This email was sent back in February by an hourly assistant manager to the CEO of Walgreens, Greg Wasson, right after our pay cut was announced. It was forwarded to me from a friend of the author, and I deleted the author's name to protect his privacy. It is lengthy, but well worth the read for anyone that still has a thorn in their side. I know I do.
"Mr. Wasson, pursuant to Walgreens policy and the Walgreens Open Door Policy, I am hereby formally exercising that privilege to speak with an open and frank mind about recent decisions made in Deerfield. I am writing you to request that among the decisions being made by Corporate and the consultants you have hired, that the decision to officially scrap the Four Way Test and the Walgreens Creed become official.
After all, over the past three years, both have become increasingly irrelevant. With the decision to re-neg on the agreed upon compensation rates for MGTs, and the shady, cowardly way it was communicated (after hours, Monday afternoon, straight from Store Ops, completely bypassing the DMs), the Four Way Test and the Walgreens Creed are no longer relevant. In the minds and hearts of many of your store employees, in fact, they are non-existent.
Before you label me as just another angry malcontent with a sharp mouth, please bear with me. Not all that long ago, I was in your same position. I was a senior managing director at a large, top-ten marketing agency. When the handful of us that were recruited in to "save" this agency arrived, we found the state of the agency in dismal shape. We had just lost over 25% in capitalized billings via the loss of a major client. Adding to our frustration and angst was a struggling economy.
But, unlike your consultants and inner circle, we made the decision to take care of our employees and clients first before we took care of the analysts and brokers on Wall Street. We chose to take care of the staffers who were doing the work before we took care of those of directing the work. Yes, we had to make some job cuts, but again, unlike your consultants and senior executives in Deerfield, we chose to cut those directly responsible for the agency's rapid descent.
We didn't start in the middle of the ranks, or at the lower end. We started at the top of each department and group. And those who were responsible for the agency having lost valued clients such as Frito Lay and Taco Bell due to mismanagement, poor decision-making, complete lack of leadership, cronyism, and an attitude of "well, that's how we've always done things" found themselves terminated. No severance package. No parachute. Sure as hell no early retirement. In other words, those who had mismanaged the business were not rewarded or praised or excused. They were fired. Period.
Unlike Walgreens' corporate, we did not go looking for mid-level copywriters and account executives and media buyers and inform them that we were reducing their salary and compensation packages due to the poor decisions of upper management that got us into this mess. Those employees, much like the assistant managers here at Walgreens, were not the problem. Our senior people that mismanaged the business and who made the bad decisions were the ones shown the door..
I saw the blurb the PR spinners sent out regarding Wal-Mart cutting seven-hundred-plus jobs from its Bentonville, AR, headquarters. I know several of the senior marketing executives for Wal-Mart, and I know the principles at their two advertising agencies (Bernstein Rein, Kansas City, and GSD&M, Austin, TX) extremely well. And there is also more to this story than what was sent out to our stores by the spinners. Quite a bit more, actually. Wasn't hard to find, either. The Wall Street Journal did a nice piece on it.
Wal-Mart cut the fat and the bad decision-makers from its headquarters.. That money is being reallocated to their store levels, where, and I quote from one of their marketing VPs, "Where the revenue is generated and where the revenue will always be generated."
I see excuse after excuse coming from Deerfield about a challenging economy. Yes, it is challenging. But strong leaders find strong solutions that result in strong motivation. Easiest thing in the world is to cut the jobs or salaries of employees you know you'll never see and never have to face. Hardest thing to do is to look the senior staff in eye that you've seen everyday for the past five years and tell him, "**, I hate to say it but you've made far too many bad decisions in the last few years and we're paying the price. As much as I like you, you're out of a job."
The single worst decision made in Deerfield and continuing to be made is putting the shareholder in front of the employees and customers. The most successful airline in the history of this nation is Southwest Airlines. Herb Kelleher never gave a rat's rear end about Wall Street. He and Colleen simply continued to build, grow and run their airline by putting their employees first with the caveat that they take care of Southwest's customers in a manner that would put all other airlines to shame. In doing so, they created a customer service reputation that is legendary.
