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There’s a wide range of pharmacies available in the market. You have a 15-day time period to return any product back to the pharmacy and receive a full refund subject to certain conditions. Even if the product and medicines you bought are covered by a manufacturer's warranty, your contract is with the retailer and not the manufacturer; it is, therefore, the responsibility of the retailer to resolve your issue. If the pharmacist made you aware of the possible defects, you cannot take any action against them

Your rights

In case something goes wrong, online pharmacy websites are well equipped with providing a decent resolution. Through online forms, customer care email IDs and call centre numbers, one can easily initiate a complaint against a particular issue. Online retailers offer the following types of policies in case something goes wrong:

  • Cancellation Policy- If you place an order by mistake, or wish to make changes to your order- you have the option to cancel your order before it is confirmed and/ or shipped by the online pharmacy.
  • Return Policy- For a reasonable explanation, an item can be returned to the pharmacy within a reasonable time frame provided that the original tags & packaging has been preserved and the item has not been used. Online pharmacy websites sometimes also offer a free courier service to pick up returns. Against such returns, pharmacists offer options of money back in the online account or the buyer’s bank account.
  • Refund Policy- Online pharmacy websites generally offer full refunds. However, it is advised that you read the pharmacist’s refund policy before making a purchase to ascertain whether the full amount will be refunded to your bank account or not.
  • Exchange Policy- The terms & conditions against an exchange policy of a gift are similar to that of a return policy. In this case, instead of cashback, the user gets another model/ size of a similar product.

Always make sure that you are aware of an online company’s cancellation, return, exchange and refund policies in order to avoid any inconvenience. Companies also offer self-shipping in some cases. Some items cannot be returned or exchanged. The option of return or exchange is also limited to certain days beyond which, no such action can be initiated.

How to make a complaint with a pharmacy?

Generally, it is the responsibility of the pharmacist and the product manufacturer to ensure that the item does not cause any harm to the user- in case it happens, they are bound to provide compensation. As a precautionary measure, you should always check the quality of a product thoroughly before making the purchase. It is also recommended to read product reviews on credible websites to avoid any trouble. You should also check the return, refund and exchange policy of a pharmacist before making the purchase

To submit a grievance against an online pharmacy company in India, you should follow the given steps:

  1. Gather your paperwork related to the purchase of the product and contact the pharmacist from whom you made the purchase, whether online or offline. Most pharmacies have a complaint resolution mechanism in place. You must check the refund, return and exchange policy of the pharmacy before placing an order. The customer care department of the pharmacy should be able to provide help.
  2. If the pharmacist refuses to help you or does not provide a satisfactory resolution, approach the customer care head of the business and register an official complaint. You can also escalate the matter by approaching the corporate office of the online pharmacy.
  3. If the business fails to provide a solution, or if you're not happy with the result, you can serve a month’s legal notice to the pharmacy to allow them some time to resolve your issue- failing which, you may take legal action.
  4. As a last resort, you can take legal action against the pharmacy by filing a consumer case at an appropriate consumer forum and follow the procedure as prescribed under the law.

How will Resolver help you?

Resolver plays the role of the bridge between you and the Company. It makes it easier for you to contact the company’s customer service directly. You can be certain that you’re talking to the right person at the right time. We automatically connect you to contacts at thousands of household names, ombudsman and regulators to find a resolution. There’s no jargon in our rights guides. Instead, they’re full of the information you need to get things sorted. We’ll always be there with help and support to guide you to get the results you’re searching for. Resolver is free. No adverts, no hidden costs. Start by telling us the name of the company or organization you have an issue with, raise a case and leave feedback afterwards.

I received a bad quality product

Pharmacies provide for and cater to the basic needs of health and wellness in regards to medicines, utilities, and other related items. It is their foremost duty to ensure that the product quality is up to the mark. The goods must be sealed, not tampered with, stored in clean and hygienic conditions free from rats or insects or animals, of well-reputed brands and not some counterfeit brand passing off fake goods, be in a condition fit to be used, not expired and leak proof. It is the duty of the service provider that the consumer gets goods which are in a good condition fit to be used. However, there may be instances wherein the goods or the products are not up to the standard quality mark and disappoint the consumer. It does not stand to the expectations and does not offer value for money experience.

In such a scenario, you have a right to raise a complaint with the concerned authority or store manager or the customer care and claim damages or reimbursement for the deficiency in service or the poor quality of goods you received. If at any stage you require further guidance on how to approach the matter, you can consult the Resolver Group.

I received the wrong product

Pharmacies cater to the needs of health and wellness of an individual either through an online platform or via offline stores. Pharmacies extend services of delivery depending on the business expansions. If you are availing the service online, you can build your cart by choosing from the items or list of items available and then process the entire order. If you are availing the service offline i.e. in an offline store you can either pick the items you require or request the manager to provide them.

