Other Company - HEARING AIDS-FUTURE-PROCUREMENT POTENTIAL

Like any Product or Service where exorbitant prices are charged, someone comes along to take advantage of the opportunity to make millions of dollars and destroy the monopolistic and exploitative practices.This is the future of the hearing aid industry.
With the introduction to what are called "Open Fit" hearing aids, the latest rage, and universal type ear molds, which don't require custom impressions and custom earmolds, and the existence of remote control devices, to not only raise and lower the volume level, but are use to change the programs of the hearing aid, which in effect provides a different hearing aid within the same case, it is possible and predicted, that hearing aids, with up to 20 different programs, which in essence is the same as providing 20 different frequency curves and different level outputs,could be sold in combination, over the counter in either Drug Stores such as CVS or Walgreens. Or could be made available in Electronic Stores such as BEST-BUY or Circuit City.
The hearing aid User would even need a hearing test.
They could just the program that provided the best hearing for them in different situations and environments, and then adjust the volume level to their own preference.
Such Hearing Aids could be manufactured in Low Cost Countries, such as China, where the majority of similar type products are already being made.
Such products could be sold for $200 to $300 dollars retail and probably provide a profit margin of over 80%.
It is not inconceivable that someone like Apple Comuters, MicroSoft, or some cell phone Manufacturer, could offer such a device in the near future.
When that occurs it will change the Hearing Aid Industry and be responsible for a tremendous drop in existing hearing aid prices.
Fitting hearing aids is not rocket science and is very conducive to the above observation.
Keep your eyes open , and also your ears.
Consumers will demand such a product, and where there is a demand, someone all fills it.


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Alsip Judge
Review #102511 is a subjective opinion of poster.

Other Company - PROGROMMABLE HEARING AIDS-ANALOG & DIGITAL

Ever since hearing aids have been manufatured, they have include potentiometers (Pots) which is another word for adjustment devices. They usually appeared as a screw head (arrow) either visible or invisible in the body (case) of the hearing aid.A very small (jewelers type) screwdriver was used to make the adjustment. The adjustment was intended to alter the current (voltage) or change resistence which altered the response curve of the hearing aid and thus the sound wave and how it was heard.
About 12 years ago, with the introduction of what are called "Programmable" hearing aids were introduced. At that time only Analog Signal Processing was available because of cost and size constraints.
These Hearing Aids were advertised as "DigitallyProgrammable" hearing aids in an attempt to exploit the use and association of the word "Digital" which was then, and is now, a very hot Buzz word in the World of Audio and Electronics.
A Computer replaced a Screwdriver and added a degree of technical knowledge and image sosphistication to the dispensing of hearing aid sales and dispensing.
Over time, features were added to the software used to program hearing aids which improved their performance.
About 10 years ago, Digital Signal Processing became available for use in hearing aids.
The Hearing Aid Manufacturers quickly adapted the chips and software to their own use, and promoted the finished products as "100% Digital Hearing Aids" which is inaccurate since the Microphones and Receivers (Speaker) used are still Analog, and have to be. All such labeled and identified hearing aids are actually HYBRIDS,because they use both Analog and Digital Components. It just sounds better to say 100% Digital for marketing purposes. Calling them 100% implies there are 90%,80%,70%,or some other degree of Digital Hearing Aids, which there aren't. There should be laws against such deception because obviously moral and ethical codes are ineffective.The incoming Analog Signal,produced by an Analog Microphone (the only kind there is) is converted to a Digital Signal through and A/D adapter,enters the DSP Chip, is processed and then converted by to Analog by an D/A adapter, and then is processed through an Analog Reciever (the only kind there is) and is heard by a human ear.
DSP is used because it is cheaper,faster,cleaner,and more accurate.
The use of Programmable Circuits, whether Analog or Digital, permits hundreds of adjustments to the performane of the electronic components within the hearing aid which affects the Response Curve and other Characteristics of the hearing aid and how the sound performs and how it is heard.
Analog linear hearing aids, used to sound terrible, and only those that really needed them would wear them. That is why a lot of them were kept in dresser drawers and not worn.They were responsible for the bad reputation of the quality of hearing aids.
The introduction of Digital Signal Processing, for hearing aid purposes, have made hearing aids, MORE TOLERABLE,MORE EFFECTIVE,IN MORE ENVIRONMENTS.
That is the primary advantage.
Everyone wants to sell Digital Hearing Aids because of the tremendous financial rewards, but once the aids are sold, and retained beyond the legal return privledge trial period, very often the People that sell them don't want to take the time programming the hearing aids to the satisfaction of the User. Sometimes as many as 10 office visits are required.
Make sure you have in writing how many office visits you will receive before buying the hearing aids, and find out if there will ever be a charge in the future for the Programming Service.
Since Digital Hearing Aids can be adjusted to hearing loss changes and desires forever, there may no need to ever buy hearing aids again.
Before you buy Digital Hearing Aids, be assured that such Hearing Aids can be programmed by any Independent Hearing Aid Office.
You buy a Private Labeled Hearing Aid such as Miracle-Ear,Beltone,NuEar,Audibel,Sonus,or HearX at your own risk. Buyer Beware.
If they are the only Offices that can service,repair,replace,or program the hearing aids, there is no compeition.
It is to the Consumers Disadvantage to buy such products.
Restricted Distribution is always to the detriment to the Consumer.


