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Massive Dexcom C/S incompetence

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by hawkeyegirl, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. hawkeyegirl

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    On Sunday morning, as we were walking out the door to leave for a 3 day vacation, my son got a message on his Dex receiver that the transmitter battery was dying. Super. So I called Dex. The transmitter was only 4 months old, so we were in-warranty and didn't have to go through insurance. So this should be super easy, right? Because it was Sunday, they could not ship out same-day, but she took the address where we would be staying and promised that they would overnight it on Monday. Okay. Tuesday comes, and no transmitter. I call Dex. "Wow. We have no idea what happened. We will ship it today. Promise! For sure!" So I switch the address back to our home address, because we were coming home Wednesday.

    Transmitter dies Wednesday around 5am, so it lasted 60 hours after the first low battery warning. We drive back home, and do 4,000 finger pokes between Door County and Northern Illinois. Get home about 3p.m. and no transmitter. I call Dex and get the poor woman I spoke to yesterday. She looks it up, and I can feel her cringing when she says, "Yeah, it didn't ship yet." DIDN'T SHIP YET. Remember, no insurance, no prescription necessary. ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS PUT A FRICKING STAMP ON A BOX AND PUT IT IN THE MOTHERFRICKING MAIL.

    I yelled. And then I told her I was going to hold until she put me on the phone with the actual person who was going to print a label, put it on a box and put it in the mf'ing mail. So I yelled at him for a while, and then I finally hung up.

    What makes me maddest is that I have no recourse. What can they give me for free? What can they do for me? Nothing. Can I threaten to switch to a competitor? No. I just have to sit here and accept their incompetence and get through tonight with no sensor, when I am really, really, really tired and would like a good night's sleep.

    This is, by far, the longest we have been without a working CGM in over 6 years, and I do not like it one bit. One good thing about the Medtronic system is that this would not have happened with them. Ever.
     
  2. rgcainmd

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    Once you finally receive the transmitter, you should send them a strongly worded letter detailing how their faulty transmitter that died while still under warranty ruined your family's vacation and how they screwed up multiple times after promising to get you a replacement ASAP. Suggest that they should provide you with another transmitter free of charge when you get close to the one-year mark with the new transmitter. It's the least they owe you. And request a written response to your letter. If you haven't heard back in a month after posting the letter, call Dexcom and ask to speak with "someone in charge" and complain that you didn't receive any response to your letter. Hopefully you'll get a free transmitter for your trouble. Or a crapton of sensors. Or a lifetime supply of Opsite Flexifix. Something. THEY OWE YOU!
     
  3. KatieSue

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    Definitely write or email them. We had an absolutely horrible experience getting ours, it took almost 3 months total time. That was with my constant follow up. I wrote to the President, his info is on the website, and got a personal email and then follow up from levels below him.
     
  4. moco89

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    hawkeyegirl, remember that Medtronic screwed up my shipments *twice* for two devices in the past month? I really do not think that Medtronic is better in this circumstance, aside from the fact that there are more local reps around and they are "more established". I also recently had to email the updated serial number of my pump because apparently they cannot figure out that I am using a replacement pump honored under warranty.

    Anyways, I would suggest doing what the above posters suggested. The only other recourse I can think of is that you can file a complaint with the BBB (or some other commission--even regulatory--for not properly honoring the warranty). I may sound like a jerk for suggesting that, but it may be your best recourse.

    They certainly are not backing their product by leaving you *and your child* in the dust. It's not fair or right.
     
  5. hawkeyegirl

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    Oh, it's not that MM was particularly more competent. But (1) their transmitters lasted forEVER, so we always had two or three backups lying around. You could just keep them on the charger and they were reliable for 2-3 years in our experience. And (2) they have way more reps. We live in sort of the sticks, and if our MM transmitter failed, our rep would have been at our house in 20 minutes with a new one. I've never met our Dex rep, and suspect he/she is based in the Chicago suburbs, at best.

    I think I will send them a letter. I know if I wouldn't have called today, they wouldn't have shipped it again today. It's not like I'm miffed because my new shoes from Nordstrom shipped late. They must know how much we rely on these devices.

    I'm also irritated because they claim you should get a week after the first "low battery" warning, and if anecdotal evidence is to be believed, almost no one gets that long. We got 2.5 days which wasn't long enough for them to get us an IN WARRANTY replacement. Lord knows how long it would take if we actually had to run the thing through insurance.
     
  6. Nancy in VA

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    Can you use a 3rd party provider instead of Dexcom direct? They aren't in network for us but we use Diabetes Specialty Center to buy ours - system and sensors. They processed a new order which required a full new prescription in 4 1/2 days (I say that because initially it was 4 days but when I called for tracking number, turned out they needed one more document which they got within the day and shipped).

    I even had a problem with my shipping - it shipped Monday and I checked tracking yesterday only to realize that it would arrive on Monday - with a signature required - while we are on vacation. UPS will try to deliver 3 days and then return it and I didn't want that to happen. I called DSC and initially they were going to reroute to where we'll be and instead decided to cancel that shipment and get it returned to them and ship us an overnight system so we'll get it tomorrow. I don't have that tracking # yet because it doesn't get into the system until overnight but with the number of people I spoke with today, it should be working. They have been really nice to work with.
     
  7. moco89

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    True on the Medtronic equipment lasting longer. It is unacceptable that the warning time was inadequate, even though the device is defective. I don't mean to try to hijack this thread but I don't know how an artificial pancreas, even the first generations, can come to fruition without backup hardware (backup pump, cgm transmitter, and meter), given stability concerns. Also throw in the shipping problems. Also the devices need to be more robust and durable.

    I think we all should pressure the JDRF for more robust devices and backup equipment for the "artificial pancreas". Also we need better test strip coverage for it all to work.

