Jansen Medical Does Not Appreciate You Having Questions, Goodbye

Courtney had some questions about an order she wanted to place with Jansen Medical Supply of Houston. Their website offers large discounts on medical equipment and chairs that automatically dump grandma on the floor when it’s time for her to leave. What they don’t offer, however, is answers. Courtney found out the hard way, and we’re not sure but we think she’s been banned from ordering from them. Well, unless she disguises her voice and calls back.

Note that this isn’t a verbatim transcript, so take the whole thing with a grain of salt. It’s still pretty funny and rude, though.

I just had the strangest customer service phone call. I was about to place an order for 20 Air-Eze Deep Breathing Devices (because I am a voice teacher, and I use them to help my students strengthen their breathing.) I called the toll-free customer service number at Jansen Medical Supply, who claims on their website to be the most respected company in their field. Here is how the conversation went:

Me: Hi! I need to order some Air-Eze Deep Breathing Incentive devices, but I had a couple of questions first.

JMS: We don’t answer questions.

Me: Really?

JMS: You need to speak with a respiratory therapist about your questions.

Me: Oh, no! I don’t have any questions about the devices, just about ordering them.

JMS: We don’t answer ANY questions.

Me: (Thinking the guy is pulling my leg…) Are you kidding?

JMS: I am not kidding. We don’t answer questions.

Me: (Still thinking the guys is joking…) You can’t be serious.

JMS: I am DEAD SERIOUS.

Me: (Inquiring…) So, then, why do you answer the phone? You are the customer service representative. What do you usually do when you pick up the phone?

JMS: (no answer…this obviously made him mad)

Me: Well, then, I am not quite sure what to do. I need to place a large order and you won’t answer my questions.

JMS: You will not be placing a large order with us.

Me: I won’t?

JMS: We don’t want your money. You need to take your business elsewhere.

Me: What? May I please speak with your manager?

JMS: Missy, you need to go away. You need to go away right now.

And then he hung up. That was the funniest and strangest customer service call I have ever made. Thought you might find it humorous. After the call, I went back to their website which states that they have a “Toll free customer service line to answer all your questions.” Obviously not.

We contacted Jansen Medical and sent them a copy of the exchange, and asked what was going on. Naturally, since that was a question, they have chosen to ignore us.

Comments

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  1. cranniem says:

    “dump grandma on the floor” – I can’t stop laughing. You made my morning. Thanks!

    • lalaland13 says:

      @cranniem: I can’t stop laughing either. I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. “Time to go, Grandma!” “No!” “Well, you leave me no choice..”

    • Necoras says:

      @cranniem: Actually my Grandma has one of those chairs…

      • teke367 says:

        @Necoras: I actually had one too. I bought my condo from a woman who was wheelchair bound (who had passed away, so I guess I bought the condo from her sister). Her sister left the furniture as she didn’t need it. I held onto it until I bought my own furniture. This one looked pretty old, and grandma dumping technology has surely improved since then, but I wouldn’t call it “dumping grandma” as much as “very slowly allowing gravity to pull grandma to the floor.” Really, it took forever for it to recline and, um, un-recline.

    • Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

      @cranniem:

      “dump grandma on the floor” – I can’t stop laughing. You made my morning. Thanks!

      The funniest part is that if you google the phrase “dump grandma on the floor”, the Jansen medical product description page for the Med-Lift 5500 is the first result

  2. zigziggityzoo says:

    It’s like we just found the anti-Zappo’s.

  3. LegoMan322 says:

    That is awesome.

  4. starzshine says:

    I think my granny orders from these people, that’s the craziest thing I have ever heard. I hope that was just some sort of rogue CSR and not their standard business practice.

    She was asking about breathing devices for christ sake, not “May I please make a large order for Moo Moo’s and Oxycontin”

  5. smokinfoo says:

    I’d check the number you called. Might have been the wrong one.

    • GMFish says:

      @smokinfoo: “I’d check the number you called. Might have been the wrong one.

      You know, I bet you’re right. My inlaws’ phone number used to be one number off from a local movie theater. They’d get calls constantly about movie times.

