Thursday, April 4, 2013

OmniPod, OmniPod . . . Oh how you disappoint thee!!

On March 20th, 2010 I wrote a post titled OmniPod, OmniPod . . . Oh how I love thee!  Nate had been pumping with the OmniPod for exactly 20 days.  Yes, on March 1, 2010 we became fiercely loyal and outspoken customers of Insulet, the makers of the OmniPod.  My most popular posts all have to do with OmniPod and the number one and number two search topics that lead people to Houston We Have a Problem  . . . you guessed it . . .  OmniPod and OmniPod for Toddlers.  True Story.  As a matter of fact, I have an entire section on HWHAP dedicated to my most popular OmniPod posts.

I believe anyone that knows me or has read HWHAP knows how much we love the OmniPod insulin pump that Nate wears.  We fought hard to get it and have helped countless other families with toddlers navigate their way through hospitals and doctors that tried to discourage them from putting their tiny tots on this pump.  I love helping others by sharing Nate's story!!

I've plastered pictures of Nate's bum all over this blog for the greater good of young pumpers and OmniPod has directed parents of little ones here for years.

I have been . . .

Fiercely loyal.

Fiercely outspoken.

And now I am . . .

Fiercely disappointed.

This past December, Insulet announced that the long awaited approval from the FDA had been granted for The New, The Improved, The Smaller OmniPod!!   If you follow the link to that post written in May of 2010 you will see that at that time I was super excited and super naive about the smaller pod that we had been promised!

Almost 3 years later I am sitting here STILL WAITING with no idea at all when Nate will be able to start using that new, improved, smaller pod.  They are being released to new customers right now and as of today I still have no answer from Insulet as to when we will be upgraded.  I emailed our sales rep and asked about our conversion and expressed my disappointment with the lack of communication.   I wanted some answers . . . I want a conversion date.

The response I got was super friendly as usual but was the standard answer that I think all existing patients are hearing . . .

' . . . no true conversion date for existing patients . . . only the HOPE that it will be soon."


Our DME company, Byrum told me that they have to use all of their current inventory before they can start talking to anyone about upgrading to the new system.  I heard the words . . . late summer . . . maybe August from them.


I won't lie --- it is not fun seeing all the Facebook posts & pictures and blog posts from new customers  that are already using the new smaller pod and we have no idea when we will even know when we will get the new system.

I understand --- I do.  I know they have to work through the existing inventory and not take a loss but for the 1st time since we started this journey I am extremely disappointed with Insulet's customer service.  I am not alone in my disappointement.  The grumblings on social media are not nice --- the existing patients are restless.  That might be putting it nicely!

Read more from existing patients here:

This is Caleb has ben waiting 6 years!
Sweet Grace has been waiting 3 years just like us!

And for some reviews on the new system by new patients or 'cut the cord' patients:

Sweetly Voiced - Melissa 
Sarah Kaye (FKA Sugabetic)

Will I remain loyal ---- yes!
Will I remain outspoken ---- always!
Will I discourage people from going with this system ---- never!

I have seen comments from customers looking at the system now questioning if OmniPod's customer service will be ok.  Let me assure you as a new patient you are going to get fantastic customer service.  Sadly for us, the existing patient we feel forgotten.

And because it's been a while since you've seen one of these . . . here ya go:

Most likely the last one ever because he's almost 5 and will most certainly want to strangle me one day for posting his butt shots on here for the last 3 years!  Oh and yep ---- rocking two pods in this shot --- pod change day! You're welcome!

Keep calm and OmniPod on . . .


Kim said...

I totally do not understand Insulet's business strategy on this one. Think of the lost revenues over time if someone who has faithfully used Omnipod for years suddenly decides to switch pumps out of frustration! Upsetting loyal customers is not a solid plan.

There are so many things they COULD have done with the "old" inventory.

1. Take a hit and don't sell them.
2. Take a smaller hit and sell them at a discounted price until supply runs out.
3. Donate the pods to a diabetes organization like insulindependence or TeamWILD for members to use.
4. Donate the pods, along with insulin (hey, partnerships happen) to T1 kids in third-world countries.
5. Allocate them to a "try it free" program.

Seriously, any of these options.

Unknown said...

I agree with Kim. I also emailed Insulet to the same effect. I hope that they will soon hear you guys and send out the new systems. They really could just take the hit. Seriously.
And I deeply apologize for helping to fuel this fire with my post about the new system.

Sara said...

I'm glad to read the existing customers raising a bigger stink!

You all need to turn the PR win of the new customers into a PR fail with louder voices coming from the current ones.

Bean's next shipment is later this month and we aren't sure if we'll be getting the big ones or the new, small ones.
Hoping that they will be the smaller, but honestly I'm not holding my breathe.
We have nothing but great things to say about Insulet, but are, like you, tired of waiting!

Lora said...

Like you, we love the Omnipod, and its amazing customer service, but are irritated about not being able to get the smaller ones. In January we had to change pumps on Willie because of insurance (yuck!), and we are more than ready to try and get the Omnipod back. Wonder if we'll get new ones or old ones? I kind of get the money thing, but seriously, are they not making butt-loads of money already?! Have mercy on my poor baby!

