SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA -- I never thought a company would (seemingly) set out to screw up simple supply orders until I worked with Apria. They may have won first place for the worst customer service in the healthcare industry. My complaint is not due to a few botched up orders, but over 30 in the last 9 years. I order CPAP supplies, such as masks, filters, chinstraps, etc. Most of these are repeat orders. Not one time in over 30 attempts have they sent me a complete order correctly! These guys must have to work hard at screwing up orders! Please understand, if I don't use this CPAP (a machine that pumps air in my lungs when I sleep), I could have a stroke and die. A few quick examples:
On my order three months ago, I mentioned the problems I have had and requested that they get the order right for the first time. You'd think that would assure a correct order, right? I ask them to send me the blue neoprene chinstrap, NOT the white 4" one. They see past orders, identify the correct strap and orders it for me. What do I get but the white one!
I need filters for my CPAP machine. I have dust allergies and have sneezing attacks. I order the filters and they assure me they will be there in two to three days. I call to complain "I haven't received the filters after a week - I'm beginning to wake up sneezing." They say "the filters are ordered and should arrive any day." Another week goes by, same response, any day now. Three weeks go by and I'm not getting much sleep because I wake up at night sneezing, blowing my nose. They say "it should arrive in the next day or two."
A full month later, I'm waking up with a bloody nose and my mask full of blood! I tell them to "do whatever it takes–GET IT HERE!" I call national Apria customer service number. They apologize profusely and assure me they will have the Santa Rosa, CA office looked into and that this is an isolated incident. Here we are, FIVE WEEKS LATER, I ask where my filters are – THEY HAVEN'T EVEN BEEN ORDERED!
After sending me the wrong filter twice, I email them with the exact part number, taken from the package. I even take pictures of the filters they sent me that were wrong (pink and yellow) and show them the right one that's white. What do they send me but more of the pink and yellow ones!
The last time I got the Northern California manager to look into my need for a BiPAP machine (I want to be sure I get the right one for my needs). He assures me he'll take care of it. A week later, he's too busy, so he refers me to "his expert in BiPAP machines". After going round and round with this lady for 45 minutes, it turns out she doesn't know much about BiPAP machines at all and I know much more than she knows! I don't have time to go on about this, this is crazy!
They have had three managers of the office in Santa Rosa in the last three years, still they promise me the world and assure this will not happen to me again, but each time it does! Even the people who work there think that they are a joke! Now I see that others have had the same kind of experience elsewhere in the US. God, help them!
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS -- Have had CPAP for over a decade. First with small independent family owned providers, then Apria got the contract and nothing has ever gone right. While in CA I would drive to their office rather than deal with them on the phone. That was the ONLY way they could get the order right, most of the time.
Moved to Little Rock, 3 months to get an appointment, when I last called to make one, they told me I already had one for this coming Thurs, all to my surprise. I asked "well if I have an appointment what time is it?" "Oh, I'll have to find out, please wait." The usual hold time, "Your appointment is for noon." So, the computer showed an appointment I had no knowledge of, yet it did not show the time? Apria has some very serious problems.
Apria Healthcare. Sept 2, 2011, these folks were contacted by my doctor's office to supply me with an oxygen machine. I wouldn't even hear from these folks until Sept 12th. I don't remember exactly the gist of the conversation. Since they never followed up by coming to my place, I called a few days later. Evidently, they felt a need for an oximetry test (this is totally painless).
I explained I'd had such a test fairly recently. Maybe I didn't need the test? On Sept 16, a Friday, my doctor's office called me, explaining that I really need to just take another oximetry test. OK, no big deal, it's totally painless. I woke up on Mon, Sept 19, 2011, wondering why this company still had not contacted me. I called my doctor's office. They told me I was impatient, it was only the previous Friday that I'd agreed to take another oximetry test.
What they're missing: at this point 17 days have passed since Apria Healthcare had been contacted by my doctor's office. Why did it take 17 days to get to this point, a point of nothingness? Still nothing has been done. I told my doctor's office that I would not allow any of Apria Healthcare's people in my place.