    Anyways, in the future, if not now, we will need backup sets of equipment.

    Sent from my iPhone.
     
  8. swellman

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    Only 4 months old ... how long was it in your possession? I'm curious because they have that "don't remove it or the battery will die thing".
     
  9. mmgirls

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    I believe that her transmitter was literally 4 months old because she said it was under warrantee. the warrantee is from when you get it not start using it.
     
  10. mmgirls

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    I totally am rubbed the wrong way with the transmitter being warranted for 6 months and the receiver for 12, especially Whalen the transmitter does not give good notice that it is on its way out, insurance can take awhile when using DME coverage. And the darn transmitter should last longer that a shipping time frame.
     
  11. Beach bum

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    We use DSC also, and they have been very easy to work with. Our packages come US mail trackable, and are on auto-refill. No hassles yet. We got a new receiver a few months back and with paperwork etc, it probably took about 2 weeks to have the new one in hand. My only complaint is that you can't do anything online, other than request a refill and that's via email.
     
  12. Melissata

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    Are you all getting your transmitters sent in boxes without packing? Ours was sent loose in the box, which was smashed and I was not at all sure that it was going to work or if the countdown had been started while shipping. I contacted them, sent a picture of the damaged box and they sent a replacement. She still had a working transmitter at that time or I would have been upset for sure. They didn't want the possible damaged one back, so that is the one I put on her when the other one was dying. It lasted less than a week. I can't believe that they are shipping them without packing, and the label said right on it to overpack on the first one. The second one had no such label and was packed the exact same way. I sent an e mail about it, but never heard anything back.
     
  13. hawkeyegirl

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    Maybe a week over 4 months. I started using it immediately upon the sensor he was wearing at the time dying.
     
  14. swellman

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    The transmitter HAS to be kept in the packaging in the slot it was originally placed. Once the transmitter is removed from it's resting place the battery starts to function. I think.

    I can't imagine why ANYONE would ship a transmitter out of it's original box. I would definitely call Dexcom.
     
  15. nanhsot

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    Interesting. I've always had excellent CS with them, but we had a similar experience this week. My son is in college, uses his Dex only sporadically though, so it's not as big a loss for him, but still irritating. He told me the transmitter died, so I called and got a quote on how much it would cost (haven't met deductible yet), couldn't afford yet but called back after payday and ordered it, gave my CC#, etc. Kept checking my bank account and noticed it had not been charged so I called. It had not been shipped, the order hadn't actually gone through! Supposed to be overnighted and arrive today, my son is in for a weekend visit this weekend so it had better be!
     
  16. nanhsot

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    OH MY GOODNESS, I am spitting MAD right now. I have still not been charged so I called again, and they are awaiting a prescription but NO ONE told me that when I called weeks ago. They are faxing an MD he's not been to in over a year, he's changed MDs twice since then. It's not being overnighted AT ALL. This is such gross incompetence I can't even see straight. All they had to do was tell ME they needed an updated prescription and I would have made sure they had it. I'm waiting to talk to a supervisor now. GAH.

    Edited for clarity, in case they ARE reading this: I asked in early June if Rx was up to date. Yes. So I didn't bother giving MD info since he was interviewing a new one that very week. Ordered, no mention of needing a new Rx. Fact of the matter was they HAD an up to date Rx, the same one they'd used for the past year and a half, but the coding on it was wrong. Worked every single other ding dong time, but now they hold onto the shipment and don't tell me?

    I unraveled it quickly once I knew the problem, had a fax to them within hours. All I ask is that I stay informed, but apparently that's too much to ask.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
  17. rgcainmd

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    I am dismayed to read about this crap customer service from Dexcom and feel badly for everyone who has been on the receiving end.

    I will learn from your experiences and (hopefully) begin my attempt to get a new transmitter well before ours dies. Can someone refresh my memory as to how long after our transmitter was activated that I might be eligible for a "normal", i.e. due to expected transmitter battery death, replacement?
     
  18. moco89

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    6 months, typically, but it actually depends on your insurance's policy. I heard from my Medtronic rep that some insurance companies do not allow you to get a replacement until 1 year after the transmitter has been purchased, which is absolutely absurd when a t1d child is involved. So the answer is, you technically need to find out from insurance.

    I still don't see how an artificial pancreas can come to fruition without backup quantities of diabetes-related hardware, especially with some of the failure rates of these devices and the *unbelievably crappy* customer service involved by these companies.

    Did you know that it's Swiss law that Accu-Chek must provide a back-up pump for its patients?
    We should be putting pressure on the diabetes organizations to make this a law for CGMs and pumps in the US.

    Anyways, I am absolutely disgusted by the deplorable customer service provided by Dexcom (and in my situation, Medtronic). Most of all, I want to say sorry to hawkeyegirl and nanhsot for having to go through this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
  19. nanhsot

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    What I hate the most is how completely aggressive and obnoxious I have to be to get what I need done. I was just a complete #$^& on the phone and that's totally not my personality. My son is ill equipped at his age to take this over, I've tried. That's what I hate the most about this type stuff, that those who are nice get left behind and those who dig in their heels and demand what they know is right, get it. It shouldn't be that way.

    Supposedly it's on the way. I told her in no uncertain terms that it was being shipped today to be received by tomorrow. We'll see. I'm still so mad I'm seeing red. I was on the phone and emailing about this for probably an hour today, good thing it was my day off or I'd have been out of luck.

    I hope they see this, and I even hope the people I've talked to remember me. I tried to be nice, it didn't work.
     
  20. nanhsot

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    They will actually send you an email when it's time to reorder, my son's lasted quite a bit after the email, but generally it's 6 months.
     

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