Hello everyone -
I am curious as to your feelings towards the "Customer Service" being provided by your meter, pump or mail order teams. Seems that over the lat decade or so that "Customer Service" has increasingly been outsourced. This really has hit home hard in my house as I have been laid off twice in ten years due to outsourcing. Both of these tenures were with Diabetes Management companies. Four years with a large firm that made/makes blood glucose meters and then another four with a start up state of the art "insulin delivery system" company.
As a former World Class (sorry, gotta but I know that is the reality) Customer Service provider to many of you I am greatly ashamed of the once proud industry I worked in. I know that the two companies that I worked for made these moves without taking into consideration the drastic drop of top tier service their consumers would no longer get. The intimacy of the relationship with an intelligent, educated and knowledgeable representative. Reading some of the messages on this site and others leads me to believe that most of the big players in Diabetes Management are no longer striving to meet customer needs but rather the financial goals of their investors.
At my last gig the company went out of it's way to hire people with diabetes to make the customers experience as pain free as possible. The relationships that group created and the trust the customers had was second to none. However, once the outsourcing began the "HOME" team, so to say, began working triage almost 24/7. Rather than improve training or bringing the service back to home base they decided to move it all out. Those southern accents sort of gave that away immediately.
The reality is that these outsource units do not get the proper training or permissions to make the consumers experience right! The old "do right for the customer" message has become more of a "do right for the investor" theme. Reading about inconsistent products not being replaced due to time frames or unproven probables is shameful. Imagine using a meter or insulin delivery system or test strip that just ain't working right ...... blood sugars of 400, in correct insulin deliveries, running out of supplies early etc. This is not a matter of not being able to listen to music or watch television it is a matter of life and death!!
So, I am curious as to your customer service experiences. Are they all outsourced now? Companies like Abbott Diabetes, MiniMed, Dexcom, Lifescan, Accu-Chek and others. Do they admit that they are not directly connected to the Parent Company? Imagine getting hired/fired by a company that does not have direct contacts within the engineering department, shipping departments or sales and marketing? Sort of left on a private island to take all the customer complaints but not be able to completely understand the issue or problem. And let's be realistic nobody calls customer service just to give a compliment, right?
My experience as a consumer with these players is very disappointing. I have had diabetes for a number of years and get frustrated as I tell the person on the other end how to do their job so that they can help me efficiently! I wish I could bill them!
And the mail order gang! YIKES! Right?
So, let us know what thew experiences have been. And be honest. It is time to keep these profit making capitalists honest and fair!! I mean how does the price of something go up when you move production to another country (China, Malaysia etc...) outsource the most important jobs ( customer service), limit replacements and continue to make home base where the best tax breaks are available ? Doesn't make sense does it?
Also how do the regulatory agencies keep an eye on this? Strips, pump supplies, computer chips that are made someplace that quality assurance might not be top priority. Are we unknowingly setting ourselves up to be possible victims of a deviant product? These are questions that should be easy to answer when you are considering a life altering device to help you manage your medical situation.
How is the service you get compared to that from years ago? Or from another industry? Please post so we can really see how this money making industry might (or might not) need to be altered. There is a great deal of money being made off a small group of people with diabetes. So, whether it be Bayer, Liberty Medical, Johnson and Johnson or another player do you feel they have your interest at heart? ARe they able to work with you effortlessly and make things right with ease or do they need to fall back on rigid and strict policies? It is not a perfect world but when I need help due to a bad strip lot or problematic tubing set there should be a quick and east resolve correct?
I am really wondering how your Customer Service call went today.....
So good to see D companies towing the line. Thanks Brian.
Never had an issue with Medtronic or Dexcom. Both have honored there warranties and have overnighted a new pump and a new CGM.
Actually customer service is better now in the fact if I don't want to talk to someone on the phone I don't have to. Most of the time it's quicker and easier to just do the transaction online than to deal with a Customer Service Rep's who can only provided canned responses. So anything to take the Customer Rep out of the picture is fine me.
Jim, an option that I have never considered..... online. I need to do a little research and see if this option is across the board. Thanks for the info, continued success with your D management.
I like Minimed a lot. They've helped me with useful information several times and were excellent when my pump blew up. Lately, I'm interested in getting going on a new pump and they are less useful over the phone than they were a couple of years ago when I first called them to see what they could do when the Revel pumps came out? Which makes me think that someone got laid off or got switched to the morphine pump division.
