpolloloco says:

    The problem is that there is no way to prove that the incident happened at all. If CVS fired the guy, they’d be hit with a wrongful termination lawsuit. It’s a complete “he said she said” argument. Even the OP realizes this. Sure, the situation was not great, but people can be jerks. Companies cannot weed out all jerks with 30 minute interiews. They have to take a chance on people, and inevitably people will do idiotic stuff like this.

    • friendlynerd says:

      @unpolloloco:
      Oh then that makes it all ok I guess?

    • Crymson_77 says:

      @unpolloloco: If events play out on video as described, the OPs story gains considerable credence with the court and therefor, the asshat responsible for this reprehensible behavior would be made to pay. If nothing else, the effort alone is worth it to attempt to correct this situation so that no other person need experience it.

      BTW, Roz? THANK YOU!!!

    • bonzombiekitty says:

      @unpolloloco: To my knowledge, PA is a right to work state. You can get fired for any reason and there’s nothing the employee can do about it. There’s certain exceptions when it comes to things like contract violations, equal employment opportunity violations, and accusing an employee of committing a crime without evidence (in this case what the employee would be accused of, a HIPAA violation, is a civil issue, not criminal so it wouldn’t apply). At most, CVS might have to deal with a union if the employees are part of one.

  60. joltdude says:

    I had a similar issue with my insurance not going through on something.. and the pharmacy tech was like. You could always pay for them, and hurled a similar. Its people like you that cost this state…. Take it up with both corporate and the states licensing board… In my case, corporate reprimanded the pharmacy tech involved and when I went back, she would not serve me and handed me off directly to the pharmacist who apologized.. the state pharmacy licensing agency will not tolerate pharmacists “passing judgement” on their clientele… and corporate for another chain pharmacy took my complaint VERY seriously…She broke the code of conduct for a phamacy rep, Broke HIPAA by saying it within earshot of ANYONE… and you do NOT have to tolerate it.

  61. CajunGuy says:

    I’m no lawyer but, as someone above pointed out, saying “AIDS freak” while standing behind a pharmacy counter is probably breaking some HIPPA laws somewhere. If the OP was able to hear it, then anyone else standing in his general vicinity would also be able to hear it, breaking some rules about not divulging medical information. Even though the OP was filling a script for his partner, I don’t think it matters.

    About the “I’m about to go off…” thing; I’ve never heard someone proclaim they’re about to “get off” of work by saying “go off”, unless I guess their grammar is less than mediocre. But even if he/she was about to “get off”, why then would that person even approach the OP if they weren’t prepared to deal with the situation? It just wouldn’t make any sense. If the next manager was on his way to the clock, and you’re about to walk out of the door, why would you even walk into the situation? No matter how many times I re-read the statement, “go off” only means one thing in my mind…a proclamation of violence.

  62. Tonguetied says:

    I imagine walking around the sidewalk with a “CVS discrimates against Gays” sign might get some resolution, some TV time and a quick change in attitude.

    Depends on how public you want to make it.

  63. pixiegirl1 says:

    That is just mind boggling! I agree with all those who said file a complaint with the state because his comment is a violation of HIPPA law. I’d also file a report with the BBB. These people should loose their licenses to dispense medicine as well. Their job isn’t to judge people it’s to dispense medicine. I know that it’s over but when something like this happens I say it’s always best to try to get the name and number of a witness around who witnessed this (like someone in line behind you). That way you have another person who can back you up.

  64. SkokieGuy says:

    Actually, “I’m about to go off” is the gayest thing I’ve heard in ages.

    That was a common exclamation among 70’s drag queens and hustlers before launching into what would today be called a drama queen attack.

    Picture a fierce drag queen doing the angry neck roll thing, staring at you with dagger eyes (expertly made up of course) and doing a figure Z snap before warning the other party, “Honey, I am about to go OFF on you”.

    Will the more mature gay folk reading this thread concur?

    This concludes today’s moment in gay history.

    • MaliBoo Radley says:

      @SkokieGuy:

      Funny, when I hear the phrase “I’m about to go off”, I picture a heavy set black woman OR a weasly skinny redneck man.

      I have experience both of those …

      • PinkBox says:

        @radleyas: I’ve heard “I’m about to go off” in that kind of manner plenty of times also.

        I’ve never seen it used to mean someone is about to get off of work. They usually say “get off”, if anything.

        To the OP, I’m sorry you had to deal with that kind of situation, and I really hope something is done about that guy. Totally uncalled for.

        Thanks to Roz for taking away MrMold’s commenting abilities!

  65. harlock_JDS says:

    I think the best response is to get local gay rights activist groups involved. They have media connections and will bring down a unholy shitstorm on the place.

    • MaliBoo Radley says:

      @harlock_JDS:

      I was thinking this too. I can imagine a hell of a protest outside the store. Not the kind of publicity the store would want. At that point, they’ll be praying that they can just give this guy a $20 gift card and make it all go away.

    • trujunglist says:

      @harlock_JDS:

      Second vote here for start up a shitstorm.

      This employee should have been fired immediately. I can’t believe other employees just stood around and didn’t say anything. Customer service is terrible these days.

  66. handyr says:

    I am a pharmacist and while calling someone a F***ing AIDS freak is clearly wrong I’m pretty sure this situation would have been defused if you had not insisted on arguing over a $20 gift card. I have seen countless numbers of different coupons offering gift cards, etc for a new or transfered prescription and they all state (in small print) that they won’t be honored in conjunction with medicaid or any state or federally funded insurance program. The fact that it was honored in the past really means nothing. Be happy that you are $20 ahead. I don’t know what happened at CVS, but I’ve been in many situations exactly like this. The tone of your post makes me think that maybe you had an attitude going in. Is this really the most shocking thing that has ever happened to you? Do you really think that the people who offended you should lose their jobs? In addition I have to say that it’s difficult to work in a pharmacy everyday seeing people struggling to pay for and often going without their medicine. You coming in and getting $1900.00 worth of Atripla – yes, that’s what a months supply costs – for free then demanding a $20 gift card will make people resentful. – To all the posters who disagree with me – Unless you have seen what I have you just don’t know

  67. lizk says:

    This is so disturbing. I think gay rights groups would be very interested in this, and a good old fashioned write-in campaign might stir up some action from the store. Personally, I avoid CVS like the plague–they just don’t know how to treat customers, period.

  68. I am frankly appalled that Mr. Mold has not been warned/disemvowelled/banned yet.

  69. dlynch says:

    that is as fireable as anything could possibly be- that dude needs to be shitcanned and placed in a dark, dark cubicle far away from any customers…

  70. bria says:

    I am so happy that most of the commenters here support this man… I was afraid to see some comments about…well, bad things. And I didn’t.

