I’ve always used chain pharmacies for medical prescriptions and was usually satisfied. But I recently tried using my neighborhood chain in Brooklyn for what I thought would be a routine fulfillment and it quickly turned into a major production. The first pharmacist on duty I talked to claimed that she couldn’t get a response from my Doctor’s office and yet when I called myself, I immediately got the medical assistant on the phone, who assured me that she would return the call right away if they left her a message.
Yet another week passed before a different pharmacist finally filled the prescription by contacting the insurance company directly and then informed me that there would be no refills because the Doctor had not checked the refill box. I again called my Doctor’s office and was told that was just an oversight and if they would only call her, she would tell them just that.
The idea of possibly going through another week of frustration led me to complain to a friend, who suggested I use the small local pharmacy in my neighborhood instead. He had been using them for years. What a difference! There was only one pharmacist to deal with and she was calm and friendly, not hassled and brusque. When I explained the situation and the need to get in touch with my Doctor’s assistant, she smiled and promised to call the next day.
Sure enough, the refill was ready for me when I returned the next afternoon. No problems. When I asked why I was being charged full price again for the prescription since I had paid the deductible in the first transaction, this pharmacist suggested that my insurer must have a yearly deductible; since I had filled the prescription originally in December and it was now January, they could charge me again. I called the insurance company and found out she was right. It was a costly education for me. Still, it was easier to swallow when it came with such a pleasing change of pharmacies and experiences. It also reminded me that small businesses will always triumph if they provide superior customer service!