Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CVS vs. Rite-Aid? CVS WINS!

I switched to CVS Pharmacy two or three years ago after becoming dissatisfied with Rite-Aid. I had tolerated a lot of sub-par service from Rite-Aid -- long waits, prescription mix-ups, refills orders that didn't get processed -- but the "final straw" was the habit they developed of frequently placing a handwritten "sorry, closed" sign on the drive-thru window. I can only speculate about their reason for doing so, but my best guess would be that it was a convenient way for them to handle peak busy times. Their location was extremely convenient for me, but that cut the convenience factor way down. I finally decided to help them out with their overload by giving them one less customer to deal with.

In the time that I've been patronizing CVS, their drive-thru window has never been closed. They've never messed up a prescription. They almost always have my refills ready on time -- and if my doctor is slow in responding to an expired prescription, they call to take care of it. Now, it would be one thing to give a glowing report if I only picked up a prescription a few times a year, but with the number of medications I use, I'm there about once a week, usually for more than one prescription at a time, so I've "tested" them pretty rigorously over the past couple of years.

In addition to their outstanding service, they have the best customer reward program I've ever found -- the Extra Care program. I've received coupons for "Extra Bucks" for as much as thirty-some dollars at a time. Rewards like that really add up, and I frequently get coupons, like 20% off on a total purchase, free products, etc.

What prompted me to post about the wonders of CVS came yesterday. A while back, I requested to have my prescriptions filled without using child-safe caps. I have some arthritis and opening the safety caps can get to be a chore, especially with a number of medications. Sometimes a prescription will be filled by labeling the original bottle that the medication comes in, if the number of doses matches up right. So, yesterday, I got one of those original bottles and I was surprised -- pleasantly so -- to find that the pharmacist had removed the safety cap that comes on the original bottles and replaced it with a regular cap. (The inner seal was still intact.) I thought it was really "going the extra mile" for them to do that! You can see in the photo, my old bottle of medication with the original safety cap (on the right) and the new bottle with the easy-open cap on the left. CVS was already at the top of my customer service list, but now they have a gold star beside their name!

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