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Dexcom Fesses Up About Its Communication Mess Up

Dexcom acknowledged in a Facebook post that customers were disappointed in the communication shortfalls following a major server outage that occurred over the holiday weekend.

A major server outage rattled Dexcom customers – particularly parents – over the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday weekend. But most were not as mad about the technology glitch as they were about the company's lack of communication about the issue (see infographic below to read what customers had to say about the issue).

Dexcom said it became aware of an issue with Dexcom Follow early Saturday morning that caused some followers to not receive continuous glucose monitoring data or alerts. Dexcom Follow is an important feature of the company's product that many users have come to rely on as part of their diabetes management.

James McIntosh, senior public relations manager at Dexcom, told MD+DI Wednesday afternoon that Dexcom Follow Services have been restored to full-service levels but that the company continues to monitor and stress-test the system.

"Our teams are also closely monitoring customer feedback, per usual protocol, and routing any isolated issues through our normal tech support channels," Dexcom said in a company statement McIntosh provided. "We believe we have identified [the] root cause and our teams are working cross-functionally to confirm. As soon as we complete the investigation and have absolute certainty, we will provide an update on [the] root cause and our path forward."

Because Dexcom relies on Google’s cloud service and some Microsoft technology, the companies worked with Google and Microsoft to troubleshoot the issue.

McIntosh had confirmed in an earlier email to MD+DI that Dexcom did not release any updates or changes that would have caused the issue, which further complicated the investigation. The company had determined, however, that the servers became overloaded, which caused the Follow feature to stop working for some users. Some users also experienced log-in issues.

Dexcom received more than 5,900 comments (10 of which are included in the infographic above) on a Facebook post the company created over the weekend to notify customers of the server outage. A majority of the comments were posted by concerned parents who use Dexcom's system to monitor their children's diabetes. While most parents said they understand that software problems happen, they were upset at the company's lack of communication with them when the problem was initially discovered.

The company said Sunday on Facebook that it is committed to creating a better customer communication experience moving forward. "You deserve nothing less," the company told customers.

"This is an unfortunate but isolated event for Dexcom," McIntosh said. "It has revealed some areas for improvement, both with our system and in how we communicate with our users."

Dexcom also noted on Facebook that the company has some communications through the app, but the feature is not optimized and "we recognize this is a gap in communication with followers of our users."

Graphic by Amanda Pedersen / MD+DIDexcom.png

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