Walgreens’ recognition within the U.S. is tough to disclaim. With virtually 9,000 retail areas and a each day buyer rely of practically 9 million, the pharmacy chain’s attain within the nation falls brief to just one rival: CVS Pharmacy. However regardless of its clear success, Walgreens has managed to overlook the mark with buyers again and again just lately. In simply the previous yr alone, the corporate has discovered itself on the middle of a variety of controversies which have earned substantial backlash from clients and even requires boycotts. Learn on to study extra about why Walgreens has been below fireplace in 2022.
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In mid-February, the hashtag #BoycottWalgreens began trending on Twitter after customers discovered of sure political donations made by the corporate, Newsweek reported. In line with the journal, the nonprofit Residents for Duty and Ethics in Washington (CREW) launched a report on Feb. 18, alleging that disclosures from the Federal Election Fee (FEC) indicated that Walgreens had made a complete of $25,500 price contributions to 11 members of Congress who had been a part of the Sedition Caucus—a gaggle of U.S. Senators and Representatives who voted towards the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election win.
The CREW report indicated that the donations had been made in Nov. 2021, months after Walgreens informed Insider in Jan. 2021 that the corporate had suspended contributions to Congress members who voted towards the certifications as a consequence of Walgreens’ “excessive regard” for the “peaceable transition of energy.” Many purchasers’ asserted that the corporate’s continued donations had been an endorsement of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. “I haven’t got to stroll into a spot that supports insurrection,” one Twitter person wrote on the time.
The subsequent month, Walgreens clients expressed frustration with the corporate for non-political causes. In March, the pharmacy chain began switching out its clear fridge and freezer doorways at 1000’s of its shops in favor of opaque doorways with digital screens, CNN Enterprise reported. The one drawback? Many purchasers had been outraged by the obvious improve.
“NOBODY wants TV display changing doorways in your cooler aisles…. Cease,” one person wrote to Walgreens on Twitter. Others famous that the brand new doorways made for a irritating person expertise: “The digital cooler screens at Walgreens made me watch an advert earlier than it allowed me to know which door held the frozen pizza,” one buyer said in a tweet.
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In April, a client lawsuit was filed towards Walgreens in an Illinois district courtroom over considerations surrounding its sale of present playing cards, in line with High Class Actions. Plaintiff Jacques Calixte sued the corporate, alleging that Walgreens each fails to implement safeguards for its present playing cards and to warn clients that present playing cards purchased on the chain will not be adequately protected towards theft.
In line with the swimsuit, Calixte claims that in Nov. 2020 he bought three Vanilla Visa present playing cards price $150 in Florida however didn’t instantly use them as a result of he had “misplaced them.” When checking the stability on them in March 2022, just one reportedly nonetheless had its full worth of $150, whereas the opposite two had values of $0 and $5 as a consequence of transactions Calixte claims he couldn’t have made.
Walgreens fails to “adequately practice” and require workers to often examine present playing cards for “proof of tampering, equivalent to crooked safety tape, scrape marks from tape removing, non-factory safety tape and tape residue edge marks from authentic safety tape,” the lawsuit alleged. And Calixte isn’t the one shopper who known as out Walgreens for this difficulty.
“This previous Christmas I bought six $100.00 present playing cards from Walgreens—4 had been nugatory, solely two had been good,” one other client wrote on High Class Actions’ web site. “I used to be so embarrassed and humiliated once I bought cellphone calls from relations saying ‘ha ha good joke.’ I went again to Walgreen’s [sic] however they didn’t give my [sic] any assist.”
Additionally in April, the Franklin Journal, a newspaper based mostly in Farmington, Maine, reported that a number of Walgreens areas in numerous elements of the state had began administering a recycling price. Then in July, NewsChannel 9, an ABC-affiliate in Syracuse, New York, reported that no less than 4 Walgreens shops in Central New York had been issuing the additional cost. The added price is supposed to be a bottle deposit based mostly on bottle deposit legal guidelines from each states, however many shoppers have claimed they’re being overcharged for it.
NewsChannel 9 reported that some Walgreens clients in New York are being charged one other 5-cent price along with the state-mandated 5-cent deposit. And the Franklin Journal revealed that buyers had been being charged 15 cents—which is 3 times the deposit quantity set by the state of Maine—for “recycling charges” at Walgreens shops.
“The deposit is about by the Legislature so you may’t simply improve it to fifteen cents,” Scott Wilson, the venture supervisor of sustainability for Maine’s Division of Environmental Safety (DEP), defined to the Franklin Journal. “You might have to have the ability to get your 15 cents again, in order that would not be a deposit.”
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A controversial Walgreens coverage has just lately left a bitter style in many patrons’ mouths. The hashtag #BoycottWalgreens began trending once more on Twitter in July following experiences that workers had been refusing to promote sure merchandise to buyers. One couple claimed a Walgreens cashier in Wisconsin refused to sell them condoms due to his “religion,” in line with a viral Twitter thread. That very same week, a 21-year-old girl posted a TikTok detailing a state of affairs wherein a Walgreens pharmacist refused to refill her contraception prescription, regardless of having a number of refills left.
“I’ll boycott Walgreens which signifies that I should keep away from the one within the city that I stay, in addition to the one within the city the place I work,” one person tweeted on July 18. “I’ll drive 20 minutes to get to a CVS. An worker doesn’t get to make an ethical judgement relating to my purchases.”
Regardless of requires a Walgreens boycott, the corporate confirmed that it has a coverage permitting workers to refuse to satisfy sure orders based mostly on their beliefs. “Cases like this are very uncommon and our insurance policies are designed to make sure we meet the wants of our sufferers and clients whereas respecting the non secular and ethical beliefs of our group members,” a Walgreens spokesperson beforehand informed Finest Life. “Within the occasion a group member has a spiritual or ethical conviction that forestalls them from assembly a buyer want, we require them to refer the shopper to a different worker or supervisor on responsibility who can full the transaction.”