HEARING AIDS-HOW HEARING AIDS SHOULD BE SOLD AND WHY./BILL SEPARATELY FOR SERVICE AND PRODUCTS.
At the present time, at least in the State of California, Hearing Aids are sold in a manner described as "Bundled Pricing".
What this means, is that all of the Services provided in the Sale of Hearing Aids, are included in the Retail Price of the Hearing Aids.
Last week I inquired at the Bureau of Hearing Aid Dispensers, if this practice existed because of California Law.
I am awaiting an answer.
At the present time, the Consumer has a very difficult time, price shopping, either for Product or Services.
For example, most Attorneys have a Billable Rate, where the Client is charged by the hour.
In Law Suits or Representation, such as in Personal Injury cases, the fee arrangement usually is on a "Contingency Basis" resulting in a percentage of the Judgement or Settlement,being retained by the Winning Attorney, if there is any, in lieu of any other compensation. All of the terms have to agreed upon by all parties, before there is a contract.
To my knowledge, there is no law requiring "Contingency Fee Compensation" agreement. It is at the discretion of the Attorney.
In the sale of Hearing Aids, as practiced, the Hearing Aid Dispenser is only compensated or paid, if the Sale extends beyond 30 days, at least in the State of California.
No monies can be retained or charged, for any part of any Service, provided involving the sale of hearing aids.
Any Hearing Aid Dispenser, and thats what the License states, whether the Dispenser is a Medical Doctor, a PHD, a AUD, an Audiologist, an Otologist, a Hearing Aid Specialist,or any other Title of Anyone selling Hearing Aids, has to abide by the Laws of the Hearing Aid Bureau, and NO ONE can retain any money at the time of refund.
I believe Hearing Aids should be priced separately from Services performed.
The Prices should not be bundled.
A good example as to why this should be is because of my recent experience with the Internet Sale of Hearing Aids.
A company is selling a model of Hearing Aid for $1295 each through the mail or courier service.
They have no rent,no office expenses,and probably no payroll. They could be selling them out of their home.
They provide no Services of any type.
At the present time I can not sell Hearing Aids on a Cash & Carry Basis.
Although, after 25 Years of Experience, I do not believe Hearing Aids should be sold on a Cash & Carry Basis, because it is really not to the best interest of the Hearing Aid User, I do believe the Consumer has the right, and should be able to make that decision.
There have been times, when I have spent many,many, hours, examining,testing,fitting,adjusting,and consuling,Clients, in the Sale of Hearing Aids, only to be compensated nothing for my time and experience and services, if the Client returns the Hearing Aid for a Refund.
That isn't fair, either.
I believe Hearing Aids should be sold separately, at the most competitive price.
All aspects of the sale or proposal should be specific, indicating the Brand,Model,Type,and Warranty Terms and Conditions. Replacement charges should be stated up-front.
Service Charges for all SERVICES should be declared and billed separately, either by the Hour or Half-Hour.
$100 per Hour, 1/2 hour, or $200, or $300, or $400, or $500, or whatever the Provider or Dispenser, thinks he can, or should charge.
The same way Attorneys arrive at their Charges.
If the Average Sale,Fitting,and Adjustments,involves 4 hours over a years time, then the hourly fee could be negotiable.
AT THE PRESENT TIME, UNDER THE EXISTING BUNDLING PRACTICE OR PROCEDURE, THE PROVIDER IS MAKING AS MUCH AS $2,000 PER HOUR OR MORE, AND SUCH COMPENSATION IS BEING HIDDEN BY JUST CHARGING FOR THE HEARING AID PRODUCT, BUT CHARGING $3,000 OR $4,000, OR $5,OOO PER HEARING AIDS.
THE MANUFACTURES, ARE EVEN PROMOTING AND ENCOURAGING SUCH ARTIFICIAL PRICING, BUT STATING THEY ARE DONATING A PAIR OF HEARING AIDS WORTH $10,000.
SEE STARKEY LABS,AND PHONAK, PRESS RELEASES.
There are Providers who buy the LEAST EXPENSIVE MODEL OF A BRAND, AND THEN CHARGE THE HIGHEST RETAIL PRICE THEY CAN, AND THE CONSUMER HAS NO IDEA WHAT HE IS ACTUALLY GETTING FOR HIS MONEY.
If the HEARING AIDS were billed or sold separately, and the products detailed in the Sales Agreement or Contract, and then a CHARGE FOR PROFESSIONAL CHARGES was negotiated, IT WOULD PROVE TO BE TO THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CONSUMER, AND AN HONEST EXPOSURE OF WHAT IT COSTS TO BUY HEARING AIDS, AND FROM WHOM.
For further information, please call Eugenia @ (800)432-7114
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