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Alsip Judge
Review #102510 is a subjective opinion of poster.

HEARING AID PRICING & COSTS

Less expensive hearing aids are now available to Hearing Aid Dealers and Dispensers. Its doesn't necessarily follow that such products will be made available to the Consumer.
A basic premise in business is to charge as much as you can get for the product you are selling. This holds true in the Hearing Aid Industry. At every level ,from manufacturing to retail selling.
The wholesale cost of a hearing aid to the Dealer from the Manufacturer depends on how many hearing aids are purchased by month by the Dealer, and what the product mix is.
The price of the hearing aids also depends on the technical options provided by the Electronics and the Software features. The more features, the higher the cost. Unlike a Car, or a Home, where optional items are usually visible, that is not the case with hearing aids. They talk about Channels and Bands, not to be associated with the number of channels avaiable with Cable TV,etc, the Channels referred to in a hearing aid pertain to sound frequencies, similiar to the various notes on a piano keyboard. A Group of keys (12 to an Octave) is a good analogy to a Channel in a hearing aid. Someone has determined that it is important to be able to alter the response curve (amplification and compression) of such a small area. The problem is that most hearing aid users can't tell the affect of making these changes.
If that is true, then such features are really not important and may exist just to justify the higher cost of the product.Another example is a feature called "Data Logging". This feature has existed in Digital Signal Processing in other applications of software and has been adapted for use in a hearing aid as another option. What it provides for is a record of the usage of the hearing aids in variouse programs provided by the hearing aid. In reality, who cares? That however, doesn't seem to be the point, because it does become a sales point and another justification for higher priced hearing aids.
Something every buyer of hearing aids should be aware of, is that the shell (in the case of custom made products) and the physical case of the BTE (Behind the ear model) are identical in appearence,and the only difference is in the micro-processor (chip) on the inside. The Manufacturers assigne a Name or Number to the different models, but the Consumer usually has no idea of what Model he is buying, or more importantly, what model he is actually getting and what pricing category that model falls into of the Manufacturers product line.
The most viable access to such information is on the hearing aid Manufacturers web site.BUYER BEWARE.
The cost of hearing aids is at an all time high,even to the Dispenser, but less expensive models are now available, and every Manufacturer realizes that not every Consumer, or Provider such as Employers and Untions, are willing to pay $3,000,$4,000,$5,000,$6,000 and up to $10,000 per hearing aid. Hearing aids are not Watches or other forms of Jewelry.
Hearing aids cost the Hearing Aid Dispenser from about $250, $350,$450,$550,$650,$750,$850,$950,$1050,$1150,and possibly up to $1500.
The Hearing Aid Dispenser, whether he is called a Medical Doctor,Audiologist,Dispenser,or Hearing Aid Dispenser, establishes the retail price he offers the Consumer. 3rd Party Pay Providers such as Medicaid or Employer Benefit Plans,Labor Unions,etc,will dictate how much they will pay, and it is a common practice to try and get the difference from the Consumer. Sometimes that practice is Illegal.
The time involved, from beginning to end, in obtaining a hearing aid, from the initial interview to the final programming session, over a period of perhaps 4 to 10 office visits, is usually no more than 4 hours.
If a Dispenser pays less than $750 each for 2 hearing aids and sells the pair for from $3,000 to $6,000 a pair, the profit is from $1,500 to $4,500 per sale.Hearing aids are being sold for more than $6,000 per pair that don't even cost $1,500

Do the math. Its not uncommon to make a profit of $3,000 to $5,000 on the sale of a pair of hearing aids.

