Drugstore.com: We have bad customer service but we’re really cheerful about it

Blaming Paypal, Drugstore.com cannot ship an item missing from an order without a credit card.

My wife ordered a dozen items from drugstore.com, paying with Paypal. We like that. It minimizes the number of places we’re giving our credit card number.

All but one item arrived in two boxes on the same day. Online, drugstore.com says they completed the order.

My wife filled out a complaint form. She received this in response by email:

Dear _______@yahoo.com,

Thank you for contacting drugstore.com with your question or comment.

We’ve sent this automated response to help you find answers as quickly as possible. Our help center scanned your message and found some information that may be useful for you.

Please reply to this e-mail if the links below don’t help answer your question. If you reply within 7 days with the same subject line (including the incident number 120725-004746) then the help center will send your message directly to a person in our Customer Care department.

If you need help right away, please contact us by phone by calling 1-800-drugstore (1-800-378-4786). We’re here 24 hours a day to take your call.

The following answers might help you immediately. (Answers open in a separate window.)

Title: ShopRunner
Link: http://drugstore.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2112

Title: Shipping Policy
Link: http://drugstore.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/189

Title: Shipping Times And Rates – Alaska and Hawaii
Link: http://drugstore.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1132

Title: Shipping Times And Rates – Contiguous United States
Link: http://drugstore.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/147

Title: Shipping Times And Rates – U.S. Territories
Link: http://drugstore.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2632

To avoid this auto-reply in the future, you can send your questions or comments to us directly by visiting our help pages:

http://drugstore.custhelp.com/app/ask

Thank you for choosing drugstore.com.

This is a good idea. Maybe we can find the solution to our problem while waiting for a human to read and respond to our complaint. Oops, no. This is the only response. She must file another complaint online to avoid an auto-reply.

So in response to her next complaint, she gets this email. By the way, she gave them the order number and missing item number and description in both emails, but they still can’t help her by simply shipping the missing item:

Dear _________,

Thank you for contacting drugstore.com regarding the issue with your recent drugstore.com order #[redacted].

In response to your email, I apologize for the missing Rusk Thickr Hairspray for Fine or Thin Hair from your drugstore.com order. Please be aware that we are committed to resolving this issue for you in the timeliest manner, and appreciate your patience in this matter.

In order to resolve this matter by sending you a replacement order at no charge, we ask that you please contact us by telephone at 1-800-378-4786. Due to current systems restrictions with PayPal, we kindly ask that you provide us with a credit card in order to complete your replacement order. As your original payment method requires you to sign into your account we are not able to do so, therefore we simply need to have the credit card on file to pass over the payment hurdle of the order placement process. Rest assured that your credit card will not be billed, and you will be able to remove it from your account as soon as your replacement order has completed and shipped.

If you are unable to provide us with credit card information to process your replacement order we would be happy to instead offer you a refund back to the payment method originally charged.

Once again _________, we apologize for the confusion, and look forward to the opportunity to resolve this situation as quickly as possible. Thank you for choosing drugstore.com.

So I called them. A very cheerful, friendly customer service agent repeated that we must give them a credit card but they promise not to charge it. I complained that I don’t want to give them a credit card. That’s why we used Paypal in the first place. Oh, don’t worry, he says, you can log onto your account in a couple days and delete the credit card. They can’t even use the credit card for a one-time non-charge?

I chose the refund and to call out bad customer service here.

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