When Sandy Kaye of Melbourne, Australia dropped off her prescription for antibiotics at a pharmacy in Darwin, she was the only customer in the store. Despite the lack of a queue, Kaye waited … and waited … until finally 20 minutes had gone by with no sign of her prescription.
Said Kaye, "I'm thinking: 'Has she gone to Timbuktu to get this?’"
When Kaye finally returned to the pharmacy counter to find out what was going on, she was told that the store’s policy was not to serve customers while they spoke on their mobile phone.
Said Kaye about the staff member who denied service, "She glared at me and said 'we're not serving you until you get off the phone — we don't do that here'."
The incident occurred at Value Plus Discount Pharmacy in Darwin's Smith St Mall. Kaye was in town for a conference, and was speaking to a friend in Los Angeles, Calif. as she handed her prescription to pharmacy staff. According to Kaye, her phone conversation was necessary for work.
One pharmacist, identified as “Effie,” told Australian news outlet NT News that the pharmacy did not have an official policy against serving people on the phone, but that the staff member was only trying to avoid a breach in confidentiality.
Stated Effie, "We don't have a problem with people speaking on the phone. You can't talk to them in front of other customers, or if someone on other end of phone hears, she can sue us … She could have sued us for talking about her private details."
Kaye, who unleashed a curse word while exiting the pharmacy, said, “If she wanted to discuss something with me she could've approached me … I don't know what happened to the customer being right.”
One NT News reader, identified only as G Nit, weighed in on the matter, saying, "Go home Sandy! Darwin has no space for you and your rudeness. More power to the shops and their workers! Darwin is pretty laid back but talking on phone while being served by anyone is just rude. "