Primax is the BCBS rx service or their "preferred vendor but they aren't us so you can't complain about Blue Cross because they suck" and they suck ass. I can't say anything *to* them as they track phone numbers and don't answer if they recognize your number. The order I called in two weeks ago still hasn't shipped. "Thank you for your order, it is being processed" *click*.
I have been doing business with, Medtronic, LifeScan, American Diabetes Wholesale,
never a problem they have replaced pumps (6),infusion sets, sensors, meters (6-8),
lancing devices, 900 test strips one time because I just didn't feel comfortable with them.
Medco has been delivering my insulin for 12 years now without a single broken or
spoiled bottle of insulin.
I can find no reason to rant about any of my Diabetical suppliers Customer Service.
John another great response, thanks. Seems that so far many folks have had great positive experiences. Never my intent to go negative ...wanted to see if outsourcing has hurt the industry. My experiences have mostly been positive as well. I wrote this based on the number of complaints I read here in the Tu-D lifeline.
I strongly believe that well informed customers can navigate any medical industry with ease. I just find it painful (for me) to read all the negative about D companies and how they seem to lack a certain level of grace when it is most needed. So far, the responses have been all very positive and that gives me a smile. The customer service Gods are working diligently.
Glad to be reading so much positive and so will the marketing folks at these companies. Trust me they are reading these forums more regularly than anyone could imagine.
Excellent feedback concerning Medco. I have only had my insulin delivered via mail once .... it was a bad experience as the handler left the box in the hot sun and it was warm and of course spoiled when I got home that night. Talk about a lost lifeline! The issue was handled immediately by the insurance people who made sure I got my humalog that night via local pharmacy.
I hope to see this positive trend continue.......
Knox's Dad, I've not had anything but great customer service from Animas and Dexcom.
Part of the reason you see so many negatives is that people tend not to post about positive experiences, but are very vocal about negative ones.
If you do not plan ahead most things in life will go south at some point.
I have always had my insulin delivered to my office so there is little
chance it will just be left on the porch. I have always ordered supply's 30+ days in advance it's recommended we do this,remember your statement [it is a matter of life and death] and I have enough supply's to get buy for a year if everything just stopped tomorrow or there was a full scale Zombie attack... I was stuck out of town with no insulin and no supply's after 9/11.
...Never never never again
John excellent tips.
Believe it or not there are thousands of calls being received by the various customer service/customer care departments on a daily basis. As you might imagine many are due to some sort of negligence on the callers behalf however there are a large number of calls that are spot on with the complaint. As an industry that promises "ease of use" and "helping to simplify" there seems to be some apprehension from the call centers end. Service needs to be confident and seamless.
So far the responses have been overwhelmingly positive... for this I am glad. My goal is not to rank on the industry but to find out why when I read the posts on Tu-D or any other D site I find an overabundance of issues being discussed that seem to lead to a customer service break down. I feel as a person with a major medical condition that my/our health needs have to be front and center for the CSR/CCR. If they are not providing excellent service then it affects us all in some manner. If they are doing a fine job that also affects us all. In my lifetime I have found that D folk are a compassionate family like circle of people who want to make sure we all get first class treatment whether it be the MD, educator, meter company, pump company, mail order, local sales rep(s) etc.... . These individuals need to work with a sense of altruism to make the call in experience smooth and trusting for those who are calling in due to concerns.
o far I would say straight A's.... that gives me a smile. Later on I might post another asking what makes the customer service call smooth and helpful from the consumer perspective. Keep them coming....PLEASE!!
Slightly OT but I had an electric company supervisor at my house and he said they were going to be outsourcing customer service to another city (or maybe country).
Makes no sense.
Lately when I call Comcast Cable (been trying to set things up for my elderly Mom) I seemt to go all around the entire world. Not a good experience.
Diabetes-wise, I had problem with Animas but I dont believe it was due to outsourcing.
And I just started with Minimed and have had stellar service so far.
Laura, if you do some research you will find that Comcast tends to be on the bottom of the Customer Service experience almost annually! Let them know this is unacceptable.
reat to see you have had good experience with MiniMed. Sorry about Animas. Write them and let them know you made a change. Service needs to be priority!