I really like the starkey but also really like the Costco prices. However, costco carries resound not starkey, just wondering if they are comparable.
I think ReSound is a reasonable brand.
But ask yourself how often in life can you buy something for half the price that’s just as good.
Costco are cheap because they buy cheaper products and hire cheaper staff. Most of their stuff is mid to low range, and is priced accordingly. That’s not to say their aids are not any good, nor their staff necessarily inferior. But you rarely get something for nothing in this world. And when company A is offering product B for $5000 and company C is offering product D for $2500, there’s usually a reason.
But I understand they have generous return policies, so I guess there is no harm in taking a test drive. If their ReSound technology makes you happy, why spend more?
You should qualify your comments by letting the original poster know that you work with Starkey Products and are a professional trainer for their product line. Just so they will know you may have some bias.
Not saying your points are not valid.
Costco also carries the Bernafon products and the Rexton (Siemens). They don’t buy “cheaper” products, as in “less functional”.
If you know anything about Costco then you know they sell premium products in a warehouse club environment. The Hearing Center at Costco has very little overhead (no real estate cost, no utilities, no advertising) and their employees are on salary so they are not under pressure to meet a quota. And their products are great.
The Resound Future at Costco is actually the Resound Alera, the RIC model. There is much more information on the Resound website about the Alera.
I tried the Starkey Wi, top of the line. It is actually more akin to the Alera 962 rather than the Future which is actually and 961. (No volume control, no T-Coil and shaped like a triangle)
I found the Future better than the Starkey, but only slightly. Virtually no feedback while the Starkey had some (but not terrible). And my wife noticed my speech comprehension was significantly better with the Future.
And the Phone Clip, for all its shortcomings has been a godsend for me.
Great thanks everyone, I’m going Friday to Costco to try them out. I’ll let you know how it goes.
My bias towards Starkey came after seven years of fitting all the major brands, and consistently getting better results with hundreds of patients using Starkey products. I chose to work for a Starkey based company because I believe they provide the best overall solution for my patients, and because they give back to the hard of hearing community through their foundation.
My bias did not come because I got a job working for a Starkey based company and started drinking the Kool Aid.
I thought that my answer was pretty neutral. I made the valid point that typically when one product is one price and another product is half that price, there’s usually a reason. And I even suggested that since Costco has a generous return policy, why not try the cheaper aids and if they work, problem solved. So wasn’t I kind of suggesting trying out the non-Starkey product? Not really the answer of a Starkey fanatic right?
Siemens do not make a product that compares to the Wi. Their feedback management is inferior. There is nowhere near the binaural bandwidth for binaural spacial mapping. They do not have the latest version of frequency transposition. They are less effective in a background noise (partly because of technology, and partly because of the lack of binaural bandwidth). And their aids cannot be firmware upgraded to add brand new features. There is no comparable self calibration system either.
Sorry but Siemens isn’t just German Starkey it is a decent mid range hearing aid that does not compare to the Wi and is therefore less functional, and cheaper.
If you are a successful hearing professional, you will sell a lot of hearing aids. Not because you are a great salesman, but because happy patients will refer happy patients to you. Those who explain what’s going on well, and demonstrate the ability to solve the patients hearing problem in a competent way will automatically get paid pretty good money by virtue of the fact they are doing a good job.
So of these successful hearing professionals who are making patients happy, running a great clinic, and getting plenty of referrals and ending up with a nice bonus check, how many of these people are going to quit their jobs, and go work for a low salary from Costco? No one.
The people who want to work on a salary only are usually the ones that cannot survive in another business model (or are so highly qualified people pay them just for their reputation; but Costco doesn’t pay nearly enough to attract those kind of people). So I would argue that the mere fact that the hearing professional is willing to accept a low salary for his services is because he can’t do better elsewhere. And any half decent hearing professional who gets a good reputation in his community is going to earn far more in a private clinic or chain with a bonus system in place, than he will at Costco.
this post is one giant load of crap…
Siemens isn’t just German Starkey it is a decent mid range hearing aid
not according to Siemens or Phonak or any other major player. they all say their’s is the best.
feedback management is inferior
ever think everyone doesn’t have the $$$ to open their own clinic? I heard the same said about the ADs at the VA and I’ll put the ones I’ve seen against any Pro on this site.
