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Sunday
Feb222009

Learning from Sciton

I'm not sure how long Sciton's been in the forums or if they just found the Sciton Anyone forum thread but it's nice to see that at least one of the IPL & Laser companies is willing to respond to a forum discusson.

Palomar, Cutera, Lumenis and everyone else would be welcome.

Reader Comments (9)

Jeff,

We've been watching for awhile. Fortunately, most of the content up to this time has been positive. We are very proud of our reputation on this site. With all of the talk about poor response from other manufacturers, it seemed appropriate to be sure that our customers (future and existing) know we are listening and actually want to participate. The forum you have set up is very unique and incredibly beneficial. We look forward to being an active participant.

Thanks,

Doug Carrow
Director of Sales Development

@Doug,
Welcome. Happy to have Sciton on board. I'd guess that the fact that there's frank discussion that can't be controlled and is fairly often negative scares a lot of companies. But, the best defense is always a good offense and while comments may be negative, if the response is measured and fair, the end result is actually a positive for those reading the exchange. Interaction in this type of forum denotes a company that's listening to its customers in addition to trying to sell to them. I'm sure that all the Sciton users, and potential customers, welcome your active participation as well.

Read your comment again. I just might use that somewhere.

When a company has lasers that work, good training and excellent support, they have nothing to fear from this blogging. There are, in fact, many benefits to be gained which includes laser sales and postivie word of mouth. It looks like Sciton might be this type of company.

When a company has lasers that do not work very well (Cutera) or they have inferior support (Lumenis), then there might be trouble for them. My suggestion is that a) if you have lasers that don't work (Cutera) you are in big trouble, better make better lasers or b) if you are a company with good lasers but bad support (Lumenis), you had better start listening to your customers and improve your training and support (this may not happen with Lumenis because their top executives "just don't get it". Lumenis will be a good company again when their executives "change" or "are changed"). (see the Lumenis threads - "The SKoop, etc).

I am very impressed with Sciton for jumping into the mix with us. I have the BBL (IPL) and it is great. The support is also way above average. They are looking to be the premier laser company and I think with this type of attitude, they have a good shot.

I have the UltraPulse and the Glass Erbium Fraxel and I am anxious to learn more about Sciton's Fractional Erbium called the ProFractional. Maybe it is better than the UltraPulse.

Good points Dr. Epstein. I've been happy enough with Palomar ; ) but I'm becoming more impressed with what I'm learning about Sciton. Hmmmmm.

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@Doug
I recently attempted to purchase a Sciton Joule mostly due to positive reviews on this website. My local rep was very helpful, and it appeared as though the company was very reputable. They did send me to training for EVLA and all appear to be going well.

What happened next was not so positive. Because I was in a time crunch to get my new office open, I signed a contract for a round $211,000 and put $10,000 down. It was very important for me to get a loan approval prior to the end of the year for a tax deduction. Without the tax deduction I was not going to be able to afford such a big purchase. I was told that I needed to sign a contract in order for them to "build me" the laser so it would be available to me prior to the end of the year. The local rep assured me to my face in my kitchen that Sciton wasn't about to "take my money" if I was unable to secure a loan. He assured me, however, that he already went over my financials with the bank and I was preapproved (I would only need to finalize the paperwork). Unfortunately, at the last minute the bank told me that they were no longer giving loans for "startup" practices. I was then left scrambling in the last several weeks prior to the end of the year with several different banks in an attempt to secure a loan. Unfortunately, the only leasing company that would offer me alone had terrible terms (had to pay it back in several years at ~26% interest).

Since I was unable to secure the loan, just prior to the end of the year I went ahead and bought a used Sciton. My local rep went ballistic and was very unprofessional. He then told me that although he told me I would get my money back, he was not the one in charge and he was told by his "higher-ups" that they would not give my security deposit back ($10,000). I made several phone calls with the "higher-ups" and received the same answer. They said that because they had to build the laser just for me that they were unable to return my money. Actually, I only asked for $7500 back because the invested $2500 in my training. It didn't matter. After multiple diplomatic phone calls with no results, I finally threatened to sue them. I was told "good luck with your suit".

This is unbelievable to me. I receive nothing except for the training which I am willing to pay for! It has completely ruined my respect for the company. I cannot believe that a company in these bad times would risk its reputation by "stealing" my money. The rep that I bought my used laser from was a rep with Sciton for six years. He knows of several other physicians that this has happened to. He tells me that it is absolutely not true that they built my laser prior to having a purchase order from a bank. He has three other former Sciton reps who are willing to sign affidavits for me saying the same. I really do not like lawsuits, but I feel at this point I have no other option. I would rather give $10,000 to my lawyer then Sciton, and that is saying a lot!

I still believe that Sciton has a great laser, and my used one is working great! I think the management, however, has some serious problems. I think it is important for everyone who reads this to make sure they have secured financing before they put any money down. Don't believe them when they say they need to have money up front to "build your laser". If it looks like it may be too costly, buy a used one. There are many to be had for less than half the cost of a new one.

Sincerely,
David Smith, MD

04.7 | Registered CommenterDS

Dr. Smith,

I welcome an opportunity to speak with you directly to see if we can find an amicable resolution. I want you to know that I have put hours into researching your complaint.

However, I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to have a public discussion on the personal and financial details of your transaction on this blog. In addition to treading on policies protecting customer financial information, it just doesn’t feel right. I am happy to discuss the use of our lasers and light in medicine publicly and I believe that is the best use of this forum

We would like to please all of our customers all of the time. We try really hard to do that. Obviously we have not pleased you and I am sorry for that.

While we currently have differing opinions on this particular situation, I want to thank you for the kind words regarding our equipment.

Please see my contact information below. I would like to talk to you directly about the options available for resolution if you are still interested.


Doug Carrow
Director of Sales Development

doug.carrow@sciton.com

Sciton, Inc.
925 Commercial St.
Palo Alto, CA 94303

Doug. I would be happy to call you, but I do not have your phone number. Could you leave it here or email me. My email address is available through this website.

Sincerely,

David Smith, MD

04.20 | Registered CommenterDS

This is a quick update for all of you who have been following this post.

I am happy to say that after talking with Doug Carrow, the Director of Sales Development at Sciton, he totally "went to bat" for me and talked to the necessary people at Sciton who have agreed to return my deposit minus the monies spent on my training which is totally appropriate and all that I could ask for.

In all fairness to Sciton, I am not sure that the full details were ever clearly presented or at least understood by the decision makers. Thanks to Doug, he spent the necessary time to get to the bottom of it and present my case. My confidence in Sciton has been renewed and I hope to continue do engage in business with them in the future.

Thank you Doug!

David G. Smith, MD

05.4 | Registered CommenterDS

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