I wrote about a bad Medtronic experience I had over a month ago now. I wanted to update about how things have been since.
After I did my last post, I was contacted by a Medtronic Social Media team member. They wanted to make my experience better. They were the nicest of nice people. They cared about my concerns and I believe truly wanted to help. I did at that time receive a loaner pump as my current one has buttons that stick as well as other issues. The loaner pump obviously works great.
I was told that I could use the loaner pump while they worked on coming up with a solution for me.
Here is what went down for me. I decided since my insurance company has a contracted rate with Animas I would look at Animas as well as Medtronic(I have had them at least 9 years). Of course the Animas rate was much much cheaper and the customer service superior and by all means at that point I should have went with them. I messed up at this point. I honestly have used the Medtronic Pump so long that I had a hard time adjusting to the idea of something different. I also honestly have a strong desire to work in the Diabetes sales and support field. So my expectations may be high. I am someone who strives to deliver a top notch customer service in my current field, and have the same expectations of whoever helps me.
I can go through and tell you all of the things they did wrong.I am not though as it doesn't all matter and I don't want to write a book. So here is what it boils down to.
1. I provided paperwork on Dec 14, 2012 for financial assistance on recommendation of a Medtronic Associate due to my issues being able to take on an expensive bill in my current financial state. I was informed that day that I was missing paperwork from what I had submitted. I submitted such paperwork right away.
2. I was not told that there was still more missing paperwork till Dec 31st the last day of the year. I had called at least every 3 days asking for a status as the end of the year was coming and I wanted to make sure it got in, because after the new year the price would go up. I was told that they knew about the missing paperwork on Dec 28th, but I was not informed till it was to late on the 31st. I am disappointed that they didn't know the minute I submitted it.
3. I cancelled my order and was upset on the 31st of Dec due to the financial aspect of things collapsing. I missed out on my opportunity to get a pump with Animas, because I fell for the fact that Medtronic was going to try to get my business and felt they could do it in time. It failed. I messed up and I should have moved on.
4. I was emotionally upset over my experiences and posted on here. I was then contacted by a Medtronic Rep. mentioned above about the experience and told they wanted to see if they can get a deal done with me still. I informed them of the situation. They then sent me the loaner pump after asking me questions about my current pump and promised to work on getting me a new pump and that they wanted to talk to higher ups to see what they could do for me.
5. It took a month and half to get a response finally. I could have probably had the response a few days ago, but I failed to answer the phone as I was busy at the time. I was told that the higher ups talked to everyone involved and that they feel that nothing was done wrong and all the right processes were followed and that they can't do anything for me on the price of a new pump. I had accepted this after the December 31st fiasco, but of course was contacted by them. They drug the process on further. I trusted them because I felt I really wanted a Medtronic pump. They are the ones that suggested I try for financial assistance and they are the ones that contacted me again in Jan. So naturally at this point I am even more upset. I spent months trying to make something work that was doomed from the get go.
I had a bad experience with Medtronic the past 2 years and I should have took that as enough information. I don't understand why a bill has to be over 300 dollars in order to make payment arrangements. I had a bill for 250 dollars that they would not make arrangements on. I did pay the bill off and paid a certain amount off each month even though they wouldn't make a plan with me. I called them and asked if they would in the future and they quoted the same 300.00 policy.
I honestly had nothing but a world class experience talking with Animas on the phone. Everyone there has been patient while I went through this stuff with Medtronic. They are always helpful, nice, and honestly top notch. I am surprised and impressed.
That being said though... the 200 unit reservoir for me is small.. and that has been the number 1 reason I avoided pulling that trigger.
So I have to pull the trigger and move on from my long time with Medtronic. I also have to get over the fact that I want a job in the industry and just get a pump while I am still working on my dreams. I may evaluate harsh , but my message is this..
If you have 52 percent market share and are number 1, why kill it with second rate customer experiences. They obviously have some good people working for them, they are just not giving them the full tools to give that experience they should be striving for. If you have the best product and the best experience you are unstoppable. I really think they have left a huge opportunity on the field for other competitors. A lot of this may have to do with insurance and regulations and all sorts of mess out there. However, it all boils down to how you explain things and the perception you give. If you tell me that you did nothing wrong, and imply that myself the customer is wrong and that you can't do anything for me. Why would I go with you. I would have to have absolutely zero pride. If you offer something small, don't present it as small, but present it as look I can't do that much and remain profitable in the decision, but let us do something to try to show you I value your business. If you make a mistake own up to it. Try to make it up to the customer, if with nothing else with good customer service skills.
