let’s talk about cvs

CVS used to be a super reliable chain pharmacy around here. But now it’s a hot mess.

I started using CVS 10 years ago, within days of my breast cancer surgery because Rite-Aid wouldn’t let my husband pick up my meds post surgery, and made me go into the pharmacy and wait 40 minute for meds that had been called in an hour before I left the hospital which was close to an hour away. I had to stand there practically drooling from anesthesia and in pain. There was no chair for me to sit on. So that is how I switched to CVS. (But I digress.)

My great uncle was a pharmacist. He was dedicated and beloved in his community back in the day. But that was before the time of chain store pharmacies eating up the market share, and small independent pharmacies have a really hard time competing, so there aren’t many of them left. Which sucks because (for example) if you have allergies to what binds and holds meds together, it’s really hard to find compound pharmacies. I miss the small independent pharmacies we all knew growing up.

But back to CVS.

CVS pharmacies are flailing, or failing, choose your descriptive adjective.  I do not believe it to be the fault of the employees, it’s a systemic corporate issue because I do believe they DO NOT treat their employees well as they seem unable to retain/attract them.   I used to think it was just our area, but given all of the media articles I have read I guess they have this issue all over?

I will only give a couple of examples locally of CVS issues although I can tell you Exton, PA and Berwyn, PA also are also having issues – just go on social media. Facebook and Twitter. Every day someone is talking about issues with CVS somewhere.


CVS located at 1450 Pottstown Pike West Chester PA (Store #3875) has had issues which precede COVID. Since COVID their pharmacy is closed more than it is open, and currently has no pharmacist other than floaters. It’s a new store, they can’t keep it staffed.


We switched to CVS in Frazer PA because of Pottstown Pike CVS issues. Frazer is located at 335 Lancaster Ave, Frazer PA (Store #5064).  I had to call THREE times to get my monthly prescriptions this month alone.  I am on automatic refill, only they didn’t fill them.  When I called, I sat on hold for quite a long time because they are seriously understaffed. When I asked why I didn’t get the text my prescriptions were ready when I actually called them into CVS a second time fearing they weren’t on automatic refill any longer, I was told they weren’t being filled unless people called in.  Then it still took three days to get them because both prescriptions were not ready when they said they would be. I am just lucky that I finished 10 years of breast cancer meds in September, not that the meds I still am taking are optional because they aren’t. And they are conditions related to having had breast cancer and had treatment and a decade of breast cancer meds.


Someone else I know has been trying for a week to get prescriptions refilled.  There are some days you go, and the pharmacy is just closed.  Then when you do go, the line inside is over an hour, and the drive thru some days without warning is your only option and during the work day can you personally afford to sit in a drive thru lane over an hour? They still do not have their meds.  Oh and our CVS in Frazer MAY have a pharmacist by tomorrow (Saturday), only people are all over social media saying THAT store will have a closed pharmacy until Monday or Tuesday of NEXT week.  And there is a CVS in Malvern, PA in the Target a few minutes away, which is also closed today.


So when people are off prescription meds because they can’t get them filled how does that affect efficacy? 


Again, I do not blame the staff CVS has, I blame the CVS corporate team.  They sit in the gilded tower, so perhaps they fail to see what is actually happening, except how can that be?


Thanks to a lovely New York Times article a while back, I know they mark certain patients via a form as “media threats”:

 …The specifics and severity of errors are nearly impossible to tally. Aside from lax reporting requirements, many mistakes never become public because companies settle with victims or their families, often requiring a confidentiality agreement. A CVS form for staff members to report errors asks whether the patient is a “media threat,” according to a photo provided to The Times. CVS said in a statement it would not provide details on what it called its “escalation process.”

~Ellen Gabler New York Times


I am sure after this post, I will be added to the list.

I am writing this blog post mostly because I took the time to TRY to reach executive escalations in their corporate headquarters yesterday,  and a very rude woman in in their corporate HQ could not be bothered with speaking to me, so she transferred me to some random customer service line where I sat for 90 minutes until the CVS end disconnected the call.


With health plans being what they are, many people do not have options for where they can go to get prescriptions filled.

(only locally they can’t even stick to those posted hours)


What does it take for CVS to wake up?


We can’t even count on CVS locally for COVID or Flu shots at most locations. 
Yes there are staffing shortages everywhere, but CVS is the worst.  And my local CVS is staffed by nice people who work hard, but they aren’t slaves on the CVS Plantation.

So CVS, what do you have to say for yourselves that doesn’t involve blowing smoke up the derrieres of your customers? Inquiring minds want to know.

