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[Equipment] Extreme hostile sales tactics from a clinic - anyone?
#11
(11-30-2016, 01:55 PM)chill Wrote: I'll play Devil's Advocate. As I read it, there is nothing untrue in that memo. It is full of "certain", "some", "inappropriate" qualifiers. A lawyer has been over this. It is intended to mislead and to scare people into buying the machine from them but I don't read it as actionable

"Intended to mislead", I'm pretty sure that intent alone would make it actionable. I could be mistaken, but I think you could make that case.

(11-30-2016, 01:55 PM)chill Wrote: I don't know what things are like in Alberta, but in BC the DME places that I know of are staffed with Registered Respiratory Technicians who know what they are talking about. Unless you have been charged separately for those services, part of that machine price is to cover these clinical consultations, warranty support etc. Insurance won't cover that, so they need to bundle it with the machine cost.

I'm not from Canada but the place that saw me told me they get paid whether I buy the machine from them or anyone else. They were clear to say if I bought the machine from them they made more as they sold me the machine as well. But why wouldn't they get paid for whatever services they provided? That doesn't seem to make much sense, unless I'm missing something.

(11-30-2016, 01:55 PM)chill Wrote: The price for a bare, service-free machine should be lower than one that comes with services. I don't visit my local bookstore to browse and expect the same prices as on Amazon. So I can see them being unhappy if they have provided you with services that they will now not get paid for. So, before you get too angry, ask yourself if the machine cost plus a reasonable free for professional services provided (and to be provided free in the future) is really that much below what they are charging

That said, I'd not want to have any further dealings with them. That is a lousy way to treat customers, regardless of the situation.

Totally agree with all that.
If everyone thinks alike, then someone isn't thinking.
Everyone knows something, together we could know everything.
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#12
Haha my sleep physician actually tried something similar..

He was pretty irate that I wouldn't rent a machine off them. Was $150 per month to rent a machine and a mask.. I bought my machine and 3 masks for $1200.

Threatened that CPAP would be impossible without the correct support that was included in their rental fees. To be fair I've done better trouble shooting problems myself and not getting stuck in his waiting room for 2 or 3 hours each time (he never runs on time).
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#13
I didn't buy from my sleep clinic either, Didn't get a letter like that thou.
It's your health not theirs , take your script and run...
I didn't really care for my sleep doctor, I received more knowledge from the gals that did my sleep study than him.
I had my general doctor renew my script and with the excellent DME , I have everything is pretty much automatic, get a call every 6 months and order the supplies I need, very painless only pay my deductible.
Sleep-well
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#14
Hi crystalcalliou,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I hope you can find a different DME.
I wish you and your husband good luck with your CPAP therapy.

trish6hundred
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#15
As others have said, hope you find a decent DME instead of a rip off one. That's just wrong what they did.
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#16
@Galactus Yeah, it is a bit strange up here. Our free, mandatory medical coverage will pay 100% for a sleep doctor and sleep tests to tell you that you have sleep apnea. That gives you your prescription. There is little or now follow up from the sleep doc unless you sprout a third eye.

