The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Internet marketing: Part II License to steal.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 8:43 pm on Saturday, October 13, 2012

There is clearly something wrong with Pharmacy Chick:  She doesn’t steal:  she doesn’t think about ways to steal, and she never takes opportunities to take things that do not belong to her. Once ( under dark of night) Mr Chick and I found a load of cash on the road coming home from work. Nearby was a wallet  that look like it had exploded ( from being run over).  We could have kept it.  The wallet’s owner never would have known we found it.  Nevertheless, it would have been a form of theft…keeping something you know doesnt’ belong to you…and knowing who the owner is makes it precisely that: theft.  Its kinda like dumping your trash in a grocery store’s dumpster:  technically its theft of service, taking something that doesn’t belong to you.

However, our foray into  internet marketing has made it very clear that stealing is not merely common, but widespread..and unabashedly shameless.

One of pharmacy chicks responsibilities is to manage the billing for ITEM.  Because MR Moneybags came up with this brilliant ” subscription” idea, handling the money is complicated.   On good faith, we send out a full size container of ITEM and according to the terms of agreement, customers can enjoy all the benefits of ITEM for 14 days.  They will be charged a fee on day 14 IF they have not cancelled their order and returned the product.  Pretty simple….make s bit of money 14 days after we send out our free trial …IF THEY HAVE MONEY ON THEIR CREDIT CARD.

Apparently this is quite the popular scam….use a nearly maxed out credit card to obtain free trials, then fail to pay for them when the time runs out.  There is really nothing the business can do.  Nobody is going to beat down the scammer’s door to get the product back. We just get a notification from the payment processor saying that the payment has failed and no further withdrawals will be made on the suspended account.  One might hope its an anomaly, but in truth, its the majority of the “sales” we had. … much so that we abandoned all new orders after if became evident that our FAILS outnumbered the SUCCESSES by 2:1.

It makes me sad that so many people use the internet to shoplift from their homes.

Never the less, a smattering of the total did manage to get to the first charge stage.  Nobody was breathing easy yet.  We then started receiving the snotty calls wanting to cancel….( did they think that 14 days was anything but 14 days??)

Anything past 14 days is technically our money, but we wanted to be good business people and felt it would be proper to refund a cancelled order.

Because the terms made it pretty clear that the return of the unused ITEM was part of the deal, we received a fair amount of voice messages calling FOUL when they were asked to return ITEM to get their refund..

yada yada yada…

It reminded me way too much of  the pharmacy when we run those stupid coupon events with people trying to scam the pharmacy by abusing the offer. After a while I felt I was at work 24-7…the only difference of which was that I OWNED the second company.

We’ve also received a few calls from people who clearly didn’t read the terms for the trial.  They thought Free  14 day trial was FREE forever….Really??? Like I was just going to start sending out full size containers of ITEM without any provision of payment?  They balked at the first payment for the product.  ” I thought It was free”.  Yes, it was a free 14 day trial…the 14 days  are up.  You pay or return..

I conferred with MR MoneyBags about this and he said  “well you must expect some attrition”…Sure I can expect some attrition…but nearly 70% failure/theft rate?  Any profit we made on the few that will go thru will surely be eaten up with the ones who stole it from us.

As the month ends and more and more of the successes realize their charges, I figure more of them will balk at it and call to bitch about it.  I dont return the calls.  I gave that juicy job to Mr Chick.  Somehow I ended up managing the banking mess of this.  I gave HIM Customer service!

There was an object lesson in here:   Mr Money bags said “tons” of people like to buy stuff this way…he was almost correct…tons of people like to steal stuff this way.



Comment by Mickey Lim

October 17, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

we pharmacists are as a generality, pretty crazy bunch: we like our cocktails, and many, like yourself love golf. As a whole, we are an honest bunch, and really do not take advantage. How else do we tell people that they DON’T need a drug, or refrain from dispensing.