I called a friend, talked about stuff. During this call, my call waiting showed an incoming call, which I didn't take. After the call with a friend was over, I followed up on the caller who wanted to interrupt my phone call. I went through a lengthy listen-to menus thing that made no sense. I finally got through to this company, it turned out they were NOT Apria Healthcare. I had to call the number, as I'd been called by this number so many times. If that number were Apria Healthcare's, then shame on me, the fault is mine, for not picking up on Apria HealthCare's calls.
Well, it was NOT Apria Healthcare that had been calling. When you wait weeks for a company to call you, you need to answer your phone pretty often, you never know when it might be that company. Then, of course, there's that feeling of profound disrespect you get, you can't believe people would treat you that way. My doctor says I should have an oxygen machine. I really don't think I need one, but occasionally my asthma does scare me. And really, whose opinion is more important in deciding to take or not take an oxygen machine? Of course, my doctor's opinion matters most.
Anyway, on Mon 19 Sep 2011, after talking to my doctor's office, then calling this recent caller, who had called so often, I realize that Apria Healthcare has made no attempt to contact me. (Except for the call on Sep 12th, on which they never followed up.)
On the Apria Healthcare website, they make a claim that they often have necessary medical equipment in a patient's home on the same day as the doctor puts in the order. When my doctor's office put in the order for an oxygen machine, it was the morning of 2 Sep 2011. Seventeen days later, these people at Apria Healthcare have done NOTHING, not even arranged for the mandatory test before I could get the machine.
For simplicity of understanding, and for me, should I go back to this, here are the dates: Apria Healthcare was first contacted by my doctor's office Friday, 2 Sep 2011. They called Sep 12, I really don't remember much about the call. A few days later, I called them, asking what they were going to do. On Monday, 19 Sep 2011, when I finally lost my patience, I did finally call Apria Healthcare and told them I wanted nothing to do with them. This was most likely a waste, as I doubt they would have EVER called, anyway. I'm fairly confident of that.
Customer "service" answered, they had no explanation for the long delay. I asked them if they had ever intended to call me. Their answer: "Of course!" I thanked her for her willingness to lie, then hung up. Yes, I was wrong. I probably should have given them a few more months to see if they would ever call.
I searched for reviews of Apria Healthcare, found some at "Yelp" but these were for Apria Healthcare out in California, in 2 different California cities. I was reading some of the most awful things -- insurance in some cases had picked up the cost, yet Apria Healthcare tried to double bill the patient. This seems to be a common complaint. There were a few other complaints of being sent wrong supplies, and even after Apria Healthcare was informed that the supplies sent were for the wrong machine, they continued to bill the patient's credit card.
Maybe I'm lucky Apria Healthcare won't help me. What price would I pay in the end? DON'T, under any circumstances, give these people a debit or credit card number if you don't need to. From the reviews I've read, they're none too honest. I don't imagine Apria Healthcare will attempt to bill me or Medicare for providing me with absolutely nothing, but I'll be watching Medicare statements closely.
I would turn them in for fraud in a heartbeat. I can probably survive the lack of an oxygen machine. Can you, or the people you care for, survive without their medical equipment/supplies? Ask yourself that question. To help you remember the name of this company, to hopefully avoid them, think of a little orange apricot. Then think "Apria", as in "Apria Healthcare".
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK -- I am going to detail here some of the unfortunate dealings I have had with Apria. The long and short of it, however, is this: there is a terrible disconnect between the customer service representatives who take orders, the dispatch offices, and the drivers. Moreover, the Brooklyn dispatcher in particular is obnoxious and unhelpful.
My baby was born with respiratory distress syndrome and was discharged from the hospital on oxygen. Because of foul-ups from Apria, her discharge had to be postponed by five days. Here are the series of the events that led to that postponement: The deliveryman from Apria called one morning to announce that he would be arriving at my house “soon.” My wife and I waited for hours, even though we were supposed to be at the hospital with our baby. Finally, at around 4 pm, he arrived, but with the wrong materials. He had a tank for an adult and a regulator for an adult. We explained that these were the wrong materials. He left with them, and we left for the hospital.