Southwest also made a profit every single quarter, but often times Wall Street would criticize them for "not meeting expectations." Again, Kelleher cared about making a profit, not what some Ivy League weenie on the Street thought. When you do that, your stock will take care of itself. When I came out of semi-retirement and joined this company five years ago, there was little doubt that Walgreens put employees first. Today, there is zero doubt that Walgreens puts Wall Street first. Monday's late day announcement regarding assistant managers' compensation drives that point home even harder.
Everyone realizes that Wall Street loves debt and acquisitions, how else does one explain CVS's stock price? But the single most attractive thing to me when I joined Walgreens was that it was a cash-solvent company. That said to me fiscal responsibility. Where has that fiscal responsibility gone? Deerfield crows about record sales and upward sales trends on our "news page" on Storenet, then in e-mails to the stores, talks about declining sales that precipitated taking money out of over 16,000 assistant managers' pockets.
We read about awesome January sales and then we foolishly think, "Hey, maybe we'll get some of those lost hours back in the stores." Silly us. Deerfield then announces we're spending that money to buy more Rite-Aid stores out in California if an effort to please Wall Street analysts.
We, as a company, used to mock CVS for that very same attitude and for their growth-by-acquisition mentality but then here we go and do the same exact thing... only we take money from the employees to help fund the acquisitions. And now, we're doing everything we can to model our store operations after the very competition we used to deride and mock. When I joined this company, the line was, "We don't want to be the biggest drug store in America. We want to be the best drug store in America." We strove for quality over quantity. Now we trade chase quantity at the expense of quality.
Bottom line, Mr. Wasson, is that you're demanding that your source of revenue - the stores - do more and do it with less people, which means working harder. That's fine. Most of us are used to doing that. But then you demand that we do more with less, having to work harder, then do it for an average of 20% less so that we can continue to fund your ill-advised acquisitions based upon what a bunch of consultants advise, solely in order to please Wall Street over Main Street.
All the while asking Main Street to pay for it all and accept the longer wait times, the decreased service, the run-down stores that Deerfield will not invest in to refurbish, the unreliable equipment that processes film and prints while demanding more out of the people manning the equipment. Is it any wonder complaints, chain-wide, are climbing faster than a homesick angel? But we're sure the consultants have an answer for that, too.
But just remember what we used to say back in the military: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can do neither, consult." It has never been more true than it is today. Which is why should I ever have the occasion or pleasure to meet Kevin Walgreen, I'll be honored to shake his hand and buy him the beverage and meal of his choice.
Mr. Wasson, I know you inherited this mess and I salute you for trying to straighten it out. But foregoing and abandoning the principles and values that built this company and made it great is not the way to do it. I wish you all the luck and fortune in your challenges, and if I did not care, maybe as deeply as you about the future of this company, I would not have taken the time to write as much as I have nor in the tone I did. I hope you understand and respect that."
The Walgreens that most of us have worked for does not exist anymore. It used to be a place where customers interacted with employees, you knew their families - ills or happiness. You could joke around and make the work place an environment that you loved to be at and it showed. The customers would see you happy and it would be contagious so much that it would bring them back to see a smiling face and want to shop at the store. The daily work lists got done and the atmosphere in the store was very different than it is now.
You have managers that demand so much from the employees that to professionally wait on the customers and get your list done something has to give. Lately it is customer service. In our store we are no longer allowed to spend more than a few minutes with the customer. Get their question answered and go on. No need to waste "our" time when we get paid to do our lists. We are not allowed to chat with other employees. Another waste of time according to our manager. We are paid to work and we should be thankful we have a job. Our manager stays in the office 99.9% of the time and watches us on the security cameras to see if we are working.
The only time she comes out is to ask why we took so long with a customer or why we were talking to another employee. She always says she is watching so be "warned". She also takes pictures every morning of things are wrong in the store. For example a box of jello on its side, a card of batteries crooked on the front wall, 1 garbage can not emptied. Never a compliment of all the things that were done right just the things that were done wrong. Our store has changed in the last few months.
When the manager asked what could be done to boost morale and make it a better place to work. She received an array of answers some she wanted to hear and some she did not. When one employee was with her and the conversation was not to her liking she actually sent the employee for "time out" in the computer room. How humiliating and degrading is that to a valued employee who is over 35? Some people were even transferred out so she would not to have any dissension in the ranks. The rules are exclusive to whomever she likes and those she does not will be spoken to. She is very inconsistent with her management direction.
