Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Example of Not Getting The Internet - Walgreens

Walgreens has tried to go online.  Nice try.  Try again!

Walgreens sent me a renewal notice for my Prescription Savings Club, which does save me about $90 a year by taking a 30 day prescription for $12 and putting it into a 90-day prescription for $9.

Before, I was paying $144 a year for this prescription.   Now, I pay $36 for a year, plus the $20 club fee, for a savings of $88.  Plus they provide 10% off on store brand items, with the amount off deducted from your next purchase (odd).
But, I can live with that.

I went online to "renew" my Prescription savings card.  I enter all the data and am ready to hit "return" when I notice it says "ships in 7-14 days".


So I call to check.  Yup, if I go into the pharmacy and pay in person, my card is "renewed".  But if I renew online, they mail me a new card which I cannot use for 14 days.  Moreover, they set up a new account with a new account number, so I have to re-enter all my card data again to access this online.

This is an example of "not getting it" - creating unnecessary work for the consumer, so they have to go to a store, chase pieces of paper, or otherwise do things offline, in order to do things online.

And often the "logic" behind this, is the thinking of paranoid people who don't trust or understand the Internet.  They conceive all sorts of dire consequences, which of course won't pan out.

If security is breached on my account, someone might go get my gout medication!

Uh, what?

People have odd, irrational, and emotionally-based fears.  It is like those photos you see on the Internet where people blur out their own license plate numbers.  When you ask them why, they nod their heads and saying knowingly, "Identity Theft!"

But your license plate number, as I have noted time and again, is visible to anyone on the street, so if there is a risk of "identity theft" it is a risk you take whenever you drive your car.

And the reality is, no one can open a bank account in your name or get a credit card based on your car license plate number.

But people are idiots.   And some of these sort of idiots work for Walgreens, in the Internet Services Department.

Hmmm.... maybe it is time to buy stock in CVS?