HEARING AIDS - STEPS TO TAKE TO ADVOID COSTLY HEARING AID REPAIRS -NOW AND FOREVER
Almost all Hearing Aids being sold today, at least in the United States, are of Digital Design, meaning they include DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING.
Almost without exception, ALL REPAIR LABS, whether they are the Original Manufacturer of the Hearing Aid, or what are called Independent or All-Make Repair Labs, CHARGE MORE FOR THE REPAIR OF A PROGRAMMABLE ANALOG OR A PROGRAMMABLE DIGITAL HEARING AID WHETHER ITS PROGRAMMABLE OR NOT.
Yes there are Digital Hearing Aids that are not Programmable, even though not many are sold.
By far, and almost without exception, the malfunction of a Hearing Aid is caused by Cerumen, more commonly referred to as EARWAX.
For some unknown reason, Earwax seems to crawl into the tubing of either a Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid or even the Receiver Tubing of a Custom Made Hearing Aid.
The new Open-Fit designed Hearing Aids, whether or not the Receiver is in the Canal or placed inside the Hearing Aid (the RIC, Receiver in the Canal) uses an electrical copper wire from the Processor(Hearing Aid) to transmit the current to the Receiver in the Canal, and the other Design where the Receiver (Speaker) is inside the case of the Hearing Aid, uses tubing to transmit the Sound.
In Both Designed Types, EARWAX is still the NEMESIS of Hearing Aids and the EARWAX either gets into the tube itself, or the tube opening at the base, or in the RIC Design, gets into the Entrance of the Receiver.
Almost ALL HEARING AID MANUFACTURERS today, use a WAX GUARD of some type, and they do work, meaning that they get plugged up instead of the tubing, which still results in the Hearing Aid not performing.
The Hearing Aid works, but because the Sound Path the Hearing Aid Produces, is plugged with EARWAX, no Sound is heard.
The way to determine whether the Problem is the Hearing Aid or Plugged Eaxwax, is to disconnect the tubing from the Hearing Aid.
If the Hearing Aid Squeals in an on position, then it Ear Wax not the Hearing Aid.
Removing the Wax Guard is also another way to check.
Only as a last resort, should you take a Hearing Aid into a Hearing Aid Office, whatever title they go by, to have them check a malfunctioning Hearing Aid.
A Competent,experienced,honest Hearing Aid Dispenser, will always attempt, in view of the Hearing Aid User, to clean the EAR WAX from the Hearing Aid or the Hearing Aid tubing, or remove the WAX Guard, install a new battery, and adjust the battery contacts, and only as a last resort, will send the Hearing Aid to a Repair Lab.
It should be understood, that usually, only when a Hearing Aid is sent to a Repair Lab, is there a Charge for any Repair Services.
It is legal for any business, at least in the State of California, to charge for any Service they perform.
Be wary of Any Hearing Aid Office, where they just take the Malfunctioning Hearing Aid in for repair, without attempting to Fix It in front of you.
There obviously is an incentive (Profit) for the Hearing Aid Office to automatically take the Hearing Aid in for Service (as though they were a Dry Cleaners) and if in fact, its an Older Aid, that has never been previously Repaired, and the Hearing Aid Office actually does send the Hearing Aid to a Repair Lab, and they actually Perform a Service, they too, sometimes Cheat, then it may be worthwhile to have the Hearing Aid Serviced, even if it's performance is marginal.
Hearing Aids that are Repaired by a Repair Lab, usually are then Provided at least a 1 year warranty, covering anything Electronic or Manual.
There are no Standard Prices for having a Hearing Aid Repaired.
The Dealer can charge whatever they can get away with.
Ask where the Hearing Aid will be repaired and who will provide the Warranty?
Since, in the vast majority of repairs, in fact, almost without exception, its the same Electronic Components Damaged (microphone or receivers (speaker) or perhaps a broken wire, there should be no difference in the Repair Charge just because the Hearing Aid is of Digital Type.
But there usually is.
When I challenged several Hearing Aid Repair Labs and Manufacturers as to why they charged more for their services because the Aids were Digital, the Reply was always the same.
Because they could get away with it.
But in the FREE MARKET ECONOMIC SYSTEM somebody will come along and offer fair prices with no product type distinction, and then the Industry will have to conform in order to compete.