Free Meter Offers: Are They Really Free?

Recently one of the blogs that I follow (A Girl and Her Reflections) talked about a new Bionime meter that she received from her pharmacist. I had never heard of Bionime so I Googled it. Although I really love my AccuChek Aviva, if there is something better out there, I am willing to try it out.

I landed on the Bionime website and they have a slideshow at the top of the webpage. One of the first things that I saw was, “For people who care about accuracy.” That is me – I care very much about accuracy. The next thing I saw was:

Free Rightest Meter and Starter Kit

Click here to see if you qualify

So, I clicked.

When I got to the next screen, at the top of the page, this is what I saw:

Kelly Booth picture of Bionime website

They wanted me to answer some questions to see if I qualified. No problem, I answered the questions. When I got down to the bottom of the questions, they had a bunch of legal-ease stuff.

Kelly Booth picture of Bionime website

The print is tiny and hard to read. I guess Bionime doesn’t realize that there are a lot of diabetics that don’t have the best vision – and I think mine is pretty good compared to what a lot of other people have. I tried reading the first line and had to strain my eyes to see so I just submitted the form.

Last Friday, my phone rang and it was some supply company in Ohio calling about the free offer for the Bionime meter. In order to get the meter, I had to buy test strips. How is that free?

After the phone call, I went back to the Bionime website and copied the legal ease stuff at the bottom into Word so I could actually read it. On line 5 of that stuff, they had “Free meters are provided in conjunction with test strip fulfillment.” If I have to buy something, that is not really free. If they had they put “free with purchase” at the top of the page in a print size that I could actually read, I would not have filled out the form and wasted my time or the time of a supply company. It might be the best meter out there, but since I have been burned in the past, I am not willing to put out money to try it.

And yes, even with insurance coverage, I would have to put out money. If I end up with test strips that don’t work, I would have to return the strips and wait for a credit to be processed with my insurance company before I can get different strips – I have been down that road before! I test my blood sugar 18 times a day and go thru a box of 50 test strips in 2.8 days. How many boxes of strips would I have to buy out of pocket until the supply company received the test strips back, the insurance company processed the credit and Aviva strips could be sent out to me?

When I wrote the July Blog Carnival article on Medical Devices, I linked a study on glucose meters. That link was actually on Bionime’s website and two of the Bionime meters rated extremely well. I did not realize that paper was on Bionime’s website until I started writing this article. The Aviva meter that I use also rates up there, but I have seen plenty of people say that the Aviva reads high for them. Aviva doesn’t read high for me and it always within a couple points when I compare it to a lab blood draw, but that is me. Other people love their One Touch meters and when I was using my Animas Ping, I did not use the meter portion of the pump because One Touch strips read high for me. I did not buy any One Touch strips, I only used the 10 free ones that came with the pump.

I think we are all different when it comes to meters and just because something reads OK for me, doesn’t mean it will read OK for someone else. I need a meter that I know works for me, regardless of how it rates for other people. I am not willing to spend money to find out of if something is better or not – I have been burned too many times in the past. Please don’t tell me something is free when it is going to cost me!
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4 thoughts on “Free Meter Offers: Are They Really Free?

  1. Paying for strips in order to get a meter does not make it free I completely agree. The Bionime GM100 comes with 10strips in Canada so no need to buy strips in order to try the meter. I believe it is currently the only one that comes with strips.

    Forcing us to buy strips will only serve to deter us from trying and maybe becoming their customers. It is a bad move on their part

    My pharmacist did mention that the major brands stop putting the 5 or 10 strips that use to come with meters to stop consumers from just jumping from one free meter to another.

    • I agree that it is only going to deter us from trying it. I switched to my Aviva because they had a free offer. I heard some of the companies were making it harder to get the free meters, but I did not realize that they stopped putting those few strips in them.

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