Why I Won't Ever Go Back To Kmart

Everyone has those moments as a consumer where we say, “Screw you guys, I’m not coming back.” For M., that moment came for her at Kmart when she came back to pick up a refill and learned that in order to take part in Kmart’s $10 for a 90-day supply generic drug program, she would need to enroll in the discounter’s new Kmart Pharmacy Prescription Savings Club for only $10 per household per year. M. chose instead to transfer her prescriptions to one of the many pharmacies offering the same price for her generic drugs, without having to sign up for any memberships.

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to explain why I have no plans to continue shopping at Kmart.

I refilled two generic prescriptions last week which were both included in the 90-day for $10 list. Only one of my prescriptions was available, so I needed to come back on another trip to obtain my other medication. I do understand that this can happen from time to time, though it seems to happen more often at Kmart than any other pharmacy I’ve used. This is not a major factor in ceasing to use your services, but it is relevant background.

When I returned to pick up my other prescription yesterday, I was asked to pay $20. I was certain that this was a mistake as I had already paid $10 for the one prescription I did receive last week. The pharmacy tech checked her computer and explained that the discount generic program has been updated, and that a $10 annual fee would be charged. So I’d have to pay $20 this time, and $10 the next. I told her I found this unacceptable, especially given that many retailers in the area including Walmart, Target, Kroger, and Harris Teeter continue to offer similar programs with no extra fees. I asked to have my prescriptions transferred to a Walmart across town as I am moving next week anyway.

To your credit, the pharmacy techs are generally all very friendly and helpful at your store located at [redacted]. This time was no exception, as she looked up the number for the requested Walmart and called them to transfer my prescriptions. However, better than average customer service, though greatly appreciated, is severely hampered by the overall shopping experience. Being interrupted by surveys and upsells when trying to swipe my credit card a terminal nearly caused me to transfer my prescriptions months ago. Being unable to decline to answer the surveys, I’ve been resolute in answering, “Definitely Will Not” in response to “How likely are you to recommend Kmart to your friends and colleagues?”

It just feels like you are in the final death throes as a company, and rather than make any serious attempt to update your stores to make them seem less like forgotten relics of the 70’s, you’re attempting to alienate your few remaining customers with the aforementioned interruptions and upsells, while seeming rather quaint with signing paper credit card slips of signing on the touch-sensitive terminals like most everywhere else. But asking me to pay another $10, which wouldn’t have happened had my medications been in stock in the first place, is the final nail in your coffin for me.

Rest in peace, Kmart!

This new program at Kmart looks to be designed for customers with limited or no health insurance, and includes discounts on drugs that aren’t on the $4/$10 generics list. Whether this plan is a good fit for you depends on your insurance plan (if you have one) and how many prescriptions you have filled in a year. What M.’s story proves, though, is that it’s better to know what you’re getting into before going to pick up your meds.

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