Help My Mom Please!

Hello all! I am trying to help my mother purchase hearing aids. I received some information from hearingplanet.com. We were referred to a local audiologist where my Mom was tested and found to have “cookie bite” hearing loss. She has terrible tenatus as well, or the ringing when she hears higher frequency and tones. The TV has to be at a certain level for her to hear, but not too loud or she has pain. Talking on her cell phone is impossible!! Her hearing loss is affected in the speech tones, so she has difficulty hearing me. She is 55, but wants hearing aids that look good cosmetically. She is very worried they will be noticable, but she realizes somethign has to be done!! The audiologist suggested the Phonak Micro eXtra. He stressed that with her type of hearing loss, this device would be sufficient and the most cost effective. He then said I had to purchase through Hearingplanet.com. He also told me to negotiate my price, warranty, loss protection, batteries and consultations for the life of the hearing aid with hearingplanet.com. I was a little concerned about purchasing through the web, so I need your help. Here is the proposal I recevied for Hearingplanet for the devices.

1,699 per hearing aid (total of $3,398) to include the following:

60 day trial period - $150 re-stocking fee.
2 year battery supply
No-charge service from the provider during the warranty period.
3 year repair warranty and 1 year loss/damage with a $300 deductible per device.

So, my question to you all is the following:

  1. What is the normal life of a hearing aid? ( will we be purchasing more in 4 years or so?)

  2. Is this a reasonable offer from hearingplanet.com?

  3. Is the Phonak Micro eXtra a good bargain?

Thank you all!!!

try unitron moxy, it is cheaper and it is own by phonak (good quyality)


Justin Bieber Fan

Having a “Cookie Bite” hearing loss is especially frustrating - like you said, that is where most speech cues are located and communication can be difficult.

It is interesting that HearingPlanet is offering you a 60 day trial - on their website they say that all of their hearing aids only have a 45 day trial. If i were you, I would ask if it really is 60 full days and also how to return the hearing aids. Do you have to mail them back to HearingPlanet and hope they get there within the 60 days? (This is one of the drawbacks of ordering hearing aids directly from the internet). Buying Hearing Aids like this is actually illegal in a lot of states (California, Florida, Arizona, and New York state to mention a few). You wouldn’t be breaking the law, HearingPlanet would be, and the American Academy of Audiology (AAA http://www.audiology.org/) looks at this practice as unethical.

I have worked with another online company (AidRight.com) and with them you actually purchase the hearing aids from your local provider, you dont buy them from AidRight or over the internet. I also know that they pay their network audiologists almost double what HearingPlanet pays. This means that they are more willing to take the necesary time with their patients and are more happy to work with AidRight patients.

$1,699 is not a bad price, especially from HearingPlanet. The two year battery supply is just a sales tactic. The price of the batteries are built into the price (you don’t get anything for free :slight_smile: ) A year’s supply of batteries is about 13 packs or $22.50 a year (from a wholesaler). So, a two year supply of batteries costs around $45.00.

AidRight offers the same hearing aid for $1,649, same 3 year warranty, 1 year loss/damage with $250 deductible, no charge for adjustments, a $100 restocking fee. Here is the link: http://www.aidright.com/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=424

There is another online company that sells hearing aids (ahearingaid.com) but they do not sell the Phonak MicroExtra.

Now for your questions:

  1. The typical life of a hearing aid is 5-7 years (sometimes lasting up to 9 years) depending on how well you take care of it.

  2. It is a reasonable offer from HearingPlanet, but as an audiologist I view their practices as unethical, and I personally wouldnt want anything to do with them. I know from speaking with many Audiologists that are a part of AHAA (American Hearing Aid Associates http://www.ahaanet.com/) they strongly oppose HearingPlanet.

3.The Phonak MicroExtra is a good hearing aid, but I would also suggest you check out Unitron Moxi Hearing Aid. Phonak owns Unitron, so it is the exact same technology, but at a cheaper price. AidRight sells the Moxi for $1,599. Here is the link for that product: http://www.aidright.com/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=414

I have fit many patients with a “cookie bite” hearing loss with the Unitron Moxi and they love it - it really is a good hearing aid. I hope this helps!