TORONTO â€” Shoppers Drug Mart says it has resolved a computer outage that affected more than 1,300 locations, preventing customers from filling prescriptions, paying with debit cards and using the retailer's loyalty points program.
The national pharmacy retail chain, owned by Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L), says the outage was caused by a network failure that impeded stores from connecting to internal and external systems.
Shoppers spokeswoman Tammy Smitham says all of its stores started experiencing "intermittent" technical difficulties Monday night and the problems continued into Wednesday morning.
Despite the problems, customers were still able to pay for purchases with cash and credit card payments of up to $300.
But they were unable to fill drug prescriptions or collect or redeem Shoppers Optimum points during the outage.
Smitham said customers should be prepared for delays in getting their prescriptions filled due to a backlog caused by the technical issues.
"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."
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.
Some also complained that Shoppers needed to do a better job of communicating with its customers.
Loblaw operates a network of more than 1,307 stores across the country under the Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix brand.
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Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press