There are too many issues with that survey for me to take that as being significant. It’s possible I just missed the memo but I don’t see a substantial discussion of statistical significance with that survey, or a discussion of the survey’s limitations. I do see a “Discussion” section which is empty. Moreover the question they asked about returns is flawed. This is what they asked: “Which of the following brands has the most returns by patients?” An audiologist who sells only Starkey can only answer “Starkey”, but that’s not actually comparing Starkey to another brand. Or an audiologist who sells 1000 Starkeys and has 100 returns but sold 100 Signias with 50 returns could answer “Starkey” because the highest number of returns they had was Starkey. Though that’s a much lower rate of return (10% for Starkey vs 50% for Signia). The return rate would be a better measure but if a survey wants that, then it must ask that. But even asking a return rate is still problematic. If an audiologist sells 1000 Starkeys and had 101 returns and sells 1000 Signias and has 100 returns, then Starkey has a higher rate but it is not statistically significant.
Purely from looking at the literature and reading forum posts, Starkey ended up in my “if nothing else works” group. I’ve tried the KS8 and the Bernafon Zerena and I have a Zerena on order (yes, “a” Zerena because my left ear is the one that needs help; and yes I know the KS8 is only sold as a pair). If the Zerena turns out to not work there are other options I’d consider before going with Starkey.
I think efigalaxie may have been at least partly referring to the fraud problems among Starkey’s corporate officers. That definitely gives me pause though I’ve not yet written Starkey completely off like I did with Volkswagen or Wells Fargo. These two are irrevocably off my list of businesses I want to deal with.