      When I’d answer those calls I’d always pretend they got the number right, but I’d be a prick about it. Give wrong start times, tell them certain movies were not playing, tell them to call back later because I’m busy making popcorn, etc.

      My inlaws took a different approach. Every week they’d cut out a copy of the movie listings and keep it near to phone to help the idiots calling.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        @GMFish: I wouldn’t be as mean as you but I wouldn’t be as helpful as your in-laws.

        • calquist says:

          @Rectilinear Propagation: Yeah, I’m having this issue with a sheet metal company. I just stopped picking up numbers I don’t know. If I knew any good jokes about selling sheet metal, things might be different.

      • blogarsay says:

        @GMFish: Just like Kramer!

      • jimconsumer says:

        @GMFish: I once took a hotel reservation for some poor sap. I feel bad about it now, but I was a kid at the time and thought it was funny. A buddy’s dedicated modem line was one number off from a hotel. Every single time it rang it was someone trying to reserve a room.

        So one day, I took their reservation. :)

      • Shadowman615 says:

        @GMFish: A relative of mine kept getting calls for an apartment management office at his work. Once in a while he decided to actually take the calls.

        “Oh yeah, you think a hole in your wall is bad? I’ve got guys who have giant holes in the floor and have to spend all day staring at the people living down below. And they’re paying twice the rent you are! And you should be happy it’s just your heat that isn’t working….”

        And so on.

      • outoftheblew says:

        @GMFish: I once got a phone number that was one number off the movie listing number. I called the phone company within two weeks to get a new number and told them why, and she said they’d flag it to never give it out again (I was getting about 20 calls a day).

        • Robert Stevens says:

          I had the same experience with a restaurant supply company. I even changed my answering machine message to start with “This is NOT National Produce Supply.” People still left orders on it.

          • HogwartsAlum says:

            @Robert Stevens:

            I did that too; I’m one number different than Child Support Enforcement. I finally changed it to one like this:
            (Imagine twangy fake Southern accent in a high-pitchedvoice)

            “Hiiiiiiii…I’m an answerin’ machine in a private house. If you are callin’ for Chaaahld Support, you’ve daahled the wrong number. Please hang up and daaahl again. If you’re lookin’ for (NAME), please leave a messaige. Thanks. Baayyee!”

            It worked!

            One lady called and left her Social Security number on my machine. I called her back and said “DON’T DO THAT!!”

    • sprocket79 says:

      @smokinfoo: That’s what I was thinking. It sounds like some crotchety old guy who has a similar number to the company and is sick of dealing with calls for them. Or, the company could have been brilliant like Bank of America and printed the wrong number on their marketing material.

    • Crabby Cakes says:

      @smokinfoo: If it was a wrong number, how come the company hasn’t just issued a response?

      • coren says:

        @Crabby Cakes: Possibly they aren’t sure that it isn’t – maybe they have so many CSRs they haven’t eliminated all of them as having done that?

    • AMetamorphosis says:

      @smokinfoo:

      We had a number one off for a local Pizza Hut … my Mom just started taking orders on a regular basis.

      I’ll bet the caller got a wrong # and the dude that answered is tired of taking calls for this company.

    • Donathius says:

      @smokinfoo: I had a math teacher in high school who’s phone number was one number off from the Geneva Steel Mill. He told us that he started answering the phone by saying “Hello Twitchell residence” and people would still start rattling off a question about how much it would cost to get 10 tons of 1/4″ thick steel. His response? “I have no idea, this is the Twitchell residence as I already explained. Try calling Geneva Steel.”

      He was a “take no crap kinda guy.” I once saw him go all batsh** on the student body president. Funniest thing I ever saw.

    • babyruthless says:

      @smokinfoo: In college, my dorm phone number was one off a local used-car dealer. I would politely tell people that they got the wrong number, but once or twice got a series of increasingly irate phone calls for not returning messages, even though my outgoing message was something like “Hi, you’ve reached Babyruthless…I’m not in right now, so leave a message.” That sounds pretty =/= the outgoing message Smith’s Used Autos might have.

