‘Optimum’ service restored
The Canadian Press - Mar 22, 2017 - Business Buzz

Photo: The Canadian Press

Shoppers Drug Mart said Wednesday it resolved a computer outage that began Monday night, affecting more than 1,300 locations and preventing customers from paying with debit cards and using the retailer’s loyalty points program.

The national pharmacy retail chain, owned by Loblaw Companies Ltd., said the outage was caused by a network failure that impeded stores from connecting to internal and external systems.

Shoppers spokeswoman Tammy Smitham said all of its stores started experiencing “intermittent” technical difficulties Monday night and the problems continued into Wednesday morning.

“I can’t recall something of this magnitude occurring,” she said.

“I think we may have experienced issues with payment systems in the past but this was a connectivity issue that affected multiple systems.”

During the outage, customers were still able to pay for purchases with cash and credit card payments of up to $300 but were unable to collect or redeem Shoppers Optimum points.

Some stores were unable to fill drug prescriptions because they couldn’t electronically access patient files. But others were able to fill the orders manually, said Smitham.

She cautioned that there may be delays in getting prescriptions filled on Wednesday due to a backlog.

The company said Optimum points that were collected during the outage should automatically be added to customers’ accounts, but those with concerns can call Shoppers customer service with their receipts.

The outage had prompted frustrated customers to voice their complaints on Twitter, pushing the company to apologize on the social media website.

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