Mercury Drugstore: No Return No Exchange

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Mercury Drugstore has been the only drugstore in the country for years.  It was only recently that there were new players in the industry.  Before there flooding of The Generics Pharmacy - it was only in Mercury Drugstore that you can buy medicines.  I used to complain that there were so few Mercury Drugstores and that their business hours were only up to 8PM.  When I was younger I used to worry that if an emergency happens, we wouldn't be able to buy medicine elsewhere!  But then a few years ago, I was so happy to see that there are branches that are open 24 hours.  Gosh, FINALLY someone thought of doing that.  It was a long time coming.  A few years after - branches were mushrooming everywhere.  I applaud their desire to serve more people - I thought it was such a great move.  I mean for a pioneer - it was a long time coming.


One of the things that I like with Mercury Drugstore is that they offer refunds and exchanges without question.  As long as you have the receipt with you and it hasn't been more than 7 days - they will give you a refund (if you pay in cash) or give you store credit (which you will use that same time too!)  This was something that makes me patronize them - because with medicines, there are no loop holes.  The medicines you are returning or exchanging should not be tampered with and in the same condition that you got them.  Easy right?  This has been their policy for a long long time.

But now - things have changed.  Yesterday, while I was buying medicines for Connor - the pharmacist who was assisting the lady beside me was asking the lady to make sure that the medicines she requested and will be paying for is correct as they have a new policy of NO RETURN NO EXCHANGE.  I had to but in and so I asked the pharmacist.  She said that it was a new policy of theirs and it just started last October 4 - they were now implementing a NO RETURN NO EXCHANGE policy on ALL medicines and purchases in Mercury Drugstore.  The pharmacist said that you can only return the medicines IF the medicine is found defective (which I don't know how you can prove) or is of the wrong dosage.  I was so curious on this and I wanted to know the real issue (because some times, the frontliners are misinformed - I wanted to be sure)  So I researched and fell short - I tried calling DTI but at 4:35PM NO ONE WAS ANSWERING THE CALL - it was just ringing off the hook.



I then went to the DTI site and clicked the NO RETURN NO EXCHANGE link and this is what I saw:

So that means, it's literally NO RETURN NO EXCHANGE for ALL items because it's quite rare that we get to buy good with defect, unless we weren't able to inspect them.  I got so confused so I called the DTI hotline and was told the same thing.  I spoke to Madel Bacusin - she gave me an example that if I bought an expired medicine - I stopped her right there.  Expired medicine?  Who sells those things?  My, what a wrong example to give!  She then pointed me to the direction of the DTI website again - and this was what she was emphasizing on:


I was not asking for this - she was pointing me to the *written notice* of the No Return No Exchange policy.  I have to tell you - she wasn't listening to what I was asking per se.  I think she didn't understand the question I was asking her.

Anyway - so there - Mercury Drugstore, though they don't have any NO RETURN NO EXCHANGE words printed on their receipts, they openly declare this to every customer that buys their merchandise.  So the concept is the same - all of the items purchased with them cannot be returned nor exchanged.  If you ask me, I find it's quite unfair - because as I said - medicines are hard to be tampered with and I find that there is NO LOOPHOLE with medicines.  And as long as you have a receipt - I feel that you can have it exchanged for something you can use instead of having to be stuck with a medicine you won't be using at all (which is a waste of money and a waste of the product).  I would like to appeal on this policy because I feel it's quite unfair.  You don't just go buying medicines out of impulse right?  You buy they because you need them - and when after a few doses you become well what will happen to the rest of the medicine?  They will just go to waste - what's in my mind is that - those extra medicines that you return - may be sold to another person who needs them.  It's not as if that same medicine will not be sold - it will be for sure.

I remember when I was pregnant, I was given an antibiotic because my colds were really really bad.  My OB prescribed me with Cefalixin - instructed me to buy 10 days worth of antibiotic, but on the 7th day, I complained to her that I wasn't feeling any better - she then told me to get another type of antibiotic.  Since I still had quite a number of the Cefalixin - I went to Mercury to try and have them exchanged for the current prescription - and they did so, without question.  The new antibiotic was able to help me feel better - it was only then that I realized that not all medicines can cure, it's a trial and error to see what your body responds to better.

What do you think?

13 comments :

  1. Experienced the same thing. They claim that it is based on a new dti memo daw. But i searched and didn't find any new dti memo naman! I think they just blame dti for a new policy.

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    1. Hello Anonymous! I researched it also but found no new policy. I will have to ask for a copy of the DTI policy when I next visit Mercury. Will definitely report back here to update you guys. Thanks for dropping by!

