Customer Service Issues At CVS

Today’s CVS post is not about saving money…but about saving my sanity. I had a little bit of a customer service issue with CVS the last time I visited on September 28. The day started off fine with me standing in line with my items in one hand and a bunch of coupons in the other hand.

I got to the front and there was no one behind me so I thought it would be easy. I rang up the monitor and one other item and then noticed that I did not get the ECB from the monitor. I questioned it and the cashier told me that there were no ECBs for that item….just a mail in rebate.


I am now red in the face……so I asked her to void the transaction so I could get all my coupons and ECBs that I had used for the transaction back.

Voids vs. Returns

The cashier decided that she would do a return on the item instead of voiding. This is where the trouble started. I used to work in retail and I know that sometimes when you do a return it will not kick the coupons back…so I asked her to void it instead.

The first thing she tells me is that the monitor originally cost $74 (I knew that) and was now on sale for $9.99 (I know that too..that is why I was getting it) so I was saving a HUGE amount of money (gee, you think so? Maybe THAT is why I am getting…because I like to get things for FREE or REDUCED).

I say I understand all that but since it does not have ECBs then I want to cancel the transaction. She gives me a look like I am crazy (little does she know) and takes the items from me.

She proceeded to do a return and then all the problems began. I had gotten an item for $9.99 and two items for $2.50 each, using an $11.99 ECB and a few manufacturer’s coupons. I ended up having to pay $0.74 which I used a gift card on.

The gift cards can be swiped like credit cards and then you have to push the button for Money Card instead of the Credit button. For some reason the gift cards take a few seconds to process while the credit cards seem to go through almost instantly.

Gift Card Issues…Part One

The cashier decided that she did not want to wait for the gift card to process…so she chose to cancel my transaction and swiped the gift card from her end. It went a bit faster so that took care of the $0.74.

I Want My Coupons Lady!

When the cashier did the return the machine said I had a $0.74 refund, which she decided to give me in cash instead of returning it to the gift card. I don’t like touching cash (used to work at a bank) but I said I would take it so she took the items back from me and I told her to put the cash on the counter next to the coupons.

She looks at me with a crazy look and says she cannot return the coupons because the computer did not say she could. Now remember that this is the $11.99 ECB which can be used like cash for ANY item (except prescriptions, lottery tickets and stuff like that) PLUS my manufacturer coupons that I cut out of the newspaper on Sunday morning. I told her, you have the monitor and the toothpaste and toothbrush…so CVS has its property…so I want my coupons.

She repeats…like I am deaf…that the computer said I get a $0.74 refund. I told her I know this because I paid you with a gift card….but I also need my coupons back.

She says well she will have to call a manager…like this is where I am supposed to be afraid. I used to work in retail lady…call the manager.

How Much To Refund?

The manager tells her she needs to give me the coupons back (that is what I said 10 minutes ago) because I returned ALL the items and was going to start fresh. Manager does override and walks off.

I think it is going to be ok now but I am in for some more adventures with Ms. Needs to be trained some more.

She somehow messes up the return and now kicks out that I get all my coupons refunded as cash instead of the actual coupons. The total of the coupons was over $15 and this confused her. She thought she had to give me a gift card for $15+ AND give back the paper coupons. She knew this was too much but just could not figure it out. I told her to cancel the gift card since she was giving me $0.74 in cash and give me back my paper coupons.

Confused yet readers?

This made her need to call the manager again because I was confusing her and she just did not know what to do.

So the manager comes back and I get my $0.74 in cash and my paper coupons and the store gets its items back.

Ring Me Up Again

I decided to still get the toothpaste and toothbrush along with some other items that DID have ECBs. I have been at the register for about 20 minutes now..but since there is no one else in line I am patient.  I hand over all my items and all the coupons and the ECBs and tell her to ring me up.

She looks at the coupons suspiciously and proceeds to read every one individually like I am trying to cheat the system or something.

The total comes up to $1.23 and she asks how I will be paying. I tell her I will use cash and a gift card and hand over the $0.74 that she gave me earlier. I guess she really thinks I am crazy because she says ‘This is $0.74 and the total is $1.23.’

I say I know this and I will pay the balance on the gift card. She gives me another crazy look (how many have I gotten for the day now?) and tells me to swipe the gift card.

Now is it just me or does she have to enter the cash BEFORE I swipe the gift card?

Gift Card Issues….Part Two

I tell her to go ahead and take the cash and I will pay the balance with the card. She grudgingly takes the money and I swipe the card and hit ‘Money Card’. The monitor says ‘Please Wait…Processing Transaction’ so I smile and wait for it to go through.

She thinks it is not going through or I am being a &!#$% so she says I have to give her the card. I am watching the little bubbles fill in as the transaction is being processed so I say ‘no, I already swiped the card.’

Ms. Cashier-Who-Needs-More-Training rolls her eyes at me and says the card does not work at the register and she has to do it manually. I told her I always swipe my card and it always works.