That equals compensation of from $750 to $1500 per hour worked.

Thats more money than the top Criminal Attorney makes in Washington,D.C.

It is well worth a Consumers time, to educate themselves as much as possible about the products, and then shop for price and service.

Make sure everything is in writing, and check with the respective State regarding the laws,rules,and regulations, regarding the Dispensing of Hearing Aids.

Make sure you buy a product from a well established Manufacturer which provides a Nationwide Warranty Program that can be executed by any Independent Hearing Aid Dealer.

Obtain a copy of the Software necessary to the programming and adjustment of the respective hearing aids. This is so the Consumer can offer it to any participating Hearing Aid Dispenser throughout the United States.

If you consider buying a Private Label or Restricted Label Hearing Aid, such as Miracle-Ear,Beltone,NuEar,Audibel,Sonus,or HearX, remember you do it at your own risk.

The service is restricted and allows for no competition. When there is no competition, the Consumer is at the mercy of the Dealer, and usually there is no mercy shown.

Who benefits from Private or Restricted Label Hearing Aid Products? The Dealer, not the Consumer.
There are absolutely no benefits to the Consumer.

Find out what the Replacement Costs will be under the Loss & Damage Provision of the Warranty, and what the Repair Charges will be once the Hearing Aids are Out of Warranty.

And Who is allowed to participate and adjust and service the hearing aids?

These are very serious considerations.
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Alsip Judge
Review #102509 is a subjective opinion of poster.

HEARING AIDS: BTE vs ITE APPLICATION & USE

The latest rage and emphasis on fitting hearing aids, is what is called "Open Fittings".
What your first have to understand is that there is a Hearing Aid Religion and a Hearing Aid God. And each morning, those that subscribe to that religion,get up each morning and pray to their Hearing Aid God: God, Please help me sell new hearing aids today.
The primary goal for most people in the hearing aid industry, at every level, is to sell new hearing aids. To anyone,anywhere,any time. Period.
If the existing hearing aid user is wearing a custom made hearing aid, then they are told they need a BTE model(behind-the-ear). If they are using a BTE they are told they need an ITE (in-the-ear).
Since People that need and use hearing aids,are always looking for something better, (who wouldn't?) they are easy prey for unethical Hearing Aid Dispensers, whatever they call themself.
A Behind-the-ear, hearing aid, being larger in size, allows for more gain(power) than a Custom made hearing aid. Physical size,room considerations, dictate what electronic components can be installed inside either the custom made shell, or the case of the BTE hearing aid. The Behind-the-ear hearing aid usually uses a size 675 battery (blue tab) because it provides longer battery life than any other size. Usually People that need the power of a BTE need a battery that provides the longer battery life, otherwise they would be changing batteries every other day. The more severe the hearing loss, the bigger the hearing aid, the bigger the battery drain, the bigger the battery used in the manufacture of the hearing aid.
The biggest potential for hearing aid users are those that suffer from what is called a "High Frequency" hearing loss. Those People have normal hearing in the low frequencies, but have a loss in what is considered the high frequencies in audiology.
The hearing in the high frequencies is the area where the consonants are spoken,and those consonants form the words in the English language.If you can't tell the difference in the consonants, then the words don't make any sense.'
Think of a piano keyboard. There are 88 black and white keys on a standard keyboard. Middle C is the 40th keys from the left hand side. There are 12 keys to an octave. From middle C to the right are the remaining 48 keys. Thats 4 octaves. The first 2 octaves, 24 keys, to the right of middle C, in audiology are called the low frequency area, where all the vowels are spoken and heard, the last 24 keys on the right hand side of the keyboard (2 octaves- 12 keys per octave) are where all the consonants are spoken and heard. Most People have a hearing loss in the High Frequencies, the last 24 keys.
People that only have a high frequency hearing loss, when using a hearing aid, have always complained of feeling stuffed up, plugged, or under water. That is because they have normal hearing in the low frequencies.
The open fit designed hearing aids, with a dome type earmold, eliminates the stuffed up feeling.
Such fittings, always involve the use of what is called a behind the ear hearing aid.
Traditonally, those People with a high frequency hearing loss have always complained of feedback.
The feedback management systems provided in the latest Digital hearing aids have minimized or eliminated the feedback problems.
Custom made hearing aids, have always resulted in the high-frequency hearing loss users complaining of feeling stuffed up, plugged up, or under water.This is because they have normal hearing in the low frequencies.
The "Open-fit" hearing aids have resolved this problem.
The best "Open-Fit" hearing aids, with the most sophisticaed Digital Signal Processing, should cost more than $1495 each. That is the most expensive hearing aid produced by Companies such as Siemens,Rexton,Phonak,Viva-Tone,Sebo-tek,Resound,Unitron,Bernafon,Oticon,Widex,Electone,Starkey,Microtech,or anyone else.
For the most part, you never have to pay more than $1495 for the most sophistical hearing aid made.
Any more than that is extortion or a waste of money.
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Alsip Judge
Review #102508 is a subjective opinion of poster.

