FUDiabetes

Dexcom Technical Support HELL

My problem hasn’t been calling and waiting or excessive having to call it’s just having to call and it yielding absolutely no results. Took them over 2 months to process my last order.

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This is becoming a common problem now for a large number of patients. I ran into this issue in the beginning of June and was very worried because we were spending most of August away from home on vacation. I didn’t receive my order until the end of July, this was only because I went to Kaiser members services and told them to contact Dexcom and get my order shipped now. The most frustrating part about the whole ordeal was Dexcom lying repeatedly that the order was processed and would be shipped. This went on every other day for 6 weeks.

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I agree. That’s what we did when we had a rash of failures. They were jerks about it the first two or three calls, but then Eric got stern and refused to get off the phone until they escalated and got someone who could help. It repaired the problem. They claimed it was impossible it was the transmitter. But then finally capitulated and sent one. It works.

I am so sorry about this. I know how important to the system you guys run the Dexcom is.

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My wife is a former sales employee who was laid off and has a lawsuit against Dexcom. Ranked #1 or #2 for her last year. Never out of the top five.

The idiots offshored their tech support to the Philippines earlier this year The company is a solid R&D firm but can’t manage its way out of a wet paper bag.

This company has been walking the streets like a cheap hooker, trying to sell itself, but there are no takers. I’m guessing that potential acquirers are looking at the smoking wreck of manufacturing, sales, and tech support and don’t believe the intellectual property offsets that IP value.

I’m looking at alternatives to Dexcom as an end user. The company is a steaming pile under their current executive management and board of directors.

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Unfortunate about your wife’s situation. Sounds like she was doing great at Dexcom until things changed. Hopefully she lands on her feet.

I would be quite interested in your thoughts as to which companies they approached or who you would see as potential buyers?

I always thought it would be awesome if some of the smaller firms rolled up together like Dexcom, Insulet, Tandem, Senseonics, etc… They could have a few lines with technical options and offerings. I don’t consider that in any way anything that is realistic (not even a little bit) just more of a happy dappy kumbaya lets all get along and play nice. ha ha ha

A few people on this site have tried out the Senseonics Eversense. I think the technology is really good although I personally believe the management is incompetent and appears determined to run the company into the ground.

The Abbott Freestyle Libre seems a really good alternative to the Dexcom. Nice balance of sound company and good technology. My opinion the FDA will likely approve the new Libre 2 sometime next year maybe Spring time or so.

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The only problem I have with the Libre is that during sleep hours you have no idea if you go below your setpoint. In order to get any idea, you must touch your unit to the sensor.

DEXCOM, on the other hand is constant monitoring. Although, accuracy is an issue with it. To me, an engineer, +/- 20% accuracy is terrible. I have found that after 1 year of use, the G5 can be as much as 30-50 points off. Thus, I calibrate often, as much as 4x/day.

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G6 has transitioned from the “20/20 rule” to the “30/30 rule”.

I guess we are supposed to call that progress?

I love the Dexcom system. But some ■■■■ is still ■■■■■■■ insane. You can not possibly drive any sort of automated solution at 30/30 (if at the limits of those numbers) and expect any manner of success.

In any event, the accuracy we see with the Dexcom G6 is far far better than some stupid 30/30 rule. Once we are 12 hours past the warmup period, I expect the G6 to be within single digits of our meter (Contour Next One) readings (while flat and level - not taking sensor lag and rise and fall into account).

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Thomas,
I do hope the single digit accuracy is within the margin of error. As for me, the G5 caused me to be well below the actual reading during the night. ( Dexcom reading alert: 58; Actual Contour reading: 39!) I woke up shaking like a LEAF.

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Where to begin?
How about with the title of the thread.
I have had excellent support through Dexcom Technical Support. I start a pleasant rapport with the support technician and I seriously doubt that Dexcom has offshored all of their technical support. I have dealt with offshore support for other electronics, and other than what’s on their script, the offshore techs are dumb as rocks. Coming from a decades long background of electronics positions, I am certain that Dexcom uses per call contract labor for their support. In other words, when you call Tech Support, your call is routed to the next available technician in your region. Contracting is the only way they can offer free 24/7 support.