Now I am really feeling like being a %$#@^ towards her so I decide that I will NOT hand her my card this time (all while PRAYING that it does work) and about two seconds later the register spits out the receipt and my $12.97 ECB.

I told her ‘SEE! It DOES work…all you have to do is be patient!

I guess she was mad that I got over $25 worth of items and only paid $1.23 AND got $12.97 in ECB that I will use next week.

She works every Sunday….so we shall see what happens next week. Baz said she will probably spit on  me the next time I show up because I am a ‘problem customer’.

I am going to call the corporate office about her, with all the eye rolling and the incompetence because she needs to be retrained. She does not know that the gift card can be swiped because she does not let it take the ten seconds it needs. She assumes it is stuck because it takes longer than the credit cards but that is not an issue that I can fix.

Do YOU think I should call to complain about her?

What would YOU have done in that situation?

Have you received poor customer service from someone like this?

Author: Lulu

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  1. Hi, I would work through the manager first and then corporate. Send a letter to the manager and CC the corporate office detailing just like you did on the blog exactly what happened. I would also see that you get her name in the letter as well.

    I was at Walgreens (not one of my favorite stores – I have 3) and Stuart was the cashier’s name and he seemed very put-out that I wanted two transactions and rolled his eyes and sighed several times. Being from the Customer Service industry I promptly left the store and called the store from my car. I asked to speak to the Manager on duty and advised what had happened and how I had been treated all because I wanted two transactions with two coupons. I had two items on each transaction! So, I explained to the manager that because Walgreens was on about every corner and how I was treated that I would rather walk one more block to the “Nicer” Walgreens than to have to put up with that type of service. He said that I was not the first and he was going to go and talk to him immediately and get this straightened out.

    So, with that said, explain that how you were treated but keep the emotional part out – explain how you expect to be treated since you are the customer and you don’t have to frequent the store and that you had done nothing to warrant the treatment.

    This should get this sub-standard cashier on their radar and also puts corporate aware that there is a training issue that might need to be addressed at that store.

    Just my suggestion and sorry for the novel!

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  2. Nancy, it is okay that your comment is long because it makes sense.

    I was ready to call customer service but then realized that it would be better if I waited and cooled off a bit before I did so.

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    • Have no idea of how my complaint go to you instead of CVS customer service

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  3. How frustrating!!! I had a similar experience the other day at Walgreens where I told the lady to forget the whole order and give me my coupons back. Of course she didn’t know how and had to call the manager. Meanwhile, there were 8 people in line and my two son’s were terrorizing the store. I finally gave up and said I won’t shop there again.

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  4. You are good! I don’t if I would have been able to stand there that long going back and forth with the cashier.

    I think many times when a cashier does not know how to handle a situation they become defensive, and this causes the customer to get upset becuase they are spending their hard earned money with a store that’s giving them a hard time.

    Understanding how to solve problems in a professional manner goes a long way in retail.

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  5. @ Christmas,
    I was able to stand there that long because I had entered the store in a good mood. I also worked in retail before and I knew what can and cannot be done.

    The gift card thing was funny because I have swiped the card before and it always worked so I KNEW that it was possible.

    If I had been in a bad mood then I would not have stayed so long. I got a little kick out of showing her that I was correct. 🙂

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  6. I personally have a lot of respect for you! I have worked in customer service as well and that kind of disrespect to customers was not tolerated where I worked. I, of course, have had real problem customers and they are nothing like you. 🙂 The people like that cashier who think you are a problem customer need to get a dose of reality. A real problem customer is one who likes to use profanity with you and throw coffee at you…both of which have been done to me! I would have flipped my lid had I been you. My husband almost hates when things go wrong at stores or restaurants because I make my opinion known if I think that the service is bad. I dont think its right for a store to be incompetent when I am spending my hard earned money there. I used to work at Best Buy with the Geek Squad and we got into serious trouble for not treating a customer with the utmost respect! And that is how it ought to be. Good for you for keeping your cool!

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  7. Thank you AidansMom. It was hard but I did keep my cool and did not speak to her rudely. 🙂

    I know how frustrating it can be in customer service because I too had to work the Sunday morning shifts and had to stay late or do more because someone did not show up.

    I also know how customers can be nasty so I just thought maybe she was having a bad day. I stood my ground firmly…but not in a bad way.

    I was NOT about to lose all those extra bucks and coupons….worked too hard getting those.

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  8. I used to adore CVS but they are getting way to PIA to deal with! I can’t stand the fact they no longer take printable coupons.

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  9. Ahh….CVS…how I miss you. We just moved to Eastern Europe and how I long for the days of stores selling merchandise that was actually able to be returned should it be defective. Not so where I live now. On another note, I’m sorry for your troubles. They should start selling “drugstore hassle-free insurance”.


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  10. I visted the new CVS in Petersburg va. I wanted to have my film developed. I waited for twenty minutes before anyone aknowledged me. I was told that they would be with me shortly. After waiting another 20 minutes I walked out. This is the worst service I have ever seen. I am a regular customer in the Colonial Heights Va store. They are very customer oriented. I live closer to the Petersburg store. My family and I will never shop in the Petersburg store again.