    • Anonymous says:

      @smokinfoo: @smokinfoo: I work for a Limo company and one of our dedicated numbers is one number off from calling 1-800-DENTIST. Really its just the person spelling dentist incorrectly. And believe me these people need to see a dentist ASAP!! You cant understand a word they say, and since they cant spell dentist correctly you already know they aren’t the brightest bulb in the package so trying to explain to them that they misspelled dentist and to try again takes a good 3-4 minutes.

    • Dave says:

      @smokinfoo:

      Considering their BBB rating is an F and very similar complaints about an extremely rude customer service individual, this is the normal operating procedure for the company.

      [www.bbb.org]
      [www.epinions.com]
      [www.complaints.com]

      • Cyco says:

        @Dave: I work in a call center and after reading those reviews, I want to call and talk to him just to hear this in person. All the review talk about a rude male. I have a feeling it’s the same guy. They may not have anyone else working there. I think it would be a blast to mess with this jerk. Hell, everyone should flood his phone, being as annoying as possible all at same time. Give him a little pay back for being an ass.

  6. savdavid says:

    I bet it was a wrong number, too, and someone was pulling your leg.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @savdavid: Probably someone confused don’t answer medical questions with don’t answer questions.

    • HurfDurf says:

      @savdavid: I worked for a company that had a number very similar to a large American company. You’d be surprised how many people would dial through, listen to the entire spiel saying what company we are, what we do, how to reach certain people, then get to me and want to give me their account numbers, and probably anything else I wanted (SSNs, etc). We got pretty sick of it eventually and used to dream about doing this to people. Sounds like someone else’s dreams came true.

  7. winshape says:

    I can see their concern with not answering any questions that might be medical in nature…but not answering a question about shipping a product? That is way overboard. I think there is a training issue happening.

  8. Crabby Cakes says:

    You go to hell! You go to hell and you die!!

  9. dwb says:

    Really, they are going to HAVE to respond to this incident now. Let the backpedaling begin.

  10. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I just called the toll free number and no one is answering at all. How legit is Jansen Medical?

  11. Skaperen says:

    I want to have a conversation like that, too. What toll free number do I call? 1-888-896-4050? Would it be more interesting if I called one of the company executives?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Jansen Medical Supply, LLC
    6125 W. Sam Houston Parkway North
    Suite 201
    Houston, Texas 77041-5128
    Toll Free Phone: (888) 896-4050
    Local Phone: (713) 896-4050
    Fax: (713) 896-4080
    customerservice@jansenmedical.com

  13. Rachacha says:

    I am not sure about te wrong number. I took a look at the “dump grandma on the floor” link, and some of the responses to their questions are pretty snarky. There are some nice ways to explain why you will not accept returns…this is not one of them:

    Q. Can we return a lift chair after we have purchased it?

    A. In a word, “No.” Our lift chairs are built to order by Med Lift & Mobility, who is the finest, and has the best customer service, of any lift chair manufacturer in the country. However, we have had customers ask for refunds, not because of the quality of the chairs, but because: 1) “The chair didn’t exactly match my curtains”; 2) “The chair measures 18 1/2″ from the floor instead of 19″” and 3) “The chair won’t fit the turntable that I built for it…” Because those folks at the factory are so nice, they worked with us to get partial refunds for these customers, but we cannot ask them to do it anymore. We would love to sell you a lift chair; we think you will find that it is the highest quality, best made chair in the world today. However, if you order it, it is yours, and all sales are final.

    I agree with their rationalle, but their are nicer ways to say that our customers are old and complain too much (which is essentially what they are saying).

    I have tried some chairs similar to the ones advertised, and I think the probably would dump grandma on the floor, although a young spry 30 something trying to pretend that he is 80 and hunched over with arthritis may not be the best test.

    • eb0nyknight says:

      @Rachacha: Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!

    • exconsumer9 says:

      @Rachacha: I don’t know, I don’t see any reason why they should have to issue refunds for things like that. Most businesses wouldn’t anyway, they would just use a bunch of vague language that implied you could return it for any reason under the sun, then change their story after the sale is made.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @exconsumer9: The way I see it, they’ve probably had so many people try to return things for bogus reasons, and they won’t put up with it anymore.