She shows favoritism with schedules and does not show fair scheduling practices. If she likes you you get what you want if not you get what she gives you or you have a choice to leave. All in all the atmosphere in the store is not what a customer would be receptive to shop in. The customers see it and feel it. The sales have dropped. It all starts from the top with proper management skills and people skills. Train your managers to treat people with the respect they expect to get and the employees will give them a 120%. Treat them like the manager is doing now and you will get very unhappy employees and no customers.
TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- On 7/29/07 I was very SICK, in PAIN, running on gas fumes in my car and on a wobbly tire - I am disabled. My parents help me out from time to time - this was one of those times. Understand - we had done this MANY times before. Walgreens has a deal called "express pay" by which you can have a credit card set up to pay all your prescriptions with. Nice, eh? Well let me tell you... I had a prescription that I needed to fill. I also needed a few items from the store while I was there, to carry me until my disability check arrived a few days later.
So that there would be NO MISUNDERSTANDING, I had my Mother, whose credit card is set up at Walgreens to help pay for these things in emergency situations like this, call the manager there - The pharmacy manager was not in yet when she called, so she talked to a "Lance" who was the store manager. She let him know what we wanted to do. I was coming down there to that particular store from all the way across town just because that is where we had the express pay account set up, to both pick up a prescription and several food items from his store.
No problem. Send her on down. She specifically asked him to verify that there would be no problems and to let the pharmacy staff know that I was coming to do this. I got to Walgreens by the skin of my teeth and still hoping I had enough gas to crawl home with, went in, had them fill the prescription and did my shopping while waiting for it to be filled.
I took my items to the pharmacy counter, and "Duh? What express pay? You don't have express pay." I said "how would I even know what it is unless I had done this before? We've done this many times." The manager is standing there looking at the computer now with the girl at the pharmacy counter - "oh someone must have taken it out." "Huh!" "Go figure." "Ok." "So now what?" "Oh well we can't take your Mom's credit card information over the phone." "Debit card?" "Nope." "Can I write a check myself then and have you hold it a few days?" "No can't do that either." "Can I leave my LICENSE with you?" "Nah can't do that."
I'm told that the only way I'm leaving with anything that I came for is if my Mother leaves her job to go to a Walgreens to enter her card information in person. That's what we CALLED FOR! Had I known the manager was INCOMPETENT, I never would have wasted my very last precious gas fumes driving across town! Omg. I tried to call my Mother again from the store, but she was unavailable twice - though I knew she wouldn't be able to leave her job anyway to run to a Walgreens with her credit card information.
This manager should have figured out some way to rectify HIS OWN error! What he did instead? Moved the smaller items that I had behind the pharmacy desk so that I couldn't reach them anymore lest I steal them because obviously if he is STUPID I must be a thief. At that point, rather than going completely off on this man, I just left everything on the counter where I took it to "PAY FOR IT", and left the store.
I made it home (YAY!) But now of course I'm COMPLETELY stranded with no way to get my prescription now, or any of the food items that I needed because I'm supposed to eat with the other prescriptions that I did fill a few days prior elsewhere. So I guess I can just throw up if it upsets my stomach and that's that. I have no doubt that even if my complaint reaches "otherwise interested" parties, it'll just be too dang bad for me. So the least I can do is offer my 3 cents! Walgreens - stop hiring IDIOTS as managers!
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA -- Every week, I purchase something from Walgreens. When I make purchases, the store representatives are helpful, kind and professional. However, that has recently changed under the store's new leadership. On 09/02/2012 at 05:10 PM. I took a pack of Biscoff cookies, 2 Pringles Ranch Chips, two Hallmark cards and a iTunes Gift Card to the counter for purchase.
Without a hi or hello the clerk held the iTunes card in mid air and immediately asked "how are you going to pay for your purchases?" I responded that I did not know how I was going to pay for the purchases because I only keep a certain amount of cash on my person and if I do not have enough cash, I usually pay for my items using my debit card. Nevertheless, I was told that I was unable to buy the iTunes card with my credit card because it was a gift card. I informed the clerk that this could not be the case because I regularly purchase iTunes cards and Microsoft points with my debit card all of the time.
