A Brookfield medical manufacturing company has cut contact with customers as it faces supply-chain issues and numerous unfulfilled orders.
InControl Medical, founded in 2010, designs and manufactures products that help with bladder leakage and incontinence. Earlier this year, customers began reporting that items they had purchased on the company website never arrived, despite InControl charging them for the products.
A Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection spokesperson told the Journal Sentinel it could not comment on whether it was investigating the company. The agency did confirm it has received 28 complaints regarding the firm, all filed this year.
The Better Business Bureau has placed an alert on InControl Medical, saying it has received 235 complaints against the company in the past 12 months. “Complaints involve unfulfilled orders and have, so far, been unanswered by the company,” the firm’s BBB profile states.
Gus Torres ordered two Attain devices in February from InControl Medical for his wife, a 73-year-old stroke victim who suffers from incontinence and dementia. Attain is promoted as a solution for bladder leakage and is one of three products that InControl sells. At-home treatments like InControl’s are often marketed as alternatives to surgery, medications or a catheter.
Attain is FDA-approved, and the company’s website advertises that the cost can be covered by Medicare.
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The California couple paid $698 and was told that delivery would take four months, but the item did not arrive.
“My wife, she’s kind of desperate. So we thought, let’s try this thing. We’ll wait. We’ll do anything,” Torres said.
I reached out in March to inquire into the status of his order. According to emails Torres shared with the Journal Sentinel, a billing associate with the company responded, stating that InControl was still processing orders from October 2021. She informed Torres that his order would be shipped in three to four months.
In May, InControl sent out a mass email to customers informing them that it had been “severely let down” by their vendors, which had caused them to halt production. They added that they anticipated to have alternatives to their current vendors secured in two weeks and would begin assembling orders shortly.
“We would be more than happy to return your money if you no longer wish to wait, but please remember that you are (at) the beginning of the line,” the email said. “If you change your mind, you will have to reorder, and the wait list is currently extremely long.”
It is unclear if any refunds were issued. InControl’s Google business profile and BBB page show dozens of reviews by customers, including those who have struggled to dispute the charges with their credit card companies due to the amount of time that has passed since their original transactions.
The Journal Sentinel was unable to contact an InControl representative. The company’s phone number is disconnected, and emails to the firm were returned undelivered.
In July, InControl marked all products as out of stock on its website. Although it is unclear why InControl has not delivered its products as promised, supply-chain disruptions have hit the broader medical-device industry.
InControl’s Facebook profile is active, allowing consumers to continue airing grievances. “Lies!!!!!!!!” a user wrote. Another said, “I’m just now realizing that this is a total-garbage-scam.”
Torres said in an interview that he considered hiring a lawyer but didn’t want to spend more money on the problem. “We just want our money back,” he said.
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