Only Child does more consumer advocacy

Only child ready to confront companies who mess up life her way

Only child ready to confront companies who mess up

Businesses, government and utilities screwing up keep me on my toes. I like to pick my battles because you can’t deal with everything. However, lately, the screw-ups have been coming too fast and furious and I’ve had to take action for my own benefit.

Here’s the scoop on one of them.

The company?  Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. Formerly Swiss Herbal, but taken over a few years ago by that drug company (Swiss Herbal is a division of Valeant). That should say it all. After the big takeover, many natural supplements (including one that I was taking) disappeared off their roster. When I contacted the company about it, the response was anything but helpful until I pushed.

Last week I had another confrontation with Valeant This time the natural supplement Micro-Lactin which I take to keep the osteo-arthritis in my neck and joint pain in my right hand (and yes, I am right-handed) at bay, seemed to be gone from the usual retail outlets where I purchase it. The Big Carrot had ordered more in March 21 and when I was in their dispensary, it was March 29 – even the clerk there thought that was too long. Healthy Planet had none in and when I followed up to put in a special order the next day (by phone), and they tried to do so, they couldn’t. The nutritionist there called me back and told me there was a problem at Valeant as they were temporarily out of stock and didn’t know when the item would be back in stock. She advised me to find a place that still has some and to stock up.

I did that and one better.

First, I let Mr. Google help here.

A check with the Healthy Planet chain website showed that the product Micro Lactin was “out of stock.” Big sign under the product picture and caption. But when I went to Valeant, nothing about the product being out of stock. Just the product picture and caption. But they even had the nerve to put the company history upfront (under About US)  – back when it wasn’t owned by a drug company and was just Swiss Herbal in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

I was out for blood, so to speak. But first to get my supplements.

Mr. Google helped me out again and I found a pharmacy not far from me that carried it (even with a $10. online coupon – but for in-store purchase only). So I phoned them and the fellow I talked to said they could order it in and it would be in the next day. I told him about the out of stock business but he seemed to think they could get it in. I decided to do a “wait and see.”

Meantime I went after Valeant. After much pressing and getting transferred to their complaint department,I tried to get some answers. The reason it was out of stock was vague -something to do with manufacturers – yeah, pass the buck. I did find out they would have more in stock April 4 and with enough pushing about the pharmacy that was ordering it in – I gave them the pharmacy name Pharma Choice, and she said she would put a rush on the order there. I also launched a formal complaint about no notice on their website about the product being temporarily out of stock and that I had to find this out from going to the Healthy Planet website.

So, complaint went in.

Today, April 4, I checked the company product website. And they have temporarily out of stock posted with the product.

And when I phoned the pharmacy back on the Friday I planned to pick it up, the lady who answered the phone said it was in. I said I’d be down there that day before their closing at 5.30 p.m. but unfortunately with bus problems and the fellow I had previously talked to at the pharmacy giving me a wrong location (don’t they know where they are?) I couldn’t make it on time. But after an apology phone call to them on Saturday and getting correct location, I headed out there yesterday and got my Micro Lactin with the $10. off.

Lesson to be learned.

Businesses etc. need to be more open to customers. Sure, problems can occur with products, but if you don’t let people know right away right upfront, that creates bad business, no goodwill and bad reputation for the company. It also wastes consumers` time.

I will still buy Swiss Micro Lactin – my arthritis needs it.

How do you handle screw-ups with businesses, utilities and government. Let`s get a dialogue going here about this. We can all learn from each other.

 

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Consumer action, Health, Life demands, Only child, Problems

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