Incidentally, I purchased iTunes on 08/31/2012 with my debit card. She responded that's the policy and she is simply doing what she is told. Then, the representative swiped the iTunes card and it immediately had a problem. The iTunes card would not go through for processing or purchasing (activation code problems). The manager pressed a few button and then explained to me that the store needs to be careful allowing customers to purchase iTunes cards with their credit cards because that it not the policy.
I asked then why was I able to purchase the iTunes card with my credit card previously and I was told that I could purchase the card but the store needed to be careful. He then reassured the representative that she was doing the right thing. I was in total shock and upset but I kept my composure. I responded that his explanation did not explain why I was able to previously make purchases with the card. The manager then held the gift card to my face and stated, "Read it." I responded that I have a MBA and can read very well. He said, "You just have to have the last word."
I told him that this is not about the last word but rather inconsistency in how policy and procedures are applied. He then proceeded to read the terms and conditions on the iTunes card. However, once they were able to get the activation to go through, I was able to make my purchase with a debit card. I contacted the corporate office only to find out that customers can purchase iTunes cards with debit cards or cash. The corporate representative could not find any information restricting the usage of credit cards to make a gift card purchase.
I am contacting the corporate office on Tuesday after the Labor Day Holiday to discuss my concerns. I will no longer shop at this store and especially thank God for Amazon. Nothing I need in the Walgreens can't be purchased in CVS or online. I also completed my online survey as well. I only can kick myself for being so persistent in purchasing the iTunes card. Instead of standing there pleading my case, I should have put everything down and went to the CVS across the street.
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA -- I went to Walgreens yesterday with my daughter to get 2 items: toothpaste and Afrin nasal spray. Toothpaste was no problem. A couple of weeks ago a Walgreens coupon printed out with my receipt for the Afrin for $5! And I saw that the March Walgreens coupon booklet had $1 off any Afrin. Now, neither Q had any restrictions, except the size which said 0.5 oz. So I got the cheapest Afrin at $6.74, but the register wouldn't take either of the Afrin Qs. The manager that came up was crazy! He began the conversation by yelling at me that he wasn't sure about the origin of this coupon and that he would try it one more time and then "that is it for you!"
Then he changed his mind because he said that he couldn't tell if it was from Walgreens or not. During this rant, the other employees were trying to interrupt him to tell him that it DID say Walgreens, but he talked over them and me until I finally leaned over the counter and pointed at the LARGE Walgreens logo on the Q and said "Wal-greens." Instead of acknowledging me, he said, "This coupon is too short, it doesn't look like ours. I can't take it because it's too short." I will admit it was short, but only because half of it had been an ad with a dotted line to cut it. The dotted line was still visible and obvious.
Mr. ** would not let me speak, he was loud and rude and spoke to me with obvious disgust. So at this point, he picks up my coupons and my merchandise and walks away. He said nothing to me, but shouts back to his employee, "Take the next customer!" then disappears around the corner. The cashier and I both look at each other, dumbfounded, until I said I would just wait near the photo area until he came back. When he returned, he had gotten a different Afrin (no-drip) to see if it would work because that was in the picture on the store coupon.
Now let me mention that this was NOT the actual product in the picture, but another Afrin product that was no-drip. The coupon scanned for this product just fine, so he angrily begins to tell me that had I just gotten what the coupon was intended for, we wouldn't be having this problem. (Now, I want to take this moment to say that at this point in the conversation, I had barely been allowed to speak.) I said in response to him that I didn't see anywhere on either coupon that said it had to be for a No-Drip product. He said it said it was in the picture.
I said that the product he had scanned wasn't in the picture either, and how are customers supposed to know what the store coupons are for? Just keep trying till something sticks? Then I said, "Never mind, I don't want it, give me my coupon back." At this point he looks at me and snarls, "I don't know which one you want back," and THROWS my coupons down at me. So I pick them up, take the $5 Afrin Q and give back the others. He rings up my purchase, and is VISIBLY angered when a $3 Register Reward prints out.
