Insulet`s Failure - Omnipod Debacle

Omnipod - Omni Pod - terrible customer service (not a company that cares about their customer`s health)

For a Type-1 diabetic, insulin is not a choice or just a medication to remember. It is truly life or death. Many diabetics rely on insulin pumps to deliver the amount of medicine they need in a timely manner – this allows them to better control their dosage and keep their body systems running smoothly without any interruption.

To make this process even simpler, companies create insulin pumps and pods that can be ordered through the mail making the process routine, simple and ideal for individuals with diabetes. As you can imagine, though, when something goes wrong with this system it’s not just an inconvenience – it can be life or death.

One woman relied on a manufacturer of insulin pumps to help her manage her diabetes. The woman had a standard delivery system and had all of her measurements and dosages worked out to a science. She had a standard delivery every three months of new pods for her insulin pump and she counted on and was pleased with the service of the company for more than four years.

In the past month, however, she faced a new challenge. Her insulin didn’t arrive on schedule. She waited a day or two – using up the last bit of the insulin from the previous month. But then she had to acknowledge that the package wasn’t just late. It wasn’t coming. She then started the real nightmare. While the woman rushed to her doctor to try and get a new method of delivering the much-needed insulin, she got on the phone with the company she had relied on for four years.

She was placed on hold. So she held. For hours. She tried all of the tricks in the book to get through to a customer service representative. She hung up and called back. She called at different times of the day. She finally just gave up and resigned herself to a long wait.

Once she was again placed on hold she settled down with the phone in hand to watch television. Hours later at ten o’clock at night the customer service department finally picked up. Excited, the woman explained that her normal shipment had not arrived and that she needed to figure out the problem and resume shipments immediately.

The customer service representative for the company was not helpful. She told the woman that the company had transitioned to a new system and there would be no more deliveries of insulin under the old system. As a sort of afterthought, the representative asked the woman if she had a back-up method available. Furious, the woman sputtered out an answer and hung up.

It is fortunate that the woman was able to keep her diabetes under control with help from her doctor, but going from an insulin pump with steady management of insulin to a system of needles and two types of insulin to be delivered throughout the day is a hard transition for the patient.

You might think that the company who makes life-saving medical supplies would make a point of contacting patients ahead of time to let them know about a huge transition. It might make sense to warn them that they wouldn’t be getting more from the prescription.

Instead, the company chose to simply allow the shipments to stop without any notification, frustrating and potentially even endangering the lives of diabetic customers. At the very least, the company could pick up the phone when long-term customers call. But sometimes a business simply doesn’t make sense.