Hearing loss and hearing aids help

Recently I have lost hearing in both my ears significantly more in my left. After receiving one hearing aid from costco my hearing became worse and I needed two. The recommendation my ENT and audiologist made was because of my young age I should get a “good” set of aids from them at a $7000 price tag. I don’t understand why my hearing is getting worse and am still going to the doctor to figure this out. Meanwhile I got another aid from costco. When all is said and done I spent around $3000 for both aids, a phone clip and microphone My question is what is the benifit of purchasing hearing aids from the audiologist when costco aids are significantly cheaper. Is there a difference in quality as far as premium technology vs basic. No matter how much research I can’t get a definitive answer. Why would someone spend so much for aids especially in my area of town were there are even costco locations

I have been to an independent audiologist and I’ve been to Costco. The technical part of the exam seemed more thorough at Costco. The brands and models offered at Costco are good so it comes down to the skill and manner of the pro that sets them up and adjusts them. If you have a good pro at Costco who is able to understand what you need and able to set up the hearing aids for you, it would be my first choice.

I’ve gone to Costco since 2010 and I don’t see any down side to staying with them. But, if I didn’t have a great audiologist at Costco I might consider going somewhere else. Luckily for me, my Costco in Hoover (Alabama) has Miss Stacie, who is a top-notch audiologist.

Why would someone spend so much for aids especially in my area of town were there are even costco locations

so the AuDs can send their kids to private school or travel to Europe?

Hahaha, not even close, Doc Jake!

The technology at Costco is a few years older than what you can get from an independent audiologist, but hopefully the service will be good. Whoever you go to, check to see what the typical wait time will be for appointments, what the hours of operation are, return policy, trial periods, etc.

There’s a Costco in my town, but I see patients who’ve been there and then come to me, so price isn’t everything.

Because they are not educated consumers. None of us are, when we initially need HAs. We think of these are medical devices, and doctor knows best. When in fact, buying a HA is like buying a car - different audiologists carry different lines, and even 2 audiologists with the same line are going to price them differently. Why? Because the audiologist makes a commission on each sale.

Costco’s prices are lower because they do not pay their hearing aid dispensers a commission.

People do not know this. It is a huge learning curve, at a time when you are probably grieving your hearing loss and in shock that you need HAs.

I was very VERY fortunate to stumble upon this forum, before I bought my first HA.

Sorry, that’s not true. The hearing aids that Costco sells are based on the same technology that private dispensers are currently offering. The only “platform” that you can’t get at Costco right now is ReSound LiNX.

rasmus,
I can not tell you how many times I’ve been told by an audiologist that Costco’s technology is “old technology” or “the older platform,” I don’t know if they are uninformed or just trying to keep their patients from checking out what Costco has.

you really need to get out more… the above statement is a flat out lie.

Spoken like a man with a government job?

Every consider that some AuDs do have operating expenses to meet (rent/local taxes/utilities/ etc which vary by local) before that trip to Europe.

— Updated —

Spoken like a man with a government job?

Every consider that some AuDs do have operating expenses to meet (rent/local taxes/utilities/ etc which vary by local) before that trip to Europe.

Well they provide the most up to date Phonak hearing aids. Not sure about other brands but I do know that getting any Phonak hearing aids from Costco will mean you are getting the most up to date platform that is out there for Phonak.

— Updated —

Well they provide the most up to date Phonak hearing aids. Not sure about other brands but I do know that getting any Phonak hearing aids from Costco will mean you are getting the most up to date platform that is out there for Phonak.

HA’s are wonderful for anyone that needs and wants them. IMO it’s the fitter that makes the difference. But similar to any other large purchase, you buy from someone you like and trust. If the person happens to be an Audiologist or a licensed fitter at Costco or at Sam’s Club. Who are we to say just because Costco or Sam’s Club is cheaper they are better. That’s not true. We aren’t anyone’s financial counselor. And nobody should be swayed by price alone. A Cadillac, Mercedes, BMW are wonderful, and fill the streets. If someone wants to drive one of those as opposed to a Buick, Chevy, Ford etc., who are we to say?

what the hell are some of you talking about?

I could give a rat’s but where anyone buys their aids but to say Costco has old technology just so they can make a sale is flat out lying.

yep, I got me one of them Gov jobs and I be retiring this fall with benefits most of you only dream about.

I concur with Freedom, VERY thankful to have found this forum. Still grieving and in shock, but now much better informed, and moving in a positive direction. I returned my 1st full-priced HAs (30 day trial) to audiology dept associated with a large medical center and ordered Phonak Audeos from Costco. Having never worn HAs, it is difficult to access the knowledge and experience of the audiologists, but Costco’s 90 day trial, appointments late in the day and weekends and culture of customer service were additional benefits besides the significant price difference. With the support and knowledge gained from the forum, I feel more confident that there will be success this time around.

shredbetty61

I also found Costco had the same as what the local Audiologists had.

The one thing Costco does not offer is the tinnitus program; at least, this was true back in April when I was looking in to HAs. I do find that, as many on here said, once I can hear properly in my left ear (with the HA), the tinnitus either softens or disappears completely.

It’s fun to test drive the Caddy or the Mercedes, but when it comes time to buy, I end up at the other end of the spectrum! :wink:

True, the Phonak aids may be up to date, but the ReSound aids they had were not the latest ones (we had Verso when Costco was still on Alera, and as noted above they don’t currently carry LiNX which we’ve had for over 5 months). Their change to Phonak is very recent, so I apologize for that part of the statement.

I still believe that price isn’t everything, and there are definitely things I will find the best person for versus the best price. I’ve fixed enough bad fittings to know that there are many hearing aid fitters who don’t really know what they’re doing.

However, there are bad fitters who are HIS and there are also bad fitters who are licensed audiologists it doesn’t just go one way.

I was using fitters in the generic sense, not HIS vs. AuD

so you saying all the bad fittings supposedly you fixed were from Costco? as mentioned there are excellent, avg and poor fitters and the odds of finding one at Costco are about the same as a privet practice. Except at Costco you can always take your problem up the food chain and/or another store. with a private practice really who are you going to complain to?

No, I didn’t say all the bad fittings I “supposedly” fixed were from Costco, my main point was that price isn’t the only thing to focus on when getting hearing aids. If you go for the cheapest price you may not get the best service or an experienced fitter. I have had more than one patient go to Costco and end up returning their aids to Costco and coming back to me.

I don’t have to check with a corporation or anyone higher up the food chain, the buck stops with me. Since I’m my own boss, I have a vested interest in making people happy with their hearing aids. It’s not just a day job I can slide my way through and not worry about the outcome, I have to please my customers or they won’t come back and won’t recommend me to their friends and family.

I realize that there are people who value price most over quality or service, and frankly those are customers who will be more happy with Costco than at my practice. That’s fine, I’m not out to please everyone. :slight_smile:

I know you feel like you are in competition with Costco but I don’t think you will make much headway by disparaging the competition as sliding their way through their day jobs and not caring about the outcome. The folks at Costco are not on commission so their recommendations are less tainted by making money off their “patients”, although obviously if they don’t get people satisfied they will not have jobs. Those of us who go to Costco know that what you say about them is not true.

Everybody is concerned about the prices they pay for all major items. If you can get a major item for about half price at a place that has the same type of state licensed professionals, and those professionals are experienced and you can work with them well, and they can get the hearing aids set up expertly, why would a person not do that?