For my readers, these are the email addresses I found for CVS: ExecutiveOffice@cvshealth.com , Matthew.Blanchette@cvshealth.com , neela.montgomery@cvshealth.com ,karen.lynch@cvshealth.com , shawn.guertin@cvshealth.com ,
Traci.Carter@cvshealth.com , michelle.peluso@cvshealth.com , customercare@cvs.com , CSS@cvshealth.com

I went Internet hunting and that is what I came up with, I like going to Executive Offices because it wastes less time and their regular vanilla customer service is somewhat useless and you can never get through to anyone.

As I close this post a reminder that I fell this is a systemic CORPORATE issue due to crappy corporate culture. The employees I have encountered from CVS locally have been very nice. So I encourage all of you to contact CVS at the corporate level. Take the time to tell them what is happening. I will note that CVS has been fined in other states for issues like this. (Refer to New York Times article CVS Fined for Prescription Errors and Poor Staffing at Pharmacies Regulators faulted four locations in Oklahoma, a rare action that followed complaints at drugstore chains across the country. By Ellen Gabler)

Have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by.

prime problems with amazon

You have to package things properly when shipping. Amazon must have a lot of room to write mistakes off because they are becoming geniuses at poor packaging and problematic shipping.

For the third time in one month I have had items arrive broken because they put breakable items in cheap plastic bags without even any padding! And then there are the things they send in boxes without wrapping or padding that arrive open or broken from rocketing around in a box without being secured. It is very frustrating. We pay for Prime, understand it now might be delivered late because of volume, USPS, labor shortages, but packaging properly is the most basic of things.

Anyone who is an EBay or Etsy seller will tell you that if you package something poorly you won’t stay in business. Yet Amazon? They just keep repeating the same things. So what is the alternative now to Amazon?

You can’t get nice people from Seattle on the phone any longer for Customer Service. You can only get offshore online customer service help….if the stupid Amazon customer service bot lets you. And sometimes the bot won’t let you past. An irritating, inanimate gatekeeper.

Today when I opened the plastic bag holding the plastic divided trays I need to take stuff in to a neighbor’s in a few days, I soon realized trays were broken because I essentially stabbed myself under one of my finger nails. That is something that hurts and is quite unpleasant. I dropped the bag and little plastic shards flew about as well.

I. Was. Pissed.

Then I began the process of trying to get customer service. First person a guy named “Vineeth” decided he didn’t want to perform his actual job. So he just left the conversation. No “let me get someone better to assist you or anything, he just bailed.

I. Was. More. Pissed.

The next person, Nithya, was able to help. It wasn’t rocket science. I merely wanted a credit back to the payment type, since I had to order something else.

But the thing is this: Amazon used to take more care, but the bigger they get, it’s like this stuff keeps happening, doesn’t it?

And the shipping problems are occurring on the items AMAZON is shipping on behalf of other companies from their warehouses. Poor and improper packaging hurts the consumer/customer and the business Amazon is being paid to ship for.

I spent a while picking up little shard of sharp plastic off the floor too. The shards came out when I dropped the envelope in shock when I got stabbed underneath my fingernail by one. The last photo shows a few of the shards.

Amazon, if you are in this business to win it, you need to do better. And bring back US based customer service while you are at it.

Little shards of sharp plastic.

facebook and censorship…. as in is facebook practicing censorship?

Yes (and unbelievably), Facebook is removing my gardening blog posts.

As my readers know I also write a gardening blog called the nightgown gardener. I started that blog because my readers asked me to have a blog just about gardening. I don’t make money off of it, I don’t get special favors because of it, it’s just writing about gardening. Like this blog I pay for it to be ad free.

As my readers know gardening is a passion of mine. So I share my knowledge and my tips and my sources and my resources and photos of my actual garden on this blog.

The times we live in gardening is a happy thing. It brings you closer to the earth, it brings you peace of mind , it lets you express yourself artistically and even grow your own food. and I have been sharing my garden rating since I started doing it both on this blog and my gardening specific blog.

Writing about gardening is not controversial it’s nice. And we need more nice in this world. So why on earth is Facebook censoring me? I don’t have the answer to that question but they are censoring me. For some unknown reason, starting yesterday, they started REMOVING and BANNING anything I had written about GARDENING.

Meanwhile Facebook allows cybercrimes to occur daily like cyber stalking and cyber harassment and fake news and heck even porn to pollute it. They allow racist propaganda and all sorts of other nasty things that you can think of yet they ban happy things like writing about gardening?

It makes NO sense. I am not a monetized blogger I don’t even promote my blog post with Facebook ads. I just share what I’m doing in my garden on my garden blog . And somehow that is a bad thing?

Facebook and their algorithms are all sorts of screwed up. And there is no one you can contact or talk to about this. Well I’m not taking this line down.

