HEARING AIDS - EXTRAORDINARY HEARING AID DISPENSER - MIRACLE EAR - ADDITIONAL COMMENTS - PART II

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After reviewing my posting from yesterday, I realized I left out a few observations and comments I should have made.

The article revealed and reflected, that I was really impressed with the sincerity and thoroughness, of the participating Hearing Aid Dispenser.

I am adamant that the virtues, or lack of, of the Provider classified as a Hearing Aid Dispenser, regardless of whatever other title they may hold or claim, which is what they have to be, and what license they have to have, at least in the State of California, if they are engaged in the Sale and Fitting of Hearing Aids.

This Provider (Hearing Aid Dispenser) exemplified Integrity.

Getting back to the formal testing, I failed to mention that he also performed what is called a Bone Conduction Test.

This is accomplished by placing a headset or device,over the head with a small vibrator wired and connected to the Audiometer which allows for a signal identical to the Pure Tone to be transmitted directly to the Cochlea through the bone of the Skull. The Transmitter (Vibrator) is placed directly over the Mastoid Bone, or in the best possible position. The Transmitter is usually rotated over the Mastoid, while a loud constant signal is transmitted, to the position where the Signal is heard the loudest. That is considered the Best Placement Position.

Each Signal from the Audiometer is transmitted, the same as the Pure Tone Sequence, and the Response Threshold is established and recorded on the Audiogram, using a different symbol.

The Ears are Open to the Environment and the Sound Proof door is left open, since the ambient noise or environment is not a negative influencing factor.

The Purpose of this test, is to determine whether Sound is being obtructed by Ear Wax , of which we already knew there was none because of the Video Otoscope Examination, or whether the Transmission of Sound was being restricted because of Malfunctioning Middle Ear Bones.

A Disease, usually hereditary, can freeze the 3 Hearing Bones, the Smallest Bones in the Body, yet Fully Developed at Birth (Must be a reason) which probably means we can hear before we can see, when born. Worns the Baby if a Lion enters the Cave.

If the Bones aren't functioning correctly, they won't transmit the Signal resulting in what is Called an Air-Bone Gap, which means the Bone Conduction Hearing Threshold is better than the Air Conduction Threshold, because of either an Ear Wax Obstruction (Plug) or Frozen or Rigid Ear Bones.

In order for Eax Wax (Cerumen) to be responsible for Preventing Sound Transmission, the Composition of the Wax has to be Hard and Complete.

Any Opening, even as thin as a Human Hair, .003 for a White Male, allows all the Sound Necessary to Hear Correctly to pass through to the Ear Drum (TM).

The Dexterity and Flexibility of the Tympanic Membrane is Critical to performing its Function. It vibrates at the rates of Sound Movement.

There is also a Test to Evaluate the Condition of the Tympanic Membrane.

Presence of Existance of an Eardrum is not necessary to Hear.

Some People are born without Eardrums.

Perforated Eardrums usually heal by themself, unless there is an infection.

Eardrums are Punctured by Physicians and Drainage Tubes installed, to treat Infections resulting in Drainage.

Diseased Hearing Bones can also be replaced.

Perforated Eardrums warranted non-participation in the Armed Forces, because Gas Masks don't cover the Ears, and Poison Gas can enter the Body through Eardrum Performations.

Ear Canals can be flushed or irrigated by each Individual to keep them free of Earwax, the same way we use Mouthwash, a flushing action.

The Solution can be a mixture of Vinegar and Water, room temperature, or Peroxide.

The difference between Standard 2% Peroxide and a Packaged Product for Earwax Management is that Debrox, for example, contains 6% Peroxide and also contains a lubricant, Glycerin. DEBROX costs a lot more than a 12 oz bottle of 2% Peroxide.

This Extraordinary Hearing Aid Dispenser, did dwell on, and explain the Connection between Social and Professional Activities and Lifestyles, and the Various Levels of Hearing Aid Circuits available.

He had prepared Charts reflecting the Features of Each Model Hearing Aid and He also had Printed Price Sheets reflecting the Costs of the Various Hearing Aids.

The only Negative Observations I made about his Presentation are that he didn't enter my Audiogram into a Computer and Program the Hearing Aids that He placed on my Ears to my Loss.

He took a chance that however they had been programmed, might have sounded good to me. Actually they weren't bad.

He did not explain all the Features and Options and Benefits, available because of Digitial Signal Processing, and any particular Model of Hearing Aid.

He could have, and should have, used the Computer in Simulated Mode, to Demonstrate the Differences in the Circuits of the Various Models of Hearing Aids.

I emphasize the Sincerity, thoroughness, and Obvious and Expressed Integrity of this Hearing Aid Dispenser, because I consider the Hearing Aid Provider (Dispenser) to be the Most Important Part of the Hearing Aid Acquisition and Usage Equation.

The Provider is 1/3, the User is 1/3, and the Hearing Aid is Only 1/3.

A lot of People, Users and Providers, think that only the Hearing Aid matters or is Important.

They don't know the Hearing Aid Business, and all that it entails.

The Negative Problems I have with the BRAND Miracle-Ear, is that NO OTHER PROVIDER CAN SERVICE OR PROGRAM THEIR HEARING AIDS BECAUSE THE SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION IS RESTRICTED TO THEIR FRANCHISES.