    To the OP: I’m so sorry this happened to you. Like others have said, try to get involved with some gay-rights groups that will take your case to court:

    [www.lambdalegal.org]
    [www.glad.org]

  71. DrGirlfriend says:

    I just wanted to add my agreement with previous suggestions of bringing this to your local GLBT/HIV advocacy group. They wil likely have resorces to help you take this further. And it should, without a doubt, be taken further.

  72. lvixen says:

    Email addresses:

    TMRyan@cvs.com
    LJMerlo@cvs.com

    Basically the emails are the first initial, middle initial and last name @cvs.com

    I work for CVS/pharmacy (corporate), have for the last 20 years. Everyone has a bad day but this it totally inexcusable. I agree that severe action should be taken.

  73. BeeBoo says:

    I would file a HIPPA complaint and contact the state pharmacy regulating authority for starters. I would also contact Lambda Legal or a similar organization for advice.

  74. Toss says:

    Lots of good advice J, so I will just say you that no matter why you are at the pharmacy, it’s no one’s business. The comments were inappropriate and I hope you go higher up in the CVS chain, because this smacks of anarchy with the employees running the show. Heads should roll.

  75. Parting says:

    This is a perfect case, getting some pals on the sidewalk, with a poster of how the customer was insulted.

    And invite local media.

    Best vengeance ever.

  76. redrover189 says:

    Can someone sic Roz on MrMold? That was completely unneccessary. It doesn’t matter whether or not this guy was whiny (he didn’t sound like it) – it matters that what happened was completely inappropriate, unethical and possibly illegal on the part of the CVS staff.

    Also, I’ve always hated CVS – they have carpeted floors and for some reason, in a drug store, that annoys me. (I know, that’s weird).

  77. Adam W says:

    Full disclosure before i start this: I work for CVS as a photo lab supervisor.

    OK to all those commenting on this, the “front store manager” who was in the pharmacy was probably only a shift supervisor which means they are an hourly employee such as myself but they are the acting manager on duty if the store manager or assistant store manager are not present. I should also mention that i BELIEVE that is a HIPPA violation what they did but i am not 100% sure as I am not a certified pharmacy technician, and neither are shift supervisors. We are allowed to put away already filled prescriptions into the waiting bins and run register and that is it. So a front store employee would not have a license hanging up in the back, and yes, all pharmacists and pharmacy techs do have their license posted in a visible place. it is an indiana state law, which is the state i work in.

    i read that and i was just totally speechless. if we ever did something like that we would be in deep s*** with everybody in management. granted i work in a small town and we get nothing but positive comments about our store and we are quickly becoming the store where people say “now why can’t you be more like these guys?”

  78. Six_El_Sid says:

    This isn’t nearly as bad as what happened to J, but…

    me and my mom moved from western NY to SoCal. She transferred about 5 prescriptions from a CVS in NY to one close to us in California. The day she transferred them she told them she’d be back the next day for the goods.

    In the meanwhile, she finds one of those get $20 for transferring prescriptions. She thinks, well, I already transferred them, but I tell her to just take it with her when she picks them up.

    She comes back and says she didn’t get any money back, because the CVS told her something along the lines of it didn’t count because she transferred them from out of state?

    CVS doesn’t really want to give out that coupon money, do they?

  79. friendlynerd says:

    Looks like this is now getting some Digg justice. I tried submitting it but it was already there. Digg it up folks!

  80. HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

    OK, my bad, I should have read the rest of the thread first, I suppose.

  81. saradavidson says:

    If I lived in this city, I’d be happy to bring a few dozen people over to protest in front of the store. A HIPPA violation, a gross civil rights violation, and egregious personal abuse. Please, someone, find CVS execs email addresses so we can make our horror known.

  82. mermaidshoes says:

    i will just concur that CVS customer service is nonexistent. that said, i’d rather have bad or no customer service than outright offensive comments.

  83. pojken says:

    Would the Consumerist or Lifehacker do a article on recording such conversations? I make sure to have a button my phone dedicated to starting a sound or video recording in case this kind of stuff happens.

    Granted, I haven’t used it, but I know it’s there and quick to access. So, if anything people, program a button for sound recorder on your phone and start recording and getting these people.

    I don’t know the legal implications – I can’t imagine it being illegal, though how “usable” it might be in court is unknown. If anything, it will be enough evidence for higher ups to do something or provide a piece of embarrassing evidence.

    It’s shitty that people will treat other people like this.

  84. vastrightwing says:

    Don’t expect much from American retailers: policy and lawyers have taken over business relationships. Unfortunately, you can’t expect anyone to care about you as a customer. Don’t expect retail employees to let you use the restroom or to use the telephone to call 911. Don’t expect a retail clerk to help if a child in danger. Employees are in the store to stop you from stealing stuff and to find ways to charge you for incidental services. Retailers have no budget to train employees to be polite or thoughtful. In short, don’t expect much. This way, if you do encounter an odd employee who cares, you will be shocked in delight.

  85. bilge says:

    Completely irrelevant to the OP’s situation, but this CVS is in what used to be a movie theater. If you are lucky enough to go there when they’re doing HVAC work, they’ll often have the ceiling panels removed so you can see the original (and very beautiful) ceiling. Then you’ll wonder why any business would want to make a unique building so ordinary, and then you’ll start hating the place anyway.

  86. DarrenO says:

    Is it just me or has this story now disappeared from the main page? Just at the same time the how to contact people at CVS thread was posted. Just curious as to why it’s MIA now.

  87. jaybeebrad says:

    I am the original poster and I would just like to clarify that the CVS in question is NOT the CVS on 19th and Chestnut. I guess there’s no actual harm in specifying the location since I said it was 24/hours and the choices are limited, but I’d like to hold off until I’ve spoken to someone at the AIDS Law Project of PA…

  88. senor_tron says:

    sad

  89. ARPRINCE says:

    They should have a copy of the tape. They have monitors in the pharmacy area (well at least they have on my location).

  90. Anah says:

    That’s horrible! I dealt with CVS pharmacists and technician 8 hours day (Software/IT side job). Most of them are downright rude. I just got off the phone with one of their pharmacists who called me an ‘inbred hick’.

    Also, it’s a HIPAA violation when he made that statement – Fucking AIDS FREAK. I hope that person will be held liable of his behavior!!

    • Crymson_77 says:

      @Anah: Sounds like it is time for a shakeup in the world of CVS. Massive training or retraining…or simply firing seems like a good idea to me…

  91. ARP says:

    What’s amusing to me is that people think that calling this guy out as a bigot, homophobe, etc. will have any negative consequences. There’s a whole group of religious fundies that will praise CVS for their response and push even harder for the right for a pharmacist to be able to refuse to fill any prescription based on religious beliefs.

    Go the HIPAA route. Of course, since Bush has injected politics into every possible nook and crany of our government, you might not get any response because of your “lifestyle.”