      • tbax929 says:

        @exconsumer9:
        The issue isn’t with the policy, it’s with how they explain that policy. It’s definitely snarky.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        @exconsumer9: Other than the chair measurement (if they’re given on the site they should match what’s stated) I don’t think they should have to accept returns for those reasons either. But I don’t think a medical web site should read like customerssuck.com either.

        The answer is way too long that way anyway. All they had to say was, “Because all our chairs are built to order through Med Lift & Mobility we are unable to accept returns. All sales are final.”

        There’s no reason to go into all the previous bad reasons people asked for returns or to be all, “These chairs are so freaking awesome no one in their right mind should want to return them!”

      • katstermonster says:

        @exconsumer9: “I agree with their rationalle [sic]…”

        Reading is fun!

    • dwb says:

      @Rachacha: Snarky indeed!

    • twophrasebark says:

      @Rachacha:

      I think you cracked the case. Same exact tone.

  14. takes_so_little says:

    “You need to take your business elsewhere.”

    I would take them up on that.

  15. David Weihe says:

    [local.yahoo.com]

    It seems it was the right number and it is the owner that is answering the phone.

    All of the other review sites have similar reviews.

  16. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Okay, update. I just called, and someone did pick up. I wasn’t expecting it, so I scrolled to the top of the page lightning fast and told the guy I had questions about the same product the OP wanted. And then I asked some really generic, annoying questions about shipping because I really didn’t expect anyone to pick up the phone.

    So I think the OP probably dialed the wrong number by mistake. They answer with “Jansen Medical” not, “hello?”

  17. Febryle says:

    I’m sure that the response from the company will be that they’re “taking this very seriously.”

    Can we just add the tag to the post now, to save time?

  18. theblackdog says:

    Wow, does Jansen medical use Stream for their call centers? This sounds like some of the folks I knew Stream tended to hire.

  19. theblackdog says:

    @Rachacha: I’m surprised the company would have a problem with someone returning it for being slightly shorter. I do know of people who had issues with their hips and a measurement like that did matter for them.

  20. moostrength says:

    From the FAQ on the website under payment:

    “We also take personal checks for payment, but the shipment will be held until the check clears (sorry about this, but after being burned one time too many, we have no choice – “the innocent suffer from the deeds of the few”…).”

    How ironic.

  21. menty666 says:

    Maybe they were being robbed and the crook answered the phone.

    Or, it was possibly dialed wrong to someone who frequently gets wrong numbers for them and is ticked off about it. I used to get calls for real estate agents and after a while started setting up appointments.

    • takes_so_little says:

      @menty666: “I used to get calls for real estate agents and after a while started setting up appointments.”

      I wonder how much business you lost that agency.

  22. Marianne Stabile says:

    Either this isn’t really how the exchange went, or it was the wrong number. I don’t see any other explanation.

    • takes_so_little says:

      @Marianne Stabile: So, even being a reader of this website, you don’t believe customer service could be THIS bad?

      • Marianne Stabile says:

        @takes_so_little: I guess it could be. I just don’t see how they’re still in business if they actually TELL people to take their business elsewhere. Even being a reader of this website, and having read about some incredibly rude CSR’s, I don’t ever recall one that was THIS obviously intending to drive business away.

    • floraposte says:

      @Marianne Stabile: Look at the link David Weihe posted above. This business has a history of being foul to phone callers.

      • Marianne Stabile says:

        @floraposte: Now that I’ve read the Yahoo reviews, I believe this is pretty much the conversation…but still don’t know how he stays in business!

        • Nytmare says:

          @Marianne Stabile: Maybe they are all calling the wrong number. Too bad there is no way to look up the outgoing numbers stored on the original caller’s phone for verification.

        • Rachacha says:

          @Marianne Stabile: I am only speculating, but if he is a preferred vendor for certain insurance companies (as most of his products are very specialized and likely to be reimbursed by insurance companies) consumers may not have a choice except to 1) deal with crappy service and get the product for free (covered by insurance), or 2) pay for the equipment out of my own pocket, shich if I am retired, I probably don’t have enough money to waste on something insurance is willing to pick up.