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  11. @ Carol
    Wow that is is a long time to wait before anyone helps you. Sorry you had to go through that.

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  12. i would like to give cvsmy correct phone #617-247-0383. when i dont have my extra care. i don’t know what # they have it is not correct. i do hope it get in the proper dept.

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  13. this is my secound email to you several weeks ago in your weekly flyer you had dvds on sale and there was one shown and it was for chitty chitty bang bang and i checked 6 cvs stores in my town and several others in other town nobody had it many said they nevr got any in some said many people had come in looking for that dvd and were told the same thing i did ask for a rain check but was told by the girl that i would probably never get it.
    This has not been the first time this has happend i am still carring around rain checks since the xmas season when advertised cvs should be stocked but out of 6 stores not one had it.
    You have to do better that that.
    I don’t believe this is good customer service plus my last email said i would hear within 24hours and it has been long past than.

    a very angry cvs customer julie
    and just to let you know i do a LOT of shopping at cvs thats why i am finally letting you know because i am sick of this.

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  15. I would like to know how come a 20.00 dollar charge for one bad check was taken out on Feb. 2nd 2010 check number 196 and again on mar. 3rd check 200. they both cleared my bank. I would like this matter taken care of asap. i would like the second 20.00 back in my bank no later than friday the 5th of march.

    Thank You
    Charlotte Harmon

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  16. Today, at 11:20a.m. I went into the CVS/pharmacy, at 78th and Western to pick up a prescription that had been waiting for me. After a few minutes, one of the assistant pharmacists came over to assist me. I told him my name, and he searched for my medicine while I spoke with the managing pharmacist. The assistant rang up the medicine, and the other 2 items that I had, baby oil and deodorant. I told him that I had Extra Bucks that I wanted to use against this purchase. He took the Extra Bucks coupon for $11.00 and rang it up. The purchase with the Extra Bucks had to be for the total amount of the coupon, so I purchased 2 boxes of M&Ms. He then asked me to swipe my card and he competed the transaction. That is when he noticed that the transaction was not correct and then proceeded to go through the motions of what I thought to be voiding the purchase, but what I later understood to be refunding the purchase. He asked me to swipe my Debit card a total of 3 times in all before he was done. One of those swipes was apparently for the actual purchase with the Extra Bucks coupon. Before I left the counter, he asked that I sign 3 refund receipts; the reasons were never explained to me. When I asked him would I now have to watch my account for multiple transactions he said, “No there will only be one transaction, for the purchase,” as he gave me my purchase, with 2 final receipts. Which I thought was odd, but should have, at the time, seen as a red flag.

    When I got home, sometime later, I looked up my bank account online and noticed that there were 2 transactions for CVS for today. One for the transaction with the coupon and one without. (The totals on both receipts!!) I called the store and spoke with the Store Manager, Mondo Scott . He looked it up on the computer and told me that I would have to come into the store and have the incorrect transaction refunded to my debit card. I told him that it was very inconvenient for me to come in today, but that I would be in as soon as I could. I also asked if they conducted any kind of training for their employees, since this was the second time I was inflicted with this assistant pharmacists’ ineptitude. Once before, with this same person, I had the very same issue, with needing to be refunded multiple transactions. He laughed and said that they did train their employees, but they never knew how much they retained. I asked the store manager, if I could request someone else wait on me when I come into the store, or if I were stuck with the inept assistant pharmacist. He said that I could always ask for someone else to wait on me.

    I felt I should go and have this taken care of while the transaction was still fresh on everyone’s minds. So, 20mins later I was in the store, looking for the store manager. The pharmacist, called the Manager and he came to be back of the store. He told me that because it takes longer for a refund to go back into someone’s account, I wouldn’t see the money for up to 3 days. And that there was nothing more he could do. He went and got the paperwork that he said explained everything. I told him I understood everything that he was saying, but that that meant I would be out of the $70.12 for up to 3 days by no fault of my own. How did they know I had that money available for them to play with? I also said that his store had made the mistake, his employee, and at no time did he ever apologize for the mistake. He said, “Well, I’m sorry, what more would you like for me to do. What can I do for you? Would you like a $5 store credit for your inconvenience? “ This gum chewing bubble blowing, store manager also said that, I was the one who paid for the transaction with a card and that if I had paid in cash, the refund would have been given back to me in cash. As if this were my fault, because I paid with a debit card.

    I am just one of the uninsured millions we have in this country, but thank goodness, I have always had a way to pay for my prescriptions. I had been shopping at this CVS for years. I spend hundreds of dollars there EVERY month, not just on prescriptions, but on many other items as well. At times, I have had Extra Bucks for up to $25. Do you know how much money you have to spend to accumulate $25 in Extra Buck? I do have a job, and in that job, I work with the public everyday… It wasn’t the $70 that bothered me; it was the way it was handled. This manager wasn’t apologetic for the mistake that was made, in fact he was very dismissive. That is poor customer service, and that is way I will be shopping at another pharmacy in the future.

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