EnglishDispenser contact information


I run an office based practice in the UK called Blackminster Hearing Centre.

I am a hearing aid discounter, with often the lowest prices in the UK.

Unlike most UK dispensers I have a strong technical background in digital technology.

I also run a web based hearing aid spare business which sells all sorts of hearing aid sundries at the lowest prices I can manage.

If you want to know more please take a look at www.blackminster.co.uk or www.hearingaidspares.com

I reckon you ought to qualify that statement, at least a bit.

Unlike most English dispensers I have a strong technical background in digital technology. Better?

Fair enough :wink:

You still don’t fit CIC’s though do you… and there is no reason why a good dispenser shouldnt fit them…?

So are you saying that I am NOT a good dispenser?

It looks like someone is after a fight…

Not at all, I’m sure your very good and competent, and at least you look after clients pockets. But to not sell cic’s in the digital era is not in every clients interest, as they can be fitted more than adequately to over 50% of losses. But hey, this isn’t a debate, and I’m not questioning your ability. I just feel it’s not best advice to exclude them from every clients options.


Are you entirely sure about that.

A CIC is 17 times more likely to break-down than an equivalent thin tube instrument.

A CIC is about 3 times more likely to fail in service than an equivalent ITE half shell.

A CIC is the most likely to get lost, trodden-on or swallowed. (According to insurance figures)

You might not like ED, but you can’t fault his logic, especially in respect of the service-work required to look after hearing instruments.


Um Bongo’y

Yes i am sure. Your figures are wrong and out of date.

But firstly let me say, i dont know ED so i cant dislike the guy. I may have a slight issue with a couple of things which i have pointed out to him on what i hoped to be a professional level, and therefore it isnt personal. But i like to see the web give the best information for everyone, being i have done a lot to tie together a band of brothers so to speak to present a uniformity to what is being offered.

You are saying that for every 6 years a person wears a BTE and returns it once for repair, the guy wearing an ITE would have returned it 17 times. And that hasnt happened to any of my clients. Anyway, no one fits BTE’s nowadays because of power ITE’s and RIC’s. Also those figures (whatever they would have been) predate decent wax guards etc.

ITEs are just as likely to go wrong now and more so if they include a push button or VC wheel. I have many clients with CIC’s 3 years old that have never needed a repair.

RIC’s are now more likely to go wrong for any hearing aid but ED sells these in bundles, I guess cos they are just more easily repaired.

Maybe because my clients are younger due to the use of the web to generate all my work i get more demand for CIC’s, and i wholey value their place in the market, and because of this i see it as an error to publicly broadcast (by a good dispenser or not) that one doesnt supply them. Maybe it’s not my place to say, but then I just cant keep my big gob shut cos i dont think it is helpful to anyone, especially clients. And anyway, i’m always right, so there! :wink:

[quote=john lloyd;34482
But i like to see the web give the best information for everyone, being i have done a lot to tie together a band of brothers so to speak to present a uniformity to what is being offered.

The last thing individual hard of hearing folks need on a forum like this is for there to be uniformity and a banding together (so to speak), of dispensers. Getting the stories straight to not impede sales, having a unified story. ED receives respect because he expresses opinions based on his experiences, and I assume people who use his services don’t come away feeling sold. Do you feel he is cutting into some of your territory.


You are wrong - the banding together has produced a group who are in support of each other and this makes us a stronger force to deal with. When i go on holiday my clients always have someone to turn to, and there is much less likeliness of any of us going out of business or struggling as we rely on ALL our websites to generate work.

I can guaranee that people don’t come away from me, or any of my affiliates feeling they have been ‘sold’ to. The testimonials speak for themselves.

No, ED is not cutting into my territory. I invited him into it, but he declined.

I should add that i have seen several business’ using the internet go out of business and they have left LOTS of clients without the after-care that has been paid for. Two reasons for this, first they failed to optimise their websites and had to rely on expensive web advertising, and 2nd they generally tried to undercut everyone starting a price war and then couldn’t maintain the costs whilst running sponsored links. With the few exceptions i have managed to bring a group together which avoids unnecessary price clashes, which always ultimately affect the care given to the client; whilst also maintaining realistic low prices compared to the high street.
There is a reason we are busy!


You may call your prices realistic. I call it expensive. £3000 for the top of the line Phonak model. This is after you have realised cost savings by grouping together your band of merry men. I can get those aids for £2200 in Denmark. Englishdispenser is also cheaper. What are you so cock-a-hoop about ? You are ripping people off.

Glucas - please do your homework before suggesting such things.

ED is not cheaper - he has occasional offers on that may be cheaper. Otherwise his prices are very similar and in line with the best we can offer in THIS country. Please don’t suggest we are ripping people off by comparison with a different country - we are probably paying a lot more to buy the aids - that’s the way the economy is driven. As you know things are expensive in the UK, not just for you, but us too. I know in the past Denmark proved to be a good option for people but I have heard this is not the case anymore because companies like us have strived to reduce prices. I doubt you can get them for £2200, but if you can it’s not exactly practical to go back to Denmark for your follow ups.

A band of merry men we are not - we are a group of professional affiliates covering the breadth of the UK to ensure we can give the best service combined with the best prices - do your own comparisons on the web. Then compare us to the high street where Hidden Hearing are charging £7000 per pair of top range aids.

Don’t make me laugh. You are not a philanthropist. If you could make a killing you would. So it costs more for you to purchase hearing aids wholesale than it does in Denmark does it ? Thanks for letting us in on that one. Doing your very best to reduce the wholesale price for us ? I doubt it. Or is the simple truth that you are just trying to increase your market share ? Which is why you are trying to harangue ED ?

