Two Occlusions, No help from Animas

So, I am horribly frustrated and upset with Animas customer support. On Saturday I got an occlusion alarm on my T:Slim. Okay, I check everything and try to re-bolus. Occlusion. Crap. I was away from home and didn’t have pump supplies with me and didn’t want to ruin my plans for the evening so I took a shot of Lantus and a nice big correction and went on with my life unscathed (actually I was low all night, presumably from too much Lantus but I’m alive). I ran through some trouble shooting myself and found that insulin was coming out of the cartridge but not the tubing (I use contact detach). Sunday I change out my pump hook back up and tried to bolus a couple hours later. Occlusion, occlusion, occlusion. So I took more Lantus and found the same thing, insulin came out of the cartridge but did not make it out of the tube.

Monday evening I called Tandem for customer support. I went through the same trouble shooting I had done on my own and confirmed that it was the tubing and not the pump. So I call Animas (the maker of Contact Detach). They are horribly unfamiliar with the T:Slim pump, I assumed they would at least be aware of how it worked, but they are not. I was on hold for about 20 minutes, then got questioned like a felon by the customer service rep. After talking to her for about 30 minutes, she determined that it was not the tubing, but it must be the pump. They would not replace the tubes nor would they even take down the lot number so I have to assume that it wasn’t documented at all.

At this point I was a little scared of even hooking my pump back up so I called Tandem again and was able to speak with the same rep as before. She Had me go through the troubleshooting again, offered to let me talk to a supervisor, and put me on a brief hold while she double checked with someone. She assured me that it was not a pump problem. So, I’ve been hooked back up for a couple of days now with no issues.

I just can’t believe the way I was treated by Animas, it is such a contrast to all other customer service experiences I’ve had with diabetes in general (aside from Humalog, which is a story for another day). The fact that they didn’t even take down the specific tube information baffles me. i had two bad ones in a row from the same box, at the very least I felt I should report it in case others are having a problem. I really wanted them replaced, too.

Anyone have some good and cheap suggestions for luer lock compatible tubing with a steel needle? I don’t think Animas needs my business anymore!

Animas is only the supplier, not the manufacturer. Maybe find another supplier for your sets? I’m sorry this happened to you. There’s nothing more frustrating than pump issues & unhelpful customer service.

FWIW, I think all the device/supply companies are too quick to blame the user or the ‘other’ device company.

I’m sorry this has happened to you and I would be equally frustrated. Have you tried an infusion set from a different lot or manufacturing date? Do you own any other infusion set styles to try as an alternative, like the Inset sets? What I’m trying to get at is if the tubing is actually occluding or is an over-sensitive occlusion alarm aborting delivery.

When your blood glucose is out of whack from an ill-performng pump, it’s about the worst time to troubleshoot. Your nerves are frayed and it’s hard to think straight. Perhaps you might consider returning to MDI for a few days to sort this out.

I don’t get the Animas connection here. Did you buy the infusion sets from Animas? I know these sets are used with Animas pumps because I have an Animas pump and have used these sets before. Maybe you could call the FDA and find out how to report an “adverse event.” I know there is a formal reporting process when drugs and medical equipment fails and does harm. Maybe Animas would change their tone if they knew you are ready to file an adverse event report since they don’t seem too concerned with helping you fix your problem.

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I don’t think your problem with Animas customer service regarding the infusion sets is only because you are a Tandem pump user. I use the Animas Vibe and have had several infusion set failures (thankfully not too many, but enough…), including occlusions. I’ve called Animas and sometimes they have replaced the failed sets, albeit reluctantly. The last time they replaced sets they told me it would be a “courtesy one-time replacement…” Other times, though, I called and was transferred to a “nurse” who had me walk thru the set-changing process until she could identify some deviation from the printed instructions that I did. Once, she denied my claim of a faulty set - which simply did not stick to my skin - because I didn’t prime it with the tubing attached to the set! I told her that, if anything, that would make it LESS likely to stick, but she said, “We don’t support sets that were used contrary to instructions.” And left it at that. I was furious.

Note: On an automatic followup call from an Animas CDE a few days later, they apologized for the previous call, but never offered to replace the set. The CDE agreed that my assessment was correct and my process did not cause the problem. Didn’t replace it, though…

This is all rather unexpected from where I sit. I have a Medtronic pump & I use their Quick-sets since their pump requires their proprietary connector. I realize that Medtronic is Satan’s pump company. But I’ve actually gotten tedious but otherwise good customer service from them.

Hmmmm. I wonder what that says about me that I seem to be on good terms with one of Satan’s companies? :confused:

Up until a month ago I never reported a bad infusion set to Medtronic. But then I had three in a short time. The first two I thought were relatively obviously a product failure since I couldn’t prime the tubing using the plunger the reservoir comes with.

(I always pre-prime the tubing with the plunger before putting it in the pump and priming with the pump. If I can’t prime the tubing “by hand” then I know the pump motor ain’t gonna be able to do it. :wink: )

In the third case everything about the setup seemed to go just peachy. But my BG just went gradually up & up & up after I started the new set. I figured since this was happening right from the get go something was wrong, possibly (probably?) with the set. Or I suppose it could have just been my technique? Bad insertion spot? There was no occlusion alert from the pump, so maybe it was “just me”?

But I figured, I’d call it in and see how it would be handled.

In all of these case Medtronic sent me 2 Quick-Sets as a replacement for my one failed one. In the third/last case I didn’t even have a lot number for them as I’d already thrown the failed set in the trash. The rep just sent me the replacements and didn’t ask me to RMA the “bad” one.

So I don’t know what to say. I guess we can only hope that sometime soon Medtronic will give me a horrible support experience because they’re supposed to be evil, aren’t they? :confounded: :slightly_smiling:

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They’re just trying to get you to let your guard down… :wink:

BTW, I also had mixed experiences with customer service at Insulet… The only one that ALWAYS treated me well, was Asante :frowning:

Consider the nature of the job. If you went around and polled young people what they thought their “dream job” might be, I’m thinking the percentage choosing “customer service representative” would not be all that high. Every time you call you are, IMO, throwing the dice. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you get an experience that was “less special”. And sometimes you lose. Big time. No? :smirk:

If I call and afterwards feel I’ve been wronged, the option is always there for me to wait a bit before calling in and trying again with a different rep. My perspective is that whether or not I actually try again or instead choose another path I think says something about how truly important I feel the issue is to me. :confounded: