We went out to Wal-Mart in Killeen, TX to pick up my prescription. After returning some stuff, we went back to the pharmacy, which was slammed, and got in line. Despite there being seven other employees besides the pharmacist, it took over 10 minutes to get to the one woman manning the registers. I give my name, the cashier grabs my bag, scans it and gives me my total...
Whoa. She immediately realizes the problem - something about them not having my insurance info saved in their system correctly - so I hand over my insurance card. She asks me to sit on the bench, says she'll call me when it's processed and that'll be about five minutes. So we wait. While every single other customer is checked out. And I'm watching six other employees standing around, doing nothing, one even playing a game on her cell phone, while one pharmacist works in the back, one cashier with no customers sat at the drop-off window and one cashier handled everything else. Ten minutes later, when I'm the only one left, the girl playing on her phone finally comes over to the cashier to get my insurance card... meaning this whole time I was waiting, they hadn't even started to finish my stuff. I'm annoyed, but I understand they're very busy and it's not necessarily their fault things were messed up. By now, we've been in the pharmacy for almost 30 minutes and my husband and five-year-old are getting antsy.
Another five minutes pass and the cashier calls me up to the counter. She scans everything again and checks me out - this time with my insurance applied - and I figure everything is good now.
...but no, of course it's not. We make our way back to the gardening center, where I pull out the bottle to take a pill. I immediately realize they've only given me four days worth of medication on a 30-day prescription! They never told me they were only filling four days, AND they charged me my full co-pay to boot, never mind that if I hadn't decided to take it at that moment, we'd have gotten all the way home before we realized it. Now really annoyed, we make our way back to the pharmacy.
The line for pick-up was now so backed up that it was wrapping around the first-aid aisle, and there were still at least four employees twiddling their thumbs while the pharmacist was filling prescriptions, one employee ran back and forth across the aisles of medication and a different cashier handled everything else. I go to the drop-off window, which has no customers, figuring I would get it fixed faster that way. I explain the situation; the cashier seems to get it and pulls up a digital copy of my prescription. She then makes a weird face, turns the screen to face me and says, "it looks like the pharmacist only authorized 12 pills." I can see the words "dispense 12 pills" scribbled next to "#90" in different handwriting and I ask her what that means. She says that, even though my prescription is for 90 pills, since the pharmacist wrote "dispense 12 pills" on the prescription, I can only get 12 pills and need a new prescription for anything else. WHAT. I'm now contemplating burning the pharmacy down.
I calmly and politely try to explain that the pharmacist must have only had 12 pills in stock (which has happened before, but never required me to get a new prescription for the rest) but that shouldn't mean that I can't have the rest of my prescription filled when they get more in. The cashier says, "No, that's not it, I can see we have more in stock.. I'm not sure what the pharmacist did." And then she stares at me, blankly, like I'm supposed to just accept this as a reasonable explanation and go home. I ask her if she could maybe, you know, go ask the pharmacist what's going on, because there was clearly some kind of mix-up. She huffs, takes my bottle and the bag and tells me to sit while she sorted it out.
Another 15 minutes (and nearly an hour and a half after we first came to the pharmacy, not including the time we spent shopping) goes by before the new cashier - who I later realized was the head cashier/supervisor - calls me up and asks if I was the girl who wanted a refund. Thoroughly confused, I explain the situation, to which the cashier looked at me with an "uhhhh"' (albeit nice/polite) face and said "oh, they only told me that the blonde girl in the pink shirt needed a refund." Apparently, neither the drop-off cashier nor the pharmacist bothered to tell anyone that the prescription needed to be fixed; they just figured they'd refund me, keep my prescription and be done with it. The cashier goes back to talk with the pharmacist, then comes back up and explains that in order for my insurance to cover the fixed prescription, they had to undo and refund me for the messed-up one. She assures me it won't be much longer, gives me back my money and asks me to sit back down.
FORTY-FIVE MINUTES LATER, we're still sitting. In this time, my husband went to finish the rest of our shopping, checked out, picked up some pretzels from Auntie Anne's because it was past our normal dinner time and we were all starving, we had then eaten the pretzels, solved the Riemann Hypothesis, played a marathon game of rock-paper-scissors and were now looking up videos of silly animals on YouTube. I'm fairly certain I could have finished my own degree in pharmacology by now. Total wait time so far: TWO HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES.
Yeah, by now we should have given up and gone elsewhere. But, again, this is the only local pharmacy that stocks the medication, I need to take it every day and it was so late, even if we could find another pharmacy, they likely wouldn't be able to fill it tonight. Besides, we were constantly told it would only be 5-10 more minutes, and we had been waiting so long, we figured it couldn't be much longer.
After the line died down again, the cashier called me up to tell what was going on: apparently, the pharmacist decided that asking them to fix their mistake was the equivalent of dropping off a brand-new prescription. Even though the mistake was 110% their fault. And this particular Wal-Mart had a "one-hour refill" guarantee, so even if that truly was their policy, we STILL shouldn't have been waiting that long. I asked if she knew why the pharmacist had written "dispense 12 pills" on my prescription in the first place, to which the cashier said, "I have no idea, the only thing we can figure is that either she initially though we only had 12 pills in stock, or she confused your prescription with another customer's." How comforting. I'm totally confident in your ability to not kill me now.