In either of the two cases, there may be instances wherein the product received is different from the product so requested or ordered. The difference could be in regards to the brand name, size, quality, composition, or be an altogether different item. In such a scenario, you can inform the store manager of the mistake and request a replacement or return of the item. If the item was already paid for you can claim a refund equivalent to the price of the original product ordered. You could also request an exchange of the product. Further, if such a request is not accepted by the store manager, you can raise a complaint with Customer Care with your issue and proof of the receipt. The matter is then looked into and a refund initiated if the claims are found to be genuine. Further, if you require any external guidance on how to approach the issue, you can contact the Resolver Group for a hassle-free experience.

  • Make sure that the drug you have bought is not banned by the Department of Drugs Control.
  • Always visit a Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) for your health concerns.
  • Verify the date of expiry mentioned on the label of the medicine or drug.
  • Demand for the bill for the purchase of the drug.
  • Verify that the price charged by the pharmacist is similar to the MRP marked on the label of the medicine or any other product
  • Check for signs of tampering, or half-opened packs before walking away.
  • Always buy from a registered pharmacist and no one else.

Pharmacy chains generally have their own customer care departments in place to address consumer queries. In case the pharmacy fails to help you, you can reach out to the Drugs Control Department.

Every district has a separate Drug Control Officer. Always provide the area pin code of the pharmacy from where you made the purchase when you file a complaint at the Drugs Control Department. To ensure necessary action against the drug store, you’ll be required to provide the following information:

  1. Your name, area, and pin code
  2. Details of the issue
  3. Name of the medicine & the manufacturer. Note down the batch number, expiry date, etc as well.
  4. Name and address of the pharmacy
  5. A copy of the original bill

I received expired medicines from the pharmacy

Pharmacies are mandated to clear out expired medicines and drugs within 15 days of the date of expiry. Consuming old, unused and expired medicines can put you in grave danger. It is always best to check the expiry date of a product bought from a pharmacy. In case you end up consuming expired medicines, immediately contact your nearest health professional and get thoroughly checked for any adverse reactions.

You may also alert the pharmacy about the sale of an expired product. Make sure that you have procured a bill of purchase to support your claim. You can also escalate the matter by following these steps:

  • Approach the State Drug Control Department in your area and lodge a formal complaint against the pharmacy. Attach a copy of the bill/receipt with your complaint. As per the law, no retailer can sell an expired product.
  • You can also make a complaint to the Food & Drug Association of your state. The FDA has the power to cancel the drug license of such a retailer.
  • To escalate the matter, you can file a claim for compensation at an appropriate District Consumer Forum. In many cases, the court has awarded damages to the consumer for consuming an outdated medicine due to an error by the druggist.

No replacement offered

Pharmacies cater to the needs of consumers both online and offline depending upon their business expansion and the services. There may be times when the customer has to request a replacement. In case the order was placed online, the replacement can be on grounds of wrong delivery of goods, tampered packaging, broken seal, fake brand, defected merchandise or goods, expired products relating to health or wellness or any other deficiency in service. In case the products were bought offline from a walk-in store, the goods may be requested to be replaced on the aforementioned grounds along with other grounds of wrong goods, goods no longer required depending on the policy or leakage. You may request for a replacement or exchange if your claim is genuine. It is advised that you speak about it to the customer care or the store manager and present a copy of the receipt to serve as a proof of the transaction. Sometimes, such a replacement requested for may not be offered to you. In such a scenario, you can raise a complaint with the appropriate authority if you think your claim was genuine. You may thereof request for a replacement or refund depending on the situation. If you require any external assistance, you can contact the Resolver Group.

I was overcharged for a medicine

Pharmacies provide their services both online and offline with the increase in consumers and the boom of technology. They cater to the needs of health and wellness of an individual. You can either order the goods required online or request for the same in the walk-in store. However, there may be an instance wherein you are overcharged.

In case you ordered items online, the prices are displayed and you can easily figure out if you have been overcharged for a particular product. Further, the extra charges may be in the nature of packaging fee, a delivery fee, distance fee or express delivery fee. In case you pick up goods from a walk-in store or order via call, you may have been overcharged for a product at a rate more than the printed MRP or some additional charges have been imposed. In both these cases, you should first talk to the person in charge or the store manager and resolve the issue. You can inquire into the extra charges and find out if they were justified. In case this does not yield any solution, you can raise a complaint with the appropriate authority or the customer care and request a refund to be issued for the amount that you have been overcharged. Such a refund should be initiated in a reasonable period of time. If you require further guidance on the issue, you can contact the Resolver Group for a hassle-free experience.

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