The issue that I am writing about today stemmed from how my case management was handled last week. On 5/15/13 I placed my refill order through the OptumRx mail order phone line. Everything seemed fine and I was informed that my prescription would be delivered to my home on Friday. However, come Saturday, my prescription still had not shown up. I was very concerned as my supply at home would run out after Saturday, so I called customer support to try and get this figured out. The situations during and following that and subsequent calls were completely inappropriate, non-professional, and left me overwhelmingly loathing your company and associates.
The first person that I spoke to tried to find out the details about my package. She contacted UPS after trying to track the package online which simply stated that it was out for delivery with Friday’s date (5/17/13). After contacting UPS, she told me that there was something wrong but UPS could not identify the problem. She did not have a solution for me and told me that she was bringing the case to the resolution team and would get back to me. This was understandable as this problem stemmed from UPS. However, I asked if there was a timeframe for which I will be contacted to which I was told that it would be “sometime today”.
After waiting three hours, I called back with an even greater sense of urgency since it was now afternoon on Saturday and I needed my medication. After being placed on hold several times, I was told that the specialty pharmacy would be processing my order on Monday and that I would get it delivered on Tuesday. This was completely unacceptable as I must take my medication every day else there is a very high chance of my body becoming resistant the therapy. I told this to the gentleman and he had no point of action to take besides telling me that I would get my medication on Tuesday. Eventually, it was discussed that perhaps I should call my insurance company, United Healthcare.
When I called United Healthcare and went through the automated system prompts, I was actually transferred back to OptumRx (to later realize that they own OptumRx). I again told the associate my current situation, everything that had happened thus far, and my urgent need to get this resolved. After arguing that excuses such as the specialty pharmacy will not be in until Monday and others was simply not an answer that I was willing to take, I was transferred to someone from the resolution team. Once again, trying to get any help or resolution to this matter was like pulling teeth. Finally, I was given a number to call with another department of OptumRx and was told that this was an emergency situation to get a five-day supply.
After calling that number, the gentlemen told me that I would need to go to my pharmacy and have the pharmacist first call a number (that he gave me) to have the prescription transferred. Then, have the pharmacist call another number (that he also supplied me with) to have an override approved. This sounded like a plausible solution; however, I needed to know what pharmacy I could go to. I tried expressing that to the associate and he kept telling me that the pharmacy will not have the prescription until they call the first number he gave me. The point I was trying to get across to him though, was that my medication is a specialty medication and would not necessarily be stocked at any pharmacy that I showed up at (I have no regular pharmacy as I use OptumRx). He had no advice, and I am pretty sure he did not understand my concern since he kept repeating the same thing to me.
I ended up calling the closest pharmacy to me and they, like I predicted, did not have the medicine available. Luckily, he did contact the Walgreens across the street from him and told me that they have it and would be able to help me. By this time, it was about 5pm, but thankfully Walgreens pharmacy was open until 6 that day. I contacted the pharmacist there and gave her my information and situation. She then said that she would call me back after she called the numbers that I gave her. She called me back a few minutes later to inform me that she could not get in contact with anyone to have the prescription transferred. I then called back to OptumRx to see what was going on and I was told that the specialty pharmacy is closed on the weekends and there were no pharmacists available to transfer my medication! This coming from the very company that (1) advertises pharmacists available 24/7 on the company website and (2) had just given me those very instructions to follow 10-15 minutes earlier.
I left my house to go to Walgreens since I had less than an hour to get this resolved. On the way, I was able to have OptumRx get a pharmacist available to transfer the medication. The Walgreens pharmacist called me back with some good news and bad news though. The good news was that she now had the prescription; the bad news was that OptumRx would not give the override needed for my insurance and that I would have to pay out of pocket. At this point it was nearly six and I had had enough with being passed around from incompetent associate to incompetent associate at OptumRx and bought the medication at my expense for an emergency five-day supply. So, six hours after my initial call, plus about additional 5-6 subsequent calls, totaling about 4 hours on the phone—I had my medication to carry me over until Tuesday.