Hope you and your sweet kids are doing well. :)

Becky V said...

Talking with customer service or your sales rep won't work - they aren't in the right spot in the organization. I would call and see if you can talk with the Product Manager or the Marketing Manager for the Omnipod. They should want to talk with you A) because you are (your son is) a patient. And B) because you are upset. As a Marketing Director, I would really want to know what my customer patients are thinking and use it to change the way we satisfy them. Good luck.

Unknown said...

I was told that if you are out of warranty you can purchase with insurance or do the cut the cord program for 199 an then you are considered a new patient and get the small pods , I know a few moms who have done this successfully so they wouldn't have to wait. If you want for details let me know and I can ask what they did exactly .

jenkara said...

Extremely disappointed with Insulet. They have decided to STOP converting anyone who gets any supplies from a third party - like MY insurance REQUIRES us to do.
What the hell?
We are now out of pods. The rep cannot provide them because they are only getting the smaller new ones. I can buy a minimum order of 2 boxes at a cost of almost $1000 from Edgepark. Oh, I am recently unemployed and daughter is on a KS Medicaid plan so she can still get her insulin and see endo dr.
I called insulet today begging to be upgraded, at least we could get pods from our rep for a while. They said oh no....transfer after transfer I got a woman who said if I buy my pods from them at $300 a pop (WHAT?) then I could get in line for a new PDM. The markup on this in dumbfounding! We are NOT going back to Medtronic who caused at least 2 episodes of DKA hospital visits due to their recalled POS parts (which they don't tell you about until they get sued!)
I am one hopping mad mama. I just want to do the right thing for my child

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Unknown said...

It is now August 13th, 2013, last night at 10pm I finally reached a customer service rep only to find out that my regular-every 3 month reorder of pods which was due 8/13/13 would not be arriving. I have one pod left. Instead, I can only convert to their new system. I have used the omnipod system for 4.5 years successfully. I understand all the comments about pod failures etc., but I have hung in there and worked through them because I like the tubeless pump. Now I have 1 pod-3 days left and the customer service rep cannot say when I will receive this new system. They have to work through the insurance verification and they are really back instead of doing a transition Insulet has chosen to do a hard cutover. In medical terms this is not only irresponsible, but boarders on unethical. If the report is true that there are 40-50,000 Omnipod users how in the world did the executives at Insulet ever think they could convert everyone at once? I am now forced to go back to syringes and have forever lost all trust that this company is being run by anyone with even a mild understanding of medical responsibility. Why in the world could they not keep shipping the old pods and transition us long time users over time instead of pulling the rug out from under us. It makes NO sense.

My wife has been using the pod for well over 3 years. We like the old pods and occasionally had some failures. Like others, we were excited when we heard that they came out with a new thinner pod. Well.... Here is the story,

The new boxes came with the new pods. Excited. We converted our system over using the new PDM and the new pods. We lost all of the old PDM tags and the old data.... Ok, we can deal with this.

We started filling up the new pods with the syringes they gave us. Immediately an alarm. Ok.... we can deal with this. Filled up a second pod, immediately an alarm. we call support after that and were told that we overfilled the pod. We didn't realize you could over fill using the new syringes....? What? I am sure there is a reason why the engineers put a syringe in the box that can over fill and thus voiding the pod, but why would you?

Here we are today, 20 pods under our belt... 12 failures.... 12! At all hours.. While my wife is teaching in class, at 3 am, in a restaurant, everywhere.

This is totally unacceptable. The failure rate is too high, the lack of information is to why this is happening is too great and the lack of resolve is not acceptable. We are tired. Worried and concerned.

Ok... We CAN'T deal with this.

Ps. In omnipods defense, they have replaced the pod each time. However, how many pods are they replacing?

LMKahl said...

Hello. Our daughter just did the switch to the new smaller OmniPod and we have about four (4) boxes of the old pods left over. We can't find anywhere to send them and have no idea what to do with them. We obviously don't have a use for them (or the old PDM) any longer. So, if anyone needs some old pods please contact me and I will ship to you. You can have them!! I would rather see these go to someone in need then just sit around and go to waste!

Unknown said...

I'm a former omnipod user. A very good idea that was so poorly executed. While doing a blood check the monitor interrupted and ruined the test by telling me I need to do a blood check after changing pods. This is one of many bad programming choices they made. Now let's talk about their billing department. I don't know how many calls I had to make before I finally gave up. They would not Bill my primary insurance (Medicare) even after I told them I know they will deny the claim but my secondary insurance (blue shield) won't pay until you've billed the primary.I even filled out a form requesting they do this. Someone in their billing department decided that blue shield would do the same as Medicare and decided to just charge me the full amount. I have a CGM from Dexcom who did what I requested and billed Medicare and now blue shield is paying for my CGM sensors.I make this point to show that omnipod's billing department is obviously incorrect about blue shield's coverage policy.

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Just a Mom

I am NOT a doctor, nor do I play one on this blog.

I AM a wife.
I AM the mom of 3 wonderful children.
I AM my son's pancreas.

The information provided on this blog is from our personal experiences with Type 1 diabetes. Because something works for us does not mean it will work for you.

Please consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your health care options.

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