Anyway... I hope things change.
I will move forward with something else in the next week or two.
I wonder if Medtronic could offer you a better deal on a refurbished pump, one that may not be the latest model.
I understand your frustration. Perhaps the best thing is to try to get a fix for your pump that you can live with financially. Maybe you'll need to reconsider trading away the larger reservoir size for getting a pump without sticky keys.
Unfortunately we live in a society (I'm assuming you are in the US.) of medical haves and have nots. Your story reminds me that we need better access to health care for everyone.
At the time yeah it was really about the money. At this point.. I have money that needs to go other places(pay off debts etc) but if I really wanted to I could just pay for the pump. I honestly am just so turned off by the customer service I can't fathom even considering them at this point. The product is great... but they really did me wrong at this point I think. I just can't do it.
After having 2 insulin pumps through Medtronic and 2 Dexcom SevenPlus systems, I am about to try out a new insulin pump company. I called Animas as they have talked about their Vibe pump to come by end of 2013. Animas works together with Dexcom (the pump is out already in Europe). I found out that if I trade in my Medtronic Pump to get an Animas Ping, I would get $700. When the Animas Vibe comes to USA, I will have the option to upgrade for $99. Another plus, Animas will give $200 to those whom already have the Dexcom G4 system (which I would love to get). I have never seen an Animas pump in person but hoping that it will work for me. I'm not a sales rep, just a Type I Diabetic since 1980. If you have a pump that is out of warranty or don't want, it is worth a try to find out what kind of deal you can get to lower your price. Dexcom has rescued me quite a bit of times due to how I have problems feeling my low blood sugar levels - I feel it is the best invention out there so far for diabetics and want the Animas Vibe now!
Good luck to you with getting an insulin pump!
I'm sorry you also got their lousy service, but I'm a little bit glad to not be the only one! Over the last 10 years, I'd racked up such a set of ridiculous customer service experiences that I was just about convinced I had bad "vibes" or something over the phone. One man actually (and this was probably 8 years ago, but a good example of how bad customer service is such a long-lasting business deterrent) had the nerve to tell me that their newly redesigned sets were perfect, if I was having repeated problems it must be because I was inserting them wrong. I was speechless at that one, with a 90-degree insertion angle and using an insertion device (and 2 years of problem-free insertions), I still can't figure out how one would do it "wrong", but that was his official decree. Entertainingly, a few months later they came out with an official notice that a huge batch of sets were bad and they were replacing them free of charge, sorry for the inconvenience.
I've got a laundry list of complaints with them, the most recent being that they can't seem to straighten out the difference between a shipping address and a billing address, which was the last straw for me and when my warranty finally expired I jumped ship and now give my D-business to Tandem. Do they have stellar customer service? No, but they are always friendly and have yet to call me stupid (or imply such with their comments).
The kicker for MM is that while I wasn't thrilled with their pump (the lack of water-ability was a repeat problem for me), I would have stuck around if the customer service had made it worth it for me, because starting over with a new company and new supplies and such is kind of a drag. My guess is that for so many years they were the top dog and the for many, the ONLY dog, that customer service wasn't an issue because there were few, if any ,other options. Now that theres a bunch of companies in the game, I suspect their mediocre service will start haunting them.
I had a similar response when I called support a few years ago as well. In the issue I have currently been dealing with the associates are painting me to be the bad guy to the supervisors and the supervisor refuse to help me and in fact told me that "they were right and I was wrong and that they won't do anything for me"
They did give me a loaner pump which was nice, but now I need to go with another company and figure out sending it back and hoping for the best.
They really gave me no choice, but to leave.
That being said, I still admire their product and what they do other than customer service. They would have much better customer service if they did their own hiring(they use a hiring company) and focused on people with diabetes knowledge. The sales people I talked to definitely were not diabetic, and they training they had was with saline in their pump. I give Medtronic credit for having the associates trained, but the problem ends up being all they do is give reasons their pump is better out of a book and give the same reason no matter what. They do not tailor their sales to each individual. They stick with a method they feel is proven, but it fails drastically with me and I would assume others as well.
I want to work in pump sales and support. This experience has made me want to focus on finding away to give others like myself a top notch experience and one that will be tailored to each individual's needs. I will get there and make this happen.