Before I head into this rant, I want to remind everyone that I am a Cochlear Awareness Network Volunteer and in general, more than happy with Cochlear. However, I am a bit annoyed and upset with their new return policy.
I called yesterday as we are *this* close to having a fried coil. In the past, we would report our problem, the company would send a replacement part back, and then we would send back the broken part in an envelope provided by the company. As I was wrapping up my phone call with the friendly customer service rep (I always am super-impressed with their service!), he explained that he would send an envelope out, then we would return the part, then once it was received, they would send the new part out.
I've always advocated to families that I've chatted with about brand choices that Cochlear's Customer Service and return department was top notch and very parent focused. I would tout the examples of calling about a broken processor, and we would have a new one on our doorstep in less than 36 hours. As a bimodal family (Christian only wears one CI, and uses a hearing aid in his other ear), a quick turn-around time for part replacement is crucial for us. It seems like this new policy delays the process quite a bit. I understand that Cochlear may have had some issues with receiving broken or damaged parts from their customers, but I don't think that they thought this completely out.
The thought of possibly being in a situation where we don't have a back-up absolutely scares the living h*ll out of me. As other parents of kids with CIs can attest, pediatric users are extremely rough on their equipment. We entered into a lifelong relationship with Cochlear, and I understand that there is no way that they can make EVERYONE happy. However, I hope that Cochlear reevaluates this new policy and adapts something more "kid" friendly.