Wednesday, December 06, 2017

1878 It's Morning at CVS

1878 It’s Morning at CVS

Here’s a tip on how to shop at CVS. Bring along a friend or a slip a neighborhood kid a couple of bucks to stand on the checkout line before you even start shopping. By the time you gather your stuff, that friend or kid will be near the front and you can check out quickly and leave.

Or make it a day trip.  Maybe bring along a deck of cards.

And now, the store that’s famous for long lines and understaffed registers wants to work its magic on Aetna Insurance by buying it for 69 billion dollars.

Like they don’t have enough debt!

In other words now that they and their contemporaries, Walgreens, Wal-mart, Rite Aid, etc., have killed off the neighborhood pharmacy, they’re ready to take down something bigger.  The CEO wants his company to become “the front door to health care.”

Let’s look at some of this company’s history.  They were a regional New England chain. Then along came Ward Melville of the Melville Shoe Company and bought them.  Melville made Thom McAn and several other brands.  Not too much later, CVS became the tail that wagged the dog and now they are the dog.

So cruise the aisles.  Everything you need is right there. CVS generic for everything that ails you and always lower than the price-jacked name brands.

You will also be able to pick up their health insurance starter kits on the same shelf as the CVS brand over the counter drug you’re there for.

Stomach remedies? Stomach insurance.

Headache remedies? Headache insurance.

Hemorrhoids? Butt insurance.

Allergies? Allergy insurance.

If you need actual medicine, the pharmacy will be happy to sell you the appropriate insurance to go with it.

After taking the wrecking ball to the CareMark mail order pharmacy, CVS learned a few things about telephone customer service.

The customer service department will be reduced to two operators, Martha and Henry. When you ask for help on the phone, you get Martha. She puts you on hold, lets you stew to canned funeral music and then hangs up.

When you call back you get Martha again. You ask for her supervisor. She connects you with Henry. He puts you on hold, lets you stew to canned funeral music and then hangs up. Or...

When you ask for help on the phone, you get Henry. He hangs up after about 30 seconds on hold.
When you call back you get Henry again. You ask for his supervisor. He connects you with Martha. She apologizes, puts you on hold and they block your number.

When you check out of the store -- finally --

  1. The computer system is a little slow today. It’ll just take a minute to check you out.
  2. You can check out quicker by scanning your items into our smartphone app available free at iTunes and Google Play.
  3. It will take the register forever to print out your receipt which consists of two inches of data and a mile and a half of coupons for stuff you don’t need and with the shelf life of a fruit fly.
  4. The automatic exit door will have jammed closed. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.  Are you in a hurry?  Uh… is the patient sick?  Oh, 103.2 fever. Well… the door repair people will be here any minute.

Front door to health care?  But no emergency exit?  Sure.  Why would anyone want to leave when everything on earth is at your fingertips right here. Even Ice Cream, paper towels and the biography of Ward Melville. Just scan what you use into your iPhone.

Ross Mol contributed content to this post.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2017

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