  92. jaybeebrad says:

    Original poster here again. I just got home from running an errand to discover two calls from CVS (two different numbers) on my caller ID, and a voicemail! The VM is from a man identifying himself as Mike Thorn/Thornton? (couldn’t hear.) He said he is calling from CZS in Rhode Island and that he’s the director of customer relations. He would appreciate an opportunity “just to talk to you about it.”. Interesting that he didn’t feel it was important enough to contact me back when this first happened, but suddenly it’s on the web and drawing attention and my phone is ringing.

    I’m still going to wait for some advice from ALP before I call him back. I guess I’m optimistic.

    • theysaidwhat says:

      @jaybeebrad: I don’t have anything to add to the suggestions that you have already received, but I did want to let you know that I am among those who are appalled at the treatment you received at the CVS. I sincerely hope that you and your partner (boyfriend? not sure which relationship word you prefer) are doing well and that this incident is resolved to your satisfaction.

  93. Shannon says:

    My heart goes out to J. I read this in stunned disbelief. I will never shop at CVS. For one they suck and are too expensive and 2, after this- I hope they got as much negative publicity as they possibly can get.

  94. Crymson_77 says:

    To break it down into simpler terms, HIPAA does not cover you from releasing information of a health or personally related nature. It DOES cover the business you are interacting with for health related coverage releasing ANY AND ALL information about you or your proxy.

    • @Crymson_77: I’m afraid it does nothing of the sort. You’re quoting the regs I paraphrased to you back to me. They still mean what I said they did.

      Check your page 19 (a) – see the individually indentifiable part – yeah – it’s required for a violation. Saying “Fucking AIDS Freak” lacks that. Individually indentifiable actually has a specific meaning as far as what is consider indentifiable and what is not. Seeing as the regs were written about transmitted data, there is nothing about implied meanings or anything of the sort.

      Now check your page 23 – First -“Transaction means the transmission of information between two parties to carry out financial or administrative activities related to health care.” That supports my claim that HIPAA privacy act is about information security, not front line privacy. In fact – page 23 really doesn’t have anything to do with actual patient care – but health plan to it’s vendors. It looks like you snipped it right below the trading partner agreement sections. We use those, for instance, to set up transmission of data files between enrollment systems and vendors.
      A clerk muttering is not a transacation or a transmission of financial or adminstration or anything to do with health care. Also – the jack ass didn’t actually say anything true about the OP or his partner. For it to be a HIPAA violation – it actually has to contain information from the medical record. Unless the medical record is wrong, then what the dude said was not HIPAA related, and just his jackassery. If the OP wanted to – he may have a case for slander, but not HIPAA.

      The way HIPAA has been enforced deals almost entirely with transmission of data files. That was the whole purpose – the government added in these HIPAA clearance forms as window dressing, and as far as I can tell, they have generally ignored enforcing the law on that level. When you received you training – which I’m guessing was around the 05 start of the law, the industry was going ape-shit over the law. No one knew how the government was going to act about this. As it turns out – while HIPAA is certainly not to be scoffed at, it did change the way information is passed, but it hasn’t be extremely burdensome on most entities, as far as I have heard.

  95. topgun says:

    I quit going to CVS because the customer service sucked.
    I also avoid Best Buy…Comcast Etc.

  96. I won’t boycott MY CVS because the staff there are wonderful and I wouldn’t want anything to hurt their local business. (Besides, a boycott on a store in OH does little to affect one in PA) BUT, if the OP would PM (we can do that, can’t we?) the store number/addy of the location that wronged him I would be happy to write a letter to corporate in support of him and his efforts to get an appropriate response from CVS.

    • scoosdad says:

      @JamieSueAustin:

      I won’t boycott MY CVS because the staff there are wonderful and I wouldn’t want anything to hurt their local business. (Besides, a boycott on a store in OH does little to affect one in PA)

      You’re kidding right? Do you think CVS stores are all like locally owned pharmacies that have a local franchise agreement to use the CVS logo? They’re all corporate-owned locations that have done nothing but stomp those small mom and pop pharmacies out of existence in this country. YOUR CVS is just as much part of the problem as the one cited in Philly.

  97. shanerz says:

    I’d be concerned with any establishment that simply dismisses a situation such as this as, “Well, if it happens again, let me know.” No, I don’t think I will do your job for you; train your staff better and be a little more particular in the hiring process. I choose to shop elsewhere!

  98. alilz says:

    I’m not surprised to hear that this happened at a CVS AT ALL.

    I had a horrible experience where my prescription was given to someone with the same last name as mine when that person went through the drive through — in fact the person was getting ready to pay when she realized the mistake. Luckily that person was my mother so she realized the mistake and handed the prescription back and tried to get CVS to understand the problem. Mom was told by the pharmacist “we can’t tell who is who we don’t know who anyone is”. This was the pharmacist and not a tech.

    I went in person to discuss the situation and was totally blown off. Told repeatedly that they had no way of telling who a customer was, especially if the last name was the same. Which is just.. flabbergasting. I tried to call the district manager but to no avail, I never got through to any one.

    I just switched to Walgreens where they were horrified to hear what had happened and explained their procedures to help prevent mix ups from happening.

  99. khefer says:

    i’m as middle of the road as they come, but this guy has unprotected sex, gets the taxpayers to pay for his aids medicine, then wants cvs to give him free gift cards everytime he switches around his prescriptions? they don’t want to give you the gift cards because then they’ll lose money off your “Medicaid-related” prescription, dude.

  100. jaybeebrad says:

    @khefer: what is middle of the road about assuming that my partner became HIV+ by having unprotected sex? That’s so ignorant and NON-middle-of-the-road it’s laughable. Did you assume that because he is gay, or because you think that’s the only way people become HIV+?

    As to the other half of your comments: the “taxpayers” include US. We were part of the working sector our whole lives – my partner, in particular, worked for the same company for 5 years – before his health deteriorated to the point where we needed to dip into “the taxpayer money” to get medical assistance. Maybe if we hadn’t paid taxes every working year of our lives, what you said would make sense. But here’s a clue: medicaid exists for the PURPOSE of receiving it when you’re in need. That’s why we – and everyone else – paid taxes in the first place.

    Maybe get a clue before chiming in…

  101. khefer says:

    jaybeebrad: if you want to tell your business all over the internet so people feel sorry for you, how did your partner get aids? oh don’t tell me, now all of a sudden your business is private.

    i don’t have a problem with public medicine. i don’t think people should die in the street while america gets rich from the blood money they made from stealing oil. but people should also make responsible health decisions. cvs doesn’t owe you a gift card for your public-subsidized health care.

    • shor0814 says:

      @khefer:

      Classy, just classy.

      The clerk that said he was about to go off, if he is anything like my stepson, he was not getting off work, he was going to go off on the OP. I hear it all the time.

    • am84 says:

      @khefer: Inappropriate. He shouldn’t have to share how his partner became HIV+. For all you know, it was through a blood transfusion. It’s none of anyone’s business. He is just here to share his story about being treated unfairly at CVS, not tell everyone his personal business.

