I have been wearing hearing aids for approx. 20 years and am about to transition to the RITE variant. I have worn mainly CIC,ITC etc in the past and have a moderate hearing loss. I have been going to the same audiology office during this time and in reflection I really don’t see that I have received any benefit for my loyalty. I generally have a different audiologist each visit, parking is ridiculously expensive and their aids are twice the cost of Costco. . So I am now looking seriously at having Costco handle my fitting. I have several questions that I hope the forum can help me with. The first one is that as I understand from my reading the Futures are now available at Costco in the States. Does anyone know when they will be available in Canada? I have asked the audi at the local Costco and she doesn’t know. Should I wait for the Futures or purchase one of the other aids that they sell such as the Cobalt 16 (I do want Bluetooth etc)? I can wait as changing my aids right now is not critical for me. Lastly, I have spent several hours reading through the various forums and would like to know the specific benefits of RITE aids as opposed to in the ear custom moulded aids such as a CIC/ITC.
Can’t help w. your basic question. However, my only experience w. Costco (US) is they wanted to sell me the type of HA that would plug the ear completely. I knew from reading this forum and elsewhere that the best type for me was an “open fit”. I am on the phone a lot and never had a problem. With what they wanted to sell me would have involved a plugged ear and all kinds of hardware just to use a dedicated phone. (I wear a BlueTooth all day.)
So I bot my first HA this past week from my HMO’s hearing center at full retail. Since mfrs. have tight control - it is hard to compare the Costco named HA (which are mfrd. by mainline mfrs.) to the named items sold at full price. I might go back, since I’m still in my 30 day trial period.
If I were you Frank, with no urgent need to switch, I’d wait a bit and see what develops at Costco. Stop by every month or two and ask. If for some reason Futures are not in Canadian Costco’s future, they’ll get something else soon.
What you need to do is find out the specs. of the Costco aids. They get their aids from major manufacturers and they’re called something different. Their chip may be last years, but if they do what you want them to do, fine. Costco aids may not be the top top of the line - they may not have the latest of th latest features, however, in general their aids are fine for majority of hearing issues. By knowing specs can really do a cost comparison of features. The local clinic may have models that are w//in the ballpark of Costco’s aids.
My experience with Costco Canada has been very good. I have been wearing Verite 7’s since September. Adjustments and help have been excellent. The only issue I have had is that at my location, appointments need to be scheduled a little while out as they are very busy. Well worth the savings.
Costco’s house brand, which is made by Siemen, is called Kirkland Signature Premium Digital Hearing Aids, which list for $1,299 a pair plus $325 for the remote control needed for Bluetooth connectivity.
However, here in the U.S. Costco also carries the Resound Futures, which I understand are essentially the same as the Resound Aleras. I think these have been available at Costco only since the beginning of the year. The Futures are a little more expensive (I paid $2770 plus tax for the pair, including a Bluetooth phone clip), but the audi said this was a better choice for my particular type of high-frequency hearing loss.
I was fitted with the Futures two weeks ago (my first time) and so far I am very satisfied with them and with the service I’ve been receiving at Costco. The audi seemed very professional. I liked the fact that she was not working on a commission basis and so had no incentive for pushing a higher-end product. I also like the 90-day trial period with full refund, the one-time replacement for damage or loss, and the 24-month warranty (36 months if you pay with Amex).
I sound like a died-in-the-wool Costco fan, but the fact is I joined only three weeks ago to take advantage of their hearing aid program.
Several of my friends have gone to Costco with excellent results. They are very pleased with their service and especially their price. The cost of a pair of Rexton Cobalt 16’s is about $2000 here in Canada. This does not include the remote cost. Cheaper than going to the traditional Audi but still more expensive than the States. Strange now that the Canadian dollar is trading slightly below, at par and above par with the U.S dollar these days. We in the great white north usually pay more for the same product even though in my case I’m 80 miles from Buffalo, not 100 miles above the Arctic circle. I can’t wait for the Futures as it seems that most comments are positive and the technology is advanced. The thing that gets me is that Costco can make a profit charging what they do for the aids, so why can’t other dispensers?