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Fired Up Friday – CVS Pharmacy Misleading Ads

I am picking back up Fired Up Friday again.  I did not post anything last week because I decided to take a few days off from blogging and being on the computer constantly.  This week, my post was brought on from something that I tweeted about Sunday afternoon, if you didn’t see it, this is what I said:

Basically, this is what happened.  At about 3-4 a.m. I woke up and had to go to the bathroom for the second time in the middle of the night.  I had Taco Bell for dinner that night, so I thought that maybe my sugar could be pretty high, so I decided to test, which I never do at that time because I hate waking p and testing my sugar.  When I pulled out a strip, the vial slipped out of my hands and the strips fell out, normally I would just pick them up.  However, this time they decided they wanted to take a swim in the glass of water I had sitting right next to me.

That was my last vial of testing strips until my Freestyle Lite ones came in on either Tuesday or Wednesday.  Sunday morning I decided that I would look through the ads in the paper to see who had a better sale that weekend, CVS, Walgreens, Target or Wal-Mart.  CVS was the winner with having boxes of 50 strips of the TrueTest (which are the exact ones I was looking for) for $9.99.  I went out to the CVS right across the street to buy about 3-4 boxes because you can’t beat that price for back up strips.

The pharmacy only had 2 boxes of 25 and 1 box of 100.  So I said, well can you sell me the 2 boxes of 25 for $10, or the box of 100 for $20?  I knew that they couldn’t do this, but it was worth a shot, so I wasn’t upset about that.  I was a little concerned how they could have sold out that quickly, since that sales price was valid that day.  The next closest CVS was a few miles away, so I decided to call and they were out of stock also.  So I called the 2nd closest, and they were out of stock of the 50’s as well.  By this time, I am really irritated, so just for fun, I decide to call 10 of the closest CVS pharmacies to see if they had them in stock, to my surprise, not a single one had a box of 50 in stock.

So, what does that tell you?  Tells me a couple of things are possible.  First, maybe all 10 of those stores sold out so quickly that by the time I went there at 1:00 p.m. they were all sold out already.  Second option is that it was a simple oversight by an inventory manager for not having a sales product in stock.  The third and final option is that they had a special like that, a “too good to be true” special and did not stock their stores properly on purpose in order to drive traffic into their stores.  It wouldn’t be the first time I have seen this done by these type of stores.  That’s why milk is always so cheap in CVS and Walgreen’s just to get you into the store and by other stuff that’s overpriced.

This irritates the heck out of me.  I am in marketing, so I know the whole marketing side of this, but it’s not good marketing.  You are preying on people with a disease that need these testing strips to help manage their diabetes to get them into your store and then not have any of the product in that they came in for.  This is just unacceptable to me.  This is also the second time this year that I have had a bad experience with CVS Pharmacy, the other was their walk-in “clinic” where I had to teach the nurse about stuff instead of her helping me.

If you are going to advertise a product, please have it in stock.  You may think that you are creating this great marketing plan, but in reality, you are losing customers.  You have lost me, maybe nobody else, but I won’t ever walk into the store again.  Sometimes diabetics need some extra strips for emergencies that their insurance isn’t going to cover.  We all know how over-priced testing strips are already, so when you have a sale or deal like that, you are about to make the life of a diabetic a lot happier.  However, you used my illness to draw me into your store, congratulations.

Am I just over reacting?

6 thoughts on “Fired Up Friday – CVS Pharmacy Misleading Ads

  1. That seems to be like that with other health conditions. I myself who buys test strips can’t figure out why they coast so much.

  2. I think you have every right to be upset. I wonder if Walgreens would have matched the sale price? hmmmm….

    were they expecting a shipment in that day or anything?

    I always go to CVS. We get my RXs through mail order, but I buy other stuff there. I know it is expensive. I think I go there because I worked at a CVS in high school. Plus I like to print out the coupons at the store with my extracare card. Yes- I shop too much!

  3. Absolutely not. It’s deceitful and manipulative. I’m so sorry again about the strip snafu. I hope you are back in stock today as you expected!

  4. I don’t think you’re over reacting, it sounds like they either screwed it up on purpose or with poor planning: but either way, they screwed it up.

    I took my son to their minute clinic for a sports physical and they wouldn’t do it because of his type 1. OK fine, I get the ‘cover your a**’ policy but what annoyed me was that nowhere on their website is any mention of services being limited because of chronic illness. A simple “physicals may not be available for people with certain ilnesses or recent injury” would have done it. Luckily I didn’t wait long to find out but I was still bothered!

  5. You’re not overreacting at all, Chris. I find that disgraceful. If I were in that situation, I would have demanded that they sell me the same amount of strips for the advertised price – if not, then give me a raincheck for when they come in. The latter doesn’t help in the “need strips now” situation, but at least you’d get those marketed strips for what they were advertised for.

  6. Nope, not overreacting at all. It is shady business practice that prays on those of us who need supplies. And you know what they say about how many people are told about a bad experience?

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