One thing that I learned over the 2-years of wearing the G6 (which I love because I haven’t had an overnight urgent-low since I started using it), is that the time of day that you call is the biggest factor in getting quick response. I am a night-owl and rarely go to bed before 2AM, so that is when I call them. Almost never a wait. (In all honesty, I haven’t needed to call Tech Support for a few months).

Putting my engineer’s hat back on. Replacing the transmitter is the same as restarting your PC. You probably don’t need to replace the transmitter, just reboot it. I have dental picks for my electronics work- they make nice probes for working on tiny circuits. I found that I can remove the transmitter without breaking the sensor holder by using a pick to pry it out. (I’ve never needed to, I just wanted to see if it were possible.)

TiaG:
How does the sensor failure present itself?
In my case, when a sensor fails, it fails low. That is, when the sensor reading is going down below 50 and I feel fine, it’s time for a finger stick which reveals that I am in the normal range.
When I do remove a failed sensor, I invariably find blood on my skin around the injection site. That is not normal. That means that the probe punctured a capillary and was not in the interstitial fluid or the interstitial fluid was denatured by blood at the injection site. The interstitial fluid moves slowly, so it may take a few hours or even days for the blood leaking from the capillary to reach the probe tip.

(By the way, my wife is a biologist, so our evening conversations are a lot like this).

But you may have a clue in this:
I have noticed some dropped signal issues when Samson is right next to his phone…
I had a similar problem for a while. I would put my cell phone on the nightstand, and sometimes the Dexcom app would say: “Lost Connection”. Even this close. Knowing that the transmitter was using BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to communicate with the phone made me realize that the extremely low power signal would easily be swamped by other devices near the receiver (phone). So, I asked myself, what other devices on the 2.4GHz spectrum would be nearby. The answer was the wireless house phone on the same nightstand as my cellphone. It’s not running low-power compared to the Dexcom transmitter, so the cellphone Bluetooth simply couldn’t “hear” the Dexcom transmitter. I moved the house phone to the other side of the room (nobody ever calls it anyway), and the “connection lost” problem went away.

So, the moral of that story is, if you are getting frequent “lost connection” errors, look around to see what else you have that may be transmitting on the 2.4 GHz ISM frequencies. Here’s a better explanation of what I just rambled off).

If your sensor fail is simply falling off, then it’s not a failure of the sensor. It’s a failure of the adhesive. I once bumped my sensor causing it to rip off my belly, but once in two years isn’t a bad record. But, an active kid- things are gonna get bumped. My adhesive usually lasts ten days, but if it starts to peel off, I simply put an adhesive patch over it.

One last ramble. I read where people are having problems ordering from Dexcom. Why? Why are you ordering directly from Dexcom? If you have insurance it should be considered a pharmaceutical, just like Insulin. I get my supplies from Walgreens. I have never has an issue with my local pharmacy, so I can’t comprehend why anyone would order Dexcom supplies from the manufacturer unless you are getting a great price break.

OK, one last,last comment. Most of my sensors have lasted the full ten days, and by fooling the receiver into thinking I changed my sensor, I have often gotten 20-days. Yes, I check occasionally with a finger-stick). Dexcom got wise to the process of extending the life of the sensor and put a stop to it in their latest software update. Now, I have to change my sensor every ten days.

-sk-

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Everybody does not have the same insurance plan.

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Even if you don’t have insurance, if you have a prescription you can still buy your G6 supplies at Walgreens.

OK, one last,last comment. Most of my sensors have lasted the full ten days, and by fooling the receiver into thinking I changed my sensor, I have often gotten 20-days.

I think this is the key. For you to say Dexcom technical support is pleasant and knowledgeable is great; the problems you describe here are pretty run of the mill and it sounds like you’re not calling them at least once a week or more, as we are. As such, we have a much broader exposure to their technical support and their limitations.

So, the moral of that story is, if you are getting frequent “lost connection” errors, look around to see what else you have that may be transmitting on the 2.4 GHz ISM frequencies. Here’s a better explanation of what I just rambled off).

