Vibe Upgrade - Am canceling mine

I decided to cancel my Vibe upgrade. While I want the integrated unit, the way Animas is handling the upgrades is sort of appalling. The upgrade fee plus the way they are prioritizing it, has me seeing red. If I had not been a loyal Animas customer - starting with the 1250, two 2020s, and two Pings, then I would not feel upset about this. But not getting an answer and because I currently do not own a Dexcom G4, I am low on the totem pole for the upgrade. By the time they get to making the Vibe, it might be June before some of us see one. I am eligible for a new pump at the end of June.

Funny how Animas has had enough units for bloggers to try out. Most of the reviews have been mediocre anyway. So - I am going to try to get the Dexcom and to hell with Animas. They can keep their upgrade - and when the pump warranty is up in June, I will be going with a different pump company.

Wow. Really?

Yup! I am canceling. Just going to get a Dexcom G4. I really have loved my Animas pumps, but sadly they do not care about loyalty to their brand. I am not even on the shipment list even though got my paperwork to Animas in early December. If they reach out and change this, then maybe I will change my mind - but based on what I heard last week from the Animas customer service person, those of us without a Dexcom already are not even on the radar screen.

That’s interesting to hear. I’ve been using Animas products for a long time too now. The last few years, I’ve gotten almost locked into a couple of roundabout situations, unable to get the supplies or find a critical piece of technical info I needed. It really surprised me. Like you, I felt undervalued.

Fortunately, the last time it happened, one of the nurses at my endo’s office put me in touch with their local Animas rep. I’ve only needed to contact him that one time but, he provided the missing link, so to speak… He grasped the gravity of my situation and took steps to investigate what was going on and get the matter resolved. He showed the high quality listening skills, attention to detail, and comittment to providing professional care that I’ve come to associate with Animas.

Sounds like you’ve already done plenty of excellent legwork on your quest to update your Ping but I thought I’d mention this just in case it’s helpful. If you have an equivalent local resource and haven’t already done so (I wasn’t previously even aware of the one here’s existence), I’d recommend giving it a try.

Take care!

I've had two Animas pumps and I'm with Susan, except I'm getting the upgrade to teach them a lesson. I know they are losing money on the upgrade, but it was a loss leader (I don't even think that's the correct term - it's a loss follower) to get people to buy the Ping (it worked on me...I had a Paradigm, and was using a Dexcom CGM).

Anyway, I was using the Insets branded by Animas, and I use Edgepark for supplies, and tomorrow I will try out my new Cleo infusion sets that I found when I looked on their Tandem area. Having a Leur Lock on the Animas reservoirs is the key. This is the reason I switched from Minimed. Their reservoirs and infusion sets are amazing, but I don't like the "You have to buy our brand." attitude, which is what it all boiled down to. Heck, an infusion set is an infusion set.

Looking at the EOB that came with the Cleos yesterday, it looks like I will be spending $1020 on reservoirs, of which Edgepark will probably get about $520 of it, leaving $500 for Animas, but they still have to pay for the materials, so I'm guessing they get about $200 profit for all of them. However, with the infusion sets, that's $3600, and Edgepark will get about $1800, and Animas will lose out on about $1000 of profit, which will go to Tandem, their competitor.

I have talked with Animas' North American Sales Manager, and he apologized for the deception on the whole $700 deposit thing, and told me that this is due to people not returning the trade-in pumps. This tells me that they sat in a room and came up with the details on the upgrade after the fact, and had to protect themselves.

I'm providing an alternative to those that want the upgrade, but are unhappy with the details and the lies that Animas told to get people to buy their pumps.

It's win-win-lose. You win by getting a Vibe and infusion sets, Tandem and Edgepark, plus your insurance win by getting infusion sets at a lower price, and Animas loses by losing money on the proposition.

So, I guess it's win-win-win-win-lose.

It's too bad they set the program up to where people have to pay ahead like that, and wait for a refund. But as far as supplies go, they are already used to people using places like Edgepark and they probably barely pay anything wholesale for infusion sets. I'm sure the prices are greatly elevated to the patients....just sayin...