Costco doesn’t pay nearly enough to attract those kind of people
Starkey’s are the best, every other major player is second class, Costco ADs suck… Oh, but I didn’t say all that just because I make my living selling Starkey what a BS artist!!
There are lots of medical professionals who work on salary, not because they can’t make it in a high volume, high pressure clinic, but because they don’t want to concentrate on “sales”.
A physician could make more in a private practice but there are thousands who work as employees in a hospital, on salary. Not everyone is interested in being a business person, just because they want to help people in a medical field.
I’m pretty sure you have no idea what Costco pays but I’ve heard that their regular employees like cashiers and stockers make around $17 hr which is much more than their competition. I assume they pay audiologists and optometrists the local professional rate.
In fact, Jim Senegal, the former CEO, was criticized for the pay and benefits, and the low markup on products. An analyst said if you quit treating customers and employees so well the shareholders would make more money. I paraphrase but he said something like, I’m building a company for the next 100 years. If you don’t believe in what we are doing maybe you should invest somewhere else.
Yes, what would I know, I only dispensed Siemens for seven years, the last four of which I was working for the number one Siemens retailer in the UK.
Yes, but they don’t bother to prove it, therefore it is just marketing hype.
Any good hearing professional with a track record of success can work for a clinic or chain that pays well. Those who cannot prove success like the safety of a low salary, without the pressure of having to do a good job to earn a bonus. I’ve never seen a successful hearing professional leave a company and move to Costco.
I know you lack the nuance to understand what I write, which is why we rarely exchange posts any more. If you think that is my logic, I suggest you might simply be projecting.
I have never worked for such a company, and I have always been paid a salary my whole career. I have actually only worked with two professionals who did work for one of these high pressure environments, and I am certainly not suggesting those are superior, in fact quite the opposite, the outfit they worked for should be shut down. They make cheap crap at local level and then use high pressure sales tactics. It disgusts me, and I would never suggest this is superior.
What I am saying though is that a hearing professional can work for a very laid back company, and put in decent work, take care of patients, and end up with an income far above what they pay at Costco.
I’ve seen a few drift in the direction of companies like Sams and Costco, and in every case they have been utterly failing to run their clinic well, are basically making a loss for the company, and then they think the salary idea is safer. But the thing is, they were failing because they don’t test well, describe the loss well, make the patient trust that they can take care of them properly, and so that is why their sales are low, and they don’t get referrals.
In my job, I don’t use slick sales techniques, or special closes I read in a book. I treat patients with respect, explain their loss, explain the solution, and let them decide. If you do a good job, sales techniques are irrelevant quite frankly. All patients want to know is that you are competent, and that you care and have the skills and equipment to help them.
The physician argument is irrelevant, because they get paid money just because of their credentials.
I kind of get what you are saying about business people though. I honestly never consider any bonus I might be entitled to when I work with my patients. I genuinely focus on doing the right thing for the patient, and that pays off naturally, so I don’t worry about it.
I apologize if I ever implied that only pushy sales people can survive in this profession, because I find such people quite annoying.
Well clearly I can’t refute what you’ve ‘heard.’ But I work with many hearing professionals travelling as I do. I observe which ones leave to go work for big box outfits, and it is certainly the case that the vast majority are failing to run their clinics well. Some have told me what they are being offered to go work at places like that, and it is well below what they would be making if they did a good job and ran their office right.
Call me a snob, but when I think of getting medical advice, I don’t think of Costco, Sams Club or Walmart. That’s why if I needed hearing aids, glasses, a haircut, or anything similar, I don’t go to these places.
I’m sure some people have had a great experience, and felt like they got a good deal. But the original thread here was asking the question if a company like Costco can compete with a clinic offering top of the line Starkey (in this example), and I stand by my answer that in general, probably not. You simply don’t get something for nothing in the medical field in the US, and there is always a reason (or reasons) why option A is cheaper than option B.
good hearing professional with a track record of success
and where do good folks build that track record?
pressure of having to do a good job to earn a bonus
really think Costco, Wally or whomever doesn’t care if their folks do a good job?
you mean sell a certain $$$ amount within a certain time-frame to get a bonus.
I suggest you might simply be projecting
may I suggest you are a big BS artist?
btw, why do you always add ‘in the US’ and ‘use to work for Siemens’ how long has it been since you fit a Siemens?
btw, I thought you were going to add me on your ignore list.