HEARING AID MAINTENANCE & DISPENSING OFFICE SERVICE

It is customary,ethical, and only moral, for any hearing aid office personnel, to ask anyone bringing in a hearing aid for repair service or maintenance, if the hearing aid is under any type of Warranty Protection. It doesn't make any difference if that specific office sold the applicable hearing aid or not.Legally, the Hearing Aid Office, is not required to ask that question, but all ethical offices do.
If the Client doesn't know whether the hearing aid is under any type of warranty protection, any ethical office personnel will then contact the Manufacturer of the subject hearing aid, and when divulging the serial number on the shell of the hearing aid, the Company will inform them of the Warranty Status.
If the hearing aid is under warranty,there are no charges sustained, other than the time of the submitting office.

Almost without exception, the hearing aid office will not impose any service charges for sending the hearing aid in for repair to the Manufacturer, since they have no expenses in the submission of the aid. The Courier or shipping charges are absorbed by the Manufacturer. The Hearing Aid Office, however, is not obligated to perform their service free, but most do as a courtesy to the Client.Usually, if the malfunctioning hearing aid can be repaired in the Office, by removing ear war,or adusting battery terminals,or replacing a battery door, the hearing aid office doesn't charge for their services. Most Hearing Aid Office don't charge for replacing tubing for earmolds.

Its called service.It is the responsibility of the Hearing Aid User, or their Representative, to assert their rights,and ask the Hearing Aid Office personnel, for a Warranty Card, and an explanation of what the Warranty provides and doesn't provide.

If the Consumer doesn't like what they hear, they should shop around.
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Alsip Judge
Review #102507 is a subjective opinion of poster.