THEIR PROVIDERS (HEARING AID DISPENSERS) BEING EMPLOYEES, COME AND GO, OVER A PERIOD OF TIME.

EACH EMPLOYEE IS DIFFERENT. NO CONSISTANCY OR HISTORY OF A RELATIONSHIP.

THEY HAVE LIMITED PRODUCTS AND SERVICES.

THERE IS PRESSURE (MOSTLY ECONOMIC) TO ONLY SELL NEW HEARING AIDS AND NOT TO NECESSARILY DO WHAT IS TO THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CLIENT (HEARING AID USER).

In this Particular Office, by this Particular Provider (Hearing Aid Dispenser) Their newest advertised Model, the ME 950 was not used for the Demonstration.

The Optional Remote Control for the Hearing Aids was not Presented or Discussed, nor was the Optional Battery Charger.

The ME 950 is also the Product with the Receiver In The Canal and it was not Presented of Discussed.

Never the less, because of Character of the Provider (Hearing Aid Dispenser) I would highly recommend this Guy to anyone I know in the Market for a Good Hearing Aid Provider.

BUYER BEWARE

Company wrote 0 public responses to the review from Nov 14, 2007.

Comments

Anonymous
Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, India #1450

I DON'T HAVE A CODE...I RECENTLY PURCHASED THE ME-950 PACKAGE...NO. 1..IT LISTS THE MANY GUARANTEES AND FEATURES THAT COME WITH IT AND ONLY WITH IT...FOR THE MOST PART...THE HAND CONTROLL HAS "OPTIONAL" NONE OF THE OTHER PACKAGES EVEN MENTION THE HAND CONTROL...HOWEVER, I BELIEVE THEY HAVE THE 3 SETTINGS ON THEM..THE ME950 DOES NOT AND HAS TO HAVE A HAND CONTROL IN ORDER TO BLOCK OUT THE BACKGROUND NOISE AND SET OR RESET THE SOUND LEVEL UP OR DOWN.

I AM UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT THE CONTROL SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE, THAT OPTIONAL MEANS ONLY THAT IF THE COMPUTER HAS SET THE LEVEL FOR THE CLIENT AND IT SEEMS TO SUIT THEIR NEEDS THAN THEY DO NOT NEED TO BOTHER WITH THE HAND CONTROL.

THE LADY TAKING CARE OF ME AT SEAR'S STORE , MIRACLE EAR CENTER...ADVISES ME THAT ITS 200.00 EXTRA...I HAVE PAID 4000.00 FOR A USED INHOUSE SET OF HEARING AIDS THAT SHE SAYS WERE ONLY USED ONE WEEK BY A MAN...I HAD NOT KNOWN THAT AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE, I FELT I COULD NOT AFFORD THE MORE THAN TWO TIMES THE 4000.00 COST SHE QUOTED ME AFTER I HAD THE HEARING TEST...I HAD CALLED WHEN I HEARD THE ADD FOR 495.00 HEARING AIDS ..HOWEVER, THE LADY AT THE DESK MUST HAVE NOT TOLD THE TECH WHAT I WANTED...I LIKE THE HEARING AIDS IF I AM ABLE TO BLOCK OUT SOME OF THE BACK GROUND NOISE AND CONTROL SOME OF THE LOUD OR SOFT VOICES . MY EMAIL ADDRESS IS; SPECK1929@AOL.COM

HEARING AIDS-AN EXTRAORDINARY DAY-AN INTELLECTUAL CHALLENGE-BEING SINCERE WITH NO ULTERIOR MOTIVE-A

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The consequence of an abrupt initial phone conversation resulted in an interview this afternoon with an unusual individual with an extraordinary education,interest,career,and motivation, to get involved with the usage of hearing aids.

This individual is 87 years old, has had an extraordinary education, and career. Because of his intellect,motivation,character,and drive, he has had a very successful career.

He had a very moderate hearing loss with an emphasis on a deficit in the higher frequencies.

The consequences of such a loss are usually the misunderstanding of the spoken word.

The question has to be: How important is it to understand the word Beach when spoken, as opposed to thinking it was Peach.

Is it worth $5,000 or $6,000 Dollars? I don't think so.

After a stimulating 2 hour conversation and interview with this Prospective Client, I suggested that I really didn't he needed hearing aids.

I think he was shocked.

I suggested he train those he was associated with, or exposed to, to learn how to speak in a way to be understood, instead of everyone having to adapt to their poor speaking habits.

They should join Toastmasters.

It appears that I have met another Guy with some Hearing Problems, who in the end, will become a Friend.

There is more to life than selling hearing aids.

Buyer Beware

Company wrote 0 public responses to the review from Nov 01, 2007.

HEARING AIDS-MAINTAIN INTEGRITY DO WHAT IS RIGHT-MAYBE IT PAYS OFF-IN ANY EVENT BE HOW YOU ARE

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I have written about an Engineer type, and all that represents, which is the nemesis and anathema to all People in the Hearing Aid Industry.

They are regarded as the worse type of clients,.

Always asking technical questions beyond the scope of the People they are dealing with.

Actually I enjoy the challenge, because I always just say, when it get beyond reason, Grow Up.

Here are the facts of life.

For some reason, that at this time I don't know why, a Man named Frank called me for information on a Widex Product.

When he asked me if I could give him a bid on the product he was interested in, I stated that I didn't know any reason why I couldn't.

