Not quite a scam, but I'll never order again
A review by russevans04352 written on Aug 16, 2010Full review
I've never had an online shopping experience take so many unexpected turns!
A family member without insurance needed a refill on a maintenance prescription. Knowing that mail-order pharmacies can be cheaper for these types of orders, I volunteered to ‘shop around' and find the best price. They say that no good deed goes un-punished, and in this case they were right.
DONE WELL: To give them their due, DRUGSTORE.COM was one of the few on-line pharmacies that provides a price list, and of those that did, it was the easiest to use and the most comprehensive. Unfortunately, it turns out that DRUGSTORE.COM doesn't actually follow their own price list (more on that later...)
Using the price list, I was able to find out that 2 150mg tabs were cheaper than 1 300mg tab. To take advantage of this, I had to get the doctor to re-write the prescription and send it to DRUGSTORE.COM. As I expected, anytime you get your doctor talking directly to your pharmacist, things go wrong, but this time was the worst I've ever seen. Apparently, DRUGSTORE.COM waits for days before calling to get their questions answered, and at no point did they ever call me to get the answers (ex., the process was delayed for most of a week over the patient's birth date. This one was on me, because I'd typo'd when entering it. A 2-minute call or an email to me could have cleared it up, but that never happened.)
FOLLOW THE MONEY: Finally, the prescription was processed and shipped. Unfortunately, when I checked the status of the order on their website, the price had changed from $171 to $299!!! I called to complain and was told that it was too late - the product had already shipped. When I told them I'd just reject it, they said I couldn't. It's against the law for them to accept returns on prescriptions, and if I returned it they'd just send it back to me!
Come to find out, there were actually two different generic drugs for this prescription. The one I'd looked up was cheaper, and the one they given me was more expensive. Funny thing is, when I'd priced the drug on their site, I'd looked up the brand name, and the site referred me to the cheap generic - no mention of the more expensive one. In fact, when I looked up the more expensive generic, it didn't mention the brand name at all!
It turns out that entirely coincidentally the price list only matches to the cheap generic, and the pharmacy's order process only matches to the expensive generic!
THE GOOD NEWS: After begging and pleading, waiting for call-backs that never came, and politely asking again and again to talk with a supervisor, they agreed to only charge me the original price.
THE ON-HOLD MUSIC: While I initially used email to connect with DRUGSTORE.COM customer service, the order eventually got complicated enough that I had to start calling in. I don't think I ever got through with less than a 10 minute wait, and I know I was on-hold for over 30 minutes for one call. I finally started putting the call on speaker, so I could get some work done while waiting.
CONCLUSION: I can't imagine ever ordering from these people again. They actually raised the price of my order by 75% and shipped it without asking me! Also, even though they've been in business for a long time, they still made all sorts of rookie mistakes (ex., one email I sent to customer service generated an auto-reply that said their automatic question answering program had come up with some possible answers, and I should click the links below to view them. The only thing following this helpful advice was three blank lines.)
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