Sidebar: (don’t let me dismantle the main topic)

Not sure my dark ages insurance plan permits me to choose where I get supplies, but after Susan’s original post yesterday I took a closer look at the Cleo 90 infusion sets she’d mentioned. They look nice. I’m curious how/how well the 360° site connection system works. Seems pretty innovative. Love to hear your feedback on how it goes when you switch over.

Interesting conversation with Animas regional sales manager.

I think Jeffrey has used the Cleo. I love the Inset and that is what I use.

I have to say I have no idea who my Animas Regional Sales Manager is here in the hinterlands of New Hampshire. I knew who my reps were for Medtronic. They actually kept in touch.

On another side note, I notice that Animas has no presence on Facebook. They should have their own Facebook page - like Medtronic does. I have actually had sales people from Medtronic contact me. The pages that are currently up for Animas are user run.

I change out tomorrow.

I will let you all know about it. It looks like the 360 degree thing is 8 positions.

Right - on the Edgepark thing, if I don't get anything Animas, except the reservoirs, which is something I have to buy (no one wants to make generic reservoirs that, if anything goes wrong, or are slightly off, will deliver an incorrect dose.

The thing about the Insets (I love them...) they're made by Unimedical, so Animas is just branding them, and getting a profit for it.

Inset (Animas site): $135/box
Edgepark: $95/box
Edgepark Cleo: $90/box

I like saving the insurance company money, and my game plan remains intact.

Ahh, the Cleo!

I will do a comparison between the Inset and the Cleo, and the good/bad of each:

The Inset is pretty nice and easy, with the self enclosed spring loaded thingy (that's an engineering term...) makes insertion pretty easy, once you get the hang of it. The steps are:
1. Open it up
2. Unwrap the tubing*
3. Remove the adhesive paper (that's fun when it tears)
4. Remove the needle protector
5. Arm the inserter (thingy)
6. Press against your body and squeeze the sides to insert it. (make sure the angle of the tubing is how you like it)
7. Fill up the tubing, and click it to the infusion set.

The Cleo:
1. Unscrew the top.
2. The adhesion pad is already exposed, and so you're good to go there. (see #3 above)
3. Press against your body, and press the "plunger" to insert the canula.
4. Count to 5. I heard a "click" after about 5 seconds. This is the first time I've used them, and there was no mention of any clicking, so I'll let you know. The 5 seconds is important, as the adhesive is heat activated (as I've been told by Robyn over at Tandem), so I don't want to have it fall out. 5 seconds it is.
5. The tubing is separate from the infusion set, and that can be good/bad. I know that I'm the first diabetic to re-use their tubing, so I look at it as an advantage. I can use tubing/infusion sets independent of each other. Fill it and a attach it. Note: the tubing is 8 position, not 360 degrees. I only mention it as these things need to be corrected. It's a small point, but a point nonetheless.

Insertion winner: It's a tie. I could go with either one. If I were grabbing my stuff and running to the mountains due to a zombie attack, the Insets would be my choice, since the tubing is included in the set. However, since there is no imminent zombie apocalypse, I like the separate tubing, in its own package.

Packaging: If you don't like to throw things away, go with the Inset. There is less waste. The inserter with the Cleo is pretty bulky, but it does protect the inserter rather well. You can put either in your pocket, and you'll be good to go. There is one advantage to the Cleo: If you have a purse/backpack with pens/pointy things in it, go with the Cleo. The infusion set is covered by hard plastic, so nothing will penetrate it, unless it really wants to.

Comfort: Since I have been wearing the Cleo for about 45 minutes, it's a wash. I don't feel infusion sets after they're in, and the Cleo is no different.

Removal: I will have to get back to you on this. I will post back here if it pulls itself out, or doesn't adhere well. The Insets have not had this problem (1-3x per year, and it was incidental, not random).

One last note: Cleos are made by Smiths Medical, the same people that make the Cozmo. A demo can be found here:

Quick note on the link. I tried it in Safari (I use a Mac), and the demo didn't work. If you have a Mac, and it doesn't work, use Firefox.

What a cool review! Thanks for putting in the time and energy Jeffytq. Mucho appreciated!

OK, after day 1, no issues.

