Earlier this month, I had sort of a breakdown.
Maybe I need to backup a bit.
For two months, I had called numerous times to both Medtronic, my insurance company, as well as my endocrinologist’s office, about getting sensors and the transmitter kit from Medtronic to use with the 530G pump that I had put my name on the wait-list for. I knew that the Pathway2System had a 90-day wait on it, which would put me not receiving it until January. The only issue was that with a new year, I would have to meet a whole new higher deductible come January that I could not pay along with upgrade cost. I also knew that with December comes everyone else trying to meet their year-end cut off for met deductibles and Medtronic would be flooded with supply orders and the like. I wanted to avoid the hassle and start early.
Two whole months early.
I’ve never been one to wait until the last minute to order supplies, but I’ve never been two months early on trying to forgo a new insurance deductible either. But, either way, I was determined and thought I was being smart by starting so early. I knew that insurance should take about two weeks after waiting a week on getting my endo’s RX for the system itself. So, three weeks of wait, plus about a week of shipping would be one month… add in the year-end rush for the company, I thought I’d aimed it right and would be receiving the shipment by the end of the year.
On the morning of December 10th, I called for what seemed to be the 20th time to Medtronic to get an update. My representative was the only person who would talk to me, and it was hard to get hold of him, which was understandable with the new system coming out and the year-end stuff. Only I thought I had dialed a wrong extension when a lady answered. “No, I’m sorry. He’s no longer with us. I can try to help.”
Oh. My. Word.
My heart sank. Here it is, three weeks until the end of December, and I’ll have to deal with someone new and probably start all over. She was helped by her supervisor with the call (oh that poor girl! Being added into a new position right as all of this was going on!) but to make a long story short, what the prior rep had told me was wrong and because the Enlite sensors and CGM was sold as a system with the pump, I could not make the order until the pump was ready to ship, which would likely be in January or early February.
Two months of work and anticipation and high hopes… gone. It was then that I felt sick to my stomach. Hurt. Angry. Confused. Why, if it were not possible at all to begin with, did the rep not tell me when we started the process? I made a bad decision on my part and vented my frustration on Twitter. I didn’t tag Medtronic, but I did mention their name, which flagged their customer advocate team.
And I got a call at 9pm… that’s right PM. Night time. I missed the call but it went to voice mail. I still have that voice mail because it made me cry to listen to the voice on the other end. While he did not make any promises, the gentleman who spoke was very nice and caring. The mannerism in which he spoke was the sound of an invisible hug. I called back and left him a voice mail, as it was after his work hours, expecting a call the next day. Nope. He called me back THAT.NIGHT. He had worked over just to talk to me on the phone to find out what had happened.
He worked on my case for two days. He pulled and listened to the calls that I had with the prior rep. He heard the empty promises that were made, and apologized, though he wasn’t the one in the wrong. Without me asking, he spoke with supervisors and other departments and made things happen. He stepped up and not only spoke on my behalf and got the CGM kit and sensors sent to me, but the whole system including the 530G pump as well. They arrived this past Thursday. Within 2 days, he accomplished what I had been trying to do in two months.
During the whole process, through emails and phone calls, he kept a kind spirit about him that you could tell he was a person who loved his job and loved helping others. I even think he was more excited than I was when he called me with the news of the approval. But you know, even if it hadn’t been, just his attitude and the genuine care and concern that came through the phone and his actions in following up with my case was more than I could have ever asked for.
All too often people who work hard and do good things aren’t openly appreciated for it. Rueben is one who deeply deserves recognition. I didn’t get just a simple reply from Medtronic to say “We are sorry for your frustration. Please give us a call at…”. No. He took the time to call me to see if he could resolve the issue. That, my friends, is good customer service and being an excellent support advocate.