It took another 20 minutes and the cashier pestering the pharmacist (eventually, she stood next to the pharmacist for a solid five minutes holding the empty bag for my prescription to encourage her to hurry up) for the prescription to finally be filled correctly. Over two and a half after we had first come in to pick it up - and more than 72 hours after we had called it in - we FINALLY walked out with my prescription.
Oh, but remember: this is Wal-Mart, OF COURSE WE ARE NOT DONE YET.
Before I left the counter, I opened the bag to double-check everything was okay before leaving, and low and behold, this time they gave me an extra four pills. My prescription was for 90, but the bottle said there were 94 and when I quick-counted, there was 94 pills. So I summoned the cashier one final time and pointed out the mistake. She literally laughed hysterically in frustration and brought the bottle back to the pharmacist. The pharmacist refused to admit she had made a mistake; she came up to the counter and started arguing with me that my doctor was the one who had written the prescription and that he must have written it for 94. Which makes no sense, because a) I take three pills (morning, noon and bedtime) a day, so 94 pills would be 31 days' worth plus one spare pill, b) I saw the prescription myself when he gave it to me, and again on the computer screen, where it clearly said 90, and c) IT IS A REFILL AND THE PRIOR FOUR MONTHS WERE FOR 90 PILLS HELLO? I politely explained, in the best sickly-sweet tone I could muster, these three points.The pharmacist snapped at me - SNAPPED! - that she does this all day long and she knows what she's doing, it's not her fault my doctor made a mistake, so I calmly suggested she pull the prescription up on the screen to double-check. She looked me dead in the eye, with the nastiest look on her face, and said, "If I did that for every customer that came in here and argued with me, I would never get anything done."
Seriously?! SERIOUSLY?!? Your pharmacy cannot handle the most basic of tasks like, applying insurance to prescriptions, reading instructions, completing basic math, and you're going to snap at ME after I exercised utmost patience dealing with you and your staff's utter incompetency? Whoa-hoooa lady, you're asking for it now!
I admit, I lost my cool and was rude and I cursed when I shouldn't have, and that was wrong. I should have just walked away. But after the nonsense of trying to get a simple prescription fill, I was beyond pissed and I snapped back, "lady, I'm just trying to help you so you don't get fired or lose your license. But if you can't even count to 90 correctly and then you act like an ass when I politely point out YOUR mistake, then you DESERVE to be fired." And then I walked away.
I'm still angry over it - all I was trying to do was help her, because I'm fairly certain dispensing the incorrect amount of medication is just as bad as giving the wrong dosage or the wrong medication altogether. But hey, if you want to be a jerk when I'm trying to help you, then you can deal with the consequences.
BONUS: The icing on the cake? When we got home, my husband pulled the bottle out to hand-count how many pills there were. As he was putting them back in, he noticed the bottle had a completely different doctor's name than my doctor, who wrote the prescription - like, my doctor's name is Jeffrey Mansfield, MD, the name on the bottle is Jessica Johnson-Roberts, DO (not their real names). I Googled the second doctor and she practices psychiatry in New Jersey.. We live in Texas and my doctor is treating me for liver disease. NOT EVEN CLOSE. I tried calling the second doctor's number (also on the prescription bottle, along with her address and what I'm guessing is her license number) but it was past 7:00PM our time when we finally got home, and probably 09-10:00PM their time, so they were obviously closed. We've since taken a photo of the bottle, the 94 pills spread out on the table and a close-up of the doctor's information, which my husband emailed to Wal-Mart corporate with an explanation of what happened. Not that we think it'll accomplish anything, but he was very angry, so it made him feel better.
I'm hoping the pharmacist ultimately double-checked the physical prescription after I left, because she'll see she gave me four extra pills and that she listed the wrong doctor and, if nothing else, maybe she'll stop being such an asshole when customers try to help her not lose her freaking job.
I'm not even going to call to fix this last problem. I plan to contact this other doctor on Monday to let her know Wal-Mart is attaching her names to patients she's never seen & prescriptions she's never written, and let nature take it's course. I have to go in for a new prescription next month, anyway, so I don't think it'll mess anything up when I go to refill it.
In summation: After handling my prescription for five months, and three days after I call in my re-fill, Wal-Mart forgets to bill my insurance, then bills me my full co-pay for only four days' worth of medication, then tells me I need a new prescription for the remaining 26 days because their pharmacist arbitrarily decided to write "dispense 12 pills" on my prescription for 90 pills, they make me wait over two and a half hours to fix their mistakes, and THEN they give me four extra pills, fight with me and refuse to take the extra four pills back when I point out their mistake, and list a doctor I've never heard of in a state I don't live in as the person who prescribed the medication. MADNESS ENSUES.