A go-back on the "count to 5" step above. The infusion set clicks at the count of 5, and I checked with Tandem on this, and Robyn (Tech Support) said, "Oh yeah, I wonder why they don't have that in the video" Another thing is that the needle fully retracts into the infusion set, which makes it easier to throw away. It is, in effect, its own sharps container. For the insets, I bend the needle into one of the two little recesses in the plastic.

Oh well, it's a double coolness that was nice to have.

One other thing I notice is with the leur lock. It's tight on the Animas reservoirs. I used my remaining insulin in the reservoir that I removed from the pump to prime the tubing, and when it came time to remove it, it took more effort than I am used to. It may have to do with "sticktion" (stickiness+friction) between the two materials of the reservoir and the tubing, where the Insets and reservoirs don't have that. It's interesting, but not concerning.

Sunday morning, I will have the "removal log". To make the comparison fair, I put it on an area of my stomach that doesn't have hair. From what I read, there is an area where there is no adhesive.

Glad to help!

Ugh, Susan. I am totally with you on this. I called Animas the other day, because I, too, had my paperwork turned in at the beginning of December for the Vibe upgrade. I’m also an existing Dexcom user. They didn’t even have note of that fact in my file, so it did me no good to be a ‘preferred customer.’ I was basically told that they’ll get to me when it’s convenient. I was with Medtronic until about two years ago, when I switched to Animas just to get the Vibe. When my warranty is up in 17 months, I will be going back to Medtronic. Animas has had terrible customer service, poor website construction, and this Vibe business has been an absolute FAIL in my book. How can they be so incredibly unprepared for this, especially with the Vibe being available in Europe for almost four years??? So disappointing…

I have had the best control on Animas pumps.Their customer service is sure lacking and now I am getting the Dexcom. I may still upgrade, but after everything calms down at Animas. They knew this day was coming - and should have been more prepared for it. So I cancel my order and nothing. No phone calls, nothing. It is no longer showing up in my account as an order. This is just BAD customer service.

Changeout time!

There really isn't much to say here but to say that it peels off easily.

Jeffythequick - thanks for your thorough review. You also got me thinking about getting my supplies from some place other than Animas. I am going to be getting them through DSC - and they will send them monthly (when I do not have great insurance this will be a big help) or a three month supply. They also check insurance. I had issues with EdgePark - so I will most likely never go through them for anything again as they do not check insuranc like they are supposed to..

I'm looking at the T:Slim for the next one. I have to be convinced that Minimed's CGM isn't a harpoon that was designed by a bunch of engineers that never used one for longer than 5 minutes. (I'm speaking of the Paradigm one from 8 years ago.) As it stands, I'm with the Dexcom CGM, as they seem to be a company that puts the customer first, is innovative, and design things that are not a pain in the umm... stomach to wear.

As for Minimed, the Paradigm system, with the proprietary infusion sets is my problem with them. They work, are amazingly convenient, but the problem is this: When you buy a pump, you are locked in for 4 years, and if the customer service is bad, with Minimed, you have to buy their stuff, whether it is through Liberty Medical, Edgepark, or Minimed themselves. They have you for at least 4 years from the date of purchase, and that's pretty powerful for them. It's cash in their pockets, and they know it.

With the leur lock infusion sets, you have a choice. I know that we have to buy the reservoirs for each company, so that's a net-zero from company to company. I have heard of diabetics re-using reservoirs in a pinch, but for $25/box, I'm not recommending that to "get back" at the companies. However, they do re-brand the infusion sets, and that is where we have the power. Animas brands Unomedical's Insets, Minimed has the Inset for the Paradigm, as do the others (haven't checked), but as you may have read, I changed from the Animas branded Insets to Cleos, made by Smiths Medical, who also makes the Cozmo pump. I have told Animas exactly what I am doing, and why, and everyone is on board: Me, my insurance (save them $5 for each box of Cleos), and my pump.

I copied Tandem on my "pre-divorce" letter to Animas, but kept them out of the replies I got back, as those replies were intended for me. Their customer service seems to be stifled by management, in their responses, I can see the "corporate chill", where "management is looking into this", where Tandem's customer support (I'm not even a customer of theirs!) has be helpful with the Cleo, giving me the link to the video, and just being helpful.