This is not the problem. Their room, where this often happens, only has his phone plugged in often when we get these Signal Loss data drops. I mean, I guess there’s an old school boombox but that does not have bluetooth.

I called Dexcom last night. Yesterday fingersticks were as follows: Dexcom reading: 59, fingerstick: 126. Dexcom reading, 80. Fingerstick, 188! Dexcom reading: 59. Fingerstick: 88. They told me that because that last reading was less than 30% off fingerstick (note, it was more than 30% off from the reading, but they calculate the other way around), they would not replace that sensor. Even the 188 vs 80, which clearly exceeded their threshold, didn’t count for replacement because apparently it has to persist at that level of error even after calibration. Which it’s possible it did but he’s at school so other people have to do that.

I also called about the transmitter. They said I have to call when the Signal Loss was occurring in order to troubleshoot. That is ridiculous because these signal drops might last 20 minutes and the typical hold is 20 minutes. And it’s also ridiculous that there is no way for them to analyze the transmitter data retrospectively.

Then, the call got cut off and I was not called back, even though I had continued complaints and wanted to speak to a manager to complain about those policies. The 30% policy in particular seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Dexcom is FDA-approved for insulin dosing; to ensure that it meets that criteria they need to promptly replace sensors that seem likely to lead to overbolus situations. If they are not doing that, they’re putting themselves at risk of losing that dosing designation, because you’ll get a lot more cash-strapped people who are clinging on to iffy sensors and dosing off of them. Something bad is bound to happen, I guarantee it.

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The number of people buying Dexcom for cash and not going through insurance is probably quite small.

Just from listening to people, it seems the more common approach for cash paying customers is to use the Abbott Freestyle Libre.

But I agree. It is possible to buy the Dexcom cgm system from CVS or Walgreens for cash with a valid prescription.

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Yep. I got that response once. From Dexcom. It was off by about 27% so they said because it was not 30% they would not replace the sensor.

Seriously pissed the ■■■■ out of me. Not because of the cost of the sensor but the point of it was so ridiculous that I seriously lost my mind on the phone there. A few shots of Tequila later (3-1/2 minutes) and I redialed, called Tandem support (Dexcom integrated with pump) and Tandem had a replacement sensor on the way to me.

After that call, I am now aware that when calling Dexcom and if you want a G6 sensor replacement, be sure in advance that the sensor has failed the 30/30 rule for ALL data which you CHOOSE to share with Dexcom.

Yeah. lol. That also.

It is FDA approved WITH the 30/30 rule. Dexcom is completely covered.

So this is easy. If you are covered by Kaiser Insurance, you are required to order it directly from the manufacturer. My current insurance won’t let me order directly from Dexcom, but makes me use Edgepark to place the order. The sensors aren’t covered by my pharmacy benefit which really sucks, since walking into the pharmacy would be so much easier than bird dogging Edgepark. With that being said, our current endo office is really responsive. I would probably lose my mind if the endo’s office wasn’t on top of resending a prescription that is still valid, despite Edgepark having a scrip on file that is valid for the whole year…

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Having to do anything with Edgepark shaves like 200 years off your spell in purgatory, I’m certain of it. It’s such a nightmare.

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There is some missing information here. When were these comparisons made? The Dexcom readings are anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more after the event. If I eat dinner with a G6 reading of 100, it will be two hours before my G6 shows my after-meal high. A finger stick shows my after-meal high only minutes after the meal. If the comparisons are shortly after eating, that would account for the pattern you are seeing…

While they can look at your transmitter while you are on the phone, there just isn’t enough memory in the transmitter to record data over time. Remember, the Dexcom transmitter only connects to the receiver/phone once every five minutes. If the patient is in the bathroom or otherwise away from the receiver when it tries to connect, it will show “lost connection” until the next time it tries to connect.

According to Dexcom:
“The G6 is capable of providing a reading every 5 minutes, or up to 288 readings per day. For a variety of reasons, the G6 may not display a glucose reading and readings are “skipped.” The percentage of readings you can expect to receive from the G6 over the sensor life is 98.6%. More than 97% of the sensors captured readings at least 90% of the time.”

