Is www.aidright.com a reliable website?

As a way of saving money with my hearing aids I was searching for safe and reliable place to purchase HA (i.e. probably only BTE) online and have a suitable audiologist make moulds and fit the HA at a reasonable extra cost. I know there will be the downside of not having one for up to a month when needing to be repaired. But the cost saving could be enormous up to $4,000 AUD.

Any tips and advice would much appreciated. Any better places out there?

Just exploring my options to save money. Australian audiologist on the whole charge way more than in the USA even with the exchange rate.

most Manf… do not sell, neither support on line retailer… be aware of this

Correct. Most manufacturers do not support DIRECT sales of their hearing aids over the internet. AidRight does not sell hearing aids direct - they are more of a referral company and negotiate better pricing with the manufacturer and the local clinic.

My practice works with AidRight and HearingPlanet. Both sites are very reliable.

Cialatio,

None of the hearing aid professionals in this or any other forum are going to give you a positive response to your question relative to purchasing any hearing aid via the internet. That would be like Walgreens telling you to get the same prescriptions as they sell shipped in from Canada and saving you money. It’s not in their best interest.

I have had my Beltone hearing aids repaired by an internet company in the past and I recently purchased a new set of open fit hearing aids from the same company, and I love them. But when I mention them here all I get is “Well they’re not so good” or “I could have given you similar hearing aids at similar prices”. But when you are in their offices the price is thousands more.

To tell you the truth, I’m not interested in them supporting their families. I’m interested in supporting mine! By the way, I got mine from Hearsource. There are other companies out there selling similar products I’m sure, including the one you mentioned.

I have had my Beltone hearing aids repaired by an internet company in the past and I recently purchased a new set of open fit hearing aids from the same company, and I love them. But when I mention them here all I get is “Well they’re not so good” or “I could have given you similar hearing aids at similar prices”. But when you are in their offices the price is thousands more.

And just how many audi’s did you visit or even ring for pricing?

The quote for my Beltone to be repaired was $400. I got it repaired via the net for $99 including the shipping. And went to three different offices for hearing aid pricing. Is this forum for folks interested in better hearing or a support group for hearing professionals?

With respect David, $400 is a horrible quote for a repair, and I find it hard to believe that you could not get a better quote. The office I used to work for offered foreign repairs for $269, any brand, any repair, and they came back with a one year warranty.

Also, I don’t think you are comparing apples to apples. It may be you can find an online repair cheaper than a local hearing professional charges. But that is not the same issue as buying a hearing instrument, which was what this thread was originally about.

And as a final thought, you are getting a little defensive about the opinions of hearing professionals on this forum. Keep in mind that if EVERY patient purchased online, most if not all hearing professionals would be forced to close their doors. At that point you’d have no one to turn to if you need an adjustment.

If you buy any kind of quality aid, it will need to be calibrated in the patient’s ear, when it is initially fitted, or when it comes back from repair. So again, who is going to to do that for you?

I’ve just reviewed the prices for Microtech, which is Starkey, as I am very familiar with the cost prices. If a patient brought me the information for this web site, I would match any of the prices I see on there. They are very aggressive prices and I wouldn’t offer these prices to everyone (it would hurt my business to do so) but they are certainly doable on the odd occasion.

If you find the right practice, you could probably negotiate to within 10% of these prices, without the hassle factor of buying online, service issues, and the convenience of local service.

And as someone else pointed out, Starkey, like other major manufacturers do not condone the sale of their aids over the Internet.

ZCT,

If you’ll check the tenor of my posts things started out very positive. I was excited by what I thought was a new and positive move in the hearing aid industry that helped me with my hearing and improved my life. I soon found that if an opinion is voiced different than a few “regulars”, a “beat down” was quickly posted as a follow up. My opinion of my internet vendor was not appreciated. Most forums are for folks to voice opinions, learn from others, and really for the social enjoyment. I am a hearing aid wearer. I have come here to learn and socialize with other hearing ad wearers. Not be criticized because I have done business with an internet hearing aid vendor.

I think we all differ in our opinions about the sale of hearing aids over the internet.

Yet, I think we all have to agree that the consumers are pushing more for such services online, whether we as audiologists and dispensers like it or not.

I think from a consumer standpoint, as David states, this is an “exciting” development.

Yet, since that puts the brick and mortar professional in a different position than we are used to, we all do need to adapt to these changes.

I think, though, that we have to respect the choices that each consumer makes and not cookie cut everyone into only one dispensing approach, such as only locally through a professional.

I hope that this forum can continue to operate as a civil, respectful place where we all can help each other out and be a safe place to voice our opinions.

I agree, and there are some of us (myself and JGearyAud included) who do see patients from some of the internet services. My prices are actually just about the same as Hearing Planet’s, but they do send me patients who might not have found me otherwise. My Hearing Planet patients receive the same service as any of my other customers, and they usually end up buying their subsequent aids directly from me.

I am happy with whatever gets more people to wear hearing aids! There is still a stigma against hearing aids in the minds of many people, so the more we can make them mainstream, the better, I say. Internet companies are not for everyone, but there are many people who are very satisfied with this purchasing route.

audiogal,

I absolutely agree. An internet vendor is not the right vendor for a vast majority of persons with hearing loss. Particularly for folks without a technological slant. They (HearSource.com) would not be the right choice for my parents. But for me it was the right choice and I really do stand by it. And I think as my generation gets older they (internet options) will make more sense.

If I were on an auto enthusiasts forum and I was talking about rebuilding or restoring my own classic auto. I definitely would expect some pro’s (as they would have the same interests as me) to hang out on that forum. But I would not expect that every time I mentioned a new technology or idea that I proposed that I would do for my own project, would be shouted down by professional auto mechanics on that particular forum telling me to take my car to a auto professional.

And I know that my human body is not an automobile and it is more important than a car, but the only advice I get around here from the “Industry Professional” is to see someone like them and don’t try to do it myself. I am excited about being able to adjust these hearing aids myself.

I wonder if I proposed a technical question about an adjustment that I was contemplating with my system if I would get any help from the “Pro’s” around here. I would hope that I would.

Open and interested minds is what makes the world progress. I’m sure the buggy whip companies were totally against the automobile.

words of wisdom from admin…
unfortunately you can still take good impresions on line…
Unfortunately we can not perform verifications (rem) on line…

So having the aids fitted online has potential for trouble as well…
say for example you take a bad ear impression and the ear timp
gets perforated… Who is liable who is responsable for this?

Since it seems that the majority of aids are starting to be more of the open fit type this is not as much as problem as it used to be. If the person is taking their own impression and perforate their TM, I suppose it’s their fault. If they go to an audiologist’s office and it happens there, then the audiologist is to blame.

The main problem that I have is calibrating the feedback system, since that can only be done while the aids are in the patient’s ear. Some of the companies are now shipping software and cables so that people can run the feedback program themselves.

Even if internet sales increase, there will still be a need for audiology services. As David Gibson said, not everyone will be comfortable going the do-it-yourself route, so others will still need our services.

Hear, Hear.

legally, you are not suppose to fit a HI without a licence…
What are the legal issues of do it yourself programing…
Who is to blame? Who ensures the person who is conecting of the internet
has a valid licence + has knowledgde to to do?