At 6:30 pm, another man named ** called to say that the deliveryman was outside our door in Brooklyn. We were at the hospital and no one had called to tell us someone would be coming back that day. We informed ** that we could not be there in time to take the materials (the hospital is more than one hour away from our home). He promised that someone would arrive on Monday morning with the proper materials.
Monday morning arrived, and no one showed up. I called the Brooklyn dispatch office and spoke to a brusque "gentleman" who I believe is the manager of that office. I asked him where the driver was; he informed me that the driver would arrive "anytime" that day. I told him that I had been told by ** on Friday that the driver would arrive in the morning. He informed me that I was mistaken: supposedly no one is ever told what time deliveries will come.
Later that afternoon, the materials arrived (again, forcing my wife and me to lose an entire day with our daughter in the hospital). Again, the delivery materials were for an adult: "M" tanks with regulators that deliver no less than 2 liters of oxygen. As every prescription from the hospital and every bill from Apria makes clear, my baby is supposed to be receiving no more than .2 liters of oxygen. The adult delivery system does not work for her.
I called Apria to complain and was promised that the proper materials would be delivered – the next day. The next morning, a respiratory therapist arrived, again without warning (luckily we were at home), with only a pulse-oximeter. She had no new oxygen tanks or other equipment. She explained to us how the pulse-oximeter worked, but without any of the proper materials, my wife and I had no idea what was to be done. She called the Brooklyn dispatcher to inquire about what was happening and put him onto the phone to me. I complained about the conduct of Apria, and he began shouting at me to quiet down. At that point I hung up on him.
Eventually we received the proper equipment, with the help of the Elmsford branch manager. I thought that we had finally figured out how to deal with Apria. This past weekend, I again had to order additional oxygen tanks plus a stand for the E tanks. I called Apria's emergency number. I was told I should have called on Friday, not Sunday. I said fine, but placed the order: 3 E tanks and 6 M tanks and one stand.
On Monday morning, someone called to say that they could not deliver the tanks before Tuesday. I insisted that they deliver the tanks on Monday. They agreed to do so. So on Monday afternoon, a driver showed up at my house. He had three D tanks, 3 M tanks, and no stand. I asked him to leave all of the tanks and to take the empties. He would not take the empty E tanks because he was not delivering any full E tanks.
I then called the Westchester office to place my order (3 E tanks plus a stand plus 3 M tanks) again. The woman who took the order was very helpful. This afternoon, a driver showed up at my apartment with an M tank and a stand. My wife (I wasn't home) protested that this was not the proper order but the driver insisted on leaving it. She pointed out that the M tank is for adults and that my baby needs less than .2 liter of oxygen. He insisted on leaving it.
When I got home, I called the Westchester office one more time. I placed the order one more time. A driver then arrived – less than one hour ago – with… another M tank! I had to explain to him the situation. Thankfully, he took the M tank away and gave me the proper materials. So, there are two problems here that need remedying:
The Brooklyn dispatcher. As I mentioned above, he is extremely rude. He has a terrible reputation in Apria itself. Several of the drivers informed me that he views the customer as the enemy, and some of the dispatchers in Westchester claimed that they had received multiple complaints.
The disconnect between Apria customer service representatives, the dispatch office, and the drivers. Every single time I place an order, I end up having to repeat myself to various individuals. Every single time, I invariably receive the wrong materials and have to replace the order. Every single time, I have to wait for hours on end, sometimes two days, sometimes three days, for drivers that show up with the wrong materials.
Not only is this frustrating to me as a customer, but it must cost Apria many dollars to keep sending out drivers over and over again. It also must cost CIGNA (my insurance provider) as the contracting company, many dollars. Simply put, I think Apria is probably the single most badly managed company I've ever had to deal with.
Apria's poor customer relations and bad management could form the basis of a lawsuit, particularly since life-sustaining materials are being delivered in such a shoddy fashion. I wrote to Apria's management about the above issues, but received no response.
FORT MILL, SOUTH CAROLINA -- For going on 2 months, I have had TERRIBLE trouble trying to resolve the issues for my mom's CPAP machine. They have failed to give me adequate information that I'm needing and all they want to do is to refer me to their website. I HATE that her doctor sent her to this company because it's been a nightmare! DO NOT use this company for CPAP machine.
