About a month ago I asked to have my fitting formula in my KS8 aids changed from SmartFit (similar to NAL-NL2), to DSL v5. I was looking for less compression where distant and quieter sounds seemed to be amplified too much. It has turned our really well. This however requires a new First Fit and REM. This was all done as it should, but I got left with a bit too much gain in my left problematic ear and was getting more feedback than I should. So last week when shopping at Costco, I stopped by the desk to ask for an appointment to cut the gain back a little in the 3 kHz range to stop the feedback. As it turned out, they had an immediate opening, but not with the fitter I have seen many times since I got the KS8’s. I hesitated, but thought this is just a minor 15 minute task, and why wait for an appointment with my fitter. Well what a mistake!
This fitter did not take any time to review my history, and would not simply listen to what I wanted – a gain tweak down at 3 kHz. The fitter inspected my aids and immediately declared that I had a moisture problem, and the reason for my problem was that the inside of my aids were all corroded, and they needed to be sent back to the manufacturer. I said that when I open the battery door there is always been some evidence of moisture, and they had been like that since day one. The fitter insisted, so I asked if they would provide some loaner aids. The answer was “no”.
Next the fitter looked in my ears and put images up on the computer screen of the inside of my ear canal. The declaration was then made that I had a major wax problem and that was the cause of my feedback. There was a bunch more stuff that went on, but in the end the fitter essentially refused to make an adjustment until the hearing aids were sent back, and I got my ears cleaned by a doctor. At that point I said, OK, I will consider it, and left.
The next day I called and made an appointment with my regular fitter, who is the manager of the hearing centre. I told the story, and was told my ears were fine, and the aids were fine, and my adjustment in gain was made, all in about 15 minutes. My aids are now as good as they ever have been.
I tell this story, as a bit of a warning. I know I frequently recommend Costco, and up until this incident, have had excellent service. I have heard other posters here tell about getting a run around at Costco, and I now have had the same thing happen. I believe the message in all of this is that one needs to go to Costco, or any other hearing aid provider, with a good understanding of what service you should expect, and pull the plug if you don’t get it. I would not dismiss Costco as a choice, but I sure would ask for a different fitter or go to another Costco, if I felt I was not getting the best service.