Sticks and Stones (Walgreens Bitch Incident)
To make an incredibly long story short… let me ask you this:
What would you do if a call taker called your wife/mother/daughter/etc a bitch?
While you think about that, here’s a clip of Yeni talking to Valentin from Walgreens:
No audio? No problem… here’s a quick transcript:
WALGREENS: Before I connect you, is there anything else I can assist you with?
YENI: No. Thank you.
WALGREENS: Yeah… bitch.
I haven’t posted the full call, but I’ll summarize. Basically, Yeni went to Walgreens. The pharmacist incorrectly switched the order. Yeni called to find out what to do. The call taker wouldn’t let her talk to a pharmacist. She then asked to talk to a manager…
he called her a bitch… and then transferred her to a Pharmacist.
Yeni, as expected, did not like being called a bitch.
Now… what do you do about it?
As a business owner, I don’t want to hold the company responsible for the actions of a single employee. Instead, I want to let the company know about the incident and give them an opportunity to keep our business.
About an hour after the call, I called Walgreens to file a complaint. The short story… they didn’t take one. I even told the “supervisor” I was talking with that I felt my call was simply being brushed aside and did not feel “good” about the incident. The supervisor told me something along the lines of “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
The next day I called the corporate office. The initial call taker was very upset about the complaint, assured me that the complaint would be investigated, and that I would receive a follow-up.
I called back two days later and was told that I hadn’t given Walgreens enough time to investigate this issue. The next business day I received a call from a Walgreens Executive Response Specialist advising that they did not have a recording of the call.
Backstory… with our phone system here, we record calls. It’s a great thing. With Florida law, once you tell someone that the call can be recorded… you can record the call. So, on outbound calls (such as to Walgreens), when their announcement says “this call may be recorded” — we record it.
I offered the Response Specialist my copy of the call. She seemed a little shocked that I had one, but said that she would absolutely love to have the call and was genuinely thankful for my offer.
I waited another business day… and called the specialist, again, to get an update. It had now been a week. I was told that the behavior of the call taker (named Valentin) was not something that Walgreens strives for and that Valentin’s supervisor would be forwarded the complaint with a recommendation for discipline.
The specialist thanked me for my time, apologized to me, and told me to “be well.”
Walgreens never offered to apologize to my wife.
I wanted Yeni to receive an apology — a truly, sincere apology. To me an apology accepts responsibility and asks for forgiveness. “I’m sorry” is just words. A true apology takes thought and demonstrates sincerity. Something like, “It is very upsetting to me that someone on our staff called you a horrible name. This is not inline with our principles and beliefs and is unacceptable. Although I cannot take away what we’ve done, I truly apologize for our actions and hope you will give us the opportunity to prove to you that this was an exception.”
Instead, we received a “recommendation for discipline.”
I figured I would try one last time and reached out to Walgreens PR department. The quick version… they were too busy to talk to customers but took down my name and number.
The specialist called me about an hour later reminding me that she was the one helping me. I assume that the PR department called the specialist… who knows. I told the specialist that I wasn’t thrilled. My wife deserves an apology — a real apology.
I was told they would send us one.
Today marked two weeks. I reached out with an email asking about the apology… I was told they had sent it via US Mail and I should be patient. I was also offered a $25.00 gift card.
I turned down the gift card. I’m not sure what the price is for calling someone a bitch. I certainly don’t want to be in that business.
Looks like we’re looking for a new pharmacy. Any recommendations?