I monitor my G6 readings on displays in my house using “CGM in the cloud”. Sorry, but I am a nerd tinker- it is not a product, it’s a DIY project for electronics nerds. However, my display is also a clock, so I see it often. It is not unusual to see one or two data losses a day, and ten minutes until the next reading are not unusual.

I don’t know where the 30% comes from. The Dexcom site says this:
“Inaccuracy is defined as when the difference between your sensor glucose reading and blood glucose value is greater than 20% of the blood glucose reading and blood glucose value is greater than 20% of the blood glucose value for sensor readings > 80mg/dL or greater than 20 points for sensor readings < 80 mg/dL.”

By that criteria, all three of your measurements were out of calibration. For myself, when I do a finger-stick comparison less than two-hours after a meal, the readings will be wildly different and out of their calibration criteria. I strongly suggest that their calibration criteria was a fasting measurement. Before meals, the readings are surprisingly close.

If he is using a phone as his BG monitor, he can share it with you and you can see his G6 readings on your phone.

Don’t panic. I have seen everything that you are experiencing in the two years I have been on the G6. I’ve learned patience and finally accepted that the G6 is telling me what my BG was between 30 and 60 minutes ago.

The transmitter holds 3 hours of cgm readings.

That is incorrect and.or is mixing and matching.

The 20/20 rule is applicable for the G4 and G5.

The 30/30 rule is applicable for the G6.

If relevant we have been on the Dexcom for over seven years now.

Everybody is different.
This is a big reason why one must be careful that one’s post is not seen as dismissive of somebody else’s experiences.

We simply do not and never have experienced a Dexcom lag of 60 minutes. That does not mean that is not your experience. But absolutely not our experience.

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Don’t panic. I have seen everything that you are experiencing in the two years I have been on the G6. I’ve learned patience and finally accepted that the G6 is telling me what my BG was between 30 and 60 minutes ago.

Not panicking. But this is not what we find for the G6 most of the time. It is usually spot on and at most lags by 5 to 15 minutes. When it is not, it’s a sign the sensor will fail soon. And when it fails unexpectedly, I have to drop my work and go to my son’s school to go insert a new sensor. Having these unexpected failures weekly or even twice a week is simply unsustainable from a life perspective.

Also, the Tslim relies on G6 data for insulin dosing decisions – now to prevent lows and in a month or two, to prevent highs. I can guarantee you that if Dexcom data was regularly 30 to 60 minutes behind it would not be a reasonable thing to expect a pump to automatically dose insulin based on those readings.

You are tolerating a standard of performance that is much lower than we ever have. I get that it might be “good enough” for you but it is not living up to the advertised and touted performance that Dexcom itself says should be expected from G6. Sure, they hedge and say things like “if symptoms don’t match, check” but that’s not the same as saying “your numbers will always be an hour behind if you’ve eaten anytime recently.” That would be aLL THE TIME for my 5-year-old who is given snacks at school every 2 hours.

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I am not dismissing anyone. Are you telling me that you can see a G6 peak right after eating a meal? What is your secret because I would love to see responses that fast on my G6.

Yes, everyone is different. No two people have the same blood colloidal osmotic pressure (BCOP), blood hydrostatic pressure or capillary hydrostatic pressure (CHP). But the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 2017, Vol. 11(4) 766–772 discusses that:

“After a meal, a rise in glycemia is induced by glucose uptake in the intestines, but this is not accompanied by a rise in ISF glucose levels at the same point in time. The reported time lag between glucose changes in both compartments is about 5 to 25 minutes.”

“If the glycogen storage capacity in the liver is different in a given patient on different days, this might have an impact on how rapidly glucose is taken up by this organ and subsequently how rapidly ISF glucose levels decline.”

I was just stating what is my experience of the G6.

But not three hours of transmitter status information. When they look at it online they can see the RSSI, or basically how good is the connection with the phone, and the battery level.

My information came from Dexcom support, but this was when the G6 was still new.