When he asked me if I was just saying that in an attempt to get him to come into my office where perhaps I would then attempt to sell him another product, I knew we had a problem.

This Man was so opinionated, I wanted to meet him.

I love intellectual, or any other type of challenge,.

For perhaps the first time in my life, I listened more than I spoke.

He went on and on, and I must admit I was impressed.

I told him I didn't think any Manufacturer had any advantage over any other Manufacturer, but I thought that comment felt on deaf ears.

He was so opinionated that I felt,and stated, of course not to him, that I didn't really want him as a Client.

I did invite him to visit me after he purchased the Hearing Aids that he insisted he wanted, and he said he would.

Since my basic premise and position is, that any Hearing Aid is just one part of the equation,the Client,and the Hearing Aid Dispenser,being the other parts,I felt that perhaps I am the only one that feels that way.

Evidently, perhaps because of the way he was treated, this Prospect called me today and requested an interview.

He said that he thought that perhaps I was right.

I am looking forward to meeting with this Guy just to see where he is coming from.

I think he may be dreaming,or unrealistic,as far as what his expectations are regarding,Hearing Aids, and I am anxious to find out.

I am confident I will enjoy the challenge.

I believe Right Wins Out.

I have nothing to hide.

I want to share my observations,experiences,and education,in the Hearing Aid Industry, for the past 24 years.

I have no ulterior motive,and I certainly don't need,or have any desire,to sell him new Hearing Aids.

I love being right.

Buyer Beware

Company wrote 0 public responses to the review from Oct 31, 2007.

HEARING AIDS-CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS-STATE OF CALIFORNIA-ALL DAY SEMINAR-HOUSE EAR INSTITU

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It is a State of California Requirement that all those engaged in the Dispensing of Hearing Aids must acquire 12 Hours of Continuing Education.

The Appropriate Authorities located in Sacramento solicit and receive proposed Seminar Content which a Board has to approve in order to grant credit for the participation by Hearing Aid Dispensers to meet the 12 Hour Requirement.

There are usually many Seminars offered to Licensed Hearing Aid Dispensers throughout the State of California to meet the State Requirements and the cost of the Seminars is substantial and is paid for by those attending.

It can be a very profitable venture for those promoting and producing such Seminars.

The cost for the Seminar last Saturday produced by Dr.Mike Metz, a PHD in Audiology, was $225.00 per participant.

There were 3 highly qualified, informative,and entertaining, Presenters.

All 3 Presents had PHD's and were very qualified and informative.

They knew their Subjects, and were all very effective in presenting their information.

It was a very worthwhile experience.

One of the most interesting subjects, at least for me, was the presentation pertaining to the influence in the condition of the Brain in the effectiveness in the Perceived Value of any Hearing Aid.

I have long felt that the subject of the condition of the Brain is a very important part in the success of using a hearing aid.

I know that in the future, all those involved in the study and analysis of Brain Function, and performance, will be more involved in the Manufacturing of Hearing Aids.

Some People may be suspected as suffering from Dementia, when in fact they only suffer from a Hearing Loss.

If you don't understand the Spoken Word correctly, as it is spoken, How can you be expected to remember it correctly.

If there is a malfunctioning Auditory System, no Hearing Aid, now or in the future, can compensate for that problem.

Obviously, there is much more to resolving or improving hearing and understanding the Spoken Word Correctly, than just the purchase and use of any hearing aid.

Absurd, or unrealistic expectations, of any Hearing Aid or Hearing Aid Dispenser, are unfortunate.

Dishonest Promises and Unrealistic Expectations presented by any Hearing Aid Dispenser for any reason, including the Sale of Any Hearing Aid is disgusting.

Buyer Beware

Company wrote 0 public responses to the review from Oct 16, 2007.

HEARING AIDS - LACK OF INTEREST - DO PEOPLE DESERVE WHAT THEY GET?

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Supposedly, there are currently 7 Million Users of Hearing Aids in the United States alone.

It is estimated there are about 30 Million more People that suffer from some type of hearing loss.

I don't quite know what that means. What does suffering from a hearing loss mean?

Does suffering from a Hearing Loss mean that the Person with the Hearing Loss is some how suffering, or are the People associated ,with or exposed to, such a Person, really the People who are suffering?

Even in that case, what does suffering mean?

Would a more appropriate expression be: Inconvenienced?

Annoying?

Frustrating?

Costly?

Aggravated?

What pain is experienced?

What conversations are missed?

In my opinion, if having any type of Hearing Loss was such a Critical Condition, there would be some type of a mass effort to eliminate or at least minimize the problem.

The fact is, that having a minimum hearing loss, based on the position of the Xs and Os on a piece of paper, called an Audiogram, is only an indication of a potential problem, either in employment, or social interaction (intercourse).

The extent of the inconvenience, difficulty,etc, depends on the needs of each Individual.

Hearing, and Hearing Loss is very subjective.

An Attorney with any type of Hearing Loss has different needs that a Truck Driver.

A Teacher,Professor,Instructor, or a Real Estate Sales Person, has different needs, than a retired Justice.

Whatever the condition, need, usage, interest,hearing loss, experience with Hearing Aids, what AMAZES ME MOST, IS THE LACK OF INTEREST IN THE INFORMATION THAT THIS WEB SITE HAS PROVIDED ON THE USE AND OWNERSHIP OF HEARING AIDS.