HEARING AID WARRANTIES & EXTENDED WARRANTIES

New hearing aids are provided with warranties by the Manufacturer and those warranty provisions can usually be fulfilled by any Hearing Aid Office, anywhere in the world. The only companies that restrict the participation in the execution of the Warranty Provisions by any Hearing Aid Office, are those companies that Franchise their products, or restrict their participation by Private Label or Restricted Distribution. This is one of the reasons why Consumers should not buy Private Label products or Restricted Label products, such as Miracle-Ear, Beltone,NuEar,Audibel,Sonus,HearX,etc.
If the Consumer doesn't have the choice or selection, as to whom they want to do business with, then they are always at a disadvantage and at the mercy of the Hearing Aid Office and the Hearing Aid Dispenser. Freedom of Choice, and Competition, is always to the best interest of the Consumer.
New Hearing Aid Warranties, are provided by the Manufacturers, with usually at least two Provisions:
One Provision is called Loss & Damage Protection.
What this provides is for the replacement of a hearing aid if for any reason it disappears,is stolen,or damaged, for any reason, beyond repair.If the hearing aid is lost,or disappears, it is eligible to be replaced under the "Loss Provision". With the introduction of Digital Hearing Aids, the Manufacturers have now started charging a replacement fee for the hearing aids. Such fees vary, depending upon the Manufacturer, and the replacement cost to the Hearing Aid Dispenser is usually under $200 per hearing aid. It is a common practice for the Hearing Aid Dispenser to add a nominal amount to his replacement cost, to compensate for the time spent in executing the Loss Provision, which means the time spent in replacing the lost hearing aid, such as new impressions, fittings,and programming adjustments. Each Hearing Aid Office establishes their own Replacement Charges.If the "Lost" or "Damaged" hearing aid, is a Brand that can be replaced by any Hearing Aid Dispenser, in other words if it is not one of the Franchised or Restricted Brand Products. then the Consumer has the option of shopping for the best Replacement Price. Some Offices charge as little as $200 for their services, while others may charge $1,000 for their time and services. Usually, once the "Loss" provision is executed, the Warranty Provision expires, meaning, it will not be replaced again under the Loss Provision.
Usually, if the shell is damaged, and the hearing aid can be remade, using the original parts, the replacment of the hearing aid is not charged against the "Loss Provision" of the hearing aid, but it is charges against the "Damage" provision of the hearing aid and their is no charge for the replacement by anyone, and the "Loss Provision" still exists. Usually, the "Damage Provision" of the Warranty Protection is extended, and still in effect in the event of another damage experience.The execution of the provisions of either the Loss & Damage Protection,or the Loss Proctection, or the Damage Protection, is very often at the discretion of the Hearing Aid Dispenser or Office, and it is very important that the Consumer establishes a level of trust with the Hearing Aid Dispenser and the Hearing Aid Office, they are doing business with. Always remember, the Providers, whoever they are, make more money selling new hearing aids, for whatever reasons, and may not want the Consumer to know all the benefits available to the.
Buyer Beware.
This is the first part of this series.
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2 comments

Anonymous
#280482

Glad to see this information.its very interesting.I would like to hear more information from your side.

Hearing aid accessories

Anonymous
#258761

As a Hearing Instrument Dispenser, I would like to point out that not every dispenser is out to "make more money". I pride myself on doing everything in my power to prevent my patients from having to spend any more money than what they spent purchasing the new aids.

Yes, I make money selling hearing aids, everyone works to make money, but my primary passion for selling aids is the joy of seeing people re-enter the world of hearing and communicating.

It is a special moment when someone hears and UNDERSTANDS their loved ones, or hears the birds chirping outside. Please know that many of us are in the business for all the RIGHT reasons!

Alsip Judge
Review #102506 is a subjective opinion of poster.

Hearing Aid Batteries

For all practical purposes, there is only one type of hearing aid battery being manufactured and offered for sale,worldwide, and those hearing aid batteries are identified as Zinc-Air.
Mercury batteries, have either been out-lawed, or for whatever reason, no longer are being manufactured and made available for purchase.
The current batteries, called Zinc-Air, are manufactured by Duracell,Eveready,or Rayovac.
These companies will assign a private label to their product, primarily for marketing purposes.
There are no differences in the hearing aid batteries provided from the battery manufacturer,regardless of the label they put on the package.
All Manufacturers have agreed to a standarized identification system.
The batteries are provided with a tab placed over openings to the internal cell, to prevent the cell from being activated. Until the tab is removed, or the seal is broken, and it leaks, the batteries have unlimited shelf life.In other words, the batteries may have a shelf live for over 5 years.
The color Yellow has been assigned to size 5 battery.
This size is used in most small hearing aids. Because of its size it has the shortest battery life.
The color Orange,has been assigned to size 13. It is larger than size 10 and provides much longer battery life. This size is used in every type hearing aid made.
The size 312 has been assigned the color of Brown. It is the same diameter as size 13 but is half as thick and lasts only half as long. It is used only because of size considerations and cosmetic purposes.
The size 675 has a Blue Tab, and is usually used only with BTE hearing aids. The BTE hearing aids usually provide the most power and the battery drain and consumption is the greatest. Being the largest size battery used in hearing aids, provides the longest battery life
For the most part, there is no difference in the quality or performance of any Domestic Manufactured hearing aid battery.
Hearing aid batteries should be purchased on the basis of cost.
Buy the cheapest hearing aid battery you can, regardless of the Brand Name.
In a very short period of time, you will determine what battery brand you want to buy.
The retail price is hearing aid batteries should be about $2.50 per package of 4 batteries. Batteries are available for about $50 cents per cell or $2.00 per package of 4 (four).
There is no difference in the quality.
You do not have to use any particular hearing aid battery in any particular hearing aid.
They are all interchangeable.
Buy the cheapest battery you can, from wherever you can, and then compare the performance.
Usually, the worst place to buy hearing aid batteries is from a Hearing Aid Office, or a Drug Store.
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2 comments