As he hands me the receipt, I told him that I will be calling corporate about this, and that I wanted to be clear that I am not calling about the coupons not working, but about his attitude problem. Needless to say, this is the last straw with Walgreens. The employees are never nice, just tolerable. And this is the third time that I have had an extremely rude manager at this location, although this particular experience takes the cake! I will NEVER go back here.
QUEEN CREEK, ARIZONA -- Today my husband went to Walgreens to pick me up some Advil PM. He called me when he got to Walgreens to make sure he got the right Advil. I had asked him to make sure it was the one with the Register Rewards in this weeks ad. He was on the phone with me and went to the register to ask the cashier if it was the correct one. The cashier name ** said there is the ads for my husband to look it up himself and that knowing the ads isn't part of his job description. In addition he proceeded to tell him that him working there is not a career for him, basically showing he didn't care about this job. I was appalled to hear the conversation first hand.
My husband then paid with this disrespectful employee because there was no other cashier available. Then while standing waiting for a manager to come the cashier said to my husband "why are you staring at me for?" in a really combative type of way. My husband responded that he was just waiting for the manager and for him to not become defensive. Finally the manager came and his name was ** (claimed to be the store's general manager) yet he was very unprofessional and also combative.
My husband explained the situation to the manager and he stayed quiet while he asked if this was acceptable to treat a customer. The manager said "No" but then told my husband that all he can do is check the tapes. The manager was basically implying that my husband was lying about the situation. He left and came back to my husband with an even more of a nonchalant attitude and said he watched the tapes and all he can do is address it with the cashier. He then told my husband that he isn't going to scold him in front of him. My husband then said he wasn't asking for that just wanted the situation handled.
While the manager was speaking to my husband I could hear the cashier ** yelling and telling the manager and my husband to talk about how my husband was staring at him? I cannot believe that all this ordeal over asking a question about an ad for Advil. I read all over that your company prides themselves in customer service and yet this experience proves otherwise. I am appalled that you allow this cashier (employee) and manager to represent your company. The manager was beyond unprofessional and made it seem like he had to make sure my husband wasn't lying and at no point while there did he tell his employee to stay out of the conversation.
It was as if the employee was telling the manager what it was going to be in regards to this situation. If this is the type of management that you have then shame on you for claiming customer service as being your main focus. It is clear that this manager ** and employee ** are not the core of your company but they do represent the face of Walgreens and with that being said it's a shame. When my husband told ** that he goes there all the time his response was "I've never seen you here before"!
My husband being a finance manager himself who deals with customers said "even if this is the first visit is this what you want me to experience as a customer. I live around the corner and I fill my prescriptions here all the time you can look me up in your system if you don't believe me. Regardless of that why should a manager or company care if this is your first of fiftieth visit?"
Needless to say my husband left with a bad experience all around and when asked for whom ** reported to he was given the answer if he has an issue he can call #1-800-Walgreens. So basically your employees and managers can treat people with utter disrespect and there is no one to complain to about it. This is my areas Walgreens and we live less than a mile away and could very well go to Walmart and with experiences like this we just might! Especially when we have to prove we are frequent customers to get even the slightest bit of respect. I hope someone watches and listens to the tape to see the lack of customer service.
TEMPE, ARIZONA -- My insurance requires me to use Mail Order to buy maintenance medications. I bought $300+ of prescription medications from Walgreens Mail Order, and the medications arrived in a manner that must be illegal! I've used mail order drug companies for years, and I've never seen anything like this. The envelope was a thin, plastic sheet, glued together in a very shoddy manner. One of the medications, Acebutolol, which is in capsule form, was in a bottle which had ripped apart due to the poor protection of the envelope.
Many of the large capsules were torn at the top end and the entire envelope, and all of the other drugs, were thick with what looked like talcum powder, but which was really Acebutolol medication dust. The other meds in the envelope were all thickly covered by this Acebutolol medication. It simply cannot be legal to ship drugs from one state to another like this. The drugs came from Phoenix, Arizona and was delivered to my door in Oregon via Fedex Overnight. I complained by phone and was told to JUST throw away the 73 capsules from the bottle that opened. I complained further that I was not comfortable taking the other meds due to the thick Acebutolol dust covering them.
