June 4, 2008

Pump hardware Upgrades. (or lets start a riot who's got pitch forks and tourches)

I think the practice of charging for pump hardware upgrades is a crock. Particularly the practice of charging more the longer you have been a client particularly if you buy your consumable supplies from the manufacturer.

I say we start insisting on affinity programs the recognize the value of an ongoing relationship.

We buy a pump. It is a few grand. We buy supplies. That another few grand a year. Yeah insurance pays some of, or if your lucky most of, those costs.

OK Who makes the choice of brand M vs A vs P vs C? We do. Who chooses where to buy all those consumables? We do.

Who pays the fee for upgrades? We do.


We send a huge payment up front and a monthly annuity for four years to a company. In those four years they will come out with new and better products. How do they treat us. Stick us with a bigger bill for upgrades the longer we have been loyal customers.

What is up with that?

Even the airlines are smarter than that.

Who gets the frequent flier miles, the sales woman who chooses the flight or her company. The system is designed so she does. The company rewards the decision maker. The more she decides to use one airline the more they reward her.

Airlines are about the lowest level of customer service satisfaction in the know world. How can they get that the more the consumer brings to the relationship the more good stuff they get and pump companies don't?

I think we should get some kind of frequent pumper miles. Some kind of an upgrade credit for the amount of disposable sets and stuff we buy.

Then come renewal time we would already be using the latest and greatest and wouldn't feel the need to shop around.

The difference between the airlines and the pump folks is simple. Airline passengers can change airline every trip. The airline has to try to compete every day.

Big pharma, compete, your kidding right? They have a 4 year sale cycle.


  1. Oooooh frequent pumper miles! LOVE IT!! I'm on board!!

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  3. Regarding frequent flyer miles: it has been ruled in court that if the business passenger is being reimbursed by his or her business, then the frequent flyer miles belong to the business, not the passenger -- but in that case, it is still the end consumer (the business) that tells the passenger on which airline s/he may fly, what class of ticket may be purchased, etc.

    Which begs the question, how much kickback is your insurance company getting to put you on the pump with the higher replacement cost or the higher cost (to you) of supplies?

  4. Yeah ans so the solution isn't frequent pumper miles it free upgrades.

  5. Maybe I'm just in a grumpy mood, but I don't see what's wrong with paying for pump upgrades. Are you saying that because you paid one time for a device, you should get all future versions of it for free? From the company's perspective, that's not really fair. They spend lots of money to develop new features, and they can't exactly just give it away. Not to mention that the upgrades are still often cheaper than buying a whole new pump (I've only had my first pump for less than a year, so I'm not 100% sure how much upgrades are).

    I just find it hard to grasp that people expect to get this expensive technology for free.

  6. No I am not saying I paid once for the device, I am saying I am paying for it 4 or 5 times. The pump is 5-6 grand and parts are 4-5 grand a year. Over a 4 year period the are making a 20 to 25 thousand dollars in sale revenues.

    A hundred bucks a year in upgrade credit in that 4 year deal is 2% or less.

    Maybe I am a little grumpy but from the consumers perspective 20 to 25 thousand plus $400 for an upgrade doesn't seem fair.

    I don't expect it to be free. I don't expect to exorbitant rates either.

    Look at the real world of tech devices other than say proprietary medical devices.

    The life span of devices is well less than 4 years. Hell the cycle span of an iPhone is one year.

    Most manufacturers will subsidize hardware for consumables. Look at inc jet printers, cell phones, ISP, etc. They subsidize equipment to get an annuity.

    I find it hard to grasp 25,000 in revenue as free. Oh wait we have two kids on pumps so that 50Gs.