Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You Want Feedback? I Think I Can Help.

Checked my Twitter feed (@ihateduanereade, come spread happiness with me) and stumbled upon this little nugget of joy:

DR_DuaneReade: Thanks for your message ... looking forward to working with you and addressing your challenges and def welcome your feedback ... thank you!

(Damn. I forgot that I have my feed on temporary auto-message, which sent our friend a little note from yours truly.)

Oh, Brian. Let me share the challenges me and the IHDR readers face. As for 'feedback'? You have this blog to play with.

1. This re-branding of Duane Reade, while very bright and shiny, doesn't cover up the fact there are systematic issues with your drugstores. The old 'lipstick on a pig' solution doesn't work.

2. The heart of this blog and the subject of 99% of the complaints about DR is your STAFF. They are not happy, therefore they treat us like assholes. It's like the classic abuse cycle. Pay them more, change their hours, give them incentives, whatever it takes. Don't just hire more staff, or fancy staff, like the skin care girl who stands there drinking her morning smoothie (yeah, I saw you in the Herald Square location). Hire managers who motivate, not intimidate.

Side note: I'm not excusing the idiot customer here, as there are some champion douchebags out there. However, customers don't make money off of the way they treat employees. Businesses make money off of giving, at least, satisfactory service for payment.

3. Your pharmacy. I can't even begin to get into this. Stop losing our prescriptions, hiring bored, inattentive staff to man the front counter, lying about policies (ex. how you can't transfer scripts between branches more than 3 times, but invite website users to do so for every medication via your website. I'm looking at you, 86th Street.), and how long it will take to get our prescriptions.

Also? Pick up your damn phone.

4. Your cashier line. I see with the new stores you have a nice little cattle corral, with which to coordinate your customers into one orderly line. But the other 80% of your stores still have a row of cashieR, who is unwilling to make eye contact with the very confused double line of people, and who most certainly won't make the effort to say 'hi folks - one line only, please.'

5. Where the hell is your manager? He's certainly not helping when morning rush hits and there are four employees rearranging cigarette boxes, while an angry mob gives up and discards their purchases in the candy shelves - in favor of making it to work on time and keeping jobs.

Yeah, I make it sound soooooo easy, don't I? Well, if you took some of your budget and applied it to staff training and layout efficiency programs, there wouldn't be a need for pretty, shiny colors...or thousands of laminated, earth-unfriendly, 'Duane Readers' that will only end up strewn across the sidewalk and stuck under the security guy's shoe.

Thanks, Brian, for 'working' with me. I'm sure we'll have some great conversations. Oh, and if marketing for Duane Reade doesn't pan out after the holiday season (because let's face it, this is only a 4th quarter push and most likely not a long term investment), maybe the old guy behind the photo counter will let you take over.


Anonymous said...

The most upper management of this company are the rudest of all. They treat their managers and assistant managers like garbage. They make them run the store with as little labor as possible. They force maangers to work a six day week, and most work in excess of 70 hours a week. They talk to them like they are pure dirt. They have this rah rah pep rally once a year, and talk a great game for 2 days but maybe the CEO wants a change but his mafia style management team (VP's and regionals) they are bullies.

** said...

When the managers are treated poorly, I can only imagine how that affects stock, cashiers, and others who aren't management...

Anonymous said...

by the way I love you Blog! Great Job!

Anonymous said...


JARED said...

First off the starter of this is somewhat right, but also completely ignorant. Wait times are long on 86th street because old bored pillheads are lining up drooling for their medication like fuckin pigs. They treat the poorly paid staff like shit and in turn get treated shitty. In the stores where people are polite, the rude asshole customers take complete advantage and get themselves treated poorly. They are like uselesss sheep expecting everything at their will. How bout this. Go sit your stupid american fatass at home and pick up your prescription later. Heaven forbid you make two trips and burn an extra few calories. This is all I have time for right now, expect more to come.

Anonymous said...

Ignorant? I think not. Maybe Jared if you are an employee you could find employment elsewhere, and if you don't like to shope there I hear CVS and Rite Aid have a couple of stores.....Or maybe there is a non american fat ass place you might enjoy?

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Anonymous said...

this blog is hiLARious, and spot-on with one exception: the Duane Reade on Third Ave. and 23rd Street is nice shiny and new and, yes, the staff (including the pharmacists) are Nice and Responsive.

on the other hand, that great store's evil nemesis is the shop at Lexington and 23rd. amazing how one block makes a world of difference. i've had consistently bad service for five years in that one.

but i love the Third/23rd shop.

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