    • mmmsoap says:

      @mmmsoap: I realize my first comment didn’t really leave enough info to make a point.

      I work at a therapeautic school for mentally ill adolescents, and since we provide mental health services, we also have to follow HIPPAA regulations. However, we have no intra-agency confidentiality. That is, if a student discloses anything to staff, that staff has the right (and obligation) to pass along the info to other staff in the building, as necessary. Families know this ahead of time, and it’s not different than a doctor sharing information with a nurse or other practioner in a hospital/office setting.

      However, that being said, the info we are legally prohibited from passing along is HIV status, due to other HIV/AIDS laws separate from HIPPAA.

    • ARP says:

      @khefer: “but people should also make responsible health decisions”

      By that logic, nothing should be covered. Heart attack? Your fault, you fat big. Cancer? Your fault for eating too much processed food. Flu? Your fault for not maintaining a healthy immune system and not exposing yourself to germ. Car accident? Your fault for putting yourself in the situation where you could get into an accident. Pregnant? Your fault for letting that happen (even if you wanted it to).

      Of course we abosolutely MUST cover Viagra and must NEVER cover birth control pills.

  102. humphrmi says:

    Let the Anti-Defamation League ([www.adl.org]) know what happened, that there is a bigot working at a CVS, and which one, and who. ADL doesn’t just pursue complaints of anti-semitism; they love taking on other bigotry cases. Nothing may come of it; they might not think it’s a big enough case. But on the other hand, they at least will note that there is a potential discrimination problem, and if further complaints come in about this bigot, eventually they will take action.

  103. khefer says:

    I’ll tell you what’s not classy. Not being grateful enough to have your medicine for your vice disease provided by the state and making a scene when a private company won’t give you free money for it.

    • jaybeebrad says:

      @khefer: ;) I can see khefer’s posting capabilities being stripped away even now…

      This has nothing to do with whether or not I had the right to receive the gift card or not. *I* wasn’t the one who offered that promotion in the first place, CVS was. And anyway, it’s pretty hard to take anything you take seriously when you refer to AIDS/HIV as a “vice disease.”

      As far as I’m concerned, anyone who attempts to blame someone for being sick – especially when they don’t have all of the facts – is about as relevant to a conversation as the buzzing of a fly’s wings.

      • badhatharry says:

        @jaybeebrad: If “Vice Disease” means what I think it means, then I think we’ve found someone who is worse than Mr. Mold.

        It doesn’t matter how he got sick, what does matter is that he does not deserve to die quietly for lack of health care in a first world country.

        Seriously, why does this guy still get to comment?

      • RhymePhile says:

        @jaybeebrad:

        You can also contact HRC, the Human Rights Campaign, which works for equal rights for GLBT people.

        Here’s a link to Pennsylvania organizations and agencies.

        As a member of the GLBT community, I’m going to recommend my girlfriend move her prescriptions elsewhere in solidarity.

    • Ubermunch says:

      @jaybeebrad:

      Dude… Don’t lower yourself to the asshole’s level. Your are totally in the right here no matter how much you are “spinning” your own story.

      As for state provided meds…. It’s fine by this taxpayer. I’m absolutely certain that your continued health benefits society a LOT more than you becoming ill due to your inability to afford expensive medicines. Economic policy-wise speaking it just makes good sense. And humanity-wise speaking it makes good sense.

      Also… You seem like a decent enough person and that’s just a bonus.

      Don’t let the pinheads drag you down.

  104. jbright999 says:

    This story is absolutely horrifying, but that goes without saying.

    Who wakes up in the morning and decides to be that disgusting? Something must have pissed that guy off before the incident… regardless, it is still incredibly obscene and offensive. I hope the employee gets fired and is never hired for any idiot job like he had. ever.

  105. khefer says:

    but apparently i hurt your feelings bad enough that you have to reply

  106. khefer says:

    i won’t get banned, but i’m smiling because no more free gift cards for your bitchy ass. go cvs! you’re my pharmacy of choice now

    • badhatharry says:

      Sorry, I meant @khefer:

    • Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

      @khefer: Bye-bye, troll.

      Commenters: Please do not feel that you need to respond to khefer, either.

      • Crymson_77 says:

        @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz: Our local deity to the rescue! Thanks Roz!

      • Dyscord says:

        @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz: After reading through this entire thread, I have to say that you are a goddess. THANK YOU.

        Now, as I said, I’ve read through this entire thread and there really isn’t much I can add that hasn’t been said already. I’m bisexual and black and that can be a double whammy sometimes. It’s really a shame that such bigotry exists in this day and age. I honestly thought that we were over that.

        I am glad to see the community banding together though.

        As for CVS…I don’t go there. I thank god there’s a walgreens in the area because CVS tends to be a huge corporate prick.

        And I dunno about you guys, but “go off” to me has always meant “lose my temper.” If I’m about to leave my shift then I and everyone I know would use the term “Clock out”.

  107. GIZisGOD says:

    Years ago, before VP, Deaf people had to use relay services via a tty and some CVS pharmist said “its a fucking deaf person on the phone” thinking the relay opr wouldn’t tell me. I went and complained to the manager 20 mins later in person and of course she said he denied it so it didn’t happen. I HATE CVS! Bunch of hairy balls sucking, cocksuckers is all they are.

  108. thelushie says:

    Oh, and similarly, my mother was given a herpes medication as a preventive measure against shingles (they are apparently doing that now). I am absolutely dreading getting it filled. Our Target Pharmacy is awesome. But people are still stupid.

    • SacraBos says:

      @thelushie: “Herpes” medications are starting to be used for a variety of viral infections, since they are some of the few anti-virals available. Of course, Shingles is a type of Herpes Zoster, though. You should never have to feel embarrassed about filling a prescription.

      @god_forbids: Unless there’s a Philly dialect I’m missing, “go off” generally means you’re going to get angry, especially coupled with the “freak” comment. You generally “get off” work, or possibly “clock out”, rather than “go off” the clock.

  109. StoneKitten says:

    Ah, Philthy. The city of unbrotherly love. I’ve found warmer attitudes in da Bronx NYC baybee.

  110. I don’t think the OP has standing to claim a HIPAA violation, since he was not the person whose health status was divulged. If the clerk had said “[OP's Partner] is a fucking AIDS freak”, then that would almost certainly be a violation. By way of analogy, if the cops do a completely illegal raid of your friend’s house (a friend you don’t live with or anything like that) and find evidence against you, you are almost always barred from having that evidence thrown out, since it was not your rights (but your friend’s) that were violated. Your friend could still sue the cops for the raid, but you are screwed.

    OP may have standing for a defamation suit. Alleging that someone has a “foul or loathsome disease” is slander per se, which means actually defamation is not required (so there is no opinion, fair comment, or criticism defenses”. Of course the OP may have a hard time emotionally claiming someone said he has a “foul disease” when someone he loves has the same disease (I am in no way implying AIDS is foul or loathsome).

