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scam orthotics?

Posted by Brian G C Ped on 3/08/01 at 20:24 (040831)

I dont make it a habit to post negative comments about other folks products/work, but in this case I feel it is appropriate. In my are there are people going to the big home and garden shows, camper shows, etc. They are selling inserts and presenting them as 'custom'.

The reason I am posting this info is I have seen probably 4 elderly pt ripped off on this scam. They use a microphone to attract pt. I have heard they give medical 'advice' i.e. diagnoses, even telling pt that are scheduled for surgery to 'not do it, and buy these'. The company is based out of Texas?. the name sounds like alsner.

I am all for foot support and proper shoes, the problem I have is the are takinf harris mat imprints (ink pad) and saying they will ship them to the pt in a week or two. The problem is twofold. One they are prefabricated, the size is stamped on the bottom. Two the are charging approx $217 a pair. THIS IS WRONG.

The device is 3/4 injection molded, fray plastic. They have a slight met pad and little to no heel cup. There is also a honeycomp type area on the bottom. As most practitioners on here would agree, some prefabs are very useful, but at over $200 a pair and evaluated and fit by a carnival barker it is a scam. I was curious if these have been seen by any other folks on here

Re: scam orthotics?

Valerie Se on 3/08/01 at 23:34 (040845)

I just returned my 'custom' orthotics to my podiatrist today. I have been wearing Birkenstock shoes for the last 10 years and developed heel pain diagnosed as plantar fascitis 6 months ago. Upon receiving these orthotics (at the tune of $280), I thought the same thing. My name appears on the sticker on the bottom, but there is no arch support. I called my doctor when I had no relief after 2 weeks; at the 4 week mark on my followup visit, he put some felt cushions in the arch area. I wore these for a week, and he is now sending the orthotics back for adjustments. I waited 5 weeks for them to make these for me, and my Birkenstocks provide much better support. My doctor didn't come right out and say they were wrong, but did say that he has sent back a few pair lately.

I still have had no relief.

Re: scam orthotics?

Richard, C.Ped on 3/09/01 at 07:34 (040863)

Hi Brian,
I don't think it is bad at all to post the truth. Sometimes it means you will get 'slammed' by a few, but as C.Peds, it is our job to do what is right for the patient. That is why I am in it. If you saw my checkbook, you would know that I am not in it for the money. :-)

Anyway, I agree with you. I don't know of a company whose name sounds like that, but I do work for different dialysis centers around town and I run into almost the same thing. I hear about people that work for different DME companies going around and providing diabetic shoes and insoles. Most of the dialysis patients tell me that they were provided custom inserts. When I look at their shoes, they are almost always the 'otc' type diabetic insoles. The people that provide these shoes and inserts only have a short training session with a sales person. They are not even certified. This burns me up.

Granted, those gel/plastazote inserts (I am sure you know who I am referring to) provide wonderful cushion, but they are not custom. I have seen many patients that needed off loading of very high pressure areas and they are given these and told that since the plastazote will form better with the heat from their foot, it is custom. :-(~

You know, there is a huge home and garden show here this weekend. I was toying with the idea of going anyway. I think I just might go and keep my eye out.

Richard, C.Ped

Re: scam orthotics?

Richard, C.Ped on 3/12/01 at 07:31 (041133)

Well I went to the huge home and garden show just itching to catch these guys. Oh well, no sign of them. Came away with some cool wallpaper for the baby's room though.
Richard

Re: scam orthotics?

CatherineL on 3/15/01 at 11:18 (041555)

I was at a home and garden show in Winnipeg, Manitoba on the weekend and they had similar orthotics there as well! They were white plastic material, bumpy, somewhat flexible, 3/4 length.

They were selling them by saying that instead of casting to make and orthotic to fit a foot that has problems, they sell you precasted orthotics that have PROPER balance!

What a load!

That make as much sense as putting everyone in the same size shoes with the idea their foot will conform.

Unfortunately, they had people there who were interested.

CL

Re: scam orthotics?

Richard, C.Ped on 3/16/01 at 07:54 (041614)

Hi Catherine,
Did you say anything to either the customers or the vendor? Did you happen to get the name of the company?

At our home and garden show, I was actually disappointed because they were not there. I was ready for a good confrontation. I have seen some different displays and such in the past. Even in some local shoe stores. I don't usually start the conversation. I usually overhear the sales person tell the customer things that I find questionable or farfetched. I like to act like I am a customer with a diabetic grandmother (she really is) and looking for help. It is hard to listen to some of the crap with a straight face. It gets really funny when you listen to what they have to say, then start speaking in all the medical terms. Their smile usually drops very quickly.

