Prices are good for chemist items, however pharmacy service is TERRIBLE. There are very long wait times, and they are often out of stock of common medications, which they tell you after you have spent a long time waiting. So I'd buy perfume here, but not get a script filled.
Each time we have visited (and subsequently exited) the Ballarat Chemist Warehouse, it has been with tremendous savings and (usually) quality products.
Simply put, our family has a multitude of illnesses and related vitamin and mineral deficiencies requiring attention and related supplementation. Although we have recently decided to follow a more â€˜natural' approach (when treating our conditions and related symptoms), we frequent this store to purchase a range of quality supplements and other products.
Although prices vary considerably from pharmacy to pharmacy, we now purchase the bulk of our supplies from this store. Items that regularly appear upon our list include; Blackmore's â€˜Flaxseed Oil' Capsules, Blackmore's â€˜Bio-Magnesium', Nature's Way â€˜Evening Primrose Oil' Capsules, Olive Leaf Extract (capsule and liquid form), Natures Way â€˜Multi-Vitamins', Co-enzyme Q-10, Andrographis, â€˜Inner Health Plus', â€˜Invite' 100% Pure Vitamin E Oil, and the range of â€˜Schuessler's Tissue Salts' and â€˜Ethical Nutrients', etc.
Although most of the girls are polite and friendly, most do not appear overly knowledgeable regarding the products they sell. When questioned about a specific product, they automatically read the back of the label; failing to take into consideration that in most cases you have already done this prior to asking them for assistance. This is a pet peeve of mine and happens throughout various stores, so this alone cannot be held against them in a hugely negative way. Having said this, once they realize they are unable to answer your question, they refer to the Pharmacist for additional information, usually returning with an answer or the Pharmacist in toe.
Their trading hours are longer than the average chemist and undoubtedly come in handy for many individuals and families alike. However the building itself does have a tendency to become overcrowded (especially surrounding the prescription area) and terribly hot and stuffy during busy periods.
I recently had reason to contact them (via telephone) for additional information regarding several items I had purchased earlier in the day. Although it was just after closing time, David was more than happy to try to assist and did not â€˜rush me' through the details. Unfortunately, the information that he was privy to was no more informative than my own sources; resulting in me having to contact the manufacturer directly. Nevertheless, he politely investigated the items in question and attempted to answer my many questions in a professional and timely manner.
Another positive for us is that this store allows us to purchase many of the products (we frequently buy) in larger quantities. (Eg. Bottles of 200 tablets.) Much to our delight, this often results in a considerable saving (in some instances up to 50%, when items have been on â€˜sale') compared with other competing pharmacies/supermarkets. Eg. Last week we spent $170 and according to Chemist Warehouse RRP, we saved $78. However after reworking the figures (based on what we would have normally paid at our local pharmacy and supermarket) the savings were more around the $110 mark! Simply put, this is a massive saving!!!
During a recent visit, I was pleased to discover that they had a â€˜special offer' available that entitled anyone who spent over $29.95- to purchase several items for only 1 cent. The â€˜1 cent' items from which you could choose included Impulse Body Spray, Palmolive Detergent, Oral-B Toothbrush, Nivea Soap, Softsoap Hand Soap. Although this was an unquestionable saving, the related â€˜conditions' placed upon it were not made clear by either the advertising or at the time of purchase.
However this was not my only surprise, for upon arriving home, I discovered that one of the above-mentioned â€˜liquid soaps' had leaked over my $170 worth of purchases. To add to this inconvenience, upon further investigation, I discovered the â€˜liquid soap' and â€˜sorboline cream' I had purchased both contained a cocktail of questionable ingredients that would have inevitably caused allergy/intolerance within my family. In light of this discovery, I decided to return the above-mentioned items, however this was not such a simple process.
The initial staff member I spoke with (employee #1) was polite and friendly, however the subsequent person I was referred to (employee #2, Suzie?) alleged that I had used some of the â€˜leaking' product, since I had waited five days to return it. There was also a â€˜problem' with the return of the sorbolene. While the container remained fully intact and unopened when handing it over to the employee #1, somehow during its transition to employee #2 (over the next 10 minutes), the pump had somehow sprung open. It was at this time that employee #2 stated that the product had been â€˜opened' because it contained a â€˜smear' of liquid at the top of the container. I reminded her that sorbolene is (virtually) fragrant-free and that the trace amount of liquid was actually from the leaking liquid soap container that I was attempting to return. I then asked her to smell the mysterious liquid for herself, as it was easy to determine that it was the same fragrance and soapy consistency as the liquid soap in question. It was at this point that she called for the pharmacist.
And so I met Pharmacist Robert, who was polite and friendly, but remained adamant that there was â€˜no way' that this could have happened. (My $170- worth of soap covered products and I beg to differ). Nevertheless he agreed to refund the sorbolene and exchange the liquid soaps (for a more suitable product). However he refused to refund or exchange the â€˜leaking' product. I politely informed him that this was not about the money (since the soap was worth little more than $2- ), but it was a matter of truth.
Prior to departing the store, I asked Rob whether he could recommend a more suitable (and natural) alternative to the sorbolene cream we had just returned. Although we were unable to locate an item that was better suited to our family's needs, he offered some genuinely competent advice and even suggested a potential treatment which I had forgotten about. Although I was genuinely appreciative of his advice and assistance, I remain hurt and disappointed about the previous accusation; as truth and honesty is a character trait I pride myself in.
Although I strongly recommend this business for offering a great range of competitively priced products and have been satisfied with the advice and assistance I have received from both pharmacists, I cannot help feeling somewhat ambivalent because of the above-mentioned incident. This may not be a huge issue for many, but it was for me, as I am a sensitive and honest individual. If I personally had of been managing the store, I would have simply given the customer the â€˜benefit of the doubt' because the potential for losing a high paying and loyal customer (over a pathetic two dollar item) is simply not worth the risk.
Approximate cost: $Varies
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