Breaking: Impatient Customer Still Manages To Be Kind To Workers

, , , , , | Working | August 4, 2020

When a customer orders groceries online at my store, they have the option to get their prescriptions filled provided it isn’t a controlled substance. Extra steps are taken to make sure we don’t violate HIPAA laws. However, we partner with a popular online grocery company to offer delivery. Prescriptions are not available through delivery for a variety of reasons.

One of my customers has asked to have his prescription filled on a delivery order. I call him to explain his options.

Me: “Unfortunately, we cannot give you your prescription through delivery.”

Customer: “Why not? We get all our other meds delivered through a service.”

Me: “It’s because it would violate all sorts of HIPAA laws. The [Online Grocery Company] drivers aren’t certified and can’t sign for it. If you want, I can get everything prepared for you, and you could come in and get it from the pharmacy.”

Customer: “I guess we’ll have to, but can I pick it up tomorrow, instead? Will it be ready then?”

Me: “Yes. I’ll have the pharmacy get it ready, and I can add it to your order today so it’s already paid for, so all you have to do tomorrow is come by and pick it up.”

Customer: “Could I come through the curbside pickup lane and get it? We’re in the age group that’s not supposed to be going outside right now, so we’d rather not come inside.”

Me: “Yes, that’s fine.”

I end the call and think nothing of it. A few hours later, the customer calls again. No one has come by to pick up his groceries and he’s wondering what’s going on.

Me: “We actually have nothing to do with the delivery part. We partner with [Online Grocery Company]. I can give you their customer service number to call. I find issues are resolved faster when they talk to the actual customer instead of us.”

Customer: “Have you had other problems with delivery orders today?”

This is in the middle of the current health crisis thing, and so many people are trying to get groceries delivered that it’s causing backup both on our system and with the online grocery company.

Me: “Yes, we’ve been having some problems all weekend. I think the main problem is that they don’t have enough drivers right now. But like I said, if you call them, they should get someone out here to pick your order up. The number is [number].”

Customer: “I hope my perishables aren’t going bad.”

Me: “Oh, no. We have coolers and freezers for the cold stuff, so nothing will be spoiled.”

Customer: “Thank you for your help.”

I hang up, and he calls again five minutes later.

Customer: “So, they aren’t taking calls from customers right now. Could you please call them? Maybe they’ll listen to you.”

Me: “I can try, but we have to call the exact same number, so I’m not sure if I’ll get any further.”

Customer: “If you can’t, that’s fine. We can come to pick it up tomorrow if we don’t get the groceries delivered today.”

I hang up and check our dashboard for delivery orders. The dashboard lets us see if someone has claimed an order, or delete a delivery if we need to, but nothing else. I see his order is still open and call the online grocery company. I am on hold for a good fifteen minutes listening to the most upbeat hold music I’ve ever heard, when the customer calls me back again.

Customer: “So, my wife doesn’t want to wait, and she wants her prescription today. Could we just pick it up today? Is the prescription ready?”

Me: “Yes, the prescription is ready. You are welcome to come to pick your order up at your convenience. I’m sorry about this.”

Customer: “It’s not your fault. It’s [Online Grocery Company]. You guys are doing your best. I’m sure you’re swamped right now, and half the shelves are empty right now. My wife just doesn’t want to wait anymore. She’s on her way now.”

I cancelled the delivery online. Not even five minutes later, his wife showed up for the groceries. 

This isn’t the first time we’ve had people not get their groceries within their delivery time slot, but this whole outbreak situation certainly has multiplied the number of people left waiting for their groceries.

At least this customer was understanding about everything. Too many people have yelled at us for deliveries being late and the store being out of everything, fights have broken out in the store, etc. We even had a customer steal a roll of paper towels that a coworker was using to clean the shelves. We really appreciate the understanding people right now.

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