“I still think you need to focus on the provider more than the brand”
I agree with the above statement (I would have quoted it, but it has escaped me for the moment how to do that.)
After being SSD for 25 years, I finally decided to do something about it a few years ago. I responded to one of those mass mailings for a “free” hearing exam at a local hearing center. No, it was not Bel-tone or Miracle Ear, it was a local audiologist. I should have walked out as soon as I walked in and saw that they were selling not only audiology services, but all manner of other things such as greeting cards, keychains, etc. but I went through with the exam.
I received a professional exam and my audiogram looked like what I expected. And they recommended a Starkey CROS with no gain on the right side, which was a bit puzzling, considering I have some high frequency loss on the right. Basically I was buying a transmitter for the left and a receiver for the right with no gain.
I tried them for a week and returned for what I thought was an adjustment. When I told the Audi that the gain wasn’t enough and I couldn’t hear what was on the left side, she said she couldn’t help me and collected the aids and the trial was over.
30 days later, I received an invoice for the “free” exam. I returned the invoice with a protest letter and never hear another word from them.
Fast forward to August 2021. My wife said she was tired of my hearing problem and the TV blasting her out of the room and told me to do something about it. I did some online searches and found a place called ziphearing.com online. I’m not real big on buying medical devices online, but I thought what the heck, nothing ventured nothing gained.
Within seconds of putting in my phone number, my phone rang and Jeff Hall was on the other end. We spoke for about 30 minutes after which he recommended a Phonak Audeo Paradise P70R CROS for about 60% of what the Starkey was three years before. He said I would have to wait a few weeks because they weren’t shipping yet, but they expected them to ship soon.
He set me up with a local audiologist here in Tulsa and all the audiologist costs were included in the cost of the hearing aids just as if I had bought them right from the audiologist. This audiologist set up a repeat appointment two weeks later, at which point he listened to my complaints/suggestions and made the adjustments that the Target software would allow and made another follow-up appointment for two weeks later. At that appointment I had him turn on some features we had initially decided to leave off, but left the gain settings alone. Then two weeks later I returned again to confirm that everything was working well and no further adjustments were needed. At that appointment I told them I had decided to keep the hearing aids.
My point in this long winded post was that one audiologist did very little to help me and another bent over backwards, including extending the 30 day trial period an additional week. There was all the pressure in the world brought to bear by the first audiologist to purchase the hearing aids and none by the second one.