Walgreen’s Pharmacists Plot to Kill Customers, CVS Hugs Them

The indefatigable JPac is one of our best tipsters, sending us off dozens of links per day. We love him, but he’s a mystery: his prose is terse, his commentary spartan.

Oh, but he has a voice, and he sent us a great little rant about Walgreen’s pharmacies. The opening line is just killer:

    So I and my parents go into Walgreen’s for some prescriptions and overhear the pharmacists talking about how their customers are all B*tches, and how they wish the people would just die…

That’s certainly the sort of attitude you want to see people parcelling out medication, isn’t it? By comparison, JPac thinks the CVS employees are effusively delightful, the model of excellent service.

His email, after the jump:

So I and my parents go into Walgreen’s for some prescriptions and overhear the pharmacists talking about how their customers are all B*tches, and how they wish the people would just die… Now you can still get your medication but they would rather see you die than provide you with something I like to call customer service. When I walk up to the counter to give them my prescription slip they are more than happy to take my slip, pretend they can read the writing on the slip and say okay, it will be ready in 30 minutes or whatever. so it makes it all that much more fun when you go back 30 minutes later and find out they still haven’t found the time to fill my prescription let alone anyone else’s who is standing in line… sure it could be that they just totally suck at estimating time, or from what I have been overhearing the pharmacists in the background cursing all of humanity, they just want a break, or have way too many prescriptions to fill, or way to few pharmacists. And the story is no better with their automated phone system, even if you give them a day, they would rather ignore the phone refill system entirely than give you your prescription than actually fill them for when you need them.

Now it could just be the only problem Walgreen’s has is rude pharmacists, but its not. now if you try to find some employee in the store to help you find some items in the store.. you might as well buy a lottery ticket, you have a better chance of winning the lottery than finding an employee anywhere to help you, and you better avoid the pharmacists even if they aren’t busy they will basically just tell you to go to Hades. Usually at the Walgreen’s in my area there are only 3 employees you can see, the 2 pharmacists and the poor person massively overwhelmed at the cash register, all who would rather you go away than ask them for any sort of customer service.

However there is a completely different story when I head over to my local CVS pharmacy, I quite literally have never seen better customer service, its like an ACE hardware store, there are always employees wandering the Isles checking to see if you could use some help or even advice, something I never find in any Walgreen’s that I have ever been. The pharmacists are incredibly nice too, they will make sure you have everything you could possibly need, and won’t hesitate to help you with anything you need, even if its not prescription related. The people at the cash registers are friendly too and when they ask you if you were able to find everything you were looking for they mean it. If you tell them there was something you could not find, they will go out of their way to help you and see if that item/items are in the store or recommend places where you could find what you are looking for. I have switched all my prescriptions over to my local CVS Pharmacy, what they say about customer care in the commercials they have on TV is 100% true, they really do have superior customer service.

In conclusion I say
Walgreen’s you suck!!!
CVS Pharmacy You Rule!

Thank you.
John aka JPAC

(Thanks for listening to my little rant consumerist, I just had to get this off my chest)


Edit Your Comment

  1. KevinQ says:

    I think you mean “Walgreen’s” in the second paragraph.


  2. Ben Popken says:

    Jonathan writes:

    “I have to write in about JPac’s Walgreen’s vs. CVS story. I used to go to the CVS in Hoboken, New Jersey, and (except for the indiscriminate death threats), we had all the same issues JPac had with Walgreen’s. Customers would stand there waiting forever, prescriptions were never ready when they said they’d be, and the pharmacists would either give us a world of grief about routine refills, or space completely — losing prescriptions or giving us the wrong medicine.

    The high point? The day I went to refill my wife’s prenatal vitamins and they gave me somebody else’s birth control pills. (And yeah, I didn’t open the bag, so I brought them home and had to go back with them.)”

  3. The story started plausibly enough, but then the author blew it by
    praising the service at CVS, thus blowing the whole thing out of the

    From my experiences in Washington DC, I simply can’t believe any story in which CVS is a protagonist.

  4. SharkJumper says:

    Hey, just because they have the means and the motive doesn’t mean ALL Walgreen’s are bad. I like mine. It has a drive-through. I only have to interact with the stone-cold pharmacist killers for 5 minutes or less, through the safety of my half-rolled-down window.

  5. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    There is an extremly beatiful girl who works the pharmacy at a CVS near my apartment. For that reason and that reason alone I prefer CVS to all other pharmacies.

    The only problem is that I won’t actually go to that branch if I need a prescription filled. I don’t need her wondering what I got prescribed anti-biotics for.

    Ah, my pharmacist woman, someday I’ll get the balls to walk up to your counter to ask you out only to trip up at the last minute and ask you were to find the shampoo.