I'm going to get my butt kicked one day. I told you guys that I love what I do and I enjoy helping people. :-)
Richard

Re: scam orthotics?

CatherineL on 3/16/01 at 15:01 (041630)

I didn't catch the name of the place or what thier charging to rip people off.

Like you, I was in the background listening to their spiel.

Catherine

Re: scam orthotics?

bg cped on 3/22/01 at 11:20 (042189)

the name is alzner orthotics. they are sold like amway

Re: scam orthotics?

Richard, C.Ped on 3/22/01 at 15:13 (042218)

Man, that just chaps my hide..
Richard

Re: scam orthotics?

Andy Abad on 3/23/01 at hrmin (042290)

Hi folks,
i just read your statements about this Alzner orthotics. My wife suffers from pf and we were on our way out to go purchase the Alzner insert. We saw the ad on tv and decided to give it a try, fortunately I was able to view your postings. If you have any advice on orthotics please let us know.
Again thank you for the info.

Re: scam orthotics?

bg cped on 3/24/01 at 13:05 (042335)

AGAIN, it was not my intent to 'rip on' the alzner device. It is ok for a pre-fab. I am sure some folks would feel better than the stock insert. The problem I have is that the price (over $200) for a pre made device is outrageous, regarless of who, what, and where they are purchased from.

I over heard one of the guys selling them talking to a local elderly woman. She was booked for surgury for severe pronated feet. This yahoo was telling her 'dont get surgery, tell the doc to forget it, buy these and your feet, back, and knee will feel great. In my opinion the guy should be horse whipped and sued for practicing medicine w/o a liscence.

I would call around and check with some c ped s etc. call a few foot doctors. ....good luck

Re: scam orthotics?

maryr on 5/09/01 at 19:25 (047245)

I got some of those orthotics and a pair of shoes from one of their stores. I am heavy and have flat, wide feet that swell...but no real medical treatment necessary. I had seen the commercial. Then, when I was on my feet a bit much at work for a while and having a hard time the latter part of the day, I figured I had best get something. I had seen nothing else around...had looked...but went over and got a pair of shoes and a set of these orthotics. They are a flesh colored plastic or vinyl with steel inside. I agree they are over priced, as were the shoes. But they do help and the shoes fit...I have an extremely difficult time around here finding shoes that are wide and comfortable and also fit and I can wear to work in a corporate environment.

Yes, the price was outrageous...but I did not find an alternative.
I do agree that they should not give any medical advice or advise anyone not to seek treatment. I did not hear anyone do that when I went to their store...which is about 45 minutes from where I live in the S.F. Bay area. It was a small store, open 7 days a week, and always busy. Lots of people have some kind of foot problems or flat feet and their feet hurt and they need something for work.

If anyone finds something better for less, please let me know. I am open.

Did enjoy these accounts and also the advice of the ped.

mary

Re: scam orthotics?

Valerie Se on 3/08/01 at 23:34 (040845)

I just returned my 'custom' orthotics to my podiatrist today. I have been wearing Birkenstock shoes for the last 10 years and developed heel pain diagnosed as plantar fascitis 6 months ago. Upon receiving these orthotics (at the tune of $280), I thought the same thing. My name appears on the sticker on the bottom, but there is no arch support. I called my doctor when I had no relief after 2 weeks; at the 4 week mark on my followup visit, he put some felt cushions in the arch area. I wore these for a week, and he is now sending the orthotics back for adjustments. I waited 5 weeks for them to make these for me, and my Birkenstocks provide much better support. My doctor didn't come right out and say they were wrong, but did say that he has sent back a few pair lately.

I still have had no relief.

Re: scam orthotics?

Richard, C.Ped on 3/09/01 at 07:34 (040863)

Hi Brian,
I don't think it is bad at all to post the truth. Sometimes it means you will get 'slammed' by a few, but as C.Peds, it is our job to do what is right for the patient. That is why I am in it. If you saw my checkbook, you would know that I am not in it for the money. :-)

Anyway, I agree with you. I don't know of a company whose name sounds like that, but I do work for different dialysis centers around town and I run into almost the same thing. I hear about people that work for different DME companies going around and providing diabetic shoes and insoles. Most of the dialysis patients tell me that they were provided custom inserts. When I look at their shoes, they are almost always the 'otc' type diabetic insoles. The people that provide these shoes and inserts only have a short training session with a sales person. They are not even certified. This burns me up.

