EUCLID, Ohio - Mary Ellen and Mel Wainio of Euclid were hoping they would be sent the generic equivalent of Nexium through the mail. What they received was five months of headaches and $490 bill from a collection agency.
The Wainios told NewsChannel5 Troubleshooter Joe Pagonakis the problems started when their doctor sent the wrong prescription to CVS Caremark for name brand Nexium, instead of the generic version.
The Wainios quickly contacted their doctor, CVS, and their credit card company. CVS sent the couple generic Nexium, but failed to send them the return mailer for name brand drugs.
The Wainios claim they contacted CVS 6 times, each time the company promised to send the return mailer, but in every case, the mailer failed to show up in their mailbox.
The Wainios also said they contacted CVS a seventh time and were then told the 90 day window to return the drugs had expired. A $490 bill from a collection agency was being sent to their home.
"I was very upset," said Mary Ellen Wainio. "They gave us 30 days, and said if they didn't hear from us within 30 days, they were going to ruin our credit."
5 On Your Side contacted CVS Caremark headquarters about this case, and within 24 hours CVS contacted the Wainio's, issued an apology, dropped the $490 bill, and sent a return mailer to their Euclid home.
CVS Caremark then issued the following written statement:
"When we receive a member service inquiry, we work directly with the member, the health plan sponsor and the prescribing physician as necessary to resolve the matter. In this case, our records reflect that CVS Caremark filled the original prescription correctly as written by the member's physician."
"We are reaching out to the member today in order to resolve the issue to the member's satisfaction and coordinate the return of the medication in question and issue an appropriate refund."
The Wainios urged consumers to be diligent when fighting for refunds, and keep accurate written records during their battle.
"Keep documentation on everything," said Mel Wainio. "Every time you contact somebody, what was said, and who was going to do what. Time and date each conversation, so you have a record of what's going on."
The Wainios also asked to speak to customer service supervisors, moving up the corporate ladder with each phone call, which can be extremely effective.
Mary Ellen Wainio stressed that consumers shouldn't give up, and be persistent.
"Absolutely, absolutely, this only proves that your have to fight."