Anonymous
#383875

If you're not buying them at Costco, you're paying too much.

Longest lasting I have found to date.

Anonymous
#383848

Ridiculous. Like anything else you get what you pay for.

There has been an influx of inferior batteries coming in from China, that are garbage.Bad information to pass on to folks who use hearing aids there AL-SAP.

Stop being such a CHEAPSKATE, batteries aren't that costly for god sake. Quit whining..........

Alsip Judge
Review #102501 is a subjective opinion of poster.

Other Company - HEARING AID REPAIRS-PRICES,POLICIES,PROCEDURES,OPTIONS,& WARRANTIES

There are basically two types of hearing aids in today's marketplace. One is identified as a "Custom Made" product,available in different shell sizes, and the other is identified as "Standard","Conventional",or "BTE,(Behind the Ear, or Over the Ear).
Both types of hearing aids usually several different size hearing aid batteries. The Custom made products usually use either a size 10,size 13,or size 312 batteries. The battery Manufacturers, and there are very few of them, have all agreed on a standardized color coding to identify the battery size.All a Consumer has to know, Worldwide, is what color is the tab attached to one side of the battery. That color identifys the size of the battery, Worldwide.The bigger the battery, the longer the battery life. Usually the drain imposed on the battery determines what size battery the Hearing Aid Manufacturer will use for a particular hearing aid.
The procedure for making a Custom Made Hearing Aid is that an Impression is taken of the Client's Ear by first placing a cotton ball or a sponge rubber plug into the ear canal as far as it will go, including touching the ear drum (Typanic Membrane).The Ear Drum is usually at least 1" from the entrance to the Ear Canal. All Dispensers first examine the ear canal with a device called an autoscope (which is a powerful light) to determine whether there is a blockage, usually ear wax (cerumen) or any evidence of ear disease or infection. Without exception, if anything negative or suspicious,or unusual,is observed, the Client is immediatedly referred to a Medical Doctor. Everything comes to a halt.
If there is no problem, potential or real, observed, after the cotton ball is inserted, the Dispenser mixes a solution, which may be a silcone material, or some other material, (years ago, they used Plaster of Paris),and through a syringe of some type, the impression material is inserted into the ear canal. Such material usually takes from five to ten minutes to cure and harden.
The result of this process is the production of what is called an "Impression".
The Impression, with an assigned name, is sent to a Lab or Hearing Aid Manufacturer, and a Mold is made from the respective Impression. A Plastic shell for a Custom Made hearing aid is then made from the mold, or a product is made called an "Earmold" is made from the Impression. An Earmold is used with a Standard,BTE, (Behind-The-Ear) hearing aid.
If it is a Custom Made Hearing Aid, the finished shell is then matched with what is called a "Faceplate". Usually the Faceplate has most of the Electronics attached to the Faceplate. The microphone,or microphones,are always attached to the faceplate, as is the amplifier. The Receiver (Speaker) is connected by a wire from the amplifier, and is placed in the far end of the canal part of the shell.
A Custom made hearing aid can be repaired forever. If the hearing loss changes, a new circuit with a new Faceplate can be installed. A Custom made hearing aid with an Analog Circuit can even be up-graded to a Digital product by simply replacing the Faceplate.
Most Hearing Aid Dispensers do not want the Consumers to know that a Custom Made hearing aid can be repaired,and upgraded,and converted, forever.
It is a lot less expensive to repair or upgrade a hearing aid than to buy what is called a New Hearing Aid. Any Custom Made Hearing Aid ever made, can be repaired or upgraded.For obvious reasons, not every Manufacturer wants to provide the above described services. But some Manufacturers will, such as Starkey Labs, which operates a Division called All Make Repairs, which will repair,remake,upgrade,etc, any Custom Made Hearing Aid, ever made. They have repaired hearing aids over 25 years old.Their work has the same guarantee as a brand new hearing aid.Any Hearing Aid Office, anywhere in the United States, regardless of their ownership or affiliation, can do business with Starkey, and offer all of the services described.
A hearing loss change, or a physical fit change, is usually the excuse used to recommend the sale of a new hearing aid. Dispensers, because of the profit motive, do not offer, or want the Consumer to know, what their options are. The fact is, that its a lot less expensive to repair, upgrade, or remake, an existing hearing aid, than to buy a new one.
Understand, that a Hearing Aid Office, is not under any legal obligation to provide a hearing aid warranty on any work they perform. The Market, and the Courts, determine the Standards of Performance.
A Hearing Aid Office is entitled to charge any amount they want for any service they perform, and it is the responsibility of the Consumer to challenge the practices and policies of any business they transact business with. Usually unethical, immoral, or illegal business practices, result in a business going out of business or being arrested.
A Hearing Aid Office does not have to send a hearing aid to a Repair Lab or a Hearing Aid Manufacturer, to justify a repair of service charge. It is up to the Consumer to demand that their malfunctioning hearing aid be returned to the original manufacturer, or at least be informed of their options of having the hearing aid repaired by an Independent Repair Lab. The Consumer, should demand a Warranty, which is recognized and honored nationwide, by all other Hearing Aid Dispensers.The provided Warranty should be thorough and explicit, and explain what is covered, and what is not covered.
Usually.a Warranty Card of some type is provided with the invoice revealing an explanation of what the repair consisted of.
The next section will pertain to the prices charged,the options available, and what the Warranties represent.
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Alsip Judge
Review #102500 is a subjective opinion of poster.