    As for khefer, you’re a useless turd and I look forward to your banishment.

  111. failurate says:

    It appears employment booth outside Lincoln Financial Field has been a real success for CVS.

  112. retailguru says:

    Not sure about the whole HIPPA thing but can tell you the “I look into it” and “They’ll be dealt with” really means “I really could care less and just want to get off the phone”. The manager banks on you not calling him to follow up or contacting customer service again. Follow up with him and the corporate office number if results. Another tip in complaint writing, be specific in what you want. Don’t suggest a gift card would be nice demand one for your trouble. Good luck!

  113. lvixen says:

    @jaybeebrad:

    Earlier I posted emails for the two highest officials at CVS/pharmacy. Though I work at corporate, I was horrified by your experience. In truth, it could have been any disease that they could have commented on, it still would have been extremely unprofessional, rude and juvenile. Pharmacists and techs alike are supposed to be professional people. Obviously this is not the case. I hope you will email Tom Ryan and Larry Merlot about this. I am truly surprised that you didn’t hear from Customer Service. I see a list of complaints every week and what is done to satisfy the customer (I don’t work in customer service, but we get the complaints regarding our department). A gift card is not sufficient apology in my opinion but it should be the very least that is done. I’m not high up in the company, but I offer my sincere apology that you had such a negative/horrible experience. I wish you and your partner the best.

    • bria says:

      @lvixen:
      This was a really nice comment. CVS isn’t all bad, everyone!

      To the OP: HIV/AIDs is definitely not a “vice” disease and anyone who says that is an idiot, plain and simple. I’m in college, going into sociology and English and I want to work for a gay rights organization someday to ensure that when something like this happens, people know about it and TAKE ACTION.

      Thank you for submitting this story and starting an important dialogue, even if some people were morons.

  114. 4ster says:

    @khefer: You wouldn’t know anything about this, would you:

    [www.youtube.com]

    If you do, I’m sure you aren’t using our tax money to subsidize anything you need to buy from Dr. Scholl for YOUR little vice habit, are you, Footsie?

    And I bet after you get banned, you are going to go “Wee wee wee.” All the way home.

  115. Livardo says:

    What an awful thing to happen to you. What could go through someone’s head where they think it’s acceptable to treat people that way? If I could talk to that guy I would say “Dude, it’s a job.. you’re getting paid to interact with the public, be curteous and polite. What the hell is wrong with you?” Well, perhaps I would want to punch him in the head for being a neanderthal bigot (like the pair of bufoons who posted here earlier) but that’s besides the point :). I really hope you get at least an apology out of this bud.

  116. god_forbids says:

    Bullshit on anyone trying to say that saying “I’m about to go off [the clock]” is not rude as hell. A customer is not a “this” to be “handled”! It is never appropriate to pass the buck, or treat the customer as a nuisance (e.g. NEVER refer to the customer in the 3rd person right in their face!). I worked retail and service industry for a long time, this kid was an ass and deserves anything and everything the OP can imagine.

  117. kryrinn says:

    CVS is a horrible company – I never go there if I can avoid it.

    I was doing research on the availability of emergency contraception in one suburban midwestern county. I called each of the pharmacies in the county, 1/4 of which were CVS.

    At about a third of the CVS’s, I was given blatantly incorrect information, including several pharmacists who blatantly said the pill causes abortions. CVS was quite repeatedly the most rude of all pharmacies to speak with.

    Total, anyone who goes into any pharmacy in this county has a 1/4 chance of going into a CVS, and a 1/5 chance of going to a non-stocking pharmacy or being given blatantly wrong information, and not being able to obtain this over-the-counter medication.

  118. scooby2 says:

    Gay, Lesbian, or straight should not matter. No one should be treated this way. This definitely sounds like a HIPAA violation. People like this must be punished. Corporations that allow this kind of behavior from their employees should be penalized. The manager has every right to think of you as he wants but to say it out loud is wrong and unexcusable.

    I hope you go after them!

  119. PatienceGoose says:

    i agree that this could be assault and a hate crime. i dont know about other states, but in texas one can be arrested for “simple assault” for cursing at someone, if that person takes offense and takes their complaint to an officer and files a report. also, by aiming said assault at a specific disadvantaged class, that constitutes hate-crime. i do have a friend who is HIV+ and i’d quickly come to his defense if he reported this kind of b.s. to me, just as i would for anyone who reported a similar situation, regardless of their health or other status!

  120. beeberoni says:

    you know, there really is something that needs to be said about customer service in Philly. I’ve had a worker whistle and holler at me while staring at my ass in CVS. I’ve also had another one “pretend” to speak chinese to me with a bunch of gibberish, and a lot of “ching chong”.

    seriously. what’s going on here? as much as i love living in philadelphia, i have never encountered as much bigotry and racism as i have here.

    recently 2 white men in a lexus pulled up as I was walking down 17th street and told me to “go back to china you f-ing chink!”

    i was speechless. and i’m not even from china. i’m from arizona.

  121. baristabrawl says:

    This might come out wrong, please no flaming. People compare these insults (being called a faggot, etc) with being called the “N” word. I don’t think the words carry the same insult level, because of history and attention, but aren’t people trying to do the same thing with the words? If you call someone the “N” word, it’s the worst insult you can think of to hurt that person as fast as you can. Essentially, people who use these types of insults are trying to grab the worst thing they can and hurl it at someone as hard as they can to disable and hurt them.

    While the words mean different things to different people, the intent to harm is the same. If I had been in the same situation I might have pressed the issue a bit more with the manager on duty, or the pharmacy manager.

    Also? You don’t rehabilitate this type of behavior. You eliminate it. If you think it can be rehabilitated and a band-aid put on it, then you are a HR nightmare waiting to happen.

    • theysaidwhat says:

      @baristabrawl: “Also? You don’t rehabilitate this type of behavior. You eliminate it. If you think it can be rehabilitated and a band-aid put on it, then you are a HR nightmare waiting to happen.”

      I’m not sure that you are right on this point. Years ago, in college, I worked as a retail manager in two different stores. About once a week we’d have an employee who was very worked up about a customer interaction. I always told them,”Hey, for 5 bucks an hour, you don’t need to go home with a headache. If you feel yourself becoming upset, call a manager and let us finish the transaction, problem-solving, etc. It’s OK- that’s why we’re here.” This worked with most of the employees we has who got emotional when dealing with clients. Of course, this approach assumes that you have a competent manager on duty, ;)

      Also, in no way implying that this was the case with the OP, changing to a different employee often calms a tense situation. The customer gets a fresh start with his or her concern, knows they are being heard and this stops the escalation of emotion in many cases. Again, you need competent managers for this to produce the intended result of resolving the situation with a minimum of tension.

