Walgreens quietly updates rewards program wording

A major drug store chain promised rewards points for all prescriptions until one customer asked why he could never cash in.

A Walgreens ad that was recently on national TV may not have caught your eye, but consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky certainly noticed it.

“Rewards points on all prescriptions! Walgreens has you covered,” the ad promised.

Dworsky runs the information website ConsumerWorld.org. He’s also on maintenance medication and was excited about the prospect of some cash back for his prescriptions.

Nine months after filling his prescriptions at Walgreens he called for a points update.

“And there were zero! Zero? I’ve been getting all of these prescriptions,” he said.

That’s when he was told his mail orders were excluded.

Dworsky did some digging and found only one delivery disclaimer for photos.

“Everything else, even if delivered to your home, would gain points,” he said.

Walgreens pointed him a single reference buried in the FAQs, which talked about prescription exclusions. It’s contrary to what the rest of the site said.

“Amongst 30 questions, there was a disclosure. But it was nowhere near where they make the claims that you do get points online and in store,” he said.

FOX 4’s consumer reporter Steve Noviello followed Dworsky’s lead and reached out to Walgreens for a clarification. Doesn’t “all prescriptions” mean “all” prescriptions?

The company said it appreciates the feedback and apologized for any confusion.

Dworsky send Walgreens a laundry list of everywhere he said there’s a misimpression about the policy.

“And they very quietly went and changed every one of those… to my great surprise,” he said.

Screenshots from last week compared to now show words like “all” have been removed and “prescriptions” has been added to the list of mail order exclusions.

“Clearly it’s cause and effect. But you’re not gonna get them to admit it. That’s my suspicion,” Dworsky said.

He would like to see Walgreens take action. According to the company’s annual report, it filled 740 million prescriptions last year.

“I'm calling on Walgreens to give every consumer who is a rewards member who used their mail order service through the internet all those points back to May 2015,” he said.

On that point, so far Walgreens has been silent.

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