PEARL CITY, HAWAII -- Incorrect bill, again. Called to correct. Billing number goes to voicemail box. Voicemail box is FULL. Incompetent billing, incompetent phone system. I am now calling my doctor to see if we could get CPAP machine from ANY other provider. I would pay more, if the bill were just accurate! Google "Apria billing complaints" and see that this bad business has been screwing customers for more than 10 years, and they are apparently getting worse, not better. But the employees tell me they get free cookies.
NATIONWIDE -- It's impossible to contact Apria's billing department to resolve a simple payment problem. I paid my wife's invoice on time, but it got credited to my account instead of my wife's account. Now I'm receiving continual overdue notices. They didn't respond to my written explanation, and they don't answer their computerized phone system, so it is impossible to talk to anybody who could resolve the issue. Completely worthless customer service system.
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY -- If you need a CPAP machine, choose anyone BUT Apria. Bottom line, we were charged hundreds of dollars for things we did not authorize, had to cancel our debit card and our flexible spending cards, and are STILL fighting to get our money back. It's just not worth it. This has been a nightmare for months.
CHICAGO, TEXAS -- I called Apria to find out the buy-out amount for my CPAP machine. I was informed that only 3 payments remained on my term and that it would be best to just make the remaining three payments and then billing would stop and I would own my machine. I agreed.
Meanwhile, I received a letter regarding patient financial assistance. I called and said "I did not think I needed to complete the form as I only had 3 payments remaining." I was informed that by filling out the form, should it be approved I would receive lower "patient assistance" pricing on any supply orders I would make in the future. My assistance was approved and my monthly billing decreased for what was to be the final month.
When I received an invoice for an additional month, I called the billing department and was informed that since I had requested financial assistance and received it, that my monthly billing would continue indefinitely and that I would not ever own the machine. I told them that this was unacceptable and that they had contacted me about financial assistance. They told me it was too late and that I would continue to be billed. I told them I would pay the full final month and take ownership. They told me that was impossible. I asked to talk to a supervisor and was refused. Finally they gave me an address for customer care and that I could write to them. I did.
2-3 months later I received a call from a very rude customer service agent, who verified my initial conversation about the buy-out. I again offered to pay it off and again was told that someone had made an error, that it was a training issue within Apria and that I was stuck with ongoing monthly bills. I asked to talk to someone in charge and was told that I would be on hold for a while. I asked if someone could call me back, she agreed and 9 months later I still have not received that call.
I wrote another letter, included a check for the buy-out amount and stated that they should either accept the check as a final payment and buy-out or not cash the check. They cashed the check and have continued billing. I have not paid them a dime and now am getting letters that I am being turned over to a collection agency. This was clearly a bait and switch fraud by this company. THEY ARE CRIMINAL IN THEIR CONDUCT - DO NOT USE.
ENDWELL, NEW YORK -- When my mother was alive, she had Apria in Florida and had a terrible experience. I didn't think it could get any worse until today. My family has done business with Apria's Endwell, NY branch for many years. You can no longer call the branch directly. The local number is forwarded to a call center in another state. I waited on hold 3 times for over 45 minutes each time!! When I finally got through, they had my insurance information wrong. I waited on the phone for half an hour while they straightened that out then placed my order and gave the representative my credit card info.
I waited 2 weeks and when I did not get the equipment we ordered, I called again. I had to try several times as I was always stuck on hold for at least half an hour and would sometimes have to hang up. When I finally got through, they said they needed my credit card information again. I had to call back with my credit card info and when I finally got through, I was told that the order had been canceled and couldn't be "back-dated"?? I would have to wait at least 2 more weeks to get my things.
I worked my way up through supervisors and spoke with someone who promised to get back to me immediately. That didn't happen. I spent the day trying to get through again -- finally got someone who would not listen to me. I asked to be transferred to the Endwell branch as I thought I would get better service with them. But the woman in Endwell kept talking over me, too. I hate that. I would start to speak and she would speak over me. I asked her if it was worth losing 3 customers? And she said she couldn't care less. So there you have it. There are other companies out there. I switched in less than an hour.