Friday, March 16

CVS: It Just Sucks

Forgive my lack of creative title. It's much too hard to come up with a new one each time CVS disservices me.

The first new CVS tale happened a month or so ago; I accidentally knocked over my daughter's medication bottle and lost all but a few doses. I went to the drugstore and explained what happened, hoping they would pity me and give me half a bottle for free. (For goodness sake, it's generic Bactrim-- it's hardly liquid gold.) The pharmacist said no.

Fine. Here's my $10, give me the meds.

Nope-- first I had to wait 45 minutes. And when I returned to the pickup counter, I was informed they were out of the regular flavor.

Whatever-- she can take grape. She needs her meds.

Okay, we'll give you grape. Wait right over there and we'll dispense some.

Tap tap tap. 10 minutes later: here's your grape. Except we're almost out, so here's your dose for tonight. Come back tomorrow. Not like they could've mentioned that an hour ago so I could patronize the CVS up the road.

Then, today, I dropped off a new prescription and came back 45 minutes later in the drive-thru. The prescription bottle had a warning "NOT TO TAKE IF BREASTFEEDING" (which I am) so I asked the pharmacist about it (since the doctor should have known better.) She wasn't familiar with the side effects, so she asked me to wait while she looked it up. While I waited there, a pharmacy tech came to the window and asked if I needed help.

Nope, I'm being helped, I told him.

Do you need to pick something up?

No, waiting for the pharmacist to look something up for me.

Oh. You need to pull around then.


Because there might be people behind you.

There aren't.

Oh. Okay.

(Did I mention this was a drive-thru window? Had he turned his head 90° to the right, he would have seen Lack of Cars Behind Me.)

So, apparently my drive-thru experiences are the same wherever I go. The scary thing is, they need a college degree to work the one at CVS . . .

Wednesday, March 7

Archives: Nationwide Moving & Storage

In August of 2003, my husband and I moved from Burbank, CA to Baltimore, MD. We collected moving quotes from various companies and went with Nationwide Moving & Storage, headquartered in Las Vegas.

On the day of the move, they arrived six hours late. Inasmuch as we were supposed to be starting our drive across the country once our belongings were loaded on the truck, this was more than a little inconvenient. We did our best and set out late.

Our things were supposed to arrive in Baltimore in "10-14 days." We took a leisurely drive (due mostly to the fact that I was 12 weeks pregnant and throwing up in every gas station and truck stop in the contiguous U.S., and that we were traveling with an elderly kitty who needed frequent breaks.) We stopped to spend a few days with my husband's grandparents in the midwest, and arrived in Baltimore after about 9 days.

Then Nationwide began to stonewall us. Our belongings had not been delivered after 14 days; when I called, I was told their delivery windows are "14-21 business days." I almost cried. We went to Target and bought an air mattress. Day after day I called, awaiting our furniture.

Finally, about a month after Nationwide took possession of our possessions, I got a call saying they would be arriving the following morning. And, oh yeah-- our belongings took up more room than they had estimated it would, so we were responsible for double the estimate. Payment in full was due before they would unload the truck.

This time I did cry. We had just left jobs and my husband was still waiting to start his new job in Baltimore. We did not have thousands of extra dollars lying around for movers. I called my parents, who wired us $2000. That was a wild goose chase in and of itself, trying to find a Western Union location that would deal with sums over $500. We ended up splitting the amount and collecting it from two different locations just before closing time.

The next day, the movers arrived . . . not in the morning, but in the evening. They unloaded our boxes and were long gone by the time we discovered many broken items (including wedding china) and missing items (curiously enough, several DVD's packed securely in the middle of a box were gone, as was a crystal jewelry box.)

When we filed for insurance reimbursement, we were told that we could collect only on items packed by Nationwide movers-- not on objects we had boxed ourselves. We estimated the replacement value of our broken/missing items was about $700. Our reimbursement? Fifty-some dollars.

I have always been angry about this particular company. And yesterday I ran across a website,, that has a blacklist of moving companies.

Yup. Here it is. Nationwide is known for "operating without the required licenses and insurance to perform household goods moving services. Complaints include low-ball bids to attract customers followed by extremely higher rates once belongings are loaded on the truck... Other complaints include extensive damage and missing items at delivery."

This experience was definitely one of my worse Customer Disservice experiences, since they were not merely incompetent, but purposely deceptive.