  6. NamibianBaby says:

    Have we already forgotten what happened to Bree Van De Kamp?

    I am outraged.

  7. Triteon says:

    I have to say I beleive this type of bad service and surly employees must vary by store. I’ve been in both bad Walgreen’s and bad CVS stores. But I do give CVS my business for two reasons: I find the stores (in general) to be cleaner and quieter; and whereas Walgreen’s is phasing it out, CVS still sells liquor– that I can support!

  8. any such name says:

    paragraph breaks, JPac, please!

  9. DeeJayQueue says:

    Any store’s customer service level depends on the pool of potential applicants. If there’s a school nearby there are hundreds of kids who want jobs but none of them are willing to put any effort into it. I’ve had shit service at just about every major chain drug store I’ve ever visited. I’ve also had good service at some of them. I have to agree though that on average, CVS gets the win. I don’t know if they train their associates better, or pay them more or what but I do seem to have a better experience there. Not by much mind you but it’s a measureable difference.

  10. I have generally had the opposite experience: Woefully understaffed, surly, and dirty CVS stores, and clean, friendly, helpful Walgreen’s. I guess it depends on where you live and on the local store.

    Locally we have a ridiculous pharmacist shortage so it’s ALWAYS a pain in the ass to get prescriptions because hardly any stores can maintain hours longer than 9-to-6 (no weekends!) in the pharmacy, which makes it hard for working people. But I love Annie-my-Walgreen’s-pharmacist even if it’s a pain in the ass to ever get there when it’s open. She knows me by sight and recalls all my drugs and will warn me about interactions or ask me if my cold cleared up. Lovely woman. If the counter is slow and she sees you coming down the aisle, she’ll have your Rx ready before you even get to the counter b/c she knows seriously all of her hundreds of regular customers by sight.

    I find my local CVS literally terrifying. It’s dirty, it’s got very low aisles and tons of cameras and rulers on the doors because of shoplifting and violence problems, and they have a hard time keeping staff because of the routine robberies so there’s usually just one or two people there and it’s a BIG store. It’s a couple blocks from the Walgreen’s and in the same socio-economic area.

    Last place I lived (no Walgreen’s), the CVSs were clean and friendly, just so understaffed you could never actually get service and the pharmacies were usually open only 4 hours a day because they were rotating pharmacists around local stores. It would take 20 minutes to buy a pen because they only had one cashier. Also a long “sell you the customer rewards card” script that took forever and when there were six people in line and one cashier and every person had to be pitched the card ….

  11. AcilletaM says:

    The CVS near me is sad, little, pitiful attempt at a pharmacy. Other than the online service, most of the Walgreen’s near me have been good. Then again, I live within 10 miles of the headquarters.

  12. John Stracke says:

    CVSes near me (Boston area) don’t do the rewards card script; they just ask if I have one. Sometimes someone will ask if I want one; not often.

  13. John, I think when I was using CVS they had just rolled out the rewards card. There were a lot of signs about the new cards in the store and so forth. (I suppose they could have been IMPROVED rewards cards, but I think it was a new program.) I guess that’s why the spiel was so long and so constant. On the rare occasions I go to CVS now that I’ve moved, they don’t give me the spiel.

  14. Kat says:

    My CVS used to be great… now it’s gone to crap.

  15. Miss Blue says:

    I am breathlessly awaiting the peon-written horror blog post of the week, “42 Things Not to Say to a Walgreen’s Pharmacist.”

  16. AcidReign says:

    …..I give my local CVS an “ok” rating. I’ve never tried Walgreens. I live in a suburb packed full of retirees, and the CVS is BUSY. Get your doc or dentist to phone in the prescription, and take a book with you. They have always gotten it right, though. And CVS is generally cheaper than Sams or Walmart.

  17. YodaYid says:

    Screw these mega-pharmacies. Support your local mom-and-pop pharmacy instead. I go to one near where I work in Newark, NJ, and they’re awesome. They’re fast, friendly, and they know me by face, which saves a lot of time.

    For some reason, many people are under the false impression that larger companies are more competent or reliable.

  18. drugsaremylife says:

    AS A pharmacist, my suggestion for consumers, or as I call them “my patients”, is to get to know your pharmacist. Build a relationship with them & be patient. There is a shortage of pharmacist. Not only are we under the stress of having to be PERFECT but we have to deal with insurance companies not wanting to pay for certain meds and all of the new Medicare Part D issues. Be patient!! I’ve never heard anyone yelling at their Dr because they had to wait 15 minutes to be seen, when usually you have to wait an hour. I used to work for Eckerd (former CVS) and it’s the same job for us. It should be a GOAL though for all of those bitter pharmacist to just SUCK it up, put on a smile and give good custumer service. If he/she can not, change professions, but don’t make everyone else miserable. It is a choice that we all make!