In my opinion, there has never been anything written on any Product,Policy,Practice,Industry,Ethics,Pricing,Policies,etc.etc,etc, than that provided on the Website on any Product.

Add to the above, the People that use the Product, Primarily the Senior Citizens of American, who are being exploited and ripped-off, and you would think there would be more interest in what is being written.

What it says to me, is that Nobody Cares.

Maybe, People get what they deserve.

Buyer Beware

Company wrote 0 public responses to the review from Sep 28, 2007.

Comments

3 Putt
#284141

So it\'s ok with you that the most vulnerable of HOH is raped.......

HEARING AIDS-ITS CALLED SERVICE-PROVIDING ALTERNATIVES FOR CLIENTS

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A FALLACY prevails regarding the WEALTH of SENIOR CITIZENS.

While it is technically true, that the SENIORS of AMERICA as a group, have more assets than any other segment, based exclusively on age, it is also true there are more of them, and the percentage is growing every day.

One difference is, that while they may dominate in total assets, its debatable whether their assets are liquid.

Most of their Money is in the value of their House, which usually has a paid-up mortgage. and savings invested in stock or long term investment plans.

The vast majority of SENIOR cash flow income is from Social Security Benefits, dividends and earned or unearned income (interest).

A typical example of the above, as I sure is experienced by all Hearing Aid Dispensers, and others that deal with Seniors, is as follows:

One long-time Client came into the Office and declared he was interested in a New Hearing Aid if it didn't cost "An Arm and Leg".

Hearing Aid Users, of any Age, are now usually aware of the ABSURD PRICES OF HEARING AIDS and as a result are very leery of even mentioning an interest in a NEW Hearing Aid.

Knowing him as I do, I felt there is no way he would really buy a New Hearing Aid, even at the Discounted and Competitive price that I make them available.

I told him the best price I had on a New Custom Made Canal Aid, similar in Design to the one he now used, except that it would be an entry level Digital, was $995.00

Since he said his existing Hearing Aid Shell fit his Ear comfortably, and without any Feedback Problems, I presented him with an alternative service whereby the Faceplate on his Existing Hearing Aid could be replaced and that all New Electronics would be installed based upon a current Hearing Test.

He needed a new Faceplate because the Battery Door Hinge Pin had become dislodged (the Hearing Aid was over 10 years old) and could not be replaced without installing a New Faceplate, Our Class II Repair Service.

His Cost for that Service Procedure was $395.00

Thats what we did.

When he picked up the Aid, a couple of days later, he put it in his Ear and declared it was better than ever. It was a CIC Model, the smallest Hearing Aid available, and it had a Set-Crew Volume Control. We adjusted to the Volume to about 1/2 on, and he had plenty of Volume and plenty of Reserve.

He stated that it was so much better than his other Ear Hearing Aid, that next Month he would have the same Service performed on that Aid.

He didn't have the money to have them both done this Month.

He came back a day later because he said it had lost most of it's Power, and I examined the Receiver Tube and it was plugged with Wax.

Our Repair Lab had installed a Standard Wax Guard which only provides for a 1 mm opening which is intended to protect the Receiver, which the Receiver Tube is connected to, and since the opening is so small, it is conducive to becoming plugged up, which is what happened. I removed the Wax Guard and the Aid functioned perfectly.

I installed a New Wax Guard, and then examined his Ear Canal and found it was plugged with excessive Ear Wax which is the Nemesis of Hearing Aids, and had to be removed. He said he irrigates his own ears.

Again to save Money.

He left a Happy Camper, with full confidence in our Work.

Another long-time Client came in yesterday with a couple of 22 Year Old Custom Made Canal Model Hearing Aids that he obtained from his Mother-In-Law, just before She died. They were made for her.

He is a Retired Air Force Pilot (Fighter) having flown in 3 Wars. He retired as a Lt.Col.

I had fit him with New Hearing Aids in the past 5 years, that he managed to lose in the last 2 years.

Since we Provide 2 Years Loss & Damage Protection on most of our Hearing Aids sold (Some have 3 Years) his Aids were Out Of Warranty and his Choices were to go without Hearing Aids, Apply to the VA,Buy New Hearing Aids, or have his Mother-In-Law's Old Hearing Aids remade to Fit His Ears and Hearing Loss.

His Cost for Each Remake from Us was $595.00

At this time, he said he could only afford to have 1 Done.

He also said he couldn't pay until the lst of October, when he received his income checks.

In My Mind, there is no question this Man has Credit Cards, which he doesn't like to use, He also owns a very nice home, which in this area of California is probably worth from $700,000 to $900,000

Regardless of his Financial Circumstances, this Client is very Conservative and has his own ideas on how to spend his Money.

Because a Miracle-Ear Office (in a Sear Store) is much closer to his House, and perhaps he was embarrassed to expose Me to His Plight, He first visited their Office.

They told him there was nothing they could do for him other than sell him New Digital Hearing Aids that were on Sale for over $6,000 a pair.

I provided a Service for this Client based on his needs not mine.

I still made, at least in My Mind, a very respectable Profit and I provided an Excellent Service Option.

Our Class IV Repair Plan.

Miracle Ear made NOTHING.

What Impression, and reaction, do You think this Hearing Aid User has, of Miracle-Ear, versus our Office.