DIGITAL HEARING AIDS-PRICING & PROGRAMS

SURF CITY hearing aids, the Brand doesn]t yet exist, but it could, and probably will. Any Hearing Aid Dispenser,whatever title they use, is someone that sells hearing aids.Anybody can form a Company for the purpose of selling hearing aids. But they usually have to employ licensed (by the State) hearing aid dispensers to test,sell,and fit, any type of hearing aid.The Company that buys the hearing aids from the Manufacturers (actually assemblers) pay the sales tax on the products,including batteries,and then adds such cost to the cost of the product,and then enjoys a mark-up on the sales tax. The Consumer thinks he is not paying State Sales Tax,and for political purposes everyone is happy.Another concealed,built-in tax.
The problem with buying hearing aids, such as SURF CITY HEARING AIDS, is that the only one that knows whats inside the hearing aids, are the employees of SURF CITY HEARING AIDS.No other hearing aid Dealer in the World can service such hearing aids. The reason is because the hearing aids are programmable, either analog or digital.Propriety software is required, through the use of a computer, to adjust and program such hearing aids. Although there is nothing unique inside the hearing aids, the microphones and receiver, are the same as anyone else,the micro-processor (chip) is the secret key.Also specific attachment wires and cables,etc,are needed to connect to the hearing aids and computer.Since the propriety software is usually required in the repair of such hearing aids, no other hearing aid dealer would know what hardware to use. If such hearing aids were provided any warranty,and no one is required to provide any warranty of any type, SURF CITY is the only Company that would honor or execute such warranty.Being the only repair and warranty source, SURF CITY could charage whatever they want for any of their provisions or repair services. Buyer Beware.Why would anyone knowingly buy such a product. Because they are not aware of such disadvantages,and they are certainly not informed of them. Such a Dealer,as SURF CITY,or any other private label,or franchished or restricted label,such as Beltone,Miracle-Ear,NuEar,Audibel,Sonus,HearX,etc,are free to do anything they want, and charge whatever they want, because they have no competition, once the hearing aid is sold.
There are a lot of advantages to such Dealers. No Consumer can compare prices on the Products. There is no advantage to the Consumer in buying a Private or Restricted Branded Product.None. Only the Dealer benefits. In most cases these products are sold at higher prices to the Consumer than comparable public traded brands.And who knows whats inside the hearing aids?
The Mystery of buying a hearing aid. All hearing aids look alike on the outside. The shell or case of any hearing aid by a certain Manufacturer is the same within their product line.A marketing name is attached to what is called "Entry Level", "Mid-Range","Premium",or whatever. Who knows what that means other than the Manufacturer and their Dealers. The Consumer has no idea as to the differences,or of whats inside the hearing aid and how it compares to other makes or brands.There are no standards in the Industry. You could be buying an Escort and paying for a Lincoln. Who knows?
Someone created an expression, so long ago that it was written only in Latin. The expression is:Caveat Emptor. In English it means BUYER BEWARE'
It has been written: The love of money, is the root of all evil.
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Alsip Judge
Review #102495 is a subjective opinion of poster.

