How to piss off a customer
When it comes to customer service, the biggest sin you can commit is to not resolve a complaint after the first phone call. (Unless you’re an insurance company — they operate under a different set of rules. But I’m not angry with them today).
I am upset with two companies right now. And as hard as I’m trying to resist, I think I’m going to name names (I’ve already concluded, back in December, that they don’t like me).
Pain in the ass #1
First one tied to the whipping post is Bayer.
I do believe the Contour NextLink is an exceptional meter, even if the name is a confusingly awkward mash-up. Sure, I have a few gripes, but when my biggest gripe is with the case, that not so bad.
This TuDiabetes discussion shows that I’m not the only frustrated with the case. There’s been so many complaints, that if you dig through that discussion, you’ll learn that they’ve redesigned it, to now has a rigid plastic element that the meter snaps into (like the OneTouch Ultra Mini). Plus, it’s free for the asking! (free!). A few people have already called and gotten theirs. (They come in four colors, too — if you care about that stuff.)
I called the toll-free number and the offshore rep who lacked the most basic of training, was clueless. I explained that I heard that they were offering new, improved cases and that I would like one.
First, he checked to see if I was registered in their system. He asked for some identifying information including my ZIP code. “070xx.” I told him. (xx’ed for my privacy).
So he found my account. “Are you still living at [previous address], ZIP code 117xx?”.
No, you moron. I just told you my ZIP code. And you found my account by using it.
Then we spoke about the case: what was wrong with mine, why it matters that the stuff doesn’t fit right, and so on. Eventually he offered to send me another one, unsure if it would be any different than what I already had. But what he has doesn’t have any that fit the NextLink, only the Contour USB (which is identical in form). He couldn’t guarantee that it would fit. Nonetheless, he needed the model and serial numbers off of my NextLink to place the order. He said I should receive it in two to three days. The topic of color never came up.
That was on April 25, two weeks ago.
I posed the question on TuDiabetes, asking how long it takes to receive the replacement case, and was told two to three days via UPS. A second call tonight, with a slightly better-qualified rep and I feel more confident that I’ll get my case (in seven to ten days, by US Mail). Yes, it’s the newer “improved” case, but again designed for the Contour USB and not the NextLink. This time, I brought up the color issue (I despise all-black because of its camouflaging properties) and she was astounded to find that, yes, I had that choice. I also was able to get her to admit that there was “a problem” with the first order.
Pain in the ass #2
I generally stopped writing about these, because — really — how many times can you blog about a Medtronic Revel Motor Error? It gets old. Since my last pump-history lesson, Epsilon has been replaced by Zeta. And if you didn’t catch it in yesterday’s post, Zeta has Motor Errored during my lunch boluses on Monday and Tuesday. Another call, another replacement.
On my most recent call, I explained to the rep that I really didn’t want to go through the exercise of the empty-reservoir test and all that bull. I did it the day before, and that morning had just changed out my infusion set. I didn’t need the stories of magnetic fields, bumps, drops, the little recessed circle opposite the reservoir, the possible reasons for a motor error, and so forth. I know that, after two Motor Errors in a short time, the pump gets replaced.
My new (ahem, “refurbished”) pump arrived today. I uploaded my old pump settings to CareLink, just to be sure I don’t miss anything. They don’t let you download them to another pump, unfortunately, but the printed record helps make sure I don’t miss anything.
Then I popped a battery in the new/refurbished pump. Usually, a new pump will immediately prompt for a time and date; this one didn’t. (It did think it was midnight, January 1, 2007, but it should have known to ask). This one just sat there, happily delivering the programmed basal (which I verified to be zero) from an imaginary full reservoir. It hadn’t made a sound.
I went through a few menus to see if, perhaps, there were settings left over from a previous user (alarm history, basal rates) and found none, but the lack of a Welcome to your new pump message made me suspicious. I checked the alarm settings to see if it was set to be silent, as it hadn’t yet made a sound. It wasn’t — it was on the default “Medium beep” Setting — but since I was there, I changed it to Vibrate mode as I always do.
The vibration sounded and felt like an ’87 pick-up that was badly overdue for an oil change. Something ain’t right.
I need to call Medtronic, and get another pump.
But I just don’t feel up to it. I haven’t got the stamina, the strength, nor the will to argue with them for a third day in a row.
I should say that the Medtronic, as a company, is generally a pleasure to deal with. They’re quick to help out when called upon, and replacements come seemingly faster than the speed of light. Reps are always pleasant to deal with (much better trained than the ones I dealt with at Bayer), but they don’t always have all the answers. This was evidenced in Monday’s (Pump Zeta’s inaugural Motor Error) call, where I was going through the requisite testing and heard keyboard keys clattering and my rep’s voice mumbling “OK, let me see… what’s the next step…” in the background.
This time, I’m demanding a NEW pump. Not a factory-reconditioned/refurbished/harvested-from-old-parts pump, but a NEW one. I don’t know if I’m going to get it, but I’m gonna fight for it – because I’ve lost faith in the secondhand models. I’m sick of the motor errors, the pump replacements, the reprogrammings, and the headaches. Just as soon as I find the energy. I’ll return the one they sent me, and keep pumping with Zeta for now (I’ve still got pump Alpha, my trusty MM515 which lasted well past warranty without a moment’s grief, as a backup).
And when I see my endo at the end of the month, I’m seriously going to ask for his thoughts on the Animas/Dexcom combo.