Seeing the evidence of your last few posts, I wouldn’t personally touch you with a barge pole. You come on here slagging off two forum members, who for what I can see, put a lot of time and effort helping people with advice. You then come up with the claim that you can achieve economies of scale, but that is not backed up by your price list. Why don’t you do your homework ?

I believe the modern parlance for this is: PWNED!

Good shot sir!.

John: If you actually read my post above you’d actually see that I specifically refer to CIC, ITC and thin tube devices - there’s no mention of RIC.

Furthermore device failures are usually defined as occasions when the instrument needs to be returned to the factory for component replacement (RTB -return to base).

As to the accuracy, I used to compile the raw UK data that was used in the Marketrak studies - so my results are empirical not subjective or postulated from an insignificant sample survey.

The RIC instruments you were using for your argument above don’t require the same level of RTB as your CIC, even if they are in very waxy ears as the spares kit allows for instantaneous swapover.

Additionaly if the RIC/BTE device is faulty and the dispenser is holding stock/spare aids, the customer is not inconvenienced for a period of time.

Here’s my comment as a younger hearing aid wearer in the UK who also has many years of selling and marketing experience in the B2C high-tech space…

Experience and emiprical monitoring of short and longer-term results consistently shows that “Slagging off the Opposition” fails to work as a marketing strategy with the British psyche.

e.g. (not a comprehensive list)

  1. the aggressive pap posted here about 2 independents who “dared” to turn down joining your cartel / dared to question your “pronouncements”.

  2. the misleading, out of date nonsense on your website re the nature of NHS provision - a provision which is perfectly adequate for many people to allow them to completely address their hearing issues for £0.
    (I can access small, silver Oticon Sprit Zests perfectly capable of fitting my loss for £0 with free batteries and a current wait time of under 2 weeks for testing/fitting plus SAME WEEK tuning). 18 weeks is the maximum for any PCT before they fall foul of targets. 48 weeks is ancient history.

  3. “Bernafon is not worth stocking” - errr you mean you can’t get discounts from them so they don’t fit YOUR model? (or should I say, tongue in cheek, “you can’t be a GOOD dispenser if you deny people access to Channel Free…”)

You come across as arrogant and unable to articulate YOUR unique value…“We’re cheaper and all the others are crap and out to rip you off” doesn’t cut it.

Also, I guess you need to be careful that you don’t alienate your member RHADs by “representing them” (e.g. the way you are doing so on here) in a way that they might find offensive and contrary to their morals and ethics (or, perhaps, recruit just clones of yourself?).

My summary of your offering is that you have a website that shouts “cheap prices”, some local offices signed up and some bulk buy-pricing based on your “funnel” of leads - a good start - but not hard for someone to do exactly the same or better and leave you floundering…how many of your sign-ups are exclusive for a long period? :wink:

Disagree if you like, but I have piles of proof (and you already have some example feedback on here)…

Oh, and chalk me up as another someone who would not consider using you…

A perfect example of an independent, valued contributor on here taking the time to explain versus the sweeping “guff” from Mr Crystal:

a RIC repair is (most often) an office visit for a receiver change.

a CIC repair is (most often) a week or two without the aid - for me that would mean either a loaner (BTE?) if offered, or an embarassing failure to be able to deal with business meetings etc for a while…

Experienced wearers know that small electronic devices have a hard time in the warm/moist/waxy environment of the ear canal but the user impact of one failure in each case is very different.

Oh dear - you’ve got it wrong all three.

Glucas - not sure why you are so riled, but you are misled by hearing aid prices if you think that £3000 is a rip off for top-range aids. Go into a few branches and compare. Jeez i’m not sure what’s rattled you so much, but you do have it all wrong. You need to actually trust that some dispensers are trying to do more than make a mint. Whilst i would like to earn a good wage, I give away far more accessories than you’ll ever know at more or less market price. I didn’t say it cost more for us to purchase wholesale than to buy in Denmark retail - I said we may pay more wholesale than what they do. I don’t believe there is still a great difference between us and them now, but you are welcome to prove me wrong. Why don’t you start a thread publicising how much cheaper it is to fly to Denmark, have a holiday and buy some aids at the same time and help everyone save a penny or two?

Um Bungo - sorry - it wasnt meant to be personal, but you article didnt justify why CIC’s shouldnt be sold in todays market. They simply don’t break down as they used to, and i was just adding that RIC’s are now more liable to break down, but may well be easier to fit.

Canthearmuch - I think yo may be a dispenser that is not in agreement with the way the internet has changed the pricing structure of hearing aids? I didn’t slag off anyone - I raised the issue that not selling CIC’s cannot really be best advice for everyone - where does that get personal? I don get good discounts off Bernafon because i belong to Hearbuy - the discount is therefore the same as Oticon, but Oticon have better support on the road. And i don’t believe they offer anything that Oticon don’t (the larger better supported division).
I will look at the NHS part of the site and amend if it is now due for update - but i feel that it is almost still correct - the Zest hardly compete with the new AGil do they!

RICs - this is a fair statement, and is easier for those who have branches - but for field dispensers, which i am, it is a call out. Yes easier to maintain, but that again is no reason to rule them out. Again, I reiterate, my clients rarely have problems with them nowadays, and i supply them all with the Siemens STAY-DRI dehumidier.

Ultimately I can’t please everyone and won’t try to - the site is well laid out compared to the others. If you think it’s cheap then that is down to you. My clients disagree, and the blog is proving itself to be a valuable way of staying informed as a client. Or maybe i just do that for my own greed too?