    • Dyscord says:

      @scoosdad: If one CVS is filled to the brim with dicks, pricks and general asses and another CVS in another state is filled with decent, hardworking people, I wouldn’t lump them all in the same group.

      If every store was like that then I could see boycotting the entire chain, but I think in this case, this one store is the only one deserving of our ire.

  122. adent1066 says:

    When will companies realize that by paying very low wages to front line clerks they tend to attract people who basically don’t give a S*#@ about your company or your customers. Now the company will be sued for millions of dollars. Where’s your savings now ?

  123. jimmydeweasel says:

    Where is Frank Rizzo when you need him?

  124. iDuckie says:

    It’s the pharmancy that keeps me from going to CVS. They are absolutely horrible. I had a viral infection earlier this year, and went to CVS to fill my multiple scripts, but had forgotten my script card. Well, my work goes thru CVS Caremark, so I was sure they could look it up. Not only did they refuse to look it up, they refused to fill them period without it. So, we went to Walgreens, they were more than happy to look up my card info and filled the script post haste.

    Def. report this to the BBB and send an EECB. If nothing happens, take it to the media and the section of Medicaid you are with.

  125. Dawgs_Phan says:

    I absolutely agree with everyone regarding HIPAA. You should contact HIPAA and let them know how they violated your personal health information. They can be severely fined.
    On another note, even if those uneducated scums do get fired for being rude to you… they probably will still not see that their actions were wrong and continue to be the scums of the earth.

  126. rdm24 says:

    I thought Consumerist had new guidelines to prevent trollish behavior.

    Why is Mr. Mold and his gratuitous homophobia still posting comments?

    • friendlynerd says:

      @rdm24:
      He’s not, read back in the comments.

      I do wish people would stop replying to him though, he’s not coming back at this point.

  127. Saboth says:

    Someone cussed you out and it is the most horrifying ordeal of your life? Ouch.

    No excuse for the employees there, but cmon…say fuck them and shop elsewhere. I have a pretty long line of places on the “boycott” list that I will never shop at again.

  128. Petra says:

    It’s possible that by “go off”, he meant off shift…but no matter what he meant by it, the way he treated you was atrocious. I can’t believe we still live in such an intolerant society. No matter what his personal feelings regarding gays may be, there is absolutely no excuse for what he said to you, and you deserve no less than a public face-to-face apology, as well as the giftcard the coupon entitled you to!

    What sickens me is that he probably will not even be reprimanded, since there is no ‘proof’ of what he did and any witnesses will possibly be too intimidated to rat out on the manager. It’s sad to think that the only way to be believed these days is to have it all on tape!

  129. Synth3t1c says:

    I found a lot of their contact information:

    +1-401-7651500 (Phone)
    +1-401-7622137 (Fax)

    Thomas M. Ryan – Chairman of the Board, President, Chief Executive Officer

    David B. Rickard – Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer

    Larry J. Merlo – Executive Vice President and President – CVS/Pharmacy – Retail

    Douglas A. Sgarro – Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and President – CVS Realty Co.

    Howard A. McLure – Executive Vice President and President – Caremark Pharmacy Services

    David M. Denton – Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer, Controller

    V. Michael Ferdinandi – Senior Vice President – Human Resources and Corporate Communications

    Paula A. Price – Senior Vice President- Financial Administration

    Jonathan C. Roberts – Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of CVS Pharmacy, Inc.

    Helena Foulkes – Senior Vice President – Health Services of CVS Pharmacy, Inc

  130. Phexerian says:

    Ok, sounds like the technician, not the pharmacist, said this lewd comment. This is what you can do…

    1) File a complaint with the BBB

    2) Call that pharmacy back, or another CVS pharmacy in the area and ask to speak to the pharmacist. When the pharmacist gets on the line, ask for the PHARMACY DISTRICT MANAGER’s name, number, email. Not the retail district manager, but the pharmacy district manager. Complain to him/her and make sure they know.

    3) Send an EECB/letter to corporate and let them know what happened.

    4) File a complaint with the board of pharmacy for your state. The pharmacist will probably not get in trouble, but it will put a lot of heat on CVS as well as the pharmacist there. (I want to make clear that a pharmacist cannot control their techs every minute of the day. Bad apples get into the work place sometimes and get weeded out pretty quick).

    4) You may can file a complaint for CVS breaking HIPAA law which is federal. I do not know if it was broken. It may depend on IF anyone actually heard what was said. The law may state that it is only broken if someone else receives the PHI. Just transmitting the information may not be breaking the law. I am not sure on this.

    5) You may can talk to an attorney about a slander/defamation of character lawsuit. If anything, they can threaten the hell out of CVS and get you some money out of it. Calling someone an AIDs freak when they do not have AIDS is pretty defamatory. CVS’ attorneys will fight you on this but it may be worth a shot. This will involve lots of time though and it may not get anywhere.

    6) Contact local and national aids/hiv groups about this situation. They can put a lot of heat on CVS for something such as this.

    7) Protest outside the store on a Monday (This is usually the busiest day for a pharmacy) that says “This CVS called me an AIDS freak!” This may get the attention of the local news as well.

    8) Contact the local news with your story. I bet they will eat this up. Contact the local news paper as well and let them know what happened.

    I honestly think CVS owes you a few hundred dollars on a gift card for something that bad.

    -Phex
    -3rd Year PharmD / MBA Candidate

  131. AT203 says:

    [www.aidslawpa.org]

    The AIDS Law Project of Philadelphia may be able to help. I imagine that they could advise you whether the employee in question violated any laws by disclosing your HIV status to anyone within earshot.

  132. frogman31680 says:

    Ok, I got in on this one a bit late.

    This is open to so many possibilities. So I will look at it from both sides.

    CVS GUY – Maybe he was late and was saying he was going off the clock. Maybe he was saying that he was gonna go off on him. WHO CARES. As for the fact that he was a pharmacist or not I’m assuming he was. By looking at the prescription and then calling him an AIDS FREAK then that would nail it on the head right there. Unless he is taking it himself, he KNOWS what the drug is for.

    PISSED OFF CUSTOMER – Maybe you got lucky and they gave you the coupon the first time. Almost NO COMPANY GIVES COUPONS OUT FOR ANY STATE FUNDED MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM! I would know from experience. Mine is not exactly medicaid, but it is a state funded PPO or HMO or whatever the hell you want to call it.

    That being said, they usually have a list that states which insurance they do not use on that coupon. YOU should have asked for it. Once again, the first time you got lucky.

    NOW… I’m not gonna be like Mr. Moldy Crotch and take just one side. I don’t know how anyone can because we are only hearing one side of it. But both sides produce points.

    1-Be nice to retail clerks. I work off commission. I sell an item that requires another item to use it. When you buy the main item you are supposed to get one accessory for free. If you piss me off, I’d rather get the extra 10 bucks toward my sales commission. Do you know any better. No and my boss loves it cause he makes more money as well. So, save 10 bucks. Be nice to the people that serve you.