Who will he recommend to his Family,Friends,and Neighbors?

I initiated an Alternative Repair Program over 17 Years ago, when I first opened my office.

Having worked for Miracle-Ear and Sears Hearing Aids (Division 05) since 1983, I was only aware of the Services they offered.

Their Thrust to was sell NEW HEARING AIDS.

When I discovered that STARKEY LABS, would do a Class I Repair (Electronics) on any Custom Made Hearing Aid of any Brand, REGARDLESS OF THE AGE OF THE HEARING AID, for the same price as any Aid and with no WARRANTY PENALTY such as a limited Warranty Period of 90 Days and then a Price Penalty because of the Age of the Aid, and that they would Perform a Class II Repair (A New Faceplate including All New Electronics based on a Current Hearing Test) and that they would remake ANY AGE CUSTOM MADE HEARING AID WHEREBY THEY ALSO INSTALLED A NEW FACEPLATE, OUR CLASS IV REPAIR PLAN, by utilizing STARKEY LABS I was able to provide a SERVICE THAT NO OTHER HEARING AID OFFICE WAS WILLING TO PROMOTE AS A PRIMARY SERVICE AND A ALTERNATIVE TO BUYING NEW HEARING AIDS.

STARKEY WOULD NOT REMAKE A HEARING AID THAT WAS ORIGINALLY MADE FOR ANOTHER PERSON, AND THEY WOULD NOT REMAKE AN AID FOR AN OPPOSITE EAR.

The RESULT OF THE CLASS IV REPAIR SERVICE PLAN WAS THAT THE USER RECEIVED A COMPLETELY NEW HEARING AID FOR ABOUT HALF THE PRICE OF A SO-CALLED NEW HEARING AID.

Loss & Damage Protection was also available for any Repaired Hearing Aid, regardless of the Age of the Hearing Aid.

The only Disadvantage was, Compared to the Purchase of a NEW HEARING AID, was that the REPAIRED HEARING AID could not be returned for a Refund.

The Repair part of the Warranty could be 1,2,3,4,or 5 Years.

As good, or better, than the Warranty Provided with the purchase of a New Hearing Aid.

These Alternative Repair Services are still available and now also include upgrading an Old Analog Custom Made Hearing Aid into a DIGITAL HEARING AID.

THE POINT IS, THAT NOT EVERYBODY CAN AFFORD, OR WANTS TO SPEND THE MONEY, FOR A NEW HEARING AID.

THE PROBLEM IS, THAT CONSUMERS ARE NOT AWARE OF THEIR OPTIONS, AND OF COURSE THOSE SELLING NEW HEARING AIDS DON'T WANT TO MAKE THEM AWARE BECAUSE THEY PROBABLY ONLY MAKE 10 PERCENT PROFIT COMPARED TO WHAT THEY MAKE WHEN THEN SELL NEW DIGITAL HEARING AIDS FOR $2,000 OR $3,000 OR $4,000 OR $5,000 OR $6,000 OR $7,000 DOLLARS EACH.

THE MOST EXPENSIVE HEARING AIDS COST THE HEARING AID DISPENSER (DEALER) ABOUT $1,000 EACH. NOW YOU KNOW WHAT THE PROFIT IS AND WHY THEY WANT TO SELL ONLY NEW HEARING AIDS.

BUYER BEWARE

Company wrote 0 public responses to the review from Sep 27, 2007.

Hearing Aids - Hearing Aid Price/Selection

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9/19 someone posted that buyers of Hearing Aids should shop around for the most experienced dispensers (w/ honesty and Integrity), best policies, best products, and best price. I absolutely agree!

I am an employee of an audiology practice. I can only speak for one firm but our perspective is completely different from the article. The whole practice is built on a long term perspective. Almost 100% of the business is built on repeat business, doctor referrals, and referrals from friends. After the sale everything possible is done for the patient and at no charge unless we have to pay the manufacturer. We want the next sale and the opportunity to sell their friends.

Whether hearing aids are increasing or decreasing in price depends on perspective. The price of a pair of top-of-the line hearing aids is more expensive than it was a few years ago. This is not the same hearing aid. What was the top-of-the-line hearing aid 5 or 6 years ago is now half the price it was then and it still as good as it was then. Hearing aid manufacturers do make good money because there are a limited number and producing a really good product is challenging. The audiologists who get their referrals by doing a good job make a living. The big hearing aid firms that advertise lose money. In our area there are 12 firms and we try to be equal to the lowest price in the area and sell people on the fact that we are the best. There are no specials and no pressure to decide now. Patients are encouraged to go home and talk it over with family and friends before deciding and they should.

By law the buyer can return a hearing aid for 30 days and get 100% of their money back.

There IS a tendency for audiologists to believe that hearing aids can help the hard-of-hearing enjoy a better life. If they didn't believe that they would be in a different business.

Company wrote 0 public responses to the review from Sep 25, 2007.

HEARING AIDS - A SINGLE COSTCO HEARING AID CENTER EXPERIENCE - OBJECTIVE OBSERVATIONS AND COMMENTS

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Adam Smith,an Economist made some observations a long time ago, that I think still apply today.

One of his premises was that a FREE MARKET ECONOMY was in the best interest of Society.

My understanding of a FREE MARKET is that nothing is Free.

