Tim Sammon sent a message to Stefano Pessina - Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance email address that said:
I just thought youd like to know what a negative experience I have had with Balance Rewards. I have copied below the message I typed to customer service while I waited on hold for over an hour. I am still on hold as I type. I am by no means alone, as my hold time attests, and I am sure you are well aware, but I would also like to let you know that it has been a common scene in the Walgreens in the past week or so to hear frustrated customers attemting to get information about the Balance Rewards program from frustrated store clerks who were clearly under informed and unable to help.
I hope the program ends.
Thanks for your time. (As I send this message, my hold time exceeds 1.25 hr.)
My messgae sent to customer service via the website:
Im sure mine is one of 100s of 1000s of frustrated queries regarding the Balance Rewards program. I do not like the program, but I played by the rules, jumped through hoops, and I expect to redeem the points that were prematurely expired today.
Its one thing to change the rules (and make the minimal effort to inform customers), its another thing entirely to outright cheat. Apart from recommending the immediate and summary termination of all employees that had anything to do with the rollout of Balance Rewards, I will reserve further assessment of the program for a later time.
This evening, I attempted to redeem my hard-earned $50 reward at the Walgreens on Castro St in San Francisco. The pharmacist asked how much I wanted to redeem, and I replied, all of it. He informed me that the max available was $10 and I informed him that that was a mistake because just yesterday I made a purchase that qualified me for the $50 reward because I was in formed that points would expire today. He double-checked with pharmacy staff who confirmed today is the last day to use older points and my points should have been redeemable. He called the manager. She concurred that my points expire at the end of the day and asked me to call the Balance Rewards customer service because it is a separate system and store personnel are not able to access accounts or resolve any issues. So I agreed to call and vowed to return to complete my purchase.
As I type, I am on hold with the Balance Rewards customer service line. The addended voicemail message informed me that I would be on hold at least half an hour due to the overwhelming response to the new program. Call it what you want. According to my call timer, we are approaching 40 minutes and I am now missing Jeopardy. According to the annoying woman, you appreciate my patience. And someone will be with me shortly.
I will continue to hold, but should customer service fail to answer my call, I will await your response to this message. The response should be something likethis:
Mr Sammon, please accept our apologies for the Balance Rewards fiasco/rigamarole. We mistakenly expired customer points prematurely and have since reversed the error. We appreciate your many years of loyalty and as a courtesy, we have extended the expiration of all Balance Rewards points by 90 days to allow you to redeem the points you legitimately earned. In addition, we have credited your account with an additional 25,000 points for the many inconveniences that you may have endured participating in the program. Thank you for shopping at Wallgreens.
The call timer just passed the 50-minute mark.
Feel free to call me or email, but I look forward to your prompt response and equitable resolution. Thank you.
I will submit this message now and continue to hold while I type my message to Mr Pessina, Wallgreens CEO. Ive spent so much time and effort already, whats one more email?!
OK. Again, thanks for your attention. I will be standing by.
+1 (415) 355-4447
PS--On hold over an hour now.