    2-If someone tells you you are not eligible for something, ask for it in writing. I’ve heard a million times that whining crap about, “well the other guy lets me get a discount so why cant you…” In this case you got lucky. Whining about it doesn’t help your cause.

    NOW…

    3-Don’t take shit from anyone. I’ve adopted this policy a LONG TIME ago. I’m not gay, I don’t have AIDS, and I’ve got nothing visible that would give anyone a reason to give my shit. Now in this case, you are already at a disadvantage. People look at you differently already I’d assume. So you should be used to people giving you shit. Don’t take it. At that moment, I would have whipped out the cell phone, called their complaint line. Then called the local health department and ask if there is a line to file a complaint for medical discrimination. Then I would have asked for the managers home phone number if he was not there. Then told them to call his cell cause your calls are not gonna stop.

    I would have then called the local law enforcement and filed the “hate crime” against you. I would have charged him with that and libel or slander. (can’t remember which one is verbal) I would have thrown everything at that guy that I could. By then if they didn’t get a manager of some kind there, I’d have kept going.

    All that could have been solved by asking from the very beginning to see that policy in writing.

    If this really happened like you said it did, then I wish that that bastard would rot in the seventh layer of hell.

    But then again, If you use the fact that you are gay to try and get your way, then I reserve a spot for you there as well. I don’t like when people take who they are and try to play it up to get anything… including sympathy. His comment was and had nothing to do with the fact you are gay. It had to do with aids. So why, pray tell, do we care so much that you had to come out at the beginning of your story to tell us that. Maybe it happened during a blood transfusion? How should we know or care. All we care about is what happened to you by CVS. Save the backstory.

    People are gay, straight, assholes, dickheads, and many other things. The ones that make life difficult for others should just sit at home and watch cartoons and eat rice crispies. That way the rest of us can just enjoy life.

  133. DCGaymer says:

    Here in DC In the late 90’s. I had the displeasure of dealing with CVS in for prescriptions on a regular basis. They were always rude, over worked, understaffed and untrained. The constant refrain heard from cashiers was “I’m new here”. They constantly ran out of certain medications and rather than call to inform you that your prescription couldn’t be refilled in a timely fashion….would make you come back day after day and say, “It’ll be in tomorrow”, “It’ll be in tomorrow”, “It’ll be in tomorrow”.

    I eventually moved moved my prescriptions to a smaller pharmacy called “Bio-Scrip”…where the same clerk Kiki, has worked for last 4 or 5 years….and no matter what the issue is ….we talk it out and find a way to resolve it. I call in my prescription refills once a month….and she immediately recognizes my voice. If I’m traveling and need my prescriptions overnighted …it’s not an issue. They’ve NEVER run out of any of my medications. NEVER. They’ve made mistakes…but they admit it and correct them immediately. I couldn’t really ask for anything more.

    Don’t put up with likes of CVS. There are better pharmacies out there and they DO care.

  134. I am sorry that happened to you, sir. I will not frequent CVS any more until this gets resolved. I hope you sue the pants off them and win big.

    OTOH, why are people bringing up God and Christianity? You know as well as I do that a person that says such a thing is most likely not a Christian. Please stop using every opportunity to be hate-filled against a religious belief and group, because you make yourselves appear dumb and intolerant yourselves.

    • brodiec says:

      As somebody who works in the customer service field I almost never wish that somebody loses their job over a single incident. Otherwise kind people make mistakes and say things they don’t mean to say when they’re under stress. However in a pharmacy it should be understood on day one that referring to anyone’s condition in a derogatory fashion, let alone publicly breaching privacy, is unequivocal grounds for termination. Let alone a highly stigmatized condition like HIV.

  135. GothGirl says:

    I had a very similar situation happen at a CVS about 6 years ago. (I no longer live anywhere near one, but when I lived in Washington DC they were like one per block). At the time I worked in a mostly GLBT area of DC, and had recently gotten prescriptions for a major medical problem. I might also note here, the prescriptions were written by a doctor at George Washington University Hospital… so they weren’t exactly coming from some back alley doctor. This particular CVS was pretty much busy 24/7, so I dropped off my prescriptions at lunch and told them I would be back when I got off work later that night. About 7 hours later, I went to get my meds… only to find out that the pharmacist “needed to have a word with me”. At that point, the pharmacist rather loudly across the counter (not even bothering to meet me in the slightly more private little fake booth thing designed for privacy) started asking me several extremely personal questions. She asked me why I was taking these medications, and kept giving me a look like I had just run over her dog. I told her in the nicest way, “that that information is between me and my doctor”. And that if she had a question about the medications she should call the hospital, I had legit prescriptions and insurance and I wanted what I had come in for. She told me then I would have to come back tomorrow since they weren’t ready. I responded that they had had the scrips since lunch and I needed them now. So grunting she starts getting my stuff together making the biggest amount of drama about it as possible. I really couldn’t make out a lot of what she was saying but Jesus’ name came up quite a bit. After she was done she gave the prescriptions to some young lady to ring up and told her “I’m done with this freak, just get it out of here”. I was so mad, but I was more embarrassed than anything. I never went back to CVS, I did call the little customer service line but of course nothing ever happened. I am a 30+ years old professional, I have 7 years of college, and I think most people would call me very even tempered. But I felt like I had almost been violated by this woman… I know these pharmacy techs aren’t doctors, but most of them follow the same guidelines at least regarding privacy and respect I would think.

  136. Lowenthal says:

    CVS just purchased a large drug store chain in my area, Longs, which is a very well-respected chain.

    I have no doubts that CVS will quickly destroy it. This follow RiteAid buying most of another regional chain, Payless, and destroying it. Both chains gave their local managers a lot of leeway in product lines they carry. I.e. I was amused that the Longs near me carries a lot of Park brand bicycle tools. Another nearby Longs has a good fishing and camping department (they took over some of the Payless chain).

    One more store to put on my “do not patronize” list.

  137. battra92 says:

    In all objectiveness, how can you prove it? He said, she said is hard to prove.

  138. papadahpolis says:

    Please make sure to complain!!!

  139. spezkunk says:

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. You should definitely file a HIPPA complaint. You should also contact your local representative – he or she may be able to garner you an apology.

    If all else fails, the threat of litigation succeeds – try contacting a local LGBT/HIV/AIDS nonprofit. You may have an ADA claim for disability discrimination. See if they will do some advocacy on your behalf.

  140. doireallyneedausername says:

    This story is why was really really disappointed when CVS bought out Long’s Drugs in the west. (tear)

  141. Livardo says:

    I’d be interested to hear if there was any remediation from this event?

  142. hankrearden says:

    That. Is. Unacceptable. The lot of them should be (at the least) fired.

    I will no longer shop at CVS.