The desires and demands of every individual, and the efforts and accomplishments that every individual is willing to make, in an exchange for other goods and services, and the free flow of such goods and services, describes a FREE MARKET.

Any time, any Society and its Members, as Individuals determine what they think is to the best interest of the other Individuals,and not the Individuals on their own, we have a problem.

An important consideration, and fact, is that there may be Certain and Specific Individuals, who have more of a Natural Talent and Greater Intellect, than Others, and that such Individuals may be in a position to have a more positive impact on the Society in which they live.

It may very well be, that without being obvious, there are Leaders who make the determination that certain People of Certain and Specific Talent, can benefit the Greater Society, than others.

Laws and Policies may then be created to promote and protect those identified Gifted People.

The Masses, may not be capable, or interested, in doing what is to the Best Interest of Society, in General.

A Friend, had the experience of visiting a COSTCO Hearing Center to inquire about the Benefit of Hearing Aids.

The COSTCO Hearing Aid Dispenser Employee acted as though they were dispensing Hearing Aids for the Government or on a Pro Bono Basis. One would have thought they were at the Veteran Administration.

The Prospect for the Hearing Aid was grilled about his attitude about wearing hearing aids, and why he didn't have any before now.

The COSTCO Hearing Aid Dispenser acted more like a Clerk whose job was an Order Clerk.

When the Hearing Aid Prospect inquired about how the need of a Hearing Aid was established, he was instructed that it all depended upon the results of a Hearing Test.

Only the Pocketbook, and perhaps the Physical Dexterity of the Potential User, determined what model or type of Hearing Aid fitted.

Having been in Sales for over 50 years, all in the United States, I can only say the Mentality displayed at one COSTCO Hearing Aid Center will never work.

That is, as long as there is a FREE MARKET ECONOMY.

The Hearing Aid Dispenser at COSTCO was very vocal in declaring how they were not on COMMISSION as though that was a positive attribute.

Is She had been on Straight Commission She would have no earnings at all.

Her mentality reminded me of a Union Teamster Member, whose only responsibility was driving the truck.

The only reason that COSTCO could reflect that attitude, regarding Customer Service and Civility, is because they are of the impression that every other Alternative Hearing Aid Provider, is screwing the Consumer so bad, that no matter how bad they treat the Consumer, because of their Perceived Price Advantage, the Consumer has no choice, but to put up with their abuse and ignorance, if you want to save thousands of dollars on the purchase of Hearing Aids.

When Consumers discover they can obtain Competitive Pricing on Hearing Aids, and also receive Treatment, they deserve. and are paying for, COSTCO Hearing Aid Centers will be out of business.

At some point in time, Someone, will offer Hearing Aids at reasonable prices, and provide the services necessary to their successful usage, with Compassion and Appropriate Service, and whoever does that will dominate the Hearing Aid Business.

Effective Competiton, is the Solution to almost any marketing and sales problem.

There is no substitue for appropriate compensation for appropriate service and products.

The Consumer should search all alternatives before falling victim to just PRICE.

Buyer Beware.

  • Adam Smith
Company wrote 0 public responses to the review from Sep 13, 2007.

HEARING AIDS - CONJECTURE -COSTCO-CUSTOMER SERVICE

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Conjecture: Inference from defective or presumptive evidence.

In my opinion, the best authority, when writing on a subject, is personal experience. By that, I mean actually having experienced the subject, or hearing it first-hand from those that experienced the event or subject.

Based on my personal experience of several extensive conversations with the Management of COSTCO Hearing Centers in the United States, I am of the opinion that he expects and demands the highest ethical behavior and performance of his employees.

Having worked as a Hearing Aid Dispenser for a Major Retail Corporation, that used to have direct Employees as in their Hearing Aid Division (Div05),I am well aware of the pressures placed on Employees and Division Managers, to attain certain desirable numbers, including sales and profit.

I am also well aware of the individual characteristics of Human Beings, including Hearing Aid Dispensers, and their personal interpretations and responses to policies,goals,rules,ethics,honesty,etc, and their own income and survival.

As a result of never having worked for COSTCO,although I have been, and am, a Customer for certain products, hearing aids not being one of them, what I shall write in the following is based on my personal experiences,personal contacts,and personal observations.

It is my understanding that a man named Sol Price,the owner of the Price Club, wore hearing aids. Somehow Sol and his Hearing Aid Dispenser (Provider) decided to introduce the marketing and selling of Hearing Aids at the Price Club Warehouse Outlets.

For whatever reasons, they established a Private Label called PERCEPTION Hearing Aids.

The reason for that decision was probably influenced by Hearing Aid Vendors (Manufacturers) who didn't want their Manufacturing Brand Name negatively affected by being available and sold at a Discount Warehouse Organization.

The Traditional Channels of Distribution, Private Hearing Aid Offices and Hearing Aid Dispensers, regardless of title, hated the idea of Hearing Aids being sold and dispensed at Discount Stores, and still do.

The reason the Price Club had such fantastic inital success in the Sale of Hearing Aids, and the PRESENT OWNER COSTCO still does, is because Hearing Aids were sold at prices on the basis of "WHATEVER THE TRAFFIC WILL BEAR" and still are.

COSTCO being a MERCHANT AND RETAILER, based their Hearing Aid Retail Pricing on the same basis they priced everything else. Cost,plus operating expenses,plus profit,equals RETAIL PRICE...Competition considering and allowing.