Granted, those gel/plastazote inserts (I am sure you know who I am referring to) provide wonderful cushion, but they are not custom. I have seen many patients that needed off loading of very high pressure areas and they are given these and told that since the plastazote will form better with the heat from their foot, it is custom. :-(~

You know, there is a huge home and garden show here this weekend. I was toying with the idea of going anyway. I think I just might go and keep my eye out.

Richard, C.Ped

Re: scam orthotics?

Richard, C.Ped on 3/12/01 at 07:31 (041133)

Well I went to the huge home and garden show just itching to catch these guys. Oh well, no sign of them. Came away with some cool wallpaper for the baby's room though.
Richard

Re: scam orthotics?

CatherineL on 3/15/01 at 11:18 (041555)

I was at a home and garden show in Winnipeg, Manitoba on the weekend and they had similar orthotics there as well! They were white plastic material, bumpy, somewhat flexible, 3/4 length.

They were selling them by saying that instead of casting to make and orthotic to fit a foot that has problems, they sell you precasted orthotics that have PROPER balance!

What a load!

That make as much sense as putting everyone in the same size shoes with the idea their foot will conform.

Unfortunately, they had people there who were interested.

CL

Re: scam orthotics?

Richard, C.Ped on 3/16/01 at 07:54 (041614)

Hi Catherine,
Did you say anything to either the customers or the vendor? Did you happen to get the name of the company?

At our home and garden show, I was actually disappointed because they were not there. I was ready for a good confrontation. I have seen some different displays and such in the past. Even in some local shoe stores. I don't usually start the conversation. I usually overhear the sales person tell the customer things that I find questionable or farfetched. I like to act like I am a customer with a diabetic grandmother (she really is) and looking for help. It is hard to listen to some of the crap with a straight face. It gets really funny when you listen to what they have to say, then start speaking in all the medical terms. Their smile usually drops very quickly.

I'm going to get my butt kicked one day. I told you guys that I love what I do and I enjoy helping people. :-)
Richard

Re: scam orthotics?

CatherineL on 3/16/01 at 15:01 (041630)

I didn't catch the name of the place or what thier charging to rip people off.

Like you, I was in the background listening to their spiel.

Catherine

Re: scam orthotics?

bg cped on 3/22/01 at 11:20 (042189)

the name is alzner orthotics. they are sold like amway

Re: scam orthotics?

Richard, C.Ped on 3/22/01 at 15:13 (042218)

Man, that just chaps my hide..
Richard

Re: scam orthotics?

Andy Abad on 3/23/01 at hrmin (042290)

Hi folks,
i just read your statements about this Alzner orthotics. My wife suffers from pf and we were on our way out to go purchase the Alzner insert. We saw the ad on tv and decided to give it a try, fortunately I was able to view your postings. If you have any advice on orthotics please let us know.
Again thank you for the info.

Re: scam orthotics?

bg cped on 3/24/01 at 13:05 (042335)

AGAIN, it was not my intent to 'rip on' the alzner device. It is ok for a pre-fab. I am sure some folks would feel better than the stock insert. The problem I have is that the price (over $200) for a pre made device is outrageous, regarless of who, what, and where they are purchased from.

I over heard one of the guys selling them talking to a local elderly woman. She was booked for surgury for severe pronated feet. This yahoo was telling her 'dont get surgery, tell the doc to forget it, buy these and your feet, back, and knee will feel great. In my opinion the guy should be horse whipped and sued for practicing medicine w/o a liscence.

I would call around and check with some c ped s etc. call a few foot doctors. ....good luck

Re: scam orthotics?

maryr on 5/09/01 at 19:25 (047245)

I got some of those orthotics and a pair of shoes from one of their stores. I am heavy and have flat, wide feet that swell...but no real medical treatment necessary. I had seen the commercial. Then, when I was on my feet a bit much at work for a while and having a hard time the latter part of the day, I figured I had best get something. I had seen nothing else around...had looked...but went over and got a pair of shoes and a set of these orthotics. They are a flesh colored plastic or vinyl with steel inside. I agree they are over priced, as were the shoes. But they do help and the shoes fit...I have an extremely difficult time around here finding shoes that are wide and comfortable and also fit and I can wear to work in a corporate environment.

Yes, the price was outrageous...but I did not find an alternative.
I do agree that they should not give any medical advice or advise anyone not to seek treatment. I did not hear anyone do that when I went to their store...which is about 45 minutes from where I live in the S.F. Bay area. It was a small store, open 7 days a week, and always busy. Lots of people have some kind of foot problems or flat feet and their feet hurt and they need something for work.

If anyone finds something better for less, please let me know. I am open.

Did enjoy these accounts and also the advice of the ped.

mary