      Love Didi

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    2. I share the concern of the author not only that the same thing happened to me but the no return no exchange policy should not apply to medicines. A hypothetical scenario like a least of our brethren buys medicine with the money he got left which the dosage turned out to be incorrect. As health or even life hangs in a balance, I urge the DTI to discriminate medicines from the rest of the consumer goods. As aptly stated, no one buys medicine on impulse.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Experienced the same thing. DTI should specify which goods should be included in this "No return, no exchange policy." I think medicines should not be included in that policy. In an intance, what if you already bought prescribed emergency medicines which are very expensive for a patient who is confined in ICU, then suddenly and unfortunately, the patient died. What will you with those medicines. Just throw it in trash or donate it? You cannoy donate a drug to another person if it is not prescribed to him by a doctor right. It is just like throwing all your hard earned money in trash

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  4. I experience the same Things. No returned no exchange policy of DTI my brother buy in mercury drug in star mall alabang EQ medium size 16pcs of pack buT the baby so fast to big the EQ size medium is not compprtable to baby I bring the EQ medium to mercury drug star mall alabang and I ask the cashier to exchange the siZe of EQ to large and I'm willing to add the exxist amount of EQ. It's not sold and it can't be use caz it's to small.
    The cashier and guard told me that " HND PWD KASI SUMUSUNOD LANG DAW SILA SA POLICY NG DTI NA NO RETURED NO EXCHANGE" I ask the notice to prove the policy "WALA SILANG MAPAKITA DAPAT NAKA PASKIL UN SA DRUG STORE OR NO RETURED NO EXCHANGE DIN SANA SA OFFICIAL RECIEPT NILA" my brother buy EQ in mercury drug starmall alabang 10-25-14 at 10:45a.m and I go to mercury starmall alabang to exchange the EQ at 10-25-14 at 6p.m Same day. WALA pang 24hrs I'm not agree to the new policy of DTI. Example I buy a bulb of light FIREFLY and Philips to handyman they have a 1yr warranty then my BuLd is napunde with in 6months I bring the BuLd of light in handy man and they exchange it. Then in the end I talk to the supervisor of mercury drug and I explain.. At last They Exchange the EQ. But what if I die in the depression and in my sick did you think they can afford my life.. I'm nancy g calingo 55yrs old Highblood high collesterol at kaka laboratory test ko Lang at that day..

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  5. call Mercury Drug Head Office, they were able to assist us with the same issue :)

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    1. I called the HO and was told the same thing that they're strictly adhering with the DTI policy. BUT it was up to the manager on duty of the branch. That if ever it's the discretion of the duty manager on how he/she will handle the return or exchange.

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  6. Mercury Drug is just protecting the meds for everyone. Do you want to buy a med that has been returned by other customers? fyi, meds are sensitive..when you buy it and bring it home, the temp may change and it will have an effect on the meds. it would not retain the potency or effectiveness of the meds. personally, i want a new stock, not the ones that has been returned by others. so if yoi have doubts, buy atleast 2pcs or just enough to try it if it has a good effect or bad on you. if you felt better, then go buy all the required doses! that is it. that is how i see why they are implementing the policy. the stocks we return to them are considered loss of the company because they are not going to sell it again and return it to the supplier. Nothing bad. Good day!

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    1. Honestly - I won't mind getting a *returned* medicine as long as it hasn't been tampered with. Medicines are sensitive, I agree and so I don't think Mercury will allow returns for certain *temp sensitive* medicines. It's just but right for them to refuse it.

      I feel that you have the luxury of being able to go back and forth to Mercury - but how about others who don't? What about them? Sorry nalang?

      These returns of Mercury are NOT considered losses - why? THEY MAKE SURE TO SELL THEM AGAIN. Parang di mo kilala ang Pilipino. Hahahaha!! Even if they return the product to the supplier - the suppliers has made a lot of money out of the drug already. The Philippines is one of the countries that sells expensive medicines. The reason behind this is that these pharma companies put their funds in giving money to doctors for marketing.

      Medicine is NOT cheap. And I think it is just but right that we are allowed to exchange untampered ones. There are receipts to show the date of purchase too. HIndi naman as if wala lang, I can return a medicine I bought 6 months ago. There are guidelines. I am pushing for them - I am honestly pushing for FAIR guidelines. Yun lang.

      I hope that next time when you post - put your name, don't hide behind *Anonymous* - put yourself out there.

      It's ironic that one will want to go out and give their opinion and hide under *Anonymous*. Why?

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    2. I'm taking morphine meds for my pain management on cancer. They sell a box of 60 tables, and they do not allow by piece. So how can I not return or exchange it if I needed a higher dosage?

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  7. i had an experience before. my son was confined and when we were about to be discharged they gave us the prescription already while waiting for the bill. i asked my brother to buy it at mercury drug. when he came back the medicine he got was tablet and the chewable prescribed. my brother said he just handed the saleslady the prescription and paid. so when we got discharged we went back to the store. i asked them to refund the money. at first the saleslady said that she asked my brother if it is the tablet that is needed. my brother said that he wants what is prescribed. which is clearly the chewable type. then i asked her, why would you give meds different to what is prescribed? she could not answer. she then approached the manager and ut was approved to be refunded. the manager apologized for the inconvenience.

    and as far as i know, no return no exchange is being prohibited by dti. stores are not allowed to implement it. they are also not allowed to post signage of it and print it in their receipts.

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  8. U.S. FDA has this policy:

    POLICY:
    A pharmacist should not return drugs products to his stock once they have been out of his possession. It could be a dangerous practice for pharmacists to accept and return to stock the unused portions of prescriptions that are returned by patrons, because he would no longer have any assurance of the strength, quality, purity or identity of the articles.

    Many state boards of pharmacy have issued regulations specifically forbidding the practice. We endorse the actions of these State boards as being in the interest of public health.

    The pharmacist or doctor dispensing a drug is legally responsible for all hazards of contamination or adulteration that may arise, should he mix returned portions of drugs to his shelf stocks. Some of our investigations in the past have shown that drugs returned by patrons and subsequently resold by the pharmacist were responsible for injuries.

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