  143. I’d file with the BBB until I saw the “manager” guy fired. There’s no excuse for a company to stand behind an employee who verbally abuses their customers. The least the company could have done was suspended the employee without pay or put them in some sort of unpaid customer service training in order to keep his job.

  144. wdrazo says:

    As the spouse of someone who worked with AIDS patients at the very beginning of the epidemic, I would like to make some comments:

    1. What happened was and is, without excuse, one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. Period.

    2. Rereading the original post, the situation was emotionally charged in the beginning. I heard the ticking sound.

    3. Get advice from HRC or a Philadelphia LGBT organization. They will be more than glad to help.

    4. Did anyone see the film, “Philadelphia”? So much for helping in The City of Brotherly Love.

    5. As CVS comes to the West, I will not patronize them. This is not the first problem I have heard.

    6. An email campaign by everyone who reads the OP, whether at Consumerist or Digg. This would send a clear message to the CVS corp structure. Thanks to the CVS employee for posting corp info. Let’s hope you don’t get in trouble.

    7. Don’t give up! Prejudice hates to look at itself.

    I am going to email the executives now myself.

  145. DarrenO says:

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  146. Anonymous says:

    i do find it hard to believe that a cvs employee would have treated you this way…because cvs does have very high regard for the treatment of customers and just because the man was from the front store doesnt mean that he was not a manager. shift managers work in the front store but handle complaint issues for pharmacy also. the coupon that you speak of does exclude all government paid scripts no mater the branch so whoever sent it through the first time was not supposed to do that.

    • Anonymous says:

      @VashtiGaia:
      I work at a CVS in PA and I can say that I find this story tragic and unbelievable. I think if anyone said the like of that where I work, they would have been fired or at the very least been written up (a formal complaint, kind of like probation). I’m really sorry you had such a terrible experience. People can be really offensive and ignorant. I don’t think you can lodge a HIPPA complaint because it sounds like the employee didn’t say it loud enough for others to hear, but I am almost positive that CVS Corporate would not react well if you told them what happened. The pharmacy also has their own regional manager, so if you can find out who that is, I would talk to them, and if they do nothing go higher to RI Corporate. Hate speech is unacceptable no matter what the situation.

  147. Emanuel Delgado says:

    I’m actually veru sad that this happened to you as an employee of Cvs/Pharmacy in Milwaukee, WI. However people have to understand that at times the paying customers are not always right. People abuse the Cvs extra care program which help customers save money in the form of extra bucks, coupons, or prescription transfer coupons. This abuse leads to millions of dollars lost to these abusers. And where do you think the money comes out of. From us the hardworking employees whom now will only get a measly 25 cent raise every year to make up for other peoples greed. Someone above commented that the colleague involved was an asshole because the $20 wasn’t his well actually it is, because it affects us when people miss use the program and it also affects the customers when prices have to go up as well.

    In any case you should focus on the bigger issue which was the comment he made. I am gay and know for a fact that this type of behavior is against Cvs policy. I have had several customers humiliate me and treat me like garbage because I’m gay. They were banned and the problem was resolved right away. Perhaps you haven’t contacted the correct people. You should contact the regional manager if you feel the district manager did not handle your claim properly. Dont forget not everyone who works for Cvs is an asshole. Unfortunately you will find them everywhere, don’t hide and avoid shopping there. you should show pride in who you are and shop there, show him that he wont win by using ignorant insults.

  148. Anonymous says:

    I’m very sorry to hear that happen to you. I am however an employee of CVS, working for them for almost 7 yrs now, and I really see your point. You should’ve never had to put up with that. I’ve seen some really unprofessional practices out there – not with CVS, but other pharmacies, as well as stores with customer service. I’ll admit that I’ve had some tough times, even w/ my personal life, but one thing I’ll always stick to is ” I’ll never let it interfere with my job.” People can be very judgmental torwards each other, and it seems like you were their target that day, they were already having it hard, and they wanted to give someone a hard time…I wish you better luck, again I am sorry that it happened to you,write a letter explaining your experience to the district office located in Woonsocket Rhode Island. You can get their direct address under the cvs caremark login!

  149. unbeloubli says:

    Hi, I am actually a CVS employee, working as a manager. Reading this actually made me want to quit. I have never seen or heard anything this horrifying happening in any of our stores. But it still doesn’t surprise me. On behalf of cvs, I, myself, would like to personally apologize for this atrocious behavior. Must I say that if this happened in one of my stores (I work at two stores), that person would be fired on the spot, and would never work in retail again if I had anything to do with it.
    I would completely have no doubt in my mind that the Corporate Headquarters in Rhode Island need to hear about this, immediately. If the store manager never did anything to fix this situation, than he shouldn’t be there, either. Granted, this is in PA, and I am in Florida, but most of the stores here don’t even do punishment… if something along these lines were to happen, you wouldn’t even get a chance to explain. That employee wouldnl’t have a job, and wouldn’t get severence pay. I truely am sorry for this horrible incident.

    If nobody has given you that number to corporate, the number is (401) 765-1500, that would be the customer support center for the headquarters. They would be able to help you out.

    Once again, I’m so sorry you had to be humiliated like that. As an employee with the company, I’ll admit we get hot-headed at times. Sometimes lose our tempers momentarily. But this is BY FAR unnecessary, and extremely unsatisfying to hear. Give them a call, and let us know what happens.

    Customer Satisfaction is our #1 rule in our company. No matter what the customer says, or does, to dissatisfy us, letting the customer leave happy should always be our first priority.

    I hope it turns out well.
    Regards, from a well trained CVS employee.
    -Megan.

  150. cvs employee says:

    I was very sad to read about your experience at the CVS in your area. I have worked for CVS in Illlinois for over 11 years, and I have NEVER heard of such vile behavior before. On behalf of CVS I apologize for the horrific experience you endured in one of our stores. Where I come from we treat our customers like family, we love our customers, and go out of our way here to make sure they leave happy. Not all stores are the same, you will find that there are a lot of nice, helpful, and caring employees at most CVS pharmacies, and we should not all be lumped into the same category as these bad eggs. If you are ever in Illinpois I hope you will drop in and receive the type of treatment you should have gotten in the first place. We take care of our people, and appreciate your patronage very much.

  151. waitnonjesus says:

    Dear J.
    I have been in management with CVS since 1987 and I assure you that these individuals and this store do not reflect CVS as a company. I would like to formally apologize to you and your partner for the ignorant and intolerance of these people who represent CVS. I also apologize for the fact that you haven’t been given a formal apology by the district manager or any other representative of CVS. I encourage you to contact our corporate office in Woonsocket Rhode Island as this type of behavior is certainly not tolerated in our company. I pray the best for you and your partner. AIDS is a horrable disease and you deserve our understanding and prayers certainly not being judged. Christ saved a wretch like me so I know he dearly loves you and your partner. If you can find it in your heart please forgive those employees as God has forgiven us.
    Sincerely in Christ;
    waitingonjesus