Walgreens Bitch Session

So I just have to take a minute to bitch about this because it’s getting really frustrating for me!

I want to order some contacts from Walgreens because they’re offering a really good deal right now – $6/box cheaper than any other place online, plus free shipping, plus another 20% off on top of that.  😀

Trouble is, apparently they won’t take my FSA card.  Not FSA cards in general, but specifically my FSA card.  🙁

This is particularly frustrating, as you can imagine, because you’ll see from that link above that Walgreens has even gone out of their way to put a little FSA Approved! icon on the promo offering this really great deal on contacts.  But apparently I have the wrong kind of FSA card and their system doesn’t want to work with me no matter what I try to do.

I first got the error when trying to order via their website.  I figured that maybe it was just a problem with their FSA validation system or whatever, so I waited a few days and tried again.  No dice.

From there I tried to get some answers via their Live Chat feature (I HATE these things…), and while I did technically “get answers,” it’d be a stretch to really consider them to be “accurate answers” because the information that I was told didn’t actually end up being “true.”  Specifically, I was told that what I was experiencing was a known problem with their website with no estimated time of repair, but that I could instead call their 800# to place the order over the phone instead.

About 30 seconds into said phone call, I was informed very plainly that “I was informed wrong…” and that my only options were to either pay via another card and seek reimbursement from the FSA later myself (which can be a real pain, most will likely vouch!) or “simply buy my contacts somewhere else.” :O

Classy, huh?!

Now I don’t necessarily claim to know a lot about business, but in general it was kind of my understanding that if a customer wants to give you money, it’s typically in your best interests as a for-profit company to take that money from your customer … not throw your hands up in confusion and point them elsewhere in frustration!

You see, this is a big pet peeve that I have with customer service people in general because even though I understand that they themselves don’t necessarily make the rules, per se, it’s still their responsibility to communicate up the chain when something isn’t working correctly and upsetting the company’s customers.  In this case, apparently the root of the problem is that my FSA card is an FSA debit card instead of an FSA credit card, which Walgreens’ systems have problems with.


I’ve been using this same card at grocery stores and pharmacies and doctors’ offices and even with online vendors like Walgreens.com for years and never had a single problem up until this one, and so frankly I do find it kind of unacceptable to just be told, “Sorry, we can’t take that card.  No, I don’t know why.  Maybe you’re better off paying more somewhere else…”  Lots of people use FSA cards these days – especially at a place like Walgreens … seems like a pretty big gap to close!

And it sucks because the whole reason I want to shop with them is because they’re running such a great deal on contacts – I can literally save about $50 simply by going with them instead of 800contacts.com or somebody … but they need to be willing to sell them to me in the first place.

Unfortunately my hands are kind of tied – I can either pay more someplace else and have that be the end of it, or pay out of my own pocket and try the reimbursement angle with the FSA afterwards.  Reimbursement is just a pain because you have to fax them documentation, and then follow-up to make sure they received it, and then follow-up when they don’t issue you the check that they’re supposed to … it’s just so much easier to pay with the FSA right off the bat…  😥

Come on, Walgreens – get with the program!

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