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Bob's Pharmacy Manteca California Complaint - Where has the importance of the Customer gone?

Review by DebraS on 2010-09-05
MANTECA, CALIFORNIA -- I went into Bobs pharmacy in Manteca with a migraine and used my cell in the store ( speaking quietly). A woman employee ( tall with long dark blonde hair) pointed out the "no cell" sign so I immediately went outside. First off I normally do that anyway. I have always been the type that will go into a doctors office and even if a sign isn't posted, I still step outside. Even if others are chatting away on their phones, I have still always stepped out. Today was different for me. My children are sick, a friend dying and a close relative that moment having open heart surgery. Having a migraine, I am not thinking well. When finished with the call I went back inside to wait for my medications. In a few minutes my cell either rang or I might have dialed about my cousin's progress in her open heart surgery. I don't recall. My aching head did not remind me to exist the pharmacy, and before I could think to do so, Brian Cole's employee came forward and in front of staff and customers literally shouted " Did I not tell you just 3 minutes ago not to use a cell !? " I was mortified to be adressed that way and quickly left the pharmacy. A simple raise of her hand to her head would have alarmed me to my sin and I would have dashed out embarrasssed. To add insult to injury I noticed this employee was feverishly talking of my "crime" to the staff behind the counter, in full view of me and anyone else in the store. I noted a couple members of the staff starring at me. I was appalled. I can not imagine degrading another adult like, especially so in public view. I would not have spoken that way to a child in public. Simply pointbf once more to the sign would have been kind and considerate for a well behaved customer of 15 years. A woman shocked to hear of the attack, planned to write an article in the Examiner on the subject of "customer service". She called Brian Cole to ask his side and he told the reporter that I was told FIVE times to not use my phone. To be fair perhaps Brian's employee lied to him as the statement he made was not the truth. My phone records would prove that during the time period there I was on the phone TWO times. I worry that a senior with short term memory loss or a health issue that causes forgetfullness may likewise be publicly humiliated in this pharmacy. Someone as myself with emergencies filling the mind and a migraine was at risk of such degradation. I will never go back.
Comments:28 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-09-15
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-09-05:
They have no clue that you have a migraine, or of all the issues you have going on that you mention here. Most likely, they also have no clue that you are a 15 year customer, nor should it matter.

You were advised of the policy once and chose to ignore it again almost immediately. I dont blame them for their reaction.
Posted by rockfishing on 2010-09-05:
What ever happened to customer respect? Policies are clearly posted, customers choose to ignore them, and when it is pointed out to them they complain. Thank God a store is finally following through it's policy. Real sick people are found in pharmacies and they don't need to hear anyone yacking away on the phone. Bravo for Bobs!!
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-09-05:
While I'm thrilled to see a store ban cell phone use, I don't think they had to be so snippy. I wish you had said something about your situation the first time you were told. They might have been a bit more understanding. I don't get migraines but I do know what it's like to have a severe headache. It clouds your thinking and judgment. I'm surprised they couldn't tell by the look on your face that you were in pain. When I have one of those headaches, it shows.
Posted by clutzycook on 2010-09-05:
I've never heard of a cell phone ban in a store...
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-09-05:
It's a first for me too, clutzy. Maybe it has something to do with it being a pharmacy, but I don't know why that would matter. Or maybe the employees just got tired of people not paying attention because they were preoccupied with their phones. A lot of people complain about inadequate or inaccurate service at pharmacies, so maybe this pharmacy wants better attention from its customers.
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-09-05:
CVS, Kroger, and Meijer here all ban cell phones at the pharmacy. There are 3-4 signs near and at the pharmacy desk saying you are NOT permitted to be on the cell phone.
Posted by Skye on 2010-09-05:
Oh how many of these cell phone users think they are being polite, when in fact all they do is infringe their conversations on others. If you must use a cell phone, go outside. If the sign says, NO CELL PHONES, it means no cell phones. Nobody is the exception to the rule.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-05:
What is the big deal about talking on your cell phone in a store anyway? I think thats kind of a dumb policy. Who is it effecting? Im a full grown adult. If I want to make a phone call or talk to someone while Im a CUSTOMER in your establishment, then leave me alone. I can understand places like hospitals and airplanes where it can effect equipment, but seriously. I would have walked out and not returned.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-05:
I guess they consider it rude and disturbing to be on your cell while at the store.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-09-05:
I can't stand when I am shopping and forced to listed to people's one-sided conversations. And they speak so loudly, making it impossible to ignore. I find it very disruptive and intrusive and have no problem telling people so. I would love to see cell phones banned from stores. I think all the cashiers would agree!
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-06:
I understand it can be rude, but its 2010. I dont talk on my cell phone non stop, but I occasionally get a phone call from someone while shopping. You mean I have to leave my cart where it is, and walk all the way outside to take the phone call? Pretty inconvenient if you ask me. Ive made phone calls to my partner in a store if I have a question about something I am picking up for him. I do understand where cashiers are coming from. I think its totally rude to be on the phone while you are checking out. THAT is rude.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-09-06:
Prince, when I see someone on the phone because they're not sure what to buy, that doesn't bother me at all. But I see so many people having conversations from the minute they enter the store until they leave. I know because I see the same people in each aisle. They're not paying attention to what they're doing, their cart is in the middle of the aisle, and they are loud. Sorry, but there's no excuse for that. If someone calls you to just shoot the breeze while you're shopping, I think the polite thing to do is call that person back at a more appropriate time. It just seems like people can't function unless they're talking on the phone, and they couldn't care less if they are bothering the people around them. If a parent is shopping with a child who speaks above a whisper, people are quick to judge and stare. Adults should know better.
Posted by Nohandle on 2010-09-06:
Perhaps many among us have witnessed the worst and probably are prone to agree to ban cell phones in a place of business. One of those one bad apple spoils the entire basket scenario. If the abusers would have consideration this topic would not be discussed. Obviously they don't care and others are punished.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-09-06:
my mother's doctor has the same rule.

