what can I do if the eyedrops I bought are expired?
August 7, 2007 11:21 AM   Subscribe

what can I do if the eyedrops I bought are expired?

I bought eyedrops at Zellers (Canadian chain similar to Target), only to realize that they have expired in April. What prompted me to check the expiry date was the whitish consistency of the drops - usually they are clear. I can return the drops for full refund, which is what I plan to do.
However, I am outraged that I can buy a medicine at a large store that is expired, and thus, can be potentially harmful! I don't want to sue the store or take similarly radical courses of action. Can I request that they give me these drops for free? Any other suggestions? How should I go about it?
posted by esolo to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
I'm sure if you go in there and tell them you just bought a drug product that was expired they'll be happy to give you a replacement and a refund, in lieu of you calling the news or the Canadian-equivalent of the FDA...
posted by jckll at 11:29 AM on August 7, 2007

Call the eyedrops manufacturer. The eyedrops may have been 'grey market' (i.e. stolen) goods, or otherwise not part of the normal supply chain by which manufacturers and stores ensure this kind of thing doesn't happen. Manufacturers really don't want to have this kind of thing happen to their customers - bad press, look at the Bausch and Lomb ReNu flap - and they will take the appropriate steps to investigate and take further action if warranted.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:50 AM on August 7, 2007

Don't request them, just send the product and your reciept to the manufacturer. They will take care of you.
posted by Eringatang at 12:15 PM on August 7, 2007

Buy more eyedrops, check expiration date before purchase.
posted by Max Power at 12:42 PM on August 7, 2007

Yeah, using those doesn't sound too good. Although you might be entitled to a replacement, since you bought goods that were already expired, something that shouldn't happen.
posted by macsigler at 2:03 PM on August 7, 2007

Are we talking prescription eyedrops or, just, you know, eyedrops?

Because, afaik, saline doesn't go bad until it's opened, and the expiration dates on OTC drugs are pretty much just a sweet way to make people buy more of your crap.

If they're just eyedrops, then....use them. If they're prescription, contact the pharma company and act super pissed. Also, tell your doctor what happened, get a new scrip, and go to a different place.

Sorry to be snarky, but "oh noez my salines are bad I are suing" is a little silly. Chances are, nobody's bought that brand and they went past expiration (gasp!) 3 months ago.
posted by TomMelee at 2:15 PM on August 7, 2007

saline doesn't go bad until it's opened

Saline also shouldn't be whitish, as the OP describes. Regardless of what other actions you might take, don't use those drops.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:42 PM on August 7, 2007

Best answer: All the "OMG DON'T USE THEM!" people need to chill out. esolo didn't ask whether or not he should use the drops. I think it's apparent that he / she does not plan to use them.

esolo, I don't know that you're entitled to a free product now for your pain and suffering. You are entitled to a fresh product, and of course you know you can go back to the store and get that. What is that you want -- to punish them for being being negligent? Don't get all American on us.

I think your best course of action would be a well-written letter to the president of the chain. The people at the top should know that some of the slower-moving stock at some stores isn't being refreshed as promptly as it should. It's not like the drops expired last week; they expired in April. Surely someone should have noticed that in the past 4 months.

Writing a letter will (hopefully) help ensure that your particular location keeps a better eye on its stock, and if the company is smart, they'll send you a little something for your troubles. Make sure to emphasize that you have plenty of choices when shopping for eye drops, but that you've chosen Zellers heretofore for their reliability, and that right now you don't feel you can buy personal products there with confidence. Or something along those lines. That should at least get you a real reply (as opposed to a form letter) and a gift card to the store.
posted by boomchicka at 3:29 PM on August 7, 2007

If you talk to a random employee they will probably just want to replace the eye drops as opposed to giving you a free bottle, since they may not have the authority to give out free product. I'd go in and ask for the manager - explain the situation, say you were pretty concerned, act a bit upset in a polite but firm way, and say you'd like non-expired eye drops at no charge because you had to come all the way back out for this. Many stores have some kind of scoring system where the store gets marked down for every customer that calls the central office and complains. The manager will probably consider free eye drops a bargain for preventing you from doing that.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:45 PM on August 7, 2007

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