12 Responses

  1. StephenS
    StephenS January 14, 2014 at 5:15 am | | Reply

    Thanks Mike. Here’s another way of looking at it: A company announces a recall, but goes to customers first, some of whom are involved in the online community. When those people receive notice, they post about it, including a photo of the page in their notice showing the lot numbers impacted. So it becomes public at that moment.

    If something like this happens, and blogging and Twitter and Facebook are scooping the manufacturer, the company involved misses the opportunity to get ahead of the story, and they are then leaving it up to everyone else (and anyone else) to tell their story.

  2. Scott E
    Scott E January 14, 2014 at 5:39 am | | Reply

    I had a discussion about this with one of the manufacturers several months ago. A recall had been issued, and I found out about it first via social media (including the company’s own Facebook page). While I appreciated getting the news quickly, it was a little disheartening to not hear from the manufacturer directly until days later.

    An email, sent directly to me, would have been reassuring that they were really making an effort to reach out to me about it. But the question for themis this: who do they send the email to, and how much effort do they spend in compiling the distribution list? Do they send it to ALL of their customers? all who use the affected product? all who use the product and have purchased ones with targeted serial numbers? What if they get their supplies from a 3rd-party distributor? Figuring this out all takes time.

    In trying to get the word out and avoid mass-hysteria (which, for this particular recall would be a bit of an overreaction), they went to websites and social media first, then sorted through their lists and notified the users via (I think, but am not sure) e-mail, then (I AM sure) a regular mailed letter – telling them if they have ever been sent a product with an affected serial-number.

    I told the manufacturer that I’d have preferred a direct email-blast at the same time as the social-media blast, even if it only contains a description of the recall — the customized email/mail based on specific purchases could follow.(My feedback was taken seriously, and I trust they’ll consider it if such another event were to occur)

    Although I do appreciate getting the word out in as many ways as possible, and I do trust sites such as DiabetesMine, there’s a seeming lack of concern and/or credibility when they don’t reach out directly.

  3. Mary Dexter
    Mary Dexter January 14, 2014 at 7:03 am | | Reply

    Not everyone has access to a computer. Not everyone’s phone allows them to connect to social media or their email. It’s a generational thing. Your quote from Asante says they personally spoke to each and every user. Their commitment should be applauded.

  4. Patty Wagner
    Patty Wagner January 14, 2014 at 7:18 am | | Reply

    I think the key is to do everything simultaneously. While my daughter’s cartridges were not affected, I have to admit that I felt better that the first I heard of the recall via email from Tandem (clearly an e-blast, not personalized to me). Within minutes (as I went to post the info online to help others) word had spread like wildfire. I imagine I would have felt a little let down if it took Tandem two days to email me directly.

  5. Judi
    Judi January 14, 2014 at 10:22 am | | Reply

    I have not as yet received any notification at all from Tandem directly. That makes me very glad that the news was plastered all over Facebook, Twitter and many blogs. If it hadn’t of been for that, I wouldn’t have known to check my boxes of cartridges. Happily, none were involved in the recall.

    1. AmyT
      AmyT January 14, 2014 at 11:25 am | | Reply

      @Judi – Our point exactly. Of course companies should reach out directly to their customer base when these things happen!! But they should also simultaneously make the information available publicly, at the very least on their own website.

      I for one would find it very strange if I got a recall letter or phone call from my D-device vendor, but then couldn’t find any mention of the problem on their website. Huh?… that would definitely make it *seem* that they were trying to keep any negative issues under wraps.

      1. Judi
        Judi January 14, 2014 at 1:45 pm | | Reply

        Amy, plus I don’t feel at all bad that I never heard from Tandem directly since they made the information available in so many ways. If that hadn’t been done, and some got this letter and I didn’t but had to really search for the info, it wouldn’t make me happy.

  6. Fernando
    Fernando January 16, 2014 at 8:01 am | | Reply

    Stephen’s point above is not the same as your opining even though you try and make it so.

    I think if you used the product you would have been called right away, as someone actually impacted.

    Both companies seem to have done a good job. I doubt people were “asking” but you have to have something to write about I expect….

  7. Bill King
    Bill King January 16, 2014 at 4:37 pm | | Reply

    As an Asante SNAP wearer and someone who had a few boxes of infusion sets that were included in the recall notice, I was quite impressed with the efforts made by Asante to manage this issue. Although I do not disagree with the point that the website should include information about any recall, keep in mind that unlike other pump products, Asante is only available in a very limited area(s) of the country. The information I received was that although the infusion sets/product being recalled was made by another company, Asante was taking immediate action to help ensure patient safety. There was a handful of lot numbers that were potentially affected and therefore identified and included in the recall. If Asante were to have posted information about the recall on their website, they could have potentially negatively impacted their resources to focus on those of us affected and from a customer service standpoint, they could have been overwhelmed with calls questioning an issue they were still working out details of and which lot numbers were actually affected. In the end, as a patient advocate, I always cringe when any company that provides products, service and support to patients with diabetes that runs into issues that has an adverse affect on those of us that need continued confidence in the product we use and the companies ability to support us. Asante should not be ashamed of the way they handled this one, nor should they be criticized in my opinion. I received a call from the sales rep and the clinical rep, both explaining the issue to me with great urgency to ensure my safety. I also received notice by email and I received a shipment the next day with replacement supplies as well as instructions for return of infusion sets included in the recall. I also received a follow up letter with explanation of the issue and the commitment of customer focused support. Great job for a company that released their first pump less than a year ago and prides themselves on the attention to the customer. I challenge you to provide the same passionate response for any company in this arena who does the right things for us. To navigate through the FDA review(s) and steadily grow market share in this limited market space while providing competition of choice for us, the consumer who deserves choice based on quality products, service and support at reasonable price is challenging for even the big companies let alone a start up company. We all often defend the pump we are personally using because we chose it and we’re on it for a few years; however I’ve worm many others and I like what Asante delivers. Just one person’s opinion and open for review.

    Bill King
    It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle–
    when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.
    Roger Bannister

  8. Andy Holder
    Andy Holder January 17, 2014 at 8:53 am | | Reply

    I too am an Asante user who had infusion sets involved with the recall. I was thrilled with how Asante handled the situation. They called me directly on my cell phone.

    Not only did they contact me, but coincidently I was just about out of infusion sets when the recall happened, so they sent me a box of supplies to hold me over (no charge)!

    About a month later, the craziness of the holidays got the better of me. I somehow misjudged how many pump bodies I had left and found myself wearing my last one when my low insulin alert sounded. It was a Sunday and I was about to drive to NYC for a holiday brunch with my family. I called Asante’s customer service number and promptly received a call back from one of their nurse/ trainers. She offered to take time out of her day off (Sunday) and meet me at an exit off the Pennsylvania Turnpike to give me an entire box of pump bodies (again, no charge). This way I could still make the trip to NYC to see my family.

    So my experience with how Asante handled their first public “glitch” was extremely positive. Pretty cool for a new company. Nice job Asante!

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