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Today I made another House Call on a 90 something, Widow, living by herself in a very decent Mobile Home Park in Huntington Beach,Ca.

She has been a Client of mine for over 10 years.

She uses one hearing aid in her right ear.

I do not charge for making House Calls.

She says she is on a fixed income, and really can't afford to spend any money on her hearing aids.

Her residence is about 5 miles from my office.

She claims she is not hearing the way she should, or wants to, but she says she can't afford to spend any money.

I examined her ear canals, and her right ear canal, where she uses the hearing aid, is plugged with ear wax.

She has called my office at least 10 times, always concerned about her inability to understand the spoken word correctly.

Today, an examination revealed an ear canal with excessive ear wax.

She went into great detail about what she wanted.

Because of her stated economic situation, I recommended remaking her existing hearing aid and converting it to Digital Signal Processing, with a new shell, for a price of $695 with a 1 year repair warranty.

She grilled me about the warranty and the guarantee, and I provided her with all her options.

At some point in the interview, she informed me that her son-in-law just purchased new hearing aids from COSTCO in Fountain Valley, Ca., my primary Competitor.

She said he paid over $2,000 and I don't know whether that price included 1 or 2 hearing aids.

She stated he wasn't happy with the hearing aids.

I asked her, why she didn't refer him to me.

She had no responce.

I spent almost an hour with her, and told her that I would have to return to give her a hearing test, after she had the was removed from her ear.

She continued to dwell on the price I quoted her of $695 to remake her existing hearing aid and convert it to digitial signal processing.

Remaking a hearing aid, means making a new custom made shell, and then using all new components.

I had to tell her, that I have spent more time with her, involving a sale of $695 than COSTCO spent, or ever would, for a sale involving over $2,000 that her Son-in-law paid.

She didn't seem to get my message.

I told her that we would always do what is to her best interests, not mine.

She stated she could only pay half down, and needed payments for the balance of $100 per month.

I think she is really more concerned about paying for the hearing aid and then dying and thats why she wants time payments.

My gross profit would be about $400.

That involves about 6 house calls.

I told her to tell her son-in-law to return the hearing aids to COSTCO he wasn't happy with, and come to our office where he would spend either $1295 or $1495, instead of $2,000 and that we would spend whatever time it took to make him happy.

She didn't seem to get the point.

I couldn't see her tommorow because she has to go to the beauty parlor for her hair appointment.

Its interesting she can get a ride for that appointment, but not to visit my office.

Maybe I should tell her the facts of life.

Maybe I appreciate more than she does, the services we are providing her.

At what point do you say, enough is enough.

Am I ***?

Not yet.

We'll help her, because thats the way we are.

No Fraud.

No Deception.

No Deceit.

Always doing what is to the best interest of the Client.

Sometimes its hard to justify why we do it, but we do.

***?

Obviously, I don't think so.

Come Judgement Day, we'll be ahead, I hope.

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Anonymous
Tukwila, Washington, United States #684499

i commend you, judge Alsip!

many of us do the best we can, sometimes without recognition.

i am grateful for Pissed.

elijah

Anonymous
#261139

I've been fitting aids for 36 years. Yes, I make house calls, laptop and all.

Thank goodness not everyone is like this, but I've had my share.

It goes with the territory. I am getting a bit exhausted "just tweaking" the hearing aids and they don't expect a bill however.

Anonymous
#191600

You don't have to make house calls, you know. She'd probably still would have come to see you.

I think this is a lesson for you in the ways of running a successful business. The customer is going to try and get whatever s/he can out of you for as little money as possible. The consumer is not educated in the ways of our business nor should we expect him/her to be. The reason she didn't get what you were talking about when you tried to explain what you could provide her son is because you didn't make your message simple enough for her to understand.

You also should have taken a stand with her a long time ago. You lost control somewhere along the line when you agreed to do house calls for free. It's okay to charge people for our services. She's costing you more than her business is worth.

Sometimes, we have to be firm in order to truly help people because if we let our customers walk all over us, then we won't be able to help anyone because we will no longer be in business.

The key here, is work smarter, not harder. If you do that, then you won't be so frustrated when all your time and energy falls on "deaf ears".

Anonymous
Oil Trough, Arkansas, United States #189646

I just wonder how many hearing aid vendors/dealers make house calls to a person's home, especially the elderly with hearing loss? I doubt that very many do. Does Costco?

