Okay, so I spoke with Niki and all my questions have been put to rest.
I’ve been told that ‘Tara’ the girl I spoke to at the first stage of the process no longer works at Slimband. Thank goodness! It certainly doesn’t help their image any to have people like that on the other end! But it also confirms my suspicions that the Slimband team keeps their eyes on the prize and watch these forums for any problems with current and potential clients. So keep that in mind when you’re posting!
I’ve also been made aware of a few internal changes happing with Slimband in terms of their information packages and the schedule for receiving this information. Apparently, I will receive one binder by FedEx before surgery and one binder with post-op info after surgery. That’s great news!!
Finally, Niki also said she would do her best to make sure Dr Yau is there for me on Friday. That being said, I’m not sure how that can be guaranteed but I’m taking her word for it and I’m confident in her so I think it will be fine.
One thing I’d also like to add is that Niki is a fountain of information. And like most consultants she prefers to express herself over the phone. And she’s great at it! As soon as I spoke to her I had all the answers I needed and I felt pretty relieved. She comes across as a VERY warm person and even did so under the pressure of my big mouth so kudos to her for that.
I guess this is a lesson for me in patience. I’m super excited about my surgery on Friday and can’t wait to meet the team.
Wangpangtang, I would recommend you do go with Slimband but only if it works for you. Do your own research (as it appears you are right now) and I’m sure you’ll find the best solution for you. That being said, you’re almost always going to find someone who isn’t happy with the clinic you’re considering. Don’t let that stop you from considering them because perhaps that person just didn’t have a Niki. And perhaps that person doesn’t post the good stuff as well as the bad, like me. Most people don’t.
Good luck with your journey! And I hope things work out. Feel free to PM me if you’d like more updates on my progress.
I never did receive the ‘pre-op binder’ they mentioned…
Heard back from Niki at Slimband today (via email) with some answers to my questions. Very polite and cheerful as per most of her messages. I’ve been told that two surgeons work on the day that I’m having my surgery and that she’ll make a note that I prefer Dr Yau. This surprises me…shouldn’t I simply be given the surgeon I request if he is available and willing to do it??
Strange…I think I’ve got some more paperwork to hand in. I’ve just been asked by email to give Niki a call back. Will keep you posted!
Thanks to everyone for the support so far! 😮 And I hope this gives you some answers wangpangtang!
I’ve been using LapBandTalk.com as a resource for gathering information on LAP-BAND® surgery. A member of the forum asked for information on Slimband in Toronto. Since this is the clinic I’ve been dealing with, I wanted to add my post to this blog.
This is my reply to wanpangtang’s query:
I’m in the process of booking my surgery with Slimband right now.My surgery is scheduled for April 16th and I’m really looking forward to it. So far my experience has been a bit of a roller coaster. It went like this:
1. First point of contact was with someone called Tara (I think). I’m not entirely sure what her name was but I’ll tell you now she was super pushy and VERY rude to me. I was debating between having my surgery in the UK (where I’d been living for the last 7 years) and having it done in Canada. She was so rude to me about choosing some ‘foreign’ doctor to do my surgery and tried to scare me into believing that NO canadian doctor would take care of me after I’d had surgery abroad. I explained to her that I already had a doctor lined up as a family member had their LAP-BAND® done abroad in January. She still didn’t believe me. She told me she’d never heard of any doctor willing to clean up some other doctor’s mess. VERY rude, very pushy and a complete liar. I was not impressed. BUT I wanted to know the cost and she wouldn’t tell me so I asked to speak to a ‘consultant’.
2. I spoke with a consultant called Niki. She’s actually the woman from the TV ads and on the website. She was completely different to my first point of contact. She was pleasant and listened to all of my questions and answered them to my satisfaction. She explained that even though I’m based in Ottawa, they have ‘outreach programs’ and a doctor in Ottawa that does fills/defills for Slimband. Well, it seems it’s the same doctor I was going to go to when I was thinking of getting my surgery in the UK. Anyway, Niki gave me plenty of information and helped me through the application process. That being said, when there was a delay with a fax I should have sent the sales person pressure came out of Niki as well. She pulled out classic sales tactics 101 and tried threats, fear, implying she did me a favour, and strict deadlines. I ended up sending her the information she was after and literally haven’t heard from her since.
3. Now, the thing that’s weird for me is that throughout Niki’s sales pitch I was told that Dr Patrick Yau had completed over 3500 surgeries and that the rest of the staff had completed nearly another 1500. I made it clear from the start that if I was going to go with Slimband I wanted Dr Yau. I’ve tried on multiple occasions to get confirmation that Dr Yau will be performing my surgery and even suggested that if he’s not available I’m prepared to wait and all communication has gone cold. No response.
4. I received the ‘services agreement’ and in the agreement it says that any member of their surgical staff that they deem suitable may perform my surgery. I wasn’t told THAT during the whole sales pitch!
5. The services agreement also outlines an ‘explanatory binder’ and a ‘surgery DVD’ that I should receive but I haven’t yet and when I’ve asked about it twice none of the contacts have provided an explanation.
6. I tried to join Myslimband.com and post questions and comments but for some reason I can’t post anywhere. I sent a message to Amy the administrator a couple of days ago and haven’t heard anything back. It seems pretty silly to me to have a ‘forum’ when only SOME people are allowed to be involved in the discussion.
So, here I am living in Ottawa awaiting a surgery from a COMPANY I’m not entirely sure I want to work with. All of their staff have told me to email them with questions or concerns and their website promotes their ‘support’ for their clients but since I’ve signed the $16,000 away, I haven’t really had ANY real answers to my questions.
I’m trying to be balanced here so I will say that I’ve had my blood work done and it has Dr Yau’s name on it but I wonder if any other Slimband patients have had his name on their forms and had their surgery done by another doctor. I’ve also got the pre-op diet information sheet which is easy to understand and follow. I’ve started today but I’ve got some questions and since non of the Slimband staff are replying to my emails and I don’t have any permissions in the Slimband forum I came here.
Not only am I nervous about this life-changing surgery and the $16,000 debt I’ve just agreed to I’m totally confused because I’ve got plenty more questions AND I don’t even know who my surgeon is going to be.
I’ve found some answers here so this forum has been a pretty big help. Keep looking around and you’ll find more answers yourself.
I don’t mean for this to discourage you or anyone else considering Slimband because when the contact silence finally ends I’m sure I’ll end up happier but I guess I just feel a bit trapped now when I should be feeling anticipation and some relief for the life change ahead of me.