          • LibraryGeek says:

            @Rachacha:
            I was thinking the same thing, his custeromer is actually insurance or Medicare not the end customer, so he really doesn’t give a crap about the people using his products.

    • Con Sumer Zealot says:

      @Marianne Stabile: Disgruntled employee maybe?

  23. scoosdad says:

    JMS: You will not be placing a large order with us.

    JMS: We don’t want your money. You need to take your business elsewhere.

    These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

    Move along.

  24. MaelstromRider says:

    Seems the jerk is also a lawyer, too.

    From [www.zoominfo.com]

    The company’s founder and president, Jeff Jansen, grew up in Wisconsin and is a licensed attorney who graduated in 1993 with honors from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas.Before attending law school, he served as an Air Force officer after graduating in 1984 from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree.During the late 1980s, Mr. Jansen owned and operated a medical equipment leasing company and later worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative for one of the largest medical companies in the world.As an attorney, Mr. Jansen has, among other things, defended manufacturers of medical devices and pharmaceutical products, as well as having defended orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiologists against medical malpractice claims.

    • takes_so_little says:

      @MaelstromRider: From the page you linked to:”We’re sorry, but the page you were looking for has been moved.”

      I think Mr. Jansen is beginning to realize that the way he treats people on the phone is finally going to matter.

    • Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

      @MaelstromRider:
      Isn’t this line: “graduated in 1993 with honors from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas” a contradiction in terms?

    • RandomHookup says:

      @MaelstromRider: Looks like he was working fast since a USAFA graduate is obligated to spend 5 years on active duty. Starting a “medical equipment leasing company in the late 1980s” means he did a lot in the 6 months or so from when he could get out and the start of the 1990s. And he managed to squeeze in time to work as a pharma rep before starting law school in 1990. Impressive…

  25. Febryle says:

    Reading those Yahoo reviews posted above, I have no doubt that this is a legimate exchange. They are quite consistent.

  26. Joyce Godsey says:

    indeed…that was the FUNNIEST thing i have read in ages..thank you so much…

  27. steveliv says:

    i love this part of the conversation…

    JMS: You will not be placing a large order with us.

    it seems he tried to use a sith/jedi mind trick on her!

  28. takes_so_little says:

    “So I was rude to some customers… so what? So some housewife tells some other housewife in-between other gossip and coupon clipping. Big whoop! Wait… what’s that? The interwebs can DO THAT!?” [craps pants]

  29. shadowboxer524 says:

    Mr. Wonka…

    I SAID GOOD DAY!

  30. pjstevens77 says:

    There are 26 reviews on this site ([local.yahoo.com]) and all 26 are 1 star nightmares, one caller was forced into tears by ht ea-hole who answered the phone. ITS NOT A WRONG NUNBER.

  31. pjstevens77 says:

    This guy needs to be tortured, Consumerist – get on it

  32. pjstevens77 says:

    This place has bad reviews EVERYWHERE – Check these out

    [www.epinions.com]

    or you can go here and do a search under the company name, unbelievable
    [www.complaints.com]

  33. IT-Chick says:

    That is just awesome and horrible at the same time.

    We had a similar experience with a local pizza place when we wanted to know where our pizza was after an hour of waiting. Apparently our pizza wasn’t coming anymore and were told they didn’t want our business and hung up on us.
    Amazing customer service!

  34. breny says:

    Here are a few more complaints. This guy is off his rocker.

    [www.complaintsboard.com]

  35. opticnrv says:

    Dare I suggest flash-tele-mobbing this company’s phone number until we start getting civil and friendly exchanges with him (or until his head explodes from stress)? We have to protect our unsuspecting old people with little of no internet experience!

  36. morlo says:

    Excellent customer service. Sometimes you get tired of obsequious CSRs pretending to help or sell you worthless services, and need to hear that you really don’t matter. Identity and money become nothing in the infinite tranquility of non-existence…

  37. scoosdad says:

    No soup for you!! Come back, ONE YEAR!!!

  38. llcooljabe says:

    Anyone else tempted to look this company up just to call them with a question or two?