Then it varies by province (state for those provincially challenged). Where I live, unless you are on income assistance, you are on your own. That is where the sleep clinics come in. They do what the American DMEs should be doing (and in some cases actually are doing!): find the right machine and mask for you, counselling and support, follow-up SPO2 tests to ensure that your therapy is working, regular follow-up appointments to check on your therapy and adjust things. This is all before I found ApneaBoard. My guess is that if I had just bought a machine and set it up, that it would be at the bottom of the closet now. So I put a certain value on the services that they can provide. If you are motivated enough to find this place and read and research and use SleepyHead then I think they provide little value. But a lot of people are not like that. I think there is a place for what they can provide, but a lot are just greedy and take advantage instead of helping.
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#17
I live in Montreal, Quebec. I was in a similar situation. I had a sleep study done at the hospital, my sleep doctor analysed the data and sent me to a sleep clinic/store to get my one month rental of equipment. The technicians at the centre was condescending and aggreesive. I told them that I have an M.Sc. in toxicology and am comfortable with technical equipment and settings. However, they tried to keep me in the dark about machine settings. For example, to change any of the settings, they always took the machine out of the room so that I could not see how it was done. They said that it was dangeous for me to try to change the settings and that it would nullify the warrantee of the machine. The rental machine was a total pice of junk. It did not have a heated hose, so rainout was a big issue. The masks were not fitted properly. I felt like I was suffocating at night. I was 59 years old at the time and was actually intimidated and depressed by the whole situation.
I was supposed to return the rental after one month. They set up an appointment with me to try out and purchase a new unit. There was only a choice of 2 different models available. I found out what their retail prices were at this centre. I decided to look online for other purchasing options. I decided, after much thought, to call up the centre to cancel my appointment. When I spoke to them, they were very angry and said that I had ruined their schedule. They said that they booked an entire 3 hours for my appointment. I've blocked out a loy of what they said. I told my GP and my sleep doctor about this. As a result of this poor treatment plus more info released by investigating this centre, this centre lost their license to operate as a sleep clinic. In fact, they cannot even sell supplies or rent loaners any more.Patients in Quebec generally get tested at hospitals on Medicare, but private clinics like this one, can also do private expensive sleep studies if the patient doesn't want to wait.
I contacted a well-known distributor of CPAP equipment situated in Toronto. The price for a Resmed S9 unit with heated humidifier was about half that suggested by that centre in Montreal. I ordered the unit plus all necessary hoses, filters, masks, etc.from this Toronto company. It was shipped by Fedex and delivered within 2 days. This was in 2011. To date, I have been receiving the most valuable technical and apnea-related support from them. When I wanted to test out a BIPAP machine 2 years. later, they sent me a loaner by Fedex. I only had to pay shipping charges. Meanwhile I see my sleep physician at the hospital at least 2x/year. I download the data from the SD card and print the report which I give to my doctor. I use the Sleepyhead software or Encore Basic. He then can recommend any setting changes. If , between appointments, I have any apnea related issues I either contact my doctor or any of the great respiratory technicians at the CPAP distributor. I currently used the Phillips Respironics System System one BIPAP with heated humidifier. I paid $1800. I checked other Montreal suppliers. They wanted about ~ $3600 for the same thing, plus possibly more for a loaner to try it out.

To conclude, anyone is capable of managing their own sleep apnea, with the proper guidance. Good luck to you. If you need any advice, this Forum is fantastic.
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#18
If your doctor can't accept you changing settings then I suggest you should find another doctor who will. CPAP therapy isn't an automatic process with simple rules to follow. Your body changes from day to day and all the doctor knows is based on what went on for the one day of your sleep study.
Ed Seedhouse
VA7SDH

Your brain is not the boss.

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#19
Yes, your story is similar to mine. (Sorry, long read)

I'm in Saskatchewan and my doctor sent me to Rana sleep clinic( I have no problem mentioning their name). I got the sleep test done, was diagnosed with moderate SA and given a loaner machine. I was unimpressed with the doctor at the clinic, as he seemed more interested in selling me a certain machine than in my health. At that time I bought the mask from them. They also wanted to talk me into a package "support" deal with a monthly fee, which I declined. After four months they still hadn't provided my insurance with the data they needed for the proposed machine, despite repeated calls on my end to ask what was going on. In the end they didn't even return my calls and emails anymore. I thought to myself, "Whatever, people, in the mean time I'm using your machine.... for free!"

When they finally did provide the details it would have been $2200. My insurance told me they would only accept $1700 maximum for this equipment, of which they'd pay 80%, so I started looking for a better deal. Found the same machine for under $1000 from a Canadian Supplier. They requested a prescription in order to sell to me, so I went back to my family doctor and got him to ask for the prescription, which he obtained from Rana and gave to me. He said he was no longer sending any patients there and suggested I'd go to the Provincial sleep clinic.

The next day Rana Sleep Clinic started calling and leaving messages. I waited about a week before I returned the call and explained that I had already bought my own machine. It wasn't an unprofessional conversation but they made it clear to me that they could "no longer help me" and they needed their machine back right away. I called the Provincial Sleep Clinic and explained my situation. They said I would probably only need to come in once a year (wth?), and yes, they could at that time download the data from my machine. I asked if they would then adjust it if necessary and she told me no, I'd have to rent a machine from them for a few weeks and depending on the results, they would adjust my machine. Well, that was just stupid so this is how I ended up here.

I now have the Provider manual (with all the instructions the sleep clinic doesn't show you) to adjust my machine settings and the software to check on my therapy and it's going well. The doctor I saw at the Rana sleep clinic has requested to see me in April at his other office, so I'm gonna go to that appointment with my print outs and see how he's going to react to me adjusting my own machine... Should be interesting.

Wish you the best of luck, Whatever you decide to do.
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