Unfortunately, it does not only end there. On Monday morning (5/20/13) I received a call regarding my replacement order that was to be sent out for Tuesday delivery. During that conversation I was asked if a signature was needed to which I said “no” because no one would be home. Then, on Tuesday morning (5/21/13) I had an email from OptumRx stating that my shipment had been shipped and should arrive that morning, but a signature would be required. I once again called OptumRx since I was explicitly asked about that and said no, knowing that no one would be at my apartment to sign for the package. The representative that I spoke to said I would need to call UPS and have them change it so that no signature was required. So, I called UPS and spoke to the representative there who informed me that the package was created with that requirement and they were contractually obligated to follow those instructions.
I then called OptumRx back to inform them that there was nothing that I could do on my end. During the beginning of that call, the woman first told me that there was no signature required according to her records. Obviously this was wrong and I told her I had just contacted UPS regarding it and there was indeed a signature required. She then tried calling UPS to have it changed only to then inform me afterwards that it was company policy to require a signature on the replacement shipment since the cost of the medication was so expensive. Yet, not once during my 7+ conversations with all the other associates/departments did anyone ever mention this. Even further, if that was the case, (1) why was I asked about needing a signature if it would be required in the first place, (2) why did the associate’s records indicate that no signature was required? Then, to try and rectify the situation I was informed that I could go to the UPS warehouse to pick up the package myself! In my mind, that kind of defeats the purpose of a mail-order pharmacy. In any case, this was not an option as I worked during the day and had class in the evening, so I would not even get back to my area until after 8pm (UPS said they would be closed by 7pm). Finally, the associate able to get an address change on the package to be sent to my work—delivery would be on Wednesday (5/22/13).
On Wednesday my package did arrive at work and hopefully the ordeal of this situation is over for the most part. I still now need to send in my reimbursement claim form to my insurance company, which if history is any gauge about how things will be handled, I will probably be making 5+ phone calls back to OptumRx after it is denied several times (I am just guessing—have no proof yet this will happen). But more importantly, what kind of training, protocols, professionalism, and sense of urgency do you have in place? In my experience, you either do not have anything in place or your company is staffed with incompetent and negligent employees. Given that my therapy with this medication is a matter of life and death for me, saying that I am grossly disappointed and upset does not even begin to explain how I feel about OptumRx. The fact that I had to call many times to get no answer is beyond frustrating. Even more frustrating are the inconsistent lies that I am fed through the associates. And whatever happened to the original call back I was suppose to get on Saturday? Not only have I wasted my cell phone minutes on your company (can I invoice you for that?), I also missed my high school friend visiting from New York on Saturday because I was on hold or trying to get to the pharmacy on Saturday.
Even in writing this, I am not convinced that anyone there will be reading it. And if it is read, will anything change? Doing minimal research online and reading the horror stories other customers have had with dealing with your organization, I will not hold my breath. So, when I called today—because my replacement medication had an invoice even though I was already charged the day of my original order—I finally agreed to take your little survey. The associate who I spoke was very kind and was able to inform me that I had no balance on my account (I will be waiting to hear if that changes). However, to respond to the questions regarding how I feel about OptumRx and whether I would suggest them to my friends and family? Pressing 5, “not at all”, just did not feel like it could really capture how much resentment I now have for your (dis)organization. I will also be sending a copy of this letter to my HR department to let them know that when negotiating health care contracts for next year, we should do everything in our power to not use United Healthcare/OptumRx. How your company can claim to be an “innovative leader”, have a “state-of-the-art mail service”, and have an “award-winning” pharmacy is beyond my comprehension as well as several others writing feedback about OptumRx’s service. I will certainly make it a point for myself and the well-being of others to never say anything positive about this company. I will let anyone who will listen know how I was treated, lied to through inconsistencies, and the apparent lack of trust you have generated between your associates and very unsatisfied customers.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.