Blessing & Curse


Featured Photo: Abbott Sensor

Life in the fast lane leaves its mark and at the latest when you are forced to turn the indicator to the right, you start to regret so slowly that you hardly notice or even notice the diverse and well-intentioned advice and tips on the route has followed.

And it's only at the beginning that you can start with great sayings like "It's not the years, honey. It's the mileage.” comfort yourself. But then the ravages of time hit mercilessly and so I can be happy that I am blessed with a very resilient better half, and medical progress as well as medical care ensure that one still does not have to follow all well-intentioned advice and although you are no longer in the fast lane, you can still be on the Autobahn.

And so more and more medicines and aids are accumulating, which continue to make life bearable. One of these pleasant little helpers is a sensor from Abbott, which I have been using since 2021.

The Freestyle Libre 3 sensor is easy to attach with an applicator, is ready to use after 60 minutes and is connected to my mobile phone until it can be replaced after 14 days, which continuously shows me my values ​​and informs me when action is needed. This sensor convinced me because it is a little smaller than others and both my attending doctor and my better half can read along.

I now know that other sensors can also do this and that they can also be adjusted manually, which can be a good thing if you have attached the sensor to a less suitable location. I was able to determine that with my sensor this levels off by itself in two days at the latest and the values ​​then have an acceptable deviation from the traditional measuring method again.

And in the event that it doesn't level itself out, which has only happened to me once so far, it suddenly stops working, which I've experienced twice, or even got damaged before it was attached, a phone call to Abbott and I was enough so far got a replacement. So far, I have been able to blame the sensor for premature falling off on my own fault and then had to attach a new sensor. In all of these cases, however, it is imperative that you always have at least two additional sensors on hand.

Not really a problem these days, because there is the Internet and Abbott has a website there, too, where I have my own customer account. And so the world was completely fine for me until recently. So much so that I followed Abbott's request to subscribe to the purchase of the sensor so that I could have my sensors delivered in the future without any further action.

A few days ago, my better half asked me where the upcoming shipment was, and I comforted her with the fact that Abbott has been having delivery problems since the end of last year and they will surely arrive in time. And as luck would have it, a sensor gave up the ghost and I contacted customer service.

I noticed a warning on the website that my account details were wrong. After the successful exchange regulations, I asked the service employee about this. He said that my credit card had expired and so I changed it, which he also confirmed to me. The world was right again. My astonishment that I was not informed by Abbott about a "missing" account connection and the alternative payment method had disappeared was limited.

Unfortunately, shortly afterwards I found that the new sensor was damaged and contacted customer service again. I noticed that the warning about a missing account connection was still there, although both account connections are up to date in my customer account. Together with the service employee, I set up both account connections again and he confirmed this to me again. But this time with the note that it would probably take a while for the warning to disappear.

In the meantime, my better half found out that I only had one sensor and that I needed at least 7 because a stay in the USA of several weeks was imminent. No problem, I thought, a phone call to customer service would suffice.

First, the service employee assured me that I would get my 7 sensors as ordered in July of this year, but in two tranches of 4 and 3 sensors - because of the delivery problems.

When I pointed out to him that I urgently needed my 7 sensors for the previous quarter, he contacted the relevant department and informed me that my credit card had expired. And the odyssey with Abbott began!

Further calls revealed that although the account details on my customer account were correct and valid, the old connections were still available in the backend at Abbott. I can't remember how many times I've re-entered my account details and changed my preferred order of payment, with and without the help of service staff. Only the warning had disappeared, but I still didn't get any notification of delivery for the sensors.

Another friendly member of staff recommended me the email route to get the 7 sensors I needed, but informed me that 4 sensors were already on their way.

Today I had to realize that there are no 4 sensors on the way and I didn't get an answer to my e-mail, which I had already been promised for the day before yesterday.

In order to put an end to the drama, in the meantime the order of my account connections had been changed all by myself in my customer account, I canceled the subscription to the sensors. This was confirmed to me immediately.

Smart as I am, I immediately ordered 7 sensors in the traditional way. And I got the answer that I am not allowed to order 7 sensors!

So I subscribed to my 7 sensors again and within 10 seconds PayPal informed me that they had transferred the money to Abbott. Less than 10 minutes later, Abbott informed me that I would soon receive 4 sensors and that the other 3 would be delivered later.

After three hours of wasted time on my part alone, at least one of the two required account details seems to be accepted back by Abbott — both of which, by the way, have both been used by Abbott for two years without any problems — completely automatically.

But that doesn't solve my actual problem, because I wouldn't know how to get to my sensors in the USA. I also don't know if I'll get at least 4 sensors at all and if so, then in time.

Some companies are simply a blessing and a curse at the same time!

Addendum 28.4.2023

I received a call from Abbott that my 4 sensors were shipping today. In addition, the friendly lady asked me to understand that due to delivery difficulties, they could not deliver 3 additional sensors to subscribers either; they would not favor any customer.

I can live with this information quite well and am the last person to want preferential treatment. If I still get the 4 sensors now, then my Abbott world will be fine for me again. And if there are defective sensors, I'm happy to bridge the time until the next delivery with traditional measurements for the benefit of other sensor users.

And before the next regular credit card change, Abbott may even have figured out a way to make its subscribers aware that subscribers need to make adjustments before they quietly unsubscribe on their own.

Or even easier for everyone involved, you can order your sensors again without a subscription; that would completely eliminate the need to discuss valid bank accounts.

Addendum 30.4.2023

Dear Mr. Kümmerle,
Thank you for your order DE5004881266 from 25.04.2023.
The delivery of your order will be delayed by a few days. We apologize for that.
The background is the increased demand for the Freestyle Libre measurement system, which is causing short-term delivery delays.
We will take your order in the next days automatically deliver to you, no further steps are necessary on your part.
You can call up the current status of your order at any time in your customer account.

Kind regards
Your Freestyle Libre Serviceteaul

Addendum 2.5.2023

Dear Mr. Kümmerle,


We are pleased that you have chosen a Freestyle Libre 3 measurement system. Your order has already been shipped and will be with you shortly.

Order date: 02.05.2023
Order number: DE6000767876

Addendum 4.5.2023

Four new sensors were actually delivered to me today. This makes my life a little more comfortable again. And if all four of them last 14 days, I'm on the safe side. Everything else would probably justify another blog entry.

“As far as reliability prevails, everything can be controlled. What can be mastered and used is our own property.”

Lü Bu Wei, Chunqiu – Spring and Autumn of Lü Bu We (2013 [240 or 239 BC]: 329)

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