Current Audi doesn't use REM - find another

#1

A bit of story background if you don’t mind.

My current HAs are Oticon Agil circa 2009. These cost me $5,300 at my current audi back then, and I have been nursing them along for a while now.
Finally ready to move on from my HA’s. Wanted to save money, so joined Costco and made an appointment for my hearing test - 3.5 weeks out. Took the day off work to go because its a 40 minute drive etc. So, on that day, the guy looks in my ears and their is a piece of loose skin deep in one of my canals, partially blocking clear line of sight to the drum (partially). He claims with that there he will not test me, cannot try and remove it. So go to an ENT to look at it and make sure it isn’t something more serious. I go to my current audi, claiming looking at upgrading, she looks in my ears, see the skin, and is not bothered by it in the least. Says it will fall out in a week or two, but no reason she cant test me.

So with all of that said, I took my Costco experience as an omen, that I should not use them and I would regret it…

My current audi was an independent. Very nice ship, very very close to my work, and has always been super responsive to my needs. Letting me come in immediately if I have any issues, providing loaners, etc. Only issue I’ve had with them is, they are expensive…and when I got my Oticon HAs they did not use REM. With the machine in my ears programmedto my curve, I heard great. But when they disconnected the machine, and put the HAs in, everything ratcheted down a few notches. I immediately statedI don’t hear as well. But the response was “that’s strange, never heard that before”, you just need to acclimate and we can make adjustments after you wear them a couple weeks.

So I had to go back about 5 times to complain I was not hearing well and they would raise the upper frequencies. The one girl in the office, a trained audi, but a young girl, used he words “power monger” to describe me more than once. Which I did not appreciate as it indicated I was not self aware enough to know when I am hearing well and when I am not.

Fast forward to now, current audi sold to Connect Hearing, which I understand is a chain, but know very little about them. The previous owner, and my primary audi stayed on. Connect Hearing pushed Phonak, no longer selling Oticon, which is fine by me. So she is pushing the Marvel series, with prices ranging from $6,400 for the M90, $5,500 for the M70, $4,500 for the M50 and $3,600 for the M30 (prices are for the pair). Obviously with those prices, everything is bundled, hearing tests, fittings, adjustments, cleanings, 6 month hearing tests, etc.

I hate the prices, but would go with this audi in a heartbeat just because they are so very convenient for me and have treated me well. But I understand they still do not use REM. That concerns me a good bit. I just feel like maybe I will not get the best result I could get…

Based on all this backstory, what would you do? I don’t know how to find another audi in St Petersburg FL that is good and make sure they use REM without a bunch of phone calls and visits that I really do not have a bunch of time for. Is there an easier way to find out this information? Or would you just take the bad with the good with the current audi because they are 5 minutes from work and will drop anything to help me whenever I need them…

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#2

Here’s a link from Hearingtracker https://www.hearingtracker.com/hearing-aids/usa/florida/saint-petersburg?q=St.+Petersburg%2C+FL%2C+USA&t=home_location_search

with audiologists near St. Petersburg. You can filter by brand.

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#3

Thanks. I did look at that list. Most of the ones listed there are either in Tampa (30min or more depending on traffic) or have no reviews. There is one listed in my town about 20minutes away that has lots of good reviews, but sells the aids cheaper and charges a la Cart for absolutely every service such as refitting after repair, adjustment appointments, etc. I don’t like that model as that would cause me to put off or deal with minor problems instead of going in and being nickel and dimed.

That list does not include several closer to me.

And none of the websites for Audi’s indicate what they do for testing and fitting HAs. So I’d be stuck calling a bunch of them, asking what they sell, if they use REM, their prices and business model etc. Such a hassle which I why I’m wondering if I should just deal with my current Audi and not getting the benefits of REM…

Anyone on this site from St Petersburg that had good experiences that wants to share?

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#4

I live in the Tampa Bay area, St. Petersburg, FL. I have seen many HIS and audiologists in county.Only a few do REMs. I have been to one below that does REM. They sell several brands of hearing aids.

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#5

Thank you for the info. I did look at the website for this provider. Interestingly they only have office hours on Tuesdays. I wonder how that would work if you needed something looked at or fixed. That’s a concern for me.

I wonder why so few use REM around here. And yet Costco does.

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#6

Not all Costco HA fitters do REM. I can’t get it done at my Costco.

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#7

Try Gardneraudiology.com, their main office is in Crystal River. They have about eight other offices. Two In St. Pete and one in Clearwater.

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#8

Thanks. @Terost also recommended them. I did not realize they had an additional location in St Pete and one in Clearwater. I see the Audi’s go between the locations hence each location only having office hours one or two days a week.

I will keep them in mind.

Still struggling about the fact that my Audi is 5 minutes from work and I can usually see them on an hour’s notice. I know it sounds like my mind is made up. But it’s not at all.

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#9

You could talk to your audiologist and ask if there’s anyway he could do REM, or arrange for somebody else to do it for you. There is a LOT to be said for the convenience.

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