Their algorithms are actually in fact practicing censorship, then they need a serious makeover.

Mark Zuckerberg I know you won’t be reading my blog because you don’t care about anything other than all the money you are making, but you should you say you wanna make the world a better place and gardening is one of those things that accomplishes that.

Facebook is wrong here. They had this issue in March.

Yes, in Facebook’s fakakta wisdom, sharing about gardening is bad. Maybe they should fix their algorithms and “weed” out the bugs.

#EpicFail #FacebookHatesGardening #FacebookHatesGardeners

Below are posts Facebook removed. Please give them a read and I’m curious if you all think they go against “community standards“?

this and that

facebook hates gardeners now?

frost report

wandering the garden

welcome to my homeless plant encampment

Of course part of me wonders if Facebook has a problem with WordPress all of a sudden? At the end of the day I don’t really care why it’s happening I only know it shouldn’t be happening. Gardening and cooking are happy things in a world that is filled with COVID-19 nastiness right now.

Here’s hoping Facebook gets their act together.

changing my mind about prime now

A year ago this time of year I wrote about Prime Now. At that time I was fairly pleased with Prime Now the Amazon – Whole Foods food delivery service.

But the attractiveness wore off when orders subsequent to the first order were placed over the course of the last year. I had problems with orders like them not getting delivered. At all. It’s super easy to use the app to place the order, but then I had a couple of orders that were just not delivered.

I could see that they were placed and shopped and they were waiting for pick up and they never ever got delivered. It was crazy. Then I found out that my orders were coming from the stores geographically closest to me they were coming from pretty far away which didn’t make sense.

And then there’s the reality that you are limited on products as to what Amazon Prime Now feels like pushing, which isn’t the same of the vast array of products available through Whole Foods when you go into the store. And it’s frustrating because you think because they now own Whole Foods and they are shopping your order at a Whole Foods store that you would have more variety like you do in the store. Only you don’t.

I will tell you honestly that Instacart has stepped up their game tremendously. And the orders that I got from Instacart that come from my local Wegmans are perfect. And Giant by Peapod is not perfect, but not bad either – they have excellent customer service.

And the delivery people for both Instacart and Giant by Peapod are super nice and they care.

My husband decided because they were offering a special with the Prime Day stuff to try Prime Now on his own. They were offering like a $10 coupon or something to try it or to order on Prime Day.

So he placed an order. I knew what time the order was expected but I was on the third floor of our home when the delivery person actually came to the door.

When I got downstairs the Prime Now delivery person was speeding off in his car. But the packages he had delivered were all straight up against my screen door which opens OUT. So that means the screen door was completely blocked and if I had pushed it open I would’ve broken it as it’s an old-fashioned screen door. I had to go out through the garage up around the front walk move the bags so I could open the screen door to open the front door to bring the groceries in.

Oh and did I mention that my husband specifically put on the order NOT to block the screen door and front door if someone wasn’t right there to get delivery?

The next problem was it’s almost 100° right? Or if it’s not 100° yet it feels like it? Some of what was ordered was perishable and frozen. There were no ice pack things in the insulated bags. And I checked my blog post from when I first wrote about them and there were at that time.

So basically my food that was frozen and personable was all warm to the touch. That’s kind of gross.

Prime Now when they began had made such a big deal about their insulated bags for perishable items and frozen foods.

I called up Prime Now customer service and they couldn’t have been nicer. And they agreed with me that the order should have been packed differently in this heat. They also noted that it said on the account and in the order that was given to the store and to the driver delivering NOT to block the front door and screen. And that was a pretty basic thing to pay attention to.

So sadly, I think I am going to put Prime Now back on the shelf of things I’m not going to use again for a while. Getting groceries delivered is a little luxury that I like sometimes, but if simple things like NOT blocking the screen door and front door can’t be accomplished, and insulated bags have nothing to keep the items cool, what are we paying for?

It seems like Amazon in general has issues like this all across the board. When you can get somebody in the United States on the phone who is customer service, they are very good, but the rest of it is inconsistent at best.

Another example would be recently I ordered some organic cleaning products I like better through Amazon. The company is called Frosch and they’re German. But the only place I can find the products is through Amazon.

I ordered liquid cleaner that was an all purpose cleaner and it was delivered to me in a paper padded Amazon shipping envelope. There was no protective padding or a box that the liquid cleaning supplies were placed in. So needless to say one bottle was open and leaking upon arrival.

These are all basic things. But it points to the problems in Amazon that must exist. Other problems include dumped packages, missing packages, and so on.

Amazon opens up a broader world of product availability. But I think with their stratospheric growth over the past few years there are issues they really need to work out. Today was just another example.

Thanks for stopping by and stay cool during the heatwave.