Pugh is not the only mother complaining about the Naya pump. Several other women told CNBC their pump stopped working after a few months and received lackluster responses from customer service after repeated calls and messages.
Nancy Murphy from Alameda, Calif., was surprised to discover blood in her milk after using the pump. She later learned that she had burst a blood vessel because the vacuum setting was too high — a problem she’d had never had with the three other pumps she’d used. She switched to a Spectra pump after the incident and the problem didn’t occur again.
Another user, Cheryl Sew Hoy, bought the Naya when she was breastfeeding her first child because she wanted a high-quality pump to help her get back to work. Sew Hoy is an angel investor and advisor to start-ups. Given her background, she wanted support a fellow female founder.
But when she received her pump, the lights flashed once and then it stopped working entirely. She texted customer service every other day for months, and received an occasional response that they’d get back to her. But the company never sent her a replacement device.
The women all described the Naya as a major investment, as it’s an expensive pump compared to the alternatives including the Spectra (which retails around $160) and the Medela (as low as $199). Many of these pumps are considered hospital-grade and are covered by insurance.
The complaints extend to Naya’s Facebook page, which hasn’t been updated by the company since June. One woman wrote that month that the “pump stopped working and I’m desperate to be able to pump so I can go into work,” and another shared that hers was leaking water. One user wrote that she invested more than $1,000 into the pump and never got a response when it didn’t arrive.
The company’s Twitter account is protected, meaning nobody can see it unless they are approved by the account owner. On its Instagram, more women are sharing more complaints about problems with the pump in the comments section, including that they received “no response and no refund.” A Better Business Bureau listing for the company says it has received 23 complaints.
A Kickstarter page where Alvarez raised more than $100,000 for a new smart bottle is also filled with comments from users asking for an update on whether they’d ever receive them. There are no responses on the page for the last six months.