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.....
I don't have a pump or CGMS, so can speak about Accu-Chek. Meters are hardly as problematic & urgent as needing educated help with a pump. Accu-Chek has been wonderful about replacing meters several times. Got a new one immediately. Customer service were professional & courteous. Best I could tell, they weren't outsourced.
Fear of mail order problems has kept me away from them.
As for insurance companies, that's a hair-pulling story & we could write volumes on their track record & customer disservice. I'm convinced insurance customer service are trained to intentionally frustrate customers so we'll give up & go away.
lol- me, too, Gerri. See my recent post.
Had a pleasant experience with both Edgepark,Espress Scripts, and Medical Mutual ( I had to call them all to find out WHO to call), when smoothing out a communication error in my billing and shipments. All of the CS reps were quite pleasant and understanding. The Edgepark rep had to get more information from me that the original order taker did not ask for. This info which would have prevented the misunderstanding, a lack of communication, and my surpise at unexpected $350 hole in my pocket for test strips.
But all is well as can be. I am blissfully retired and the sun is shining in February in Columbus Ohio.
the telephone experiemces that I referenced in the above post just happened this morning..2/1/2012
Thank you. Edgepark is in your neck of the woods. LEt them know. They are one of the biggest service providers and if you look at the costs of supplies for cash buyers they are raking it in big time!!
Some of the products are at twice the retail cost of other providers.
Glad the reps were pleasant. Remember they are the face of the company and deserve credit for all they do but training must be ongoing for all of them.
Read it, Brunetta. Sigh.
Have dealt with Metronic for 3.5 years now and their customer service representatives have been really good; I get the feeling that they are well trained. Sometimes I have had an issue with their computer ordering system. I signed up for automatic pump supplies and they were never automatically sent (I'd be given a date and they would never go out); so I kept having to call to have the supplies sent. I finally gave up on the auto-system and started ordering online. Not long after I started ordering everything online we changed one of the products we were using and then we finally got a automatic delivery... of the wrong item! They were good about correcting it when I called them though. After I place an order I definitely check on it and call if I am seeing no progress on the website ordering system. There have been a couple times that I have placed them and for some insurance issue they do not go out. It is a little frustrating because they are not consistent about calling me when there are issues. I could definitely rant about insurance companies much more than Metronic though!