How difficult would it be for a hearing aid vendor to go to a person's home with their equipment, including software, to adjust a person's hearing aid to help compensate for loss?

It seems that a lot of smaller independent hearing aid dealers are dropping like flies and closing their shops. Places like Costco are taking over with their in-the-warehouse hearing loss tests and sales of new hearing aids. It has become a volume sales business driving out the little guy.

Anonymous
Oil Trough, Arkansas, United States #189643

I just wonder how many hearing aid dealers actually make house calls, especially for the elderly with hearing losses.

How difficult is it for a hearing aid specialist to take their equipment with software to a person's home?

Anonymous
#174487

We need an audiologist to fix and maybe recommend a new hearing aid for my husband in downtown Los Angeles.

Anonymous
#115351

The sad truth is most hearing aid dispensers are not like you.

I read various reports that said avoid the big chains (Beltone, Miracle Ear, etc) and go see a hearing doctor. I did. The first test they ran said I had a 60% hearing loss. We all agreed that was off so they ran it again a week later. This time it was a 10% loss. My personal opinion is that it is somewhere in between.

Even with the very mild, 10% loss the Dr began pushing me toward a set of hearing aids that run $5100 per pair!

Sorry, I am a young Dad with 3 kids. I don't have and extra $5000 laying around. Its sad, but the hearing aid industry has given itself a bad reputation.

I'm going to check out Costco next week. At least I know their prices will be reasonable.

Anonymous
#113928

Irish.........

I've been preaching for years that Audibel and Beltone is not to be trusted. Sorry you did not get the message. Their "Rip off artist" have taken me for quite a bit of money over the years, strictly due to my own ignorance and putting my trust in the wrong people.

Anonymous
#65853

Here's my complaint. Several years ago I was encourage to buy two (2) in the ear hearing aids and they cost me over $5,000. They had 3 different channels, one for normal conversation, one for the telephone and one for theater/large auditorium. I had to press a button to go from channel to channel which wasn't too difficult at all. In the beginning they appeared to work fine but that wore off in time. The aids just reduced in sound pickup ability and also reduced in sound quality. The right one became worthless and I stopped wearing it. Why? Because it was more like a 'plug' inside my ear as opposed to a hearing aid. The plastic shell also cracked. Anyway I limped along using the left one and then its plastic shell shattered. It was beyond the warranty period so I was out of luck. Would I buy two (2) more hearing aids like the two I previously purchased? Answer: No, definitely not. To me they were a large cash expenditure of money with very little in return.

Now for the name of the hearing aids...they were Audibel Eclipse.

I don't believe that I ever should have been sold in the ear hearing aids but the behind the ear kind that would be more powerful and reliable. When my Audibel Eclipse broke open, there was a lot of wax inside and I am sure that helps explain why their sound pickup and quality reduced substantially over time.

Anonymous
#58522

Way to go! It's great to hear that story. Today one of my patients asked me to repair a hearing aid that was crushed while raking leaves. They recovered a portion of the shell and the receiver. Damage beyond repair wasn't the answer they wanted to hear, yet it was the correct answer. The hearing aid was missing the computer!!! It was worthless. Where do you start with these type of patients?

Day after day I go the extra mile for my patients. When they don't get it, I just grin a bear it. If only they knew that we are trying to help. Some just have a vendetta that we are out to *** them. I have spent more time wtih patients I make no comission with than some people who are a high paying comission. Education is key.

It's nice to hear about people doing what's in the best interest of others. Being asked to repair a 10 year old hearing aid makes me laugh and sometimes I wish we as hearing healthcare providers could just say, "this is what you need" and it shall be so; yet then we lose the main focus of why we provide care... to build value and trust that we are truly helping.

YOURS IN HEARING. HAPPY LISTENING

Anonymous
#36740

Im a hearing aid dispenser in Orange County myself. I love my career.

If it takes doing house calls then thats what needs to be done. I commened you for the service you provide your client. I pride myself on my service.

It doesnt matter how much you pay for hearing aids. Respect for your work is what matters.

Anonymous
Dodge Center, Minnesota, United States #22833

I hope a lot of people read this gentleman's message. Most of us in our own hearing healthcare businesses enjoy helping others.

We take it as our duty, and our honor, to help people in a personal way.

You will not find many weathly audiologists or hearing aid dispensers - no yachts or jets. What you will find are interested and ethical people doing what they enjoy.

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