November 12, 2010

Remote Reply

I received a reply to my letter about One Touch Ping remotes and the possibility of confusion when two are used in close proximity.

What is important is this: Yes there is a way to put a legible name into the pump that appears on the remote that controls it. 

It is a very nice reply. They didn't call me any of the nasty names I probably deserve.

The instructions make it clear that, “Note: The custom Name appears on the Meter. It does not appear on the pump.” and it can only be 7 characters long, less than good old fashioned pre Windows 95 DOS but hey it is something.

The instructions are here:

Sorry for the ugly ads and stuff. When I work out a better host location I'll move the link. I think it should be on an Animas / OneTouch site. It isn't, at least yet. 

Y’all can feel free to stop reading now because the rest is my very wordy commentary on customer service. YDMV errr.. YCSMV.

I don’t know if it is significant or not but the letter I sent was to One Touch but the reply came on Animas Corporation stationary. I also had the pleasure of speaking with Animas folks on the phone. Over the years I have found that I genuinely like the people I have met from Animas.  So it isn't surprising that the people I have met over the phone in this case are genuinely likable.

The letter said (I apologize for any typos and or egregious spelling, I am sure they are far more literate than I and such mistakes are my responsibility):

Thank you for contacting us about your recent experience with your children's One Touch Ping glucose management systems.

We appreciate the confidence in our company that prompted you to bring this matter to our attention. We at Animas Corporation have worked hard to meet the needs of our customers with innovative and high quality products. We believe that every letter from a customer offers useful insight into our business.

For that reason, we take every complaint and concern seriously. Your specific concerns regarding the One Touch Ping Glucose Management system have been reviewed thoroughly by the customer Support Department and escalated to the Complaint Management team. Complaints (the actual complaint numbers have been redacted because I don’t see value in putting them in the public domain.) entered (on) your children’s behalf are currently under review.

Additionally, you requested instructions to personalize your children’s meter. Those instructions have been included with this letter.

Again, we appreciate the time you have taken to contact us. It’s only through feedback like yours that we can continue to improve our products.

Manager of Customer Support.

I have some experience in the craft of writing these kind of replies. I did it for a big bank for a few years. From that background I can make some semi informed comments on the letter (and realistically regular YDMV readers know that ‘semi informed’ is a significantly higher intellectual quality than most of the comments I make here.)

The response is both professionally and nicely written. For the most part it doesn’t say very much at all other than “Thanks. We got your letter. We’ll think about it.” That is actually just fine with me other than that part shouldn’t take a month.

It should be out the door the next day. In fact I’m willing to bet cash money that whole sections of the letter are boiler plate and if they aren’t the should be. Specifically the first three and last paragraphs. That fourth paragraph was the hard part.

My two cents is it would be better customer service to send the the other four paragraphs right away and a comment that the instructions will be sent as soon as they can be written and tested, with an expectation of how long that will take. But hey that is me.

I was on a time clock to reply to executive level letters within fixed time frames and those time frames were at the longest three business days, unless the letter was from a regulatory or political office holder in which case a response had to go out the day was received in kind (call for call, letter for letter etc.) and followed up by a letter in the mail the next day if the original was not a letter.

As for the instructions on how to customize the pump/meter. I haven't tried them yet they are four pages long and I need the pump and old PC running a legacy operating system like XP to do it*. I have up loaded scans of the instructions for the benefit of others who may wish to take advantage of theses instructions. I understand if nobody else is into four pages of crappy scans of instructions. I will comment on the actual experience after I try it.

I reached out to Animas and asked if they would like to provide a clean pdf file. They being a highly regulated business need to go back to the chain of command, a.k.a. Compliance, to see if that is OK.
To be precise they provided me personalized clearer instructions on cusyomizing a pump name because I pushed for them. Knowing I intend to share them with other parents, they will not provide a clean electronic copy, at least yet.  They put it in the context of wanting further review, like the sidelines tossing a red flag at an NFL game.  I have no idea how long that will take, but while the ref is under the hood,  kids still have diabetes to manage.

I am from Philly. Eagles fans boo bad calls, we even boo good calls we don't like. I'm not sure which one this is.

If, upon further review, I get a better pdf, I’ll post it.

* Insert my typical rant about diabetes devices not keeping up with computer operating systems technology aka current Windows & and Snow Leopard. I have a few readers who are even more rabid about it than I. I bow to their expertise and acknowledge their contributions through comments here at YDMV. Which is my boiler plate for “Way to keep me honest dudes.”

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