ZCT there is a member of this forum Delmar who is running one of the busiest Costco high volume location on west coast. From personal experience Delmar has been very helpful to many of us on this forum and in PM. He seems to be as capable as any professional on this forum. Before Costco employment he also worked on the other side of the fence for national hearing aid chain. Before you make silly statements regarding competency of Costco dispensers, consider the competency of hearing aid professionals in general! No amount of half baked logic will justify your statements.
utterly failing to run their clinic well
so one can’t be a good AD but suck at running a business?
You are talking about 2 different things here - being employed as a hearing professional & running your own clinic.
You talk so much about the costs of running your own clinic, but you have not done so.
I think the point the users are making here is that some people would rather work for a big box store at a reasonable wage than run their own clinic. I know my current professional says he makes the same profit on any aids he sells to avoid giving preferential treatment to certain brands or models.
Or maybe they were not good business people. It can be difficult to properly take care of difficult patients without affecting your income, if you are self-employed.
So do hearing professionals at the big box stores.
I am very sorry if my posts ever called into question the competency of all Costco employees. I am not privvy to such information. I’m sure as with any company some of their staff are amazing.
I’ve just noted that of the people that left my company to go work for them, they were being offered lower salaries than one could get elsewhere pretty easily, and they were without exception failing in their roles at my company. This experience makes me biased.
If I had seen highly successful professionals within our company leave for Costco, I’d have a different opinion.
Actually, I misspoke when I said I had always been paid a salary. I have run my own clinic, but could not do it for long because I was relocating, so I paid myself during that time. That’s how I am aware of cost prices and cost of doing business.
I have also worked for small franchise groups where I ran the clinic as general manager and practitioner. And I have worked for national companies. So I have seen this profession from various sides of the fence.
I get that. It’s just my experience that the people I’ve seen leave my company to work at a big box retailer have been pretty weak. This has colored my opinion, and is statistically not sound enough to draw absolute conclusions.
As for the ‘same profit’ concept, I have never worked for any organization that has incentivized me for recommending a specific brand or system. I have only worked for companies that give me free choice, or have opted to work for brands that are Starkey only.
I guess there might be companies out there that push certain brands and have access to multiple brands, but I’ve not been a part of that.
I agree self employed isn’t for everyone. I have no interest in opening my own clinic, apart from anything else I don’t want to be rooted in one specific community. If my wife got offered a nice job elsewhere, it would be nice to move and not have to worry about selling a business, for example.
For me personally, and based on the American health care system, I like a good balance of salary, benefits, and a bonus for doing a good job.
To each their own. There are clearly good and bad practitioners in every setting from big box to tiny one man clinics, to all the other types of business in between.
I’m not interested in proving or disproving level of competency of Costco dispensers. I recognize and appreciate contribution,knowledge and help by professional members of this forum to HOH community. It would be my pleasure to select anyone of them if they would be available in my geographic area. I also recognize the perceived incompetence of hearing aid industry professionals in general from personal experience and hundreds of posts of unhappy ha users on this and other forums. Selecting Cosco dispensers and painting them as less capable then the balance of the industry is not objective.
First, thanks for all of the imput and sorry if I caused any harsh feelings. :o
Second, I don’t think one should ever judge “whomever” employees as a whole, since we are all individuals with our own individual reasons and stories for our choices. Whether it be, had to sell my pratice and “take a job” somewhere to be by my mother who now has cancer, or maybe, took the job due to being fired because I, in fact, suck. All individual reasons. I guess, if you don’t feel completely satisfied with your audi, find a new one. Their only goal is to make one happy with hearing better, if they are not trying to acheive this goal(whatever they are paid), LEAVE.
I will say, I have only tried the siemens and wasn’t impressed due to the audi. He just wasn’t trying or explaining anything, I couldn’t even tell I had the HAs on, so I left. I then went to a Starkey and it definately had that WOW factor for me, just a little bulky. Then, I heard about the prices at costco, (reason for this post) and I’m going tomorrow to try them out. If the WOW factor isn’t in there, I’ll be back at Starkey. I might even ask my audi how he came to work there.
It’s so good to see others stand so strongly behind a product. This is truly a competitive market and almost fun to see that we are all in this together, separately. Really enjoyed all the feedback, and thats feedback in a good way.