why CVS hates little old ladies

I was sick last week, so after a trip to the doctor who prescribed an antibiotic, I stopped by the CVS near work at L street in DC (where I have made numerous prescription stops, including the time they told me they had no record of me picking up the prescription I have picked up every month or so for the past 2 years). As I dropped off this antibiotic prescription, I asked since I was there, if I could fill my recurring monthly prescription. “No, I’m sorry,” he said. “You can’t. Insurance only allows you to fill it 21 days into the month.” Oh well, no big deal. I’ll call it in next week.

That evening, I picked up my antibiotic. The following week was so busy at work, I decided to wait until the weekend when I was in Baltimore, to call in my monthly prescription to the CVS right down the street from my house in Federal Hill. That weekend, when I called it in, they told me I couldn’t fill it, because the prescription had already been filled in DC.

“What do you mean it’s been filled? They told me I couldn’t fill it, that’s why I’m calling in now.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I need my prescription, I need it today, and I can’t drive an hour to DC to get it. I don’t have time.”

“That pharmacy isn’t open in DC today. So there’s nothing I can do.”

“Why was it filled at all? They told me they couldn’t fill it.”

“Well, when you ask about filling a prescription, they automatically set it to fill the day it’s available to fill.”

“But he didn’t let me know that’s what he was doing.”

“They assume that you’ll pick up the prescription there. If you go there on Monday, they’ll be able to give you a refund.”

Well, you know what they say about assuming.

I had to pay $95.99 to get my prescription, and go to the DC CVS on Monday to get a refund. I started to tell the girl behind the counter, Tiffany, what was going on. She cut me off and said, “What’s your last name.” I explained to her I wasn’t picking up a prescription, I needed a refund. After explaining what I had tried to explain the first time, she patronizingly told to me she had nothing to refund. I would have to go back to the Baltimore CVS to get a refund, once she canceled the order there. I asked why it had been filled in the first place, and she cut me off again. “What’s your last name.” At this point I started to get really angry. She turned around, and patronizingly explained that when I had asked about my recurring prescription when I went to fill my antibiotic, they automatically schedule it to be refilled. Because, she condescendingly remarks, we can’t possibly know your situation and that you wouldn’t be coming here to pick it up.

“Which is why”, I say, “you need to inform people before you automatically refill a prescription.” And I leave.

Let’s look at this situation. This medication, for me, is not crucial. I won’t die or get sick if I don’t take it. And I also have $95 to front to CVS because they filled my prescription at another location without informing me. But let’s say this isn’t the case. What if I needed that medication, and I didn’t have the $95? What if I were a little old lady, without an excess of cash, and I had no resources? What would I have done?

And this is why I can come to only one conclusion. CVS must hate little old ladies. They must hate the old and the poor in general to condone such practices. And I don’t think I’d like to support a company who hates my grandparents and the unfortunate. So CVS, you can suck it. I’m going to Walgreens.There’s one right in Baltimore, and here’s a coupon.


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