They eventually agreed to replace all of the drugs, so I don't have a monetary loss from this transaction. That said, however, based on my 9 yr experience of being on Medicare and dealing with mail order pharmacies, the manner in which these drugs were sent from Arizona into Oregon is highly unusual. The other mail order companies use bubble wrap and/or bubble wrap protected envelopes and/or boxes. It cannot be legal to send prescription drugs in a manner that guarantees the quality of the drugs will be affected.
I have pictures of the envelope and state of the drugs. I just wonder if anyone at Walgreens even cares that they have such poor delivery capabilities that people could get sick from this...
AURORA, COLORADO -- I am so angry with the service of the Walgreens pharmacy (yes not capitalized because they do not deserve it), on Peoria and Mississippi in Aurora Colorado, that I do not know where to begin. My family has had several incidents with this Walgreens that range from just out right rude customer service to no filling critical authorized medications. The latest incident is as follows: my doctor called in a script for a medication that is critical for my pregnancy to continue. My husband and I received a recorded call one day later telling us that the script was ready for pick-up. My husband went to pick up the script and what do you know, it was not filled.
My husband inquired as to why the discrepant information and the tech said, "I don't know" and wanted to continue on with the next customer. My husband did not allow this and asked the tech to look into the situation. The tech told my husband that the pharmacy did not make the call, (of course I still have the recorded message), and the script was not filled because they needed to get pre-authorization. My husband called me and the tech was not only rude with me but then hung up in my face. Of course I went down to the Walgreens in an effort to resolve this situation.
I explained to them that the medication that they neglected to fill was needed to sustain my pregnancy as well as my disappointment that they had two days to fill the script and resolve any problems not to mention the recorded message that we received stating that the medication had already been filled. The tech had the nerve to still be rude. Unbelievable!!! The tech stated that they would call my doctor, I explained to the tech that they did not need to call my doctor as the pre-authorization needed to come from the insurance company not the doctor. They called my doctor anyway. By this time, there were three managers involved in this situation.
After a few minutes, a manager told my husband that the Dr. Stated that I needed to come and see her before they could issue any medication, (I had just seen the Dr. two days prior to this). I then called my doctor and she told me that she gave them no such information but that she told them that my situation was critical and that they needed to give me the amount of medication that I requested. My doctor called the pharmacy again, (she is also livid by now), and told them to issue the medication. My husband requested just enough of the medication to get me through the next few days, long enough for us to find another pharmacy.
The manager, as rude as his tech go figure, stated that they would give my husband the requested medication but that he would need to wait to have the script filled. Wow you have got to be kidding me!!! My husband said not so and demanded the medication on the spot, mind you, we had already spent two hours dealing with this. For the love of tea!!! We are in utter dismay about this incident as well as the many other incidents with this company and particularly this location!! We have filed at least three former complaints against the Walgreens with their customer care service but to no avail!
This however was the last time that we will be dealing with Walgreens! Walgreens managers and staff put the i. n.c.o.m.p.e.t.e.n.c.e in the word incompetence, that's right Walgreens is the complete spelling of the word incompetence and they encompass the complete meaning of the word as well.
I am originally from Down Under, Sydney Australia. I have traveled through four continents and I am now a US resident. Wherever I went I found that most people, businesses and so forth always put forth an effort to do their best. No responsible individual wants to make a bad name for himself/herself. If a person wants to put butter on his daily bread he/she needs to maintain employment. Also, no business office enjoys giving itself a bad reputation.
But just the same, there is no perfect standard that anyone has ever achieved whether an individual or a place of business serving the general public. Mistakes are the result of human nature and there will always be something to complain about.
In my 70 years of dealing with all kinds of people and businesses, I discovered how easy it is to see other's mistakes and there are many who have the tendency to enjoy looking for the weaknesses in others and go even further and enjoy pointing the finger to others and enjoy humiliating them as well.
I have no idea why those individuals simply live to look for the mistakes and weaknesses in others. Why instead accept the fact that nobody is perfect and after all no one is all bad anyway. Each and every one of us has good points and would prefer to do whatever is possible to retain a good reputation. It is really quite simple to change things around and instead of looking for the bad things, weaknesses and so forth in others, why not looking for something in each individual and make an encouraging commendation.