We ARE concerned with fairness, otherwise I wouldn’t want to bang my head against a brick wall after an encounter with an insurance company!

What I’m saying is as crazy as we pharmacists are, you are normal to feel the way you do. My husband has been out of work for 3 years, and I understand Mr Chick’s desire to take the pressure off.

Personally, I always knew that as a pharmacist I’d never get rich, but I’d always be ok financially.

My best advice to you: go hit a couple buckets of balls followed by a couple cocktails.

Comment by Jon

October 18, 2012 @ 11:47 am

That kind of treatment from people I don’t know would cause me to accentuate my cynical side. Mickey Lim offers some good advice.

Comment by terry

October 19, 2012 @ 6:25 am

thanks good information, nice reading

Comment by MV

October 21, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

I think free trials that result in charges unless a customer takes action are a type of scam. By definition the item is not free yet that is how it is advertised.

So yes, signing up for a free trial with no intent of paying is wrong and theft. But if it makes those trials go away, I won’t shed many tears.thats the definition of “trial”. ya get it for a specified amount of time free of charge. If you like it keep it and pay for it, if you dont, you return it. Its not my favorite way to do it, but its what we got talked into. ours was definitely NOT a scam because the terms are printed right out there for everyone to see. we made it quite clear. Nowhere else but on the internet can you get something to try free. I cannot walk into my local grocery store and ask them to give me a bottle of X to use for a couple of weeks..decide I dont like it and then drop it off. It just doesn’t work that way. Regardless, we canned the offer because of the people who wanted ITEM and never intended to pay.

Comment by Wholly Cow

October 22, 2012 @ 1:07 am

Wow, I dump my trash in grocery stores dumpsters all the time.

I’ll have to go to confession this Saturday.I used that example because my first job as a pharmacist was at a small independent pharmacy next to a grocery store. They had massive dumpsters and we had one small one. The residents of an apartment complex behind us used to dump their trash in our dumpsters instead of their own ( farther away I guess). We ( and the grocery store) had to lock down our dumpsters finally.

Comment by Hound Doggy

October 24, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

I own a small retail store and people steal all the time. The last episode was a guy who has come in here for probably 7 or 8 years. I’ve done all sorts of favors for him many times but it just doesn’t matter. There is no loyalty coming my way but customers want me to bend the moon for them. And they don’t understand when I won’t.
That is one reason that I have a very low opinion of people.

Comment by Iolanthe

October 25, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

Dear PC:

Sorry to put this here but I didn’t know how else to contact you. This isn’t regarding the post – this comment is about the recent outbreak of fungal disease secondary to contamination from a compounding pharmacy. Can you make any comments on this? I’d appreciate the take from an actual pharmacist. Do you compound?

Thanks, IolantheI read about the outbreak and I havent dug too much into the news to find out the specifics about what failed in their procedures in this botched compounding. This was a compounding pharmacy making specialty products not otherwise found in the market place for specific uses. It appears from what I have read so far that they have been lax on proper sterilization procedures and have run afoul with certain authorities for quite some time.

That being said, because PC pharmacy is a retail outlet, we only compound pretty simple mixes like magic mouthwash and some simple creams on a case by case basis.. We do not have the equipment to do major compounding and we certainly cannot do injectables!

Comment by Karen

May 11, 2013 @ 9:17 am

What a sad testimony to the ethics of the typical American citizen. And unfortunately, it’s true. Having run my own small business based around physical products, we experienced similar issues with people who felt we owed them free samples, full refunds if they didn’t “like” the product (even though we had a full disclosure saying that cosmetic products were not refundable once opened), and wanted us to replace shipments they never received when THEY made an error on the shipping address. Unbelievable.

Sadly, although I once loved my company, I couldn’t wait to get rid of it. Dealing with unreasonable customers simply consumed too much time and sucked the joy right out of the business. We’ve become a society that expects something for nothing and where theft of one type of another has become the norm. Very, very sad.

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