Such Pricing resulted in the Retail Price Level being 2/3rd LESS THAN HEARING AID OFFICES AND OTHER DISPENSERS.

That meant Hearing Aids being available to the PUBLIC for a couple of hundred dollars instead of thousands.

At the time THE PRICE CLUB (NOW COSTCO) in 1990 got into the Hearing Aid Business, the average Hearing Aid Office, on a National Basis, sold about 10 Hearing Aids a month, or about 120 Hearing Aids per year.

PRICE CLUB Outlets starting selling over 100 PER MONTH. EACH STORE.

The DEMAND FOR COMPETITIVE PRICING, HAS NEVER DIMINISHED.

While I believe COSTCO only sells less thant 50,000 Hearing Aids per year at the present time, if they ever really advertised and promoted their Hearing Aid Centers, they would dominate the Industry and cause a complete change in the way HEARING AIDS are marketed and sold.

Probably because of GREED and the realization that COSTCO could was selling at LOWER PRICES than they had to, to achieve their sales and profit budgets, THEY HAVE NOW RAISED THEIR PRICES.

They are no longer the SOURCE OF THE CHEAPEST HEARING AIDS.

During the years, COSTCO dropped their PRIVATE LABEL PERCEPTION and sold their Hearing Aid Products under the MANUFACTURERS LABEL such as REXTON, even though they actually advertised that product line (REXTON) by the name SIEMENS which is actually the OWNER of the BRAND: REXTON because the name or BRAND SIEMENS is much better known by the RETAIL PUBLIC (CUSTOMERS) than REXTON.

Now COSTCO is once again using PRIVATE LABELING for Hearing Aids by labeling them KIRKLAND their well recognized STORE BRAND.

Their is less negative heat and pressure from Manufacturers when their Brand Name is not used by DISCOUNTERS SUCH AS COSTCO and usually better pricing and other favors can be secured from the participating or anticipated VENDORS and MANUFACTURERS.

The DISADVANTAGES to the Consumer are SEVERAL,especially in the sale of HEARING AIDS.

The Primary Disadvantage, now that all Hearing Aids use DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING, is that only COSTCO can SERVICE AND PROGRAM THE HEARING AIDS.

THE CONSUMER IS AT THE MERCY OF THE POLICIES AND SERVICES OF COSTCO or anyone else using a PRIVATE LABEL OR BRANDED HEARING AID.

PRIOR to DIGITAL SIGNAL PROCESSING a PRICE CLUB OR COSTCO (PERCEPTION BRANDED) Hearing Aid, being of ANALOG DESIGN, could be repaired and serviced by any Hearing Aid Dispenser in the United States since no COMPUTER SOFTWARE was needed to service the product.

THAT IS NO LONGER THE CASE.

A Personal Experience will illustrate the PROBLEM.

A Man called my office and asked whether we could repair his hearing aids that he had purchased from COSTCO about 10 years ago.

Over the phone, I responded that I thought we could since any Custom Made Hearing Aid can be repaired forever, regardless of the AGE OF THE HEARING AID.

Since he was disabled, he stated that he couldn't bring the aids to my office.

I offered to make a HOUSE CALL for him, which I did, and when I arrived at his home, I saw the RAMP installed for his WHEELCHAIR and all the other features of a DISABLED PERSON'S HOME.

It turned out He was a WIDOWER, lived alone, a WWII VETERAN on a FIXED INCOME (SOCIAL SECURITY) and his Life consisted primarily of watching the Television.

He had purchased the Hearing Aids (Perception Brand) from COSTCO but when his Son took the 10 year old Hearing Aids back to COSTCO to have them REPAIRED, the Son was told that COSTCO doesn't repair hearing aids over 3 Years old.

He was told his Father needed NEW DIGITAL HEARING AIDS.

The Father and the Son together could not afford to buy new DIGITAL HEARING AIDS.

I took the 2 PERCEPTION HEARING AIDS, had all new Electronics installed in the EXISTING CASES, returned them to the USER, and he said they sounded better than they ever did.

He only paid me the normal repair charge, which is the same regardless of the AGE OF THE HEARING AID.

This type of SERVICE, provided by an INDEPENDENTLY OWNED AND OPERATED HEARING AID OFFICE AND DISPENSER is why there will always be room to compete against COSTCO and other RETAILERS, BIG AND SMALL.

As long as there is COMPETITION THE CONSUMER WILL ALWAYS BENEFIT.

GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Now that COSTCO has raised their RETAIL PRICES it is even easier for Me to compete against them with either equal or BETTER PRICING THAN THEY OFFER.

I have found that Their Dispensers don't have many years experience dispensing Hearing Aids.

Their Corporate Sales and Service Policies are TYPICAL and are usually intended to protect and benefit the Corporation, NOT THE CUSTOMER.

With that type of MENTALITY,and LACK OF FLEXIBILITY AND THINKING, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE ROOM FOR A SMALL, HONEST,ETHICAL,COMPETITIVE,AND CREATIVE INDEPENDENT BUSINESS OWNER.

Buyer Beware

Company wrote 0 public responses to the review from Sep 13, 2007.

HEARING AIDS - EXAMPLES OF INTEGRITY - A MATTER OF INTERPRETATION

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It has been my experience,and observation, that the Average Person has never really been in many situations or experiences, to test their Personal Integrity.

