In early March, I signed up for a membership with Drugstores.com since I have chronic headaches and back pain and have had trouble obtaining narcotic painkillers (Percocet, Vicodin, even Tylenol #3 with Codeine) from several local doctors.
I furnished all information and received an e-mail stating that I have a "$500 line of credit." Four days after I signed up, I received a beligerent Voice Mail from "Access Capital Credit," which I soon found out was a front for the Drugstores.com organization. Two days after that phone call, I received a letter in the mail from Access Capital Credit, 338 West Lexington Ave, Suite 212-A, El Cajon, CA 92020 demanding $124 ($99 plus a $25 "processing fee")for "defaulting" on my payment to Drugstores.com. On that same day, I also received another phone call from Access Capital Credit. I recognized the 619 Area Code (San Diego County, CA) on my Caller ID. I answered the phone and a very polite lady explained the situation and said that it is "customary" for Drugstores.com to forward billing matters to Access Capital Credit.
I asked this woman if I could pay via credit card, since the letter stated that my "lack of payment would be negatively reported" to the three major credit bureaus. (Please see http://www.drugstores-online.com/site/707557/page/919502 for more information). The woman said she would accept payment via fax.
Luckily, I have a home office with a combination fax/printer/scanner, so I was able to receive the fax authorization within five minutes after our initial conversation. I immediately filled in my VISA card details and returned the fax to Access Capital Credit. The woman called me back fifteen minutes later and cheerfully thanked me for handling this in a "timely matter" and that my charge card would be "run through" at the end of the business day, Pacific Time.
Indeed, $124.00 was charged to my VISA account on the next calendar day and I anxiously awaited correspondence from Drugstores.com.
On March 24, 2008, I received a CD in the mail from Drugstores.com, which is little more than a directory of physicians throughout the country. I clicked on several towns in the Wellesley/Newton area (western suburbs of Boston) and, low and behold, a couple of the doctors in that database were the same people who refused to prescribe me painkillers and insinuated that I was a "drug seeker."
Well, at that point, I figured I would swallow the $124.00 payment as a lesson from the "school of hard knocks."
However, this morning, Saturday, April 5, 2008, I received a Voice Mail from a gentleman with an extremely heavy, and to my ears, barely intelligible, Mexican accent (remember that San Diego is less than 20 miles from the Mexican border and has a large Mexican/Latin American community) stating he was from Access Capital Management and that I "most" (must pronounced in a Spanish accent; I apologize if any of this is construed as racist or xenophobic. I am just stating the facts about this caller's very strong accent) call back immediately. He left the number, but I could not decipher the numbers in his very heavily-accented English.
I still have the initial letter from Access Capital Management, but I refuse to call them back since I have already fulfilled my contractual obligation to Drugstores.com, albeit for a bogus CD.
If Access Capital Management threatens further legal action, I will lodge complaints with both the California and Massachusetts Attorney General offices. I just hope and pray that my endeavor to obtain pain medication for a legitimate medical condition will not be held against me.
Thank you for reading.