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[IP] To The Leadership of MiniMED
Attention All MiniMED Representatives:
Before buying your product, the Paradigm, my wife and I watched your
marketing video which said how you would be there to support us through any
difficulty and any technical deficiencies. We took a lot of time to make
sure that the pump we selected would come from a first class corporation.
We chose MiniMed because we believed that you would take care of us. We
chose to use pump technology because we believed it would help my wife to
better control her sugar levels and so that we could get to an A1-C that we
could have children of our own with as little risk of birth defects as
We had our first paradigm for three months. Why only three months? Because
it broke down with some E21 error. When my wife called tech support to help
troubleshoot her pancreas the response was, All our technical service
representatives are assisting other customers. May I please take your
information and have someone call you back? In other words We have
chosen to save costs by not staffing enough technical service
representatives to assist customers who are experiencing technical issues
with the artificial pancreas we have sold them. Can we call you back
later? As if there was some choice. As if we could say, No, well call
We waited for a period of 1 hour without a call. So we called you again,
and got exactly the same treatment as before. Another hour went by, and we
called a third time refusing to wait for a call back because MiniMed had
lost so much of our credibility at this point. Of course, we were then
instantly routed to a technician who agreed to next day a replacement pump.
We have had our replacement pump for 1 week, and guess what? We are right
back where we started. Weve made the call, and received the same line
Let us call you back. And we are waiting once again for closure to this
My wife has diabetis, I do not. I do not pretend to understand the
obstacles that diabetics face every day. But I know my wife, and I know
that she is very frustrated as am I, by the severe lack of service we are
getting from MiniMed at this point. She is frustrated because this little
plastic thing that the average person at MiniMed associates with something
as insignificant as a pager is her pancreas. If she was not a diabetic, she
would be in an emergency room right now thats how urgent this is. But
the response we get from Mini Med is, Well call you back.
The leadership of MiniMed will read this letter, and rationalize their
behavior by saying, We told you to keep surrenges on hand arent you
using those? and We never said that this technology was infallible. And
Were doing the best we can to staff up for this.
We are using syringes right now. And we will go to NPH if necessary. And
it is painfully obvious that the technology is not infallible. The bottom
line is, we are in a recession. It should not be that difficult to find
staff to support your call center. The primary mission of the call center
should be to be able to get me on ABSOLUTELY NO LONGER THAN 5 MINUTES with
the person I can speak to who can make a difference.
When we heard of pump technology, it opened a door for us to be able to have
children. The main reason we decided to buy a pump is because it minimized
the likelihood of birth defects in children of diabetic mothers. Poor blood
sugar control significantly raises the likelihood of spine ebifida and other
birth defects during the first trimester. If this was our first trimester,
I cringe at this level of service.
Just because your marketing materials advertise that this equipment is the
size of a pager does not mean that it is as insignificant as a pager. With
PageNet, for example, I could have a replacement pager tomorrow. With your
product, I will not have a replacement until Tuesday. If I was experiencing
technical difficulties with my pager, I could call for support and instantly
have a technical person on the phone with me to help me out/ troubleshoot
over the phone. A pager costs $20 and is used by significantly more people
than an insulin pump. An insulin pump costs $5,000 and is in use by a very
small percentage of the population.
Please take immediate action to to get on the same paradigm with your
customers. This paradigm flows from the viewpoint that this pump is like an
artificial pancreas. It is that critical. It does not matter that it is
external. It does not matter that it is not closed loop. What matters is
that your customers, as well as your potential customers, are making life
changing decisions this very second to use this product to increase the
quality of their own lives. Some of us are even relying on it to increase
the quality of life for our future children.
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