This would create a " building up" process in a person instead of "tearing down" I am sure everyone enjoys hearing something good said about him/her. So why not each of us look at ourselves first and analyze our conscience and remember this most important guideline: Let's do to others what we would have them do to us...
Incidentally, having read a few of the complaints about Walgreens made me feel rather sorry for those individuals. Of course, we all have the right to see things differently and also have the right to give our opinion. Nobody enjoys being hurt. So it is worth to first ask ourselves: how would I like it if someone made those remarks about me? Personally, I find Walgreens totally responsible and go out of their way to be of service to customers. I have a lot of dealing with Walgreens Pharmacy and they have shown due concern each time my family and I needed their services.
There is an old saying: "every person pointing a finger seems to be unaware that there are at least four others pointing to himself/herself." Another saying especially for those who may not quite understand the previous one: "There is not one that smells sweet all of the time." I should know I have just been mowing our half acre lawn in the hot stinking sun for most of the day! As we say Down Under, I certainly hope someone got my drift!
ASTON, PENNSYLVANIA -- I was visiting relatives in Chester PA and my sister needed formula for my nephew. I headed out for the formula and stopped by Giant supermarket and a nice customer said, "Go to Walgreens. It's probably cheaper." So I went to Walgreens which was probably a mile if not less from Giant supermarket, still in Aston. I went to the aisle of the product, saw the price was better than Giant and took it for purchase, to the cashier. The cashier scanned it and the price was different than what it was listed as. She called a manager, who walked with me to the baby formula aisle.
I showed her the area and she said, "It was incorrect and it's the price of the one above it, you must have moved it?" I quickly told her I did not move anything except when I picked it up to take to the cashier. She wanted to go back and forth about it was moved and I look at her like she was crazy. I said no problem to end her accusations, plus I was pushing for time and walked it up to the cashier and paid for the formula. I walked back to my car and my sister had called for something else and I told her I would have to run back into Walgreens.
As I went through looking for the newly requested item, I heard the manager saying I had switched the tags, I was from Chester and people do that all the time, etc. I came from out of the aisle and let her know I was from Georgia visiting my family and she should not stereotype people because of a city they are from or what they look like. I said people who steal come from any city and any race (Chester has a high crime rate for a city of its size and over 50% A-A). I also reminded her, no tags were switched I picked up the formula from the shelf and the price it was listed in front of.
She put her head down not in shame but as if I was threatening her??? The nerve of her. I walked out the store (because I didn't want her to call the police as a white woman being threatened) and did not purchase the new item. If my nephew did not need the formula, I would have returned that too. I called Walgreens corporate office and gave them the entire story and store location. The initial sign that they were not really into assisting the customer was when the cs representative inquired if I had got her name. I said no. She said you should have got her name.
From that point, the conversation went down sourly. She said a name would be needed. I said location and the fact that she's a manager is not enough to help narrow down her identity to speak with her? I requested her supervisor and re-explained the story. She was much friendlier but I told her I am not benefiting from this because I don't live in the area but the next person she stereotypes, accuses and overhear her conversation may not want to simply speak with her or just walk away. I said I do not have children and had no desire to "scam" for baby formula.
She understood and completed the call complaint for me. Her last statement surprised me but confirmed the racism I knew I had experienced. She said she did offer you the price it was listed on the shelf right? I said no. She seemed shocked but choked back anything she was about to say.
I returned to Georgia and had a few more conversations with Walgreens but nothing came of it. I could have called the EEOC or another organization to handle it, but why bother? The irony of the story is not only had my intuition been correct, I have a career in pharmacy and had previously interned at Walgreens (in Philadelphia). It had been a choice upon completion of my Doctor of Pharmacy. Since I have experienced this injustice, I will never work for Walgreens and have not shopped there since the incident.
I know this is really an issue with the Aston location, but until that area changes its view and treatment on Chester and Chester residents, it will continue to be a small-time, going-nowhere township/borough, with small minded people, who will never ever be on the level of Media, Swarthmore, Wallingford, Garnet Valley, Chadds Ford and other areas of Delaware County that do not place everyone from Chester in the same category.