24 August 2013

Bad Retail UX!! I may take my business elsewhere.

The process of ordering a prescription via Walgreens website this afternoon was unusually frustrating. Why? Poor interface design! I wouldn't be quite so irked if this were even remotely close to being an edge-case, but it's not. It happens thousands of times every weekday:

  • A patient makes a follow-up visit to a doctor.
  • The doctor sends a new electronic prescription for medication(s) the patient is already taking with no change in dosage.
  • The pharmacy receives the eRx, fills it, and notifies the patient, but…
  • The patient recently picked up a refill of the medication and doesn't need more for a while.
  • The filled prescription sits on a shelf at the pharmacy for about a week; then it's restocked.

Also, because I'm offended by Walgreens' assertion that …any message or other communication sent to Walgreen Co. becomes the exclusive intellectual property of Walgreen Co.…, I'm claiming the copyright on the content of my email message to Customer Service for Walgreens website before I hit the send-button by sharing it here.

Online Pharmacy: “On file” Prescriptions Missing from Prescription History

Dear Walgreens Customer Service,

Prescriptions that are ”On file“ do not show up in a customer's prescription history, even when the “Show Hidden Prescriptions?” radio button is set to “Yes.”

In my case, this is particularly problematic as an earlier prescription, from the same doctor for the same medication and dosage—these details are identical—appears with the messages “Refill Due” and “0 refills remaining. If you'd like to refill, we'll call your doctor for you.”

Such poor interface design provides a dreadful user experience for customers. I expect retail websites to make it easier for me to purchase products, not more difficult. Although I have been Walgreens customer for over eight years, I may now considering transferring my prescriptions to CVS or Rite-Aid—both of which have stores closer to my home.

Furthermore, as the line between web-applications and software applications has become increasingly blurred, retail websites have come to set the bar for user experience in their respective sectors. When the retail website for a major national pharmacy chain like Walgreens has set such a low bar for user experience, is it any wonder that so much software in the healthcare sector is difficult to use?

With frustration and great disappointment,
Shelley V. Adams

Message subject line and content © Shelley V. Adams; licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License. The subject line and content of this message, including this footer, has already been published as part of a post on the author's blog.