Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Letter to Avent, Makers of the Avent Isis Duo and Uno Breast Pumps

Avent Products I use: I use EVERYTHING by Avent. Isis IQ Uno, Isis IQ Duo, Avent Tempo Nursers, Avent bottles, Avent breastmilk storage system (for freezing), Avent Microsteam Sterilizer, Avent Pacifiers, Avent breast pads.

Features I like: I love the pump bag for the Duo. I like the ability to change the suction rate to encourage letdown and make the pumping more like nursing my baby.

Features I Dislike: I dislike how I have to lean forward to prevent milk from flowing backwards between the massage cushion and the pump horn. If you lean forward, you get backaches, and if you don't, you leak/lose milk.

I HATE the fact that I can't purchase an extra set of horns/massage cushions. I think this is the most disappointing thing of all. Every other pump manufacturer offers this ability, and even different sized horns. I would love to have an extra set, right now I have to pump at 10:30pm before bed, and have to stay up an extra 20-30 minutes to wash the pump parts and sterilize them so that I can take them to work the next day. An extra set of pump parts would save me lots of time and get more sleep for me. This is very important as a working mom.

I dislike that the Isis DUO seems to have higher suction on the side with the control handle, and this issue is discussed by many users of the pump in online forums, and everyone who calls the Avent 800 number is told that this is "not true" but when they attempt to troubleshoot they can't fix the issue. It is very easy to see that when many moms see the same issue, it isn't a fluke.

I dislike that you can't see the power light when the pump is inside the pump bag. That is a bizarre design. I dislike that the pump horns are top-heavy and therefore empty bottles tip over if you try to set them upright. I dislike that the pump can't be used handsfree because the massage cushions prevent full on suction, and even with a handsfree bra, the suction isn't right or the angle of the pump horns causes the leakage back between the massage cushions as mentioned above.

Suggestions for Improvement: I am not a huge fan of calling your support line. The people who answer your calls appear to have no breastfeeding or pumping experience, and that frustrates me to no end. They had never heard of boiling the silicone pump parts to shrink them back to "normal" and increase suction. This is something that is widespread information on the internet regarding the Avent pumps, and listed on Kellymom, but your staff knows nothing about it. These types of things frustrate me. It also frustrates me that when I call they can give me no information about when and if replacement parts might be available. From the three calls that I have made, I frequently felt that they were reading the troubleshooting from a script, and not stating anything from memory and experience, which leads me to believe that I have as much or more knowledge about the products than they do.... this is not a good feeling and prevents me from being confident in your support.

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