Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Direct Quote From The CVS Store Voicemail.

"Pharmacy, press 3"

Whereupon a normal person who wanted to talk to someone in the store's pharmacy would press 3, thinking it would connect them to the pharmacy.

Silly human. What you hear next is "For the pharmacy, press 1"

You see, at CVS you've gotta really want it. Because after this bit of idiotic redundancy, after you do everything the machine tells you to do, human contact will not happen anytime soon. After that weird gurgling sound, you're gonna be on hold. For a long time. You get no credit for doing what the machine wanted. You can try pressing 3 again to see if that will make the machine happy, but it's too late, all you'll hear is that oddly hypnotic piano bar music. I wonder how much CVS paid for that piano music. I wonder if they think that it's calming and therefore people who wait to talk to a human for 20 minutes will be less likely to explode in anger.

Sometimes when it's late at night I'll turn down the lights and call CVS on the speakerphone. That piano music sets just the right mood to end the day, and I know it will be playing long after I fall asleep. I think of it as just another ordinary miracle.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

God, you ended that perfect. Silly human, drugs are for kids.

Charlie said...

I was calling another CVS the one day to see if they had some med and got put on hold for about 10 mins. I was singing along with the piano and got strange looks from the other techs.

I like Caremark's hold music better. It's much more optimistic and less dramatic.

Anthem has sweet hold music every once in a while. It was like a latin american christmas party on the phone back in december, and the last time I called I got dancing queen for about 10 seconds while being transfered to the double-secret stateside call center.

brickisred7 said...

lmao -- we used to do that at the CVS I worked for. After close, we'd put all the phones we had lines for on speakerphone and put the lines on hold. I'm not sure if it eventually kicked itself off, but the idea was to have a nice surprise for whoever opened :) That music still gives me chills...

UM Student said...

Drugmonkey here is a tip:

As soon as that bastard CVS computer voice starts to talk, hit the numbers "8001" this will cause him to turn off and ring the phone like regular directly to the pharmacist. They answer much faster because they think it's a doctor, or their supervisor calling.

Anonymous said...

My favorite is people trying to call the front store, and they press for the pharmacy. When I tell them I'll transfer them, they go, "Wait, isn't this the pharmacy?" and I always have to respond, "Yes, but the whole STORE is called CVS Pharmacy ... you pressed for the actual PHARMACY, not the front store." Idiots.

Also, somebody once asked me where they could buy a soundtrack for the CVS piano music. I laughed hysterically when I hung up with her.

Anonymous said...

i loooooooooooooathe CVS music.

i had a customer a few months ago who asked me to put her back on hold because she enjoyed the music. of course, she was about 92 years old.

Forty_Two said...

"911, please hold."

"If you know the name of the person who's murdering you, Press 3."

Madam Z said...

Ha! I liked your post, but I LOVE forty_two's comment.

Now, while I realize you are much too serious a fellow to respond to a silly "tag," I tagged you anyway, because part of my "meme" has something to do with a pharmaceutical. (I'm trying to get off of Zoloft.)

Fellow TX Druggist said...

Its not just CVS. Its almost every business out there. Call a Dominos Pizza lately. At least they all speak really good English. How worse could it be you might want to know? Imagine talking to a live person but in a call center in China or Malaysia or something kinda the way SprintPCS does it. Now that would be hellish.

Shalom said...

As an erstwhile Chain of Very-large Stores pharmacist, I can assure you that we loathe that hold music ourselves. See, the magic words are "Public Domain". The stuff (I think it's from a Beethoven piano sonata, not sure which one) is royalty free, which is why they use it: it keeps ASCAP and the RIAA off their collective ass. I just wish they'd play the whole damn piece, rather than just a half minute on endless loop.

Anonymous said...

Definitely not Beethoven--I think there may be a chance it is actual "classical" music (that is, someone expected an audience to voluntarily listen to it) but it's nothing I recognize . . .

Anonymous said...

Definitely not Beethoven--I think there may be a chance it is actual "classical" music (that is, someone expected an audience to voluntarily listen to it) but it's nothing I recognize . . .

dave said...

not sure how many people call cardinal for an outside vendor, but they have some KICKASS xylophone hold music. next time you're bored just dial up 888-999-8031 and get ready to jam.

Anonymous said...

And you know, even with all the hoops you have to jump through to get to the pharmacy, we STILL have people calling and asking for the photo department constantly. My favorite, though, is the woman who called and asked for her checking account balance.

N.B. said...

CVS has some of the worst on-hold music ever. I concur. Walgreens at least gives you some sort of radio interspersed with ads.

And I'm in agreement with Dave. Gotta love the Cardinal music.

Anonymous said...

I had a pharmacist that would get calls from people trying to beat the system and he would just keep them on hold even longer!

My suggestion is to press "1" at the start then " * ". It still rings to the pharmacy but not directly to the pharmacists. There by not making them any more crazy. However, if you do need a RPh by all means.

Anonymous said...

um student-Try that 8001 shit at my store & see how long you get put on hold. Agreed our on-hold music sucks. Doesn't everyones?

JenRPh said...

Yeah, what is that weird gurgling sound? I have never been able to figure that one out!

Randy said...

In case anyone was wondering, the piano piece is "Liebestraum in A-flat major" by Franz Liszt. According to Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman in their novel "Good Omens" Liszt was one of only two musicians in history who didn't end up in hell. Which means? B-O-R-I-N-G.

Taed said...

It is not Liszt's "Liebestraum / Nocturne Number 3 in A-flat major". I see the similarity, but they are different.

I work at Vertical Communications, the company that makes the InstantOffice and Wave phone systems that CVS uses. The piece that CVS uses for music-on-hold is called "Golden Dragon", it is public-domain, but I can't find the artist or composer. It is just over 3 minutes long. I don't think that it's the Karl L. King overture of the same name, though I've never heard a recording of that to be sure.