mom loves it because it ensures peace and quiet while waiting for treatments

and there's a train of thought that cell phone signals could disrupt pacemakers. so that could be another reason why there's a ban.


but mainly i think it's because they want it quiet. especially if they're trying to deliver important medical information to a patient (or the person talking on the phone even)

and the other patients there who like the silence as just as much of a paying customer with rights too.


Next time i would suggest FIRST asking the receptionist if there is an area where you can make a quiet call. explain why it's a serious matter. they might say "yes"

but if they say "no" be expected to actually listen to it.
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-09-06:
I dont care if folks gab on the phone while shopping. I think its funny when they are so loud you can hear them from several aisles away.

I think they are banned at pharmacies here because we need to PAY ATTENTION! Did you get the right meds? Do you have any questions?

Or maybe the pharmacist has to tell you that the script you are trying to fill will interact poorly with something you are already taking.

Also, I have seen people hold up lines at the grocery store because they are running their mouth on their cell instead of paying, swiping their card, etc. Now THAT is annoying.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-06:
I don't mind if people are on their cell phone talking quietly. But, I ride public transportation and I always have the one person talking at full volume right behind me. I have come close to turning and asking them to turn the volume down, but haven't (yet). I wonder if they know the people on the other end are holding their phones away from their ear?

Oh, and the people that have an annoying ringer on at full volume and proceed to let it ring 10 times. That also happens here a lot. I think people need to learn to turn their phones to silent when in public places and just have the vibrator on--problem solved.

Who said we have to be available all the time anyway. What did we do in the olden days? Oh, yeah. We waited until we got home and had our phone conversations in the privacy of our homes. I have to say, though, I sure appreciate my cell when traveling.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-06:
thats true. I follow proper "cell phone ettiquite" meaning I keep my voice down, and hang up when appropriate (checking out). I'm also not a compulsive talker, like I see many people. I can understand doctor's offices with those rules too. Plus if youre waiting, just take the call outside the office door. Its not that hard. It just seems that this OP had a valid complaint. If he was talking quietly with someone, I dont see why the cashier has to make a scene. It just sounds like a disgruntled worker to me.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-09-06:
when i was on the trains in japan it was considered rude to talk on your phones at all - even quietly. most people just sent text messages.

unless you were sitting in the "handicapped" seats. (you can sit there but you have to give up your seat for anyone who's elderly, injured/handicapped, or pregnant). in that area ALL cell phone usage is forbidden.



prince - it could be several things

1) what some cell users call "quiet" might not actually be quiet to those around them and it could still be disruptive.
2) it may be an attempt to ensure other cell-users don't say "well you let HER talk, why won't you let me talk too?"
3) they could feel it disrupts medical devices like they say in japan
4) who's to say another customer wasn't bothered? i mean this article IS about customer rights. do the other customers have less rights?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-06:
How did people ever survive going out in public places w/o their cell phones attached to the side of their head before we had them?