PRIVATE LABEL HEARING AIDS

About 7 Hearing Aid Manufacturers in the United States assemble the vast majority of all hearing aids sold. It is a common practice, for marketing purposes, to "Prive Label" or "Private Brand" a hearing aid, which means assigning a name to the product other than the Manufacturer.

Examples are: Miracle Ear, Beltone,NuEar,Audibel,Sonus,HearX,to name just a few.Almost all hearing aids sold today are what are called Programmable, either with Digital Signal Processing, or Analog Signal Processing.There is no such thing as a "100 % DIGITAL" hearing aid, since the Microphone and Receiver (speaker) are always Analog, and have to be.Every hearing aid sold is furnished with a Repair and Loss & Damage Provision Warranty.The Private Brand hearing aids can only be serviced by Participating Dealers, which results in the Consumer being at the mercy (No Competition) of such Dealers. They can charge whatever the traffic will bear to repair the hearing aids and whatever they want to replace the hearing aids, under the Warranty Provisions, since there is no competition.

Propriety Software is required to adjust such hearing aids and is not available to independent dealers.Any Hearing Aid Dealer can have their own Brand Name placed on the shell resulting in only that Dealer knowing what Electronics are on the inside.Insist on a copy of the programming software. BUYER BEWARE
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14 comments

3 Putt
#412422

James Harris........

Wow........These are the same people who took me for a lot of money over a number of years, there is no question that they tampered with my units in order to sell me new ones, however they got caught with my last ones. I really feel for you and those who got caught up in their "Free Hearing Test, Etc.

Believe me, these people are only interested in your money, not your needs. Trust me, Audibel and the state board that licenses these people could care less, they've got your hard earned money.

There is however an Audiologist in town that has treated me with fairness and dignity and has done more for my hearing than Audibel and Beltone ever has done........ Don't expect to be high pressured by this lady to buy anything........

Anonymous
#362110
Any Hearing Aid Dealer can have their own Brand Name placed on the shell resulting in only that Dealer knowing what Electronics are on the inside'.Insist on a copy of the programming software,. BUYER BEWARE 10de0ae
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Steven
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Anonymous
#352321

AMEN TO THE COMPLAINT (OPERATE LILE A SALESMAN ON THE USED CAR LOT) THATS AUDIBEL IN LUFKIN RIGHT DOWN TO THE REPAIR TECH.RUNNING IN TO HIS SUPERVISOR FOR AN OFFER.

Anonymous
#352317

AUDIBEL CIC AIDS CARRY A 2 YEAR WARRENTY WITH LOSS OR DAMAGE COVERAGE I'M ON MY 3RD.PAIR OF CIC AIDS THAT COST ME BETWEEN 3 AND 4 THOUSAND EACH AND NOW WHEN I NEED MY WARRENTY THE DEALER IN LUFKIN TX. TELLS ME THERE IS A 1200 DOLLAR DEDUCTABLE.DOES THIS SOUND PROPER OR DO I JUST HAVE A ROTTEN DEALER AFTER 15 YEARS I CAN NO LONGER AFFORD HIM AND HAVE LOST RESPECT.

Anonymous
#250346

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#247590

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kaylascott
#247588

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#239903

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Anonymous
#238347
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Anonymous
#238346

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#226453

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Anonymous
#212003

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Alsip Judge
Review #102492 is a subjective opinion of poster.