  39. Sarcastikate says:

    Can’t be for real…I think I would have immediately verified the number and then called them again just to be absolutely sure this was happening. I get a lot of calls for a medical diagnostic center, and when I get more than one call from a person, I call back to let them know they are calling the wrong number and give them the right one. Just a human thing to do. Usually elderly people. You’d think they would realize something wasn’t right when they keep getting my answering machine, but…..oh well, we’ll all get old some day, God willing.

  40. Liz Henry says:

    For most companies that make equipment or provide services for people with disabilities, their customer is NOT the person with a disability. It’s the insurance billing, Medicare billing, and the big medical companies. They don’t have any incentive to treat people with disabilities as human beings. Quite the opposite. It’s a systemic problem, a very horrible serious one, in addition to this one guy being a jerk.

    • LibraryGeek says:

      @Liz Henry:
      @Rachacha above brought up this point as well. I was thinking the same thing as both of you. Companies that actually do all of their business via insurance and/or Medicare — and provide equipment that is a necessity have no incentive to provide good customer service :(
      In other words, this guy is a class A toad just looking for an easy $

  41. Rachacha says:

    Perhaps the rod from the linear motor that is used to raise the lift assist chars went through the seat cushion and got stuck in his @$$.

  42. Anonymous says:

    What makes the Med-Lift chair frame so strong?

    Med-Lift uses solid Oak for their frames. Every joint is glued and stapled. Our seat and back frame is a one-piece C&C Routed design. Med-Lift’s Uni-Construction seat/back assembly is the strongest available in any lift chair.

    Their description is just too funny. Unbreakable staples?! I should note, also, that it is typically referred to as a CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled ) Router. Maybe this company has a couple guys named Chester and Chuck who do all this handcrated routing.

    I was hoping that Jansen came up with this information, but it looks to be parroted from Med-Lifts website.

  43. Mondoz says:

    From their FAQ:

    [www.jansenmedical.net]

    # Toll FREE Customer Service : We offer toll free Customer Service to answer your questions. Call us at (888) 896-4050.

    It seems that answering questions is NOT what this phone number is for at all.

  44. phatch says:

    The comment analogy is that I would comment on this, but I don’t make comments.

  45. pwillow1 says:

    From the Jansen Medical Supply website:

    “As an attorney, Mr. Jansen has, among other things, defended manufacturers of medical devices and pharmaceutical products, as well as having defended orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiologists against medical malpractice claims.

    All of our employees ascribe to the same values as its founder – honesty, integrity, quality, and customer service are their highest priorities. We treat each of our customers as if they were members of our own families.”

  46. HogwartsAlum says:

    “…chairs that automatically dump grandma on the floor when it’s time for her to leave.”

    That was FUNNY.

  47. SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

    my mom needs a beach chair version of those recliners

  48. YarrrSquiddy says:

    Misanthropist customer service agents for the win >_<

  49. David Brodbeck says:

    When I was in college I had the same number as a frat house, except their phone number was on a new exchange and mine was on the old one. People would constantly dial my number by mistake because they were used to the old exchange prefix. I got really sick of drunk people asking me for rides.

  50. MyPetFly says:

    In case anyone is interested in emailing Jeffrey directly, here you go:

    jansenmedical@earthlink.net

  51. Dave says:

    Considering their BBB rating is an F and very similar complaints about an extremely rude customer service individual, this is the normal operating procedure for the company.

    [www.bbb.org]
    [www.epinions.com]
    [www.complaints.com]

  52. PAConsumerist says:

    Funniest…comment…ever!

  53. sam1am says:

    This reminds me of how some local hackers somehow got ahold of the telephone number to a local movie theater. People would call in for movie times and pretty much every call would go like this.

    [www.phonelosers.org]

  54. Beth says:

    Wow, something very similar happened to me today. It was so rude and out of the ordinary I did a search on Jansen Medical. Here is what I discovered…there are complaints all over the net about this angry rude man. I checked with BBB and they have an F rating, the lowest I have ever seen. It is so tempting to keep placing really small orders and tortue the guy. But that would be wrong-right?