Oh wait...we did.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-06:
PE, I do wish they would ban cell phone useage on the buses and subways here (and everywhere). That would make life so much better for everyone.

Cell phones have their place (for convenience), but, really, no one needs to be talking on one all the time. Emergencies are a good time to have one handy. People actually get mad at me when I don't answer mine. I tell them it's for my convenience only and I don't have to be available 24-7. They just stare in awe, lol.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-06:
I think it's rude when people are on their cell phones in the bathroom. Nobody wants to hear someone doing their business on the phone. If I hear someone on the next stall gabbing away on their cell, I will flush the toilet about 20 times.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-06:
It could also have something to do with confidentiality. While it is not always possible to answer questions or counsel someone at the pharmacy counter without other people in the vicinity overhearing, the pharmacy can take precautions to prevent someone on the other end of a phone from possibly catching any background conversation.
Posted by FlShopper on 2010-09-06:
I once saw someone in a self checkout line trying to flag down an employee to ring up his purchases; he kept pointing to his phone as if that explained everything.
His merchandise was removed from the area and he was told to let someone else have a chance to check out while he finished his conversation.
Posted by DebraS on 2010-09-15:
I am the one who wrote this report and I am in fulla greement of the non use of cell phones. I am not debating this. I am saying that I was spoken to in a way that I would not even speak to a child in public. I was in no way deliberately breaking thier important policy.I answered my phone and if given maybe 30 seconds I feel that despite the migraine and my state of mind I might have reminded myself. I did not mention I have lupus and have some short term memory loss. To have been spoken to like that and such guilt I had from forgetting I had just been told a few minutes ago was compounded by the child like scolding in public and the full view talking about my crime among the staff in full view of customers. I could not humiliate a child like that in public.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-15:
Debra, you definitely should not have been spoken to in that manner. I hope you found a better pharmacy :)
Posted by DebraS on 2010-09-15:
I am the writer of this original post. I agree that cells phones should be banned in certain public places. This is not an issue on that subject. The issue is the manner in which I was treated. Loudly scolding a customer in full view of other customers and making a 3 ring circus, the choice of words used. Also then go behind the counter and in full view of the "offender" and other customers, talking among themselves and staring at me. I was appalled. I can't imagine treating a customer like that. Did I forget to mention I have a disease that causes short term memory loss so I was also devastated that my medical issue would cause me such distress in a public place. Normally if I do not have a migraine or crisis in the family I do not suffer such an extreme of memory failure. In no way was I deliberately disobeying policy and I fully agree with such policy. I hate it ( to put it blunted) when people are loud on their phones in public places I can't beleive they do not know how disturbing their loud voices are. They sure appear rude Like I said in my original post, I am one to not use my phone in a doctors office even if no sign is posted at all. In the 15 years of going to Bobs Pharmacy I have always been polite and so I found it shocking that I was treated in such a manner in public view. Again it was the manner in which I was treated, not the policy of which I a in full agreement with. When the sign was pointed out I appreciated that I was reminded and I left the store as fast as I could. Later when my cell rang in the store again and I answered it, the thought of the policy was not in my mind . I just simply forgot due to the pain and the medical emergencies with three of my family members that day (probably why I had the migraine ). When I was loudly scolded publicily and then degraded with the behind the counter scene with the staff talking about me in full view of myself and other customers, I was overwhelmed and brought to tears. I could not humiliate even a child in the view of others like that, let alone an adult.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-15:
Debra, when we have an emergency, and a triple emergency at that, we really can't hear anyone else talking, nor can we think straight. They were lucky you were so nice in that situation. I am sure I would have said something back that would have shut them up immediately. You used good restraint in my eyes.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-09-15:
Debra, I agree that no one should be treated that way by a business, even if they deserve it. And I don't think you did. I agree with sing that you showed a lot of restraint.

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