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Minute Clinic Customer Service

A little over a month ago, I had a particularly bad bout of allergy problems. I fought as hard as I could. The allergy symptoms eventually got the best of me. So I headed off to a MinuteClinic in a local CVS Pharmacy. Little did I know that this was the start of an ordeal that would cost me far more than a minute.

Trees. I’m only allergic to them in the spring and the fall (image via by R Neil Marshman CCbySA3.0)

I’m going to be fair and tell you that things went very well during my visit to the clinic. The nurse at my MinuteClinic carefully diagnosed my problem, prescribed some medication to get me some relief and even made sure my flu shot was up to date. I had my prescriptions in hand in a flash and was on my way home for the first good night of sleep I’d had in days. And then…

The Odyssey Of Minute Clinic Customer Service

There’s so often an “and then” in life, isn’t there? You deal with someone who is really on top of their game…and then. MinuteClinic’s “and then” isn’t in the clinics themselves, it is after the cure takes effect.

A few weeks after getting relief for my allergies, my wife and I were on vacation. She received an email from American Express that a charge on our card at CVS, hundreds of miles away, back home. This was of great concern to us. We’d just been through getting a new card after our old account was compromised. A call to American Express didn’t help us figure out what the charge was and we had to put an alert on our card to make sure there were no further potentially fraudulent charges.

I had a theory that the charge was somehow related to my MinuteClinic visit, so I made my first of many calls to the third circle of hell that is the MinuteClinic Customer Service line. I got someone on the phone inexplicably fast, given what I’d later experience, but she was not much help. After asking a series of questions, the first person I spoke to at MinuteClinic customer service said to me “yes, you did go to the clinic on October 3”.

Optimist that I am, I thought that was her just letting me know that she found my record. It wasn’t. That was the full extent of the information that she was able to give me. I already knew that I’d been to the clinic. I explained my plight again – I was on vacation with a credit card that was nearly impossible to use because of a potentially fraudulent charge at CVS MinuteClinic. She told me that was a question for the billing department.

“Great”, I said, “go on and connect me to billing and we’ll get this ironed out”. She wasn’t able to do that since the billing department was only open Monday through Friday and this was Saturday. Wonderful. They bill on Saturday, but the bill-er’s are inexplicably not present. So, because of CVS MinuteClinic, we were stuck in Florida with a credit card that was only good for picking door locks.

After we returned home, I made nine different calls trying to reach the MinuteClinic billing department. Here is what I learned from those calls – I learned that my call is important to them. It isn’t important enough to actually answer my call, but I must put off an aura of importance that they value because they told me over and over how important it was that I called…each time the recording told me to continue holding. For seven of those calls I was not able to hold long enough to speak to a representative. On each of those seven calls I was on hold for more than forty-five minutes before I surrendered.

On the eighth call I got a different recording that instructed to call back when the billing office was open from 9-5, Monday through Friday.

I’d dialed them at 3p.m. on a Wednesday.

I decided to try the social media route. I posted a gripe about the “call back when we’re open” message and got a rapid reply. “Please send us your name and email, we’ll have someone get in touch with you.” Foolishly, I thought this was the beginning of the end of my battle. Eighteen hours later, I’d not received an email or a call. I’d have to fight on.

And On The Ninth Call, A Miracle Happened

I decided to let CVS Minute Clinic have one more shot at getting this right.

IMG_0815

If you’re looking for the Customer Service Number for CVS MinuteClinic, here it is. Note that I was on hold for 1:05:57…and then some. Good luck to you if you call them.

After one hour and six minutes of listening to hold music and being reminded how important my call was, I heard someone come on the line and ask if she could help me. I opened by acknowledging that I was sure she heard this complaint all day, but I thought she should know that being on hold for an hour and six minutes didn’t make me feel important. Now, when I said that I didn’t expect that she’d say “I’m sorry, it’s all my fault” because it probably wasn’t.

I did expect her to say something more than “yeah, it’s bad”. Restating the obvious sometimes only magnifies it.

So I explained my situation. That’s not true, I told her that their hold music sucks and then I explained my situation.

Four minutes. That’s all it took. She was efficient in the way that I’d hope that someone who I’d spent six hours of my life waiting to talk to would be. The charge was finally confirmed as legitimate and my CVS MinuteClinic Customer Service ordeal came to an end. I thanked her for her help and let her move on to the next person who, I’m sure, would start their conversation with “do you have any idea how long I’ve been on hold?”

Sometimes, I look back on situations and ask myself what I’d do differently if given the chance. In this case, I’d have to say that I’d be more resistant to allergens. Also, I’d have put my headphones on and listened to better music than that stuff CVS chose for their hold music.

I wonder if CVS MinuteClinic ever wonders what they could do to make situations right. If they do, compensating me for my time would be a nice place to start.

 

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16 Comments on “Minute Clinic Customer Service”

  1. shoutabyss says:

    Rite Aid once asked me if I’d be waiting for my prescription to be filled. I said, “Yes. I’ll be sitting right over there.” There I sat and I never moved from the spot. Then they stuck my prescription on a shelf while I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally, after 90 minutes, I stood in line just to speak with them again. (The place was teeming with old folks.) Eventually I learned they never bothered to check to see if I was waiting. Missing work, sick as a dog, and the pharmacy signs me up for bonus time?! I kicked the hell out of their automatic glass doors as I stormed out of that hellhole. Another satisfied customer. I feel your pain.

  2. hya21 says:

    I’ve been trapped in automated phone hell too – but my music was pretty good.

  3. List of X says:

    Oma, I don’t think trying to get compensation from CVS is a good idea. Chances are, CVS will mistakenly charge you instead, and you’d spend another six hours trying to get it fixed.

  4. Technically, they never say HOW MANY minutes you owe them when you go to their MinuteClinic.

  5. Queen says:

    cvs’ regional managers aren’t much better. i *may* have gotten some people fired, or relocated, but i’m still waiting (three years now) for that refund the regional manager promised me…

  6. Since dropping our land-line phone, making calls like these require a fully charged cell phone and a charger nearby just in case I still run out of juice listening to The Tijuana Brass. After sitting on hold for more than 45 minutes, my cell phone is usually hot enough to iron clothes. I’d call Verizon to complain about that, but I think we both know how that would end.

  7. Rebecca says:

    That’s as bad as the IRS! I once spent so long on hold with the IRS I had enough time to do my laundry and make dinner!

  8. Edith crump says:

    What it that beautiful Classic Music being played while you wait for someone to answer the phone a Pharmacy Person ?

  9. Jane says:

    Oh, Dear Omawarisan! I WORKED at MinuteClinic for over 4 years. I started out as a Bitch in the Box and weaseled my way up to District Manager. I guess they’ve gotten better at hiding their reality since I left, as the truth is it is much closer to the 9th circle of hell.


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