eBay hearing aids

I’ve come across hearing aids being shipped from UK to US through eBay. The hearing aids I encountered were classified as “stolen” by the manufacturer. If you should send the hearing aid in for a repair, the manufacturer will not ship it back to you, as it is legally theirs.

Additionally, some European hearing aids are not compatible with US software (and vice-versa).

Buyer beware.

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Thanks for the heads up!

I was in the apple shop (as in ipods etc) the other day… A guy came in with his iphone that he bought cheaply in Hong Kong to get repaired… the staff member told him that they wouldn’t repair it as it wasn’t bought locally and told him to take it back to his place of purchase - so it’s not just hearing aid manufacturers cracking down on this sort of thing!

I think we should also be very aware of the brand names which go with British NHS hearing aids. Hearing aids are only lent from the NHS, not given to the patient. Sometimes you can get specific permission to keep outdated hearing aids, but this doesn’t happen with current catalogue aids, at least I’ve never known it in near 20 years of hearing aids. People don’t have to pay for replacement of “lost” hearing aids, at least not the first time around, so they soon realise they can “lose” a pair and sell them. EBay refused to take a stolen item report on these aids as they are not stolen from me personally, they will only take a stolen item report if the trust from which they are stolen calls them. The best I could do would be inform the local hospital to the item location that someone is selling an NHS aid/pair of same.

There are some (limited) legitmate routes to get hold of some of these named hearing aids, but few, so beware if the item is in a UK location and called:

Siemens Reflex (any suffix, L, M, P, SP, DSP)
Phonak Eterna
Oticon Spirit 3
Oticon Spirit Zest

Also some care with Phonak Nios Micro, although these are sold privately elsewhere in the world I am told they are not realeased for private sale in the UK. I am not entirely convinced by the source who told me this, however, so I’d be interested if anyone has more information on this. They show as an available aid in iPFG (UK version) when Eternas do not, but it’s possible Eternas are PFG instruments.

I’d be interested in the way that these things are being seized also, as obviously laws vary around the world, but surely they have to get you a police seizure notice to prove that they are stolen goods? A serial number check should be followed up with proper processes to retain possession of the goods.

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If you are contemplating a purchase of a brand name, such as Phonak, Widex, Siemens, Resound, etc online, such as on Ebay, etc, I would highly recommend getting the serial number(s) prior to purchasing, then calling the manufacturer to verify the serial number(s) and to see if they were registered to anyone and also to verify the warranty expiration date.

I know with one of the larger European manufacturers, there have been a relatively large number of “stolen” hearing aids that are popping up in many places and you don’t want to purchase those, as any repairs sent in will definitely cause an issue and it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to support those who get a hold of hearing aids illegally.

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I’ve dealt with this also. There are 2 things going on ebay. First, ALL name brand hearing aids coming from Indonesia and Singapore are stolen. Typically Siemens or Starkey aids. These were bought with stolen credit cards and once they hit Indonesia there is no way to recover them. We’ve tried to get them removed from ebay, but they don’t seem to care. The next is a dealer that is selling Resound hearing aids from the UK. I’ve spoken to resound about serial numbers related to these aids and these are aids that were returned. According to Resound, the aids were to be destroyed, but they weren’t. Someone is sneaking them out the door.

There are some good dealers on ebay, I’m not discounting them. But there are some really bad guys selling on ebay also.

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I was recently asked for programming software for a large batch of stolen NHS hearing aids.

They had found their way to Eastern Europe.

Beyond the inactive warranties, I would be concerned about the costs that may arise from having to pay to have the hearing aids serviced and programmed. Also much like other electronic devices it would be very difficult to assess how long they were used and what type of condition they were in. It is always best to buy these types of devices from a reputable source that also promises to service them. The cost of having a hearing aid maintained and serviced over it’s lifespan is likely to far exceed the amount of savings you would receive originally.

Wow! I must be WAY behind the times. I’ve worn HA’s for over forty years always fitted in house by a licensed audiologist. I can’t imagine ordering online and being without the service to adjust, repair, etc. Then again, I’ve never had a loss that an “off the shelf” HA would help. Had 3 custom built in years past before digitals came out. I’ve never experienced calming sound until I got them. The analog was great, but these are better. Didn’t know sound could be heard without causing a tense neck! I see people saying $7,000 for HA’s. Is that the part of the USA located maybe? Mine are in the $4-5,000 per pair for the ones that fit my profound loss. I have friends paying in the hundreds with less severe losses. This forum has been a real eye opener for me. I’m grateful to have found it.

Hearing aids in the UK must always be supplied by a audiologist. It is in fact illegal sell/prescribe hearing aids if you are not an audiologist. ebay should be flagging these-they do look at flagged listings so it is important to flag.

But yes, like anything if you buy stolen goods you lose them and the money you paid. A life lesson is that it is always better to deal with a legal supplier in the US. You wouldn’t buy a used car from ebay from a foreign seller.

I would think that common sense would tell you that anything you buy on an online auction such as e bay should be checked into carefully before you make the purchase.

I read this thread last night because yesterday I lost one of my Oticon Deltas. :mad::frowning:

Today, out of desperation I checked ebay and there’s one used Delta set up for the right ear (what I need). The starting bid is $500. I wrote to the seller and asked for the serial number. (I’m not even sure where that is on this model). I also asked about the condition of the aid. Anything else I should do? Be wary of? It would be perfect if I could get a replacement at a reasonable price until I can afford new aids down the road.

Thanks for any input.

There is a charity called “Yorkshire Aid Convoy”. It’s biggest contributor is the NHS. I have no idea what “ends up on the boat” but perhaps that may be a possibility for NHS aids ending up in Eastern Europe?

I’ve just received a pair of resound live 9 HA’s I purchased on eBay from a private seller. They were her fathers and supposedly lightly used. They came with the original box, manual and three dead batteries. I inserted two new batteries BUT I am hearing no sound at all from either aid!!. I have tried for hours to get some sort of sound from these aids but, nothing!! I realize that they will have to be programmed for my hearing loss, but surely I should be able to hear something! Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Chris

Do you hear any signal that says they are active?

If they don’t fire up return them to the seller.

If it’s a slim tube BTE there could be wax or other debris stuck in the tubing that would prevent any sound from coming out. If it’s an in-th-ear hearing aid the same could happen at the receiver end where the sound comes out into the ear canal. Check to make sure the devices are completely clean and then if they are still not working perhaps try some batteries that you purchased. If that still results in no sound, then they may be broken.

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Do they have serial numbers?

If not they could be plastic dummies …

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Wow, thanks for the info, I’ll be careful in the future :smiley:
This really pisses me off, I mean, people are not honest it’s crazy!

Anyway, have a good day!

Often the problem of completely dead aids is in the contacts in the battery door. Are they clean? Are you sure the batteries used are good? Ed

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