The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Price match Redux

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 9:34 pm on Monday, October 20, 2008

We often get asked if we price match and begrudgingly we answer that we do, because according to our company policy, we will, IF the pharmacy will give us the price.  (Gee, we dont take the customer’s word).

AND, while I am giving flu shots, I am often asked side questions I got the pharmacist here and I am gonna pump her for every bit of information I can before she gets up. I am used to that.

So this guy asks one of us (we have no idea who), if we price match.  We affirm we do and he, like many before him, goes merrily on his way, one more flu shot done.  We do not know who he is, he is just one of many inquirers.

A couple of weeks later, we get some prescriptions…that we fill…like we do every day. The patient is in the computer but only for a flu shot. He has a medicare D plan. Bing Bang Boom, we fill them and put them on the shelf.  They are filled for 90 days each and his insurance charges $5 for each 30 day period, so the copay is $15 each. There are two of them.

A couple of days later a man comes to claim these two prescriptions, and the clerk rings them up.  $30.  He goes ballistic. “YOU SAID YOU PRICE MATCH. BIG BOX HAS THESE FOR $10 EACH”.  She has no idea what this guy is talking about.  The pharmacist has no idea what this guy is talking about since 1) this is the first time he has filled these here and 2) they weren’t transfer’s/copies and 3) he didn’t ask anybody to price match these rx’s.

You haven’t been here before, so, who do you want us to price match?..you do have to ask us to price match a competitor.”  It was completely beyond his comprension that we don’t just call every competitor and match everybody’s lowest price.  He was pissed he had to ask. He was pissed he had to wait for the tech to redo the prescriptions. He was pissed when we had to call the pharmacy he wanted us to price match. 

Moron,  if you want Big Box’s cheapies so bad, why dont you just go back there? All you did is piss off my staff and show everybody what an asshole you really are.  Nobody wants to help you now. None of us like you price-matchers and coupon users anyway. You might have been nice about it.  But you weren’t, and you aren’t doing me any favors by bringing your loss leaders to me.

Maybe I have been a retailer too long, I dunno.  When Pharmacy Chick shops, she does her homework, finds what she wants at the price she is willing to pay then GOES TO THAT PLACE AND BUYS IT. It may be an internet business, it may be in town. Either way, If A sells what I am seeking for $20 and B sells it for $15, I will drive to B unless its gonna waste my time to go there.  A has a right to charge $20 and I have a decision to either pay it or go elswhere.  I just find it presumptuous to ask somebody to sell it for less unless they make a point of claiming to be “the lowest price you will find anywhere”.

I asked for a price match exactly once.  It was for such a retailer above about 5 years ago.  They said “if you find it cheaper ANYWHERE, including the internet, we will refund the difference.”  I found my stove for $200 less on the internet. I got my money back, and then they changed the price of the stove to match the internet place.

I still felt guilty.

3 Comments »

571

Comment by CPhT

October 21, 2008 @ 4:38 am

The only time I don’t feel guilty asking for price matches is during the Black Friday frenzy. I rationalize that if they say they’ll match prices, I’ll do it, since last year, something I wanted sold out a few places before I even got there. So, I had the original place price match that when I went back.

572

Comment by sickofstupidpeople

October 21, 2008 @ 12:08 pm

FYI – one “big box” recently had emails and memos sent out from corporate offices clarifying some obscure part of the Medicare Part D laws. Patients are supposed to send their receipts to medicare for anything they don’t have submitted thru the insurance. So, some of us have started to refuse to do the 90 day ten buck thing for cash if the patient has part D. Cuz we know they have the plan, and who’s gonna get nailed for insurance fraud if the patient doesn’t mail the receipt? Yup, you guessed it – me.

573

Comment by Cathy Lane RPh

October 21, 2008 @ 3:05 pm

It is a little astonishing to me think that some people go on the offensive when they find themselves in the wrong, as the ballistic customer expecting an automatic price-matching. What was that guy thinking? If your company matched everyone’s price without special request, then what would be the point of setting a price? Obviously someone with a deficit in common sense, as well as knowledge.

I think if insurance is involved i.e. a third party, then there really should be less justification for price-matching than if cash is being parlayed, or, as mentioned above a box of chocolates.

It has been quite an amusing and amazing undertaking to observe my husband’s dickering throughout our married life (he is of a different cultural background than the typical American). With regard to ‘big ticket items’, if he has bought something at the shop before and established a client status he pays cash and likes to negotiate a final price. We do our homework on the internet, from Consumer Digest, or other library references, as well as ask friends. (As one can tell, we don’t make many ‘big’ purchases!)

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