Not to the extent of really affecting other People.

For example, those not engaged in Retail, and the actual sale of a product, and then all of the experiences of that sale, such as a warranty claim, or a return, or the theft of the product, or the deceptive practices of all parties involved, both the Buyer and the Seller, can not really appreciate the depth of the experience or the problem.

Other than Personal Experiences, with Family or Friends, most People do not have their Integrity challenged.

Being Self-Employed, or on Straight Commission, which is actually the same, subjects each Person to more challenges and experiences of Integrity Experience, than any other Situation or Experience.

To Practice and Execute the Highest Level of Integrity, when Financial Interests and Demands, are at Stake, is the Epitome of the Challenge of Integrity.

Every Small Business Owner faces these challenges on a daily basis.

That famous Expression: The Buck Stops Here.

A Real Experience. Perhaps the earliest one in the Hearing Aid Business.

Prospects would visit the Office with a Broken or otherwise physically damaged hearing aid shell and hearing aid, and ask whether there was anything that could be done to salvage the hearing aid.

In some cases, the Hearing Aid had been run over,stepped on, or chewed up.

The Correct Answer was and is, is that the Hearing Aid can be remade. In other words, a new shell can be made. The alternative procedure is the purchase of a so called New Hearing Aid.

In a Remake Repair, either the old Electronic Components are used, or all new Electronic Components are installed based on the current hearing loss.

If a Hearing Aid Dispenser, whatever their title, tells a Hearing Aid User, there is nothing that can be done with a crushed or otherwise destroyed hearing aid, they are lying.

If they say it can be remade, but they don't choose to get involved with that procedure, they are telling the truth and that is their choice.

The Facts Are:

Any Custom Made Hearing Aid can have an Electronic Repair, forever. 5,10,15,20.25 years, or whatever.

Any Custom Made Hearing Aid can have a new Shell Made, forever.

Any Custom Made Hearing Aid can be upgraded, with either Analog or Digital Signal Processing Electronics.

Any Custom Made Hearing Aid can be remade for any other Person or any other Ear.

Any Custom Made Hearing can have any Feature or Option Added or Removed, from any Hearing Aid.

Anything done to any existing hearing aid, is always cheaper than buying a so-called New Hearing Aid.

Since there is less profit potential in the Repair,Upgrade,Remake,or modification, of any existing HEARING AID,there is less incentive and motivation in performing those Services.

If you Present Hearing Aid Dispenser doesn't offer you the suggested Alternatives to Purchasing a New Hearing Aid, I suggest you seek a New Hearing Aid Dispenser.

You should always do business, any business, not just Hearing Aids, with those Providers that are primarily interested in Doing What Is To Your Best Interest. Not Necessarily theirs.

A Retire Carpenter presented himself in my office with a hearing aid that had a missing hinge pin that was required to retain the battery door in order for the hearing aid to function.

Since the pin was missing, the Faceplate of the Hearing Aid had to be replaced. The Hinge Pin is a manufactured part of the Faceplate.

The Good News was that all the electronics of the Hearing Aid were replaced with all new components and that they were replaced based on the current hearing loss requirements of the User. A Hearing Test was performed and the results submitted to the Repair Lab.

The Hearing Aid User actually received a New Hearing Aid based on his current hearing loss. other than the physical shell, which did not present a problem.

This Repair Service, which resulted in providing a New Hearing Aid for the price of a repair, which was less than half or a third of the cost of a new hearing aid, was really a real bargain for the Hearing Aid Owner.

When the transaction was finalized, the Hearing Aid User was very happy and appreciative.

Within a year, the same Hearing Aid User returned with his other hearing aid, which had a battery door missing.

The difference was, that the battery door hinge pin was intact. Just the battery door was missing.

He stated that he now had Cancer, and his Medical Expenses were strained.

He hoped he didn't have to sustain the same expense to repair his defective hearing aid as he had with his other aid.

The presented problem was, that the presented hearing aid battery door design was obsolete, and replacement parts were no longer available.

All that had to be replaced was an obsolete designed battery door.

I retreated to the back of the Office to see if I could find the correct battery door from some old hearing aids that we had accumulated over the years.

When returning to the Repair Station, I found that the obtained door was incorrect, and did not fit the old original hearing aid.

A second attempt, which included taking the defective hearing aid back to the accumulated obsolete parts accumulation, produced the correct and appropriate hearing aid battery door.

The used battery door was installed, and the defective hearing aid worked properly.

The User was very happy.

His repair cost, since it only involved salvaged parts, was NOTHING.

He could not have been happier.

He left the Office paying nothing for the repair service.

No profit, which was really needed, was generated.

I don't even remember his name.

If such actions were taken by an Employee, depending upon the Employer, the Employee would have been fired, since no profit was generated.

A logical action would have been to order the destruction and removal of all such obsolete parts, so that no such, no-charge service could ever be performed again.

The Heart and Moral Heritage and Training, dictated that the Right Thing be done.

Who is Right?

I can sleep nights.

What difference would a couple of hundred dollars have made in my life?

I survived, and I still enjoy the experience I had in providing the service I provided that Human Being,whatever his Name was, or is.

I never saw him again, but I have never forgot him.

Neither have I ever forgot that experience.

In the end, if you don't have integrity, what do you have?

Buyer Beware

Company wrote 0 public responses to the review from Sep 12, 2007.

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