HA 'trial' period - law?

In investigating the purchase on my first HAs, of the two audiologists I visited, the first offered to let me wear a pair of HAs for 2 weeks to ‘try them out’ w/o any contract. The second offered to let me try a set of HAs after I had entered into a purchase contract and then would give me two weeks trial with a 100% money back guarantee.

Is there a state or federal law on what constitutes a ‘trial’ period prior to, and after, paying for HAs? I’ve heard that I have 30 days to return a pair of HAs I purchased and get my money back - is that a law?

South Carolina law says:
"Trial Period A hearing aid trial period is not addressed in the law/regulations.
Mail Order

Mail order dispensing is not addressed in the law/regulations."

If SC doesn’t have a trial period stipulated then they can do whatever they want.

Kentucky states there is a minimum 30 day trial period. It also allows the fitter to keep up to 10% of the sale price if the devices are returned.

Remember purchase agreements are designed to protect the buyer…

You can contact hearing planet 1-877-412-1380. They will give you a list of audiologist who will allow you a 45 day trial period. If the State doesn’t stipulate by law the length of the trial period then the audiologist can pretty much do whatever they want. Two weeks is kind of short and there’s no way I would sign any kind of purchase agreement.

It’s all negotiable as to the length of the trail. If they want your money and you want to give it to them set the terms and if they don’t want to abide by them go to another audiologist or go to a Costco if one is close enough; they will give you 90 days.

Different states have different laws. It’s not hard to be shocked that South Carolina isn’t so hot on consumer protection laws.

But here’s the thing to note: Almost universally hearing aid manufacturers sell their hearing aids to their dealers on a 90 day sale or return basis. So if you return the aids, the most they are out is, their time, FedEx postage two ways, any materials used such as impression material or ear molds, and that’s about it. Whether the aids are returned after 2 weeks or 2 months.

If you are willing to negotiate, even a state that has limited consumer protection laws, you should be able to secure at least a 45 day trial from most places. If they are not willing to negotiate with you, then let the free market self regulate, by taking your business somewhere else.

So if you return the aids, the most they are out is, their time,

Is that a zero cost item?


Let’s say somewhere between an Audi mechanic’s hourly rate and a doctor’s hourly rate.

Assuming say three or four hours time total, what’s that come to in US dollars?

(Being in the UK I have no idea what those figures would be)

My audiologist has a $150 (US) fee to change aids during the trial period, which is at least 60 days depending on the manufacturer. Considering that she spent about 6 hours total with me adjusting the Phonaks that I gave back, I think that’s pretty fair.

My point was not to downplay the value of what a hearing professional does, but simply to point out that if a hearing professional is choosing to only offer a two week trial, that is their choice, since the cost to them is the same if the return happens after 2 weeks or two months.

As for their time, if they have to have multiple sessions to make a patient happy, that’s the nature of the beast. We all have patients who require lots of adjustments, and those that are hassle free. There’s a lot a hearing professional can do to create the latter, and no need to punish the patient for failed fittings.

If you qualify, ClearValue Hearing requires a 60 day evaluation of Starkey (or related branded) aids from their member providers.

I just had to pay $40 to become a Farmers Bureau member to qualify for this plan. I also saved at least $500 per aid and got a free case of Starkey batteries per aid with my Microtech aids.

Just another option. There may be others too.

And why do you think that?

I travel to many states in my job, and frankly many of the southern states took longer to enact consumer protection laws, and when they finally did, they were still not as strong as in other parts of the country.

South Carolina has one of the worst adult literacy rates in the country, has similarly poor poverty figures, and ranks bottom out of all states for education. They are top 10 for incarceration rate, homicide rate and unemployment rate. It’s still legal to paddle kids in school, and kill criminals on death row.

So with all of these social and economic problems they face, I find it hard to believe that those running the state are jumping all over enacting the best consumer protection laws in the country.

To be clear, I am not attacking South Carolina, merely pointing out that they suffer from many social and economic problems, that could potentially be a road block to prioritizing consumer protection laws.

Unfortunately, those are the places where consumer protection laws are REALLY needed. I get very mad when I hear of people who call themselves professionals take advantage of anyone.

If you really had traveled to South Carolina you would know it is a great state (beautiful) with great people. They actually have a democracy there so if the good people of SC wanted more or less involvement of government in their daily affairs, they would vote for it.

By the way, SC has a lower (better) illiteracy rate than NJ, NY, CA, DC, FL, GA, HI, LA, MS, NM, and TX.


I never said anything different. I’ve been there, it is beautiful, and all the people I met were very nice. I specifically explained that I was not taking a cheap shot at South Carolina, and even highlighted it bold just to be extra clear.

That’s an overly simplistic view. When you have a state that is bottom of the barrel for education, you cannot possibly assume that the same people will have a firm grasp on politics and vote for their own self interests. So there is no way you can claim that the politics are as they are because people are happy with everything the way it is. In fact to do so is pretty ridiculous, who would want to be bottom of the list of states for education?

I stated that South Carolina had one of the worst adult literacy rates in America, and you correctly mention that 11 states (if you include DC) are marginally worse. Therefore, as I already stated, South Caroline has one of the worst adult literacy rates in America, being as they are in the bottom 20%.

There’s no need to be pedantic or defensive Don, it’s a clear reality that South Carolina has some serious social and economic problems, and as such I’d suggest they are less likely to be focused on consumer protection for a niche market, as opposed to tackling the major issues they have to deal with.

Oh my gosh. So they are just all ignorant hicks to you.

Yes, I assume they have an excellent grasp of politics and everything else of value in their lives. In fact, I would assume they would vote not only for their own limited self-interest, but they, and much of the south, would vote for what they think is best for all the people of the state, even if it does not benefit them personally. That’s who I would want voting.

It sounds like you had a bad experience in S.C.

Yes because that’s what I said, right? :eek:

What I am suggesting is that when education is in the toilet, and literacy rates are among the worst in the nation, it’s going to have an impact on the voting decision process.

Furthermore it’s pretty obvious that with such a high instance of poverty, along with throwing people in jail all the time, there are going to be a massive section of disenfranchised people who cannot or will not vote. In fact in 2008, only 66% of those living in South Carolina who were eligible to vote actually voted. I’d question how many more were excluded from the voting process altogether for reasons relating to poverty.

I really don’t understand why you have to turn this into a political fight. I am not being a snob by suggesting there are disenfranchised people in an impoverished state. On the contrary, I’d love to see them get out of that mess. I’d also love to see excellent consumer protection laws, properly enforced.

I had a great time. Charleston was wonderful, and the coast is excellent. The people were nice, and the food was great. In fact I had a highly memorable meal with my wife at a beautiful outdoor restaurant; one of the most memorable of my marriage in fact.

But none of that alters the reality that this state suffers from some major social and economic issues that need to be addressed.

Unfortunately, California is not that much better. Consumer protection is ok but everything else is a mess! With how our legislature gets along we could be called Washington West.

Man, you are really out there, completely out of touch. Snobby doesn’t even begin to describe it.

The national rate of voter turnout in 2008 was 56.8%.