An intermittent computer system outage is hampering business at Shoppers Drug Mart stores across the country.
CBC News confirmed the problem with the drug store giant after receiving complaints from customers that they were having difficulty making purchases or getting their prescriptions filled.
Shoppers said that the computer glitch is hamperingÂ electronic payments. That means customersÂ can’t use their debit cards andÂ won’t receiveÂ any Optimum points on purchases today at affected stores.Â But it stated that people can still get their prescriptions filled at itsÂ pharmacies.
The message about prescriptions angered TessÂ Smith in Regina. “I’m just totally amazed,” she said.Â
Yesterday at about 4:30 p.m., Smith went to her local Shoppers to get a prescription filled and returned home empty-handed. She said she was the eighth person in line and that the pharmacist toldÂ everyone that they wouldn’t be getting their drugs anytime soon.
“Her exact comments were, ‘Our systems are down,Â Canada wide. We’re working on it, we can’t fill your prescription today, we don’t knowÂ if we can fill it tomorrow. You’reÂ better off going to a competitor.'”
Smith said the news wasn’t well received.Â “The two people in front of me were quite upset.”
SmithÂ also said the problemÂ â€” at least at her local ShoppersÂ â€” hasn’t been resolved. SheÂ called the store this afternoon and said a pharmacist told her the system is still downÂ due to a computer upgrade that didn’t work. The pharmacist also told her once again to take her prescription to another drug store.Â
Smith believes Shoppers is not being up frontÂ about the problem and that will only lead toÂ customerÂ confusion.Â “If you want your customers, treat them fairly, be honest with them,” she said.
Stores that can’t fill prescriptions at the moment should be posting signs at the front, alerting customers before they waste time in long lineups, Smith said.Â
“There was a lady in front of me on crutches and she walked all the way to the back of the store to find out,” Smith said about her visit to Shoppers yesterday.Â “She had to walk all the way back out with nothing.”
CBC News asked the retailerÂ for comment on Smith’s recent experience. “We apologize sincerely to the customer for the inconvenience. I am looking into this further and will update you when I have more information,” said spokepersonÂ TammyÂ SmithamÂ in anÂ emailÂ to CBC News.Â
Shoppers operates more than 1,300 drug stores across Canada. Earlier today, SmithamÂ said that its IT team is “working diligently” to fix the computer glitch.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers and we hope to have the situation resolved shortly,” she said.
SmithamÂ added thatÂ once the system is restored, those who missed out on collecting their pointsÂ can get them added to their accounts.