Minute Clinic Customer ServicePosted: November 20, 2014
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.
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.
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.