KS10s withdrawn from Costco stores in Mexico: Why? And will US and Canada follow?

Last week I went in for an appointment to be fitted with Costco KS10s here in Mexico City. I was surprised when the audiologists told me that KS10s had been withdrawn from stores in Mexico. So they had to fit me with another model. And lo and behold the KS10s were removed from the shop counter with only the other 4 HAs (Phillips, Phonak Brio, Rexton and Jabra were still there.)
In a subsequent post tomorrow, I will share what I can surmise on why this happened.
Does anyone know if US and Canada Costco’s will follow in this removal of KS10s?

The KS10 has been pulled from US Costco stores. Conjecture is that they were pulled because of power management issues. Who knows if they return or are eventually replaced by a KS11 model.

One poster also reported buying the Philips HearLink and getting $200 back when they were fitted with the new aids. That helps make them more affordable, but still not the $1399 that Costco was charging for the KS10.

The lengthy earlier thread:

@jay_man2 Thanks for the quick reference to the other thread. Very useful. KS10s were pulled from MX on that same day. What the fitters said was similar to what is on the other thread: Pulled by corporate decision, withdrawal related to rechargeable function, other models in Costco dropped in price about $200 (in MX pesos) just like in US.
So I guess I will now have to do more research and testing since I was quite convinced by the features/price of the KS10s. Too bad this happened.
KR, Dennis

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I can confirm that my local Costco in Canada also pulled the KS10 from the display. Good thing I just got fitted a month ago and it’s been very reliable.

Has anyone noted problems with the rechargeable function of KS10? I have had mine for over a year and have not had any problems

I’ve had KS 10’s for about 1.5 years. Have not noticed any decline in charge.

Note, presuming they have LI-ion batteries and that it is not good to have these batteries totally discharged or staying fully-charged, here is how I handle mine.

  1. In evening, I turn off aids and put in Perfect Lux drier for 1/2 hr.
  2. Then with aids still off, put in charger but do not plug-in.
  3. In early morning, plug-in charger.
  4. When charged, insert in ears.

If I had to go to work in the morning, I’d likely use a timer so the aids would be charged when needed.

There is definitely a charging issue with these aids. It happens randomly about every third charge. If the product is defective, pulling it from sales does not help the people who bought the hearing aid. I wonder just how they are going to rectify this issue.

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These were Costco’s best selling aids. They started selling them in April 2021. To suddenly withdraw them and make no announcement as to why seems strange to say the least.

The rumors all point to battery charging problems. I hope that Costco will make some announcement as to whether this is correct, whether it affects all aids, and what they propose to do to remedy the situation.

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I picked up my KS10s early this week. Since I paid for them and the order was entered just before the stop-sell order was issued by Costco, mine are likely among the last KS10s sold. (Since the problems were known by the time my order was processed, I’m told mine were thoroughly tested. I’m not sure that makes a difference.)

I discussed the matter with my fitter, and what he described sounded a lot more like a software bug regarding charging than any hardware issues with charging.

According to the fitter, the ‘fix’ is to simply do a reboot. (Described on p. 49 of the instruction booklet.) Just press and hold the bottom button for 15 seconds. The manual says it doesn’t matter if the aid is on or off, but my fitter said (I think) to turn the aid off first. And to press and hold for a good 20 seconds. Perhaps because there is no tone or light indicating that anything is happening or not.

Then with the charger plugged in, put the aid in the charger. Some time within 30 seconds the aid should start blinking green, indicating it’s ready for use. (At whatever state of charge it had when it glitched.)

So while the fix is not hard, not having your HAs ready when planned could be a pretty major surprise. If that’s an issue, planning ahead should be part of your fix.

Disclaimer: I’m new to all this and still haven’t experienced a glitch. Just passing on what I’ve been told.

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KS10 is done for Costco. KS11 is unlikely to be Sonova.

Are there serious charging issues? :man_shrugging: My colleagues who work at Costco Canada said that they hadn’t noticed anything and were surprised by the pull. We haven’t noticed significant problems with the Audeo. Certainly hearing aids go in for rechargeable battery issues here and there, but no increase in general repairs since prior to the introduction of rechargeables–probably a reduction in moisture issues replaced by an introduction of rechargeable battery issues that obviously didn’t exist when rechargeable batteries didn’t exist.

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Right. There were at least several reports of reboots required with Marvels as well. I’ve had weirdness with both Marvels and KS10s. Can’t remember any charging weirdness specifically with phones or laptops, but reboots are generally the first step in fixing problems in any electronic device, including my car. (Chevy Volt) At least three times in the ten years I’ve owned it, the automatic part ot the climate control system has gone flaky. The solution is to either operate it manually until the next stop, or pull over and reboot the car. As I mentioned before, my guess is that the issues with the KS10 are more about the fallout than the issue itself. If charging glitches are causing users to increase their visits to the fitters, and the fitters are swapping out aids in an abundance of caution, then it’s understandable that Costco would pull the plug. Ten years from now a similar issue won’t cause as much fallout because the user base will be more accustomed to rebooting devices without giving it a second thought. But right now most likely there’s a higher percentage of the user base that calls their grandkids whenever an electronic glitch presents. I’m reminded of a famous case some years ago about the time that keyless-starting took over in cars. A guy was driving a loaner car, and an errant floor mat jammed his gas pedal to the floor. 270 hp so the brakes eventually smoked. All he had to do was hold down the start button, same as a computer, and the engine would have stopped. Or shift into neutral. Instead he told his passengers to hang on, and the result was a tragedy. If you owned a Toyota back then, and had to take it in for a recall where they sawed off the bottom half of your gas pedal, now you know why.

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As I wrote my last post (3 hr prior to this), my HAs were charging. When I went to check on them, one was solid green (100%) and the other was blinking green (81-99% according to the book). I put them in and checked the app to see what the exact charge was, and the one that was solid green was actually 78%, and the blinking green was really 40%.

So I did my first reboot. Now I see the formerly 78% one is solid green again, the other is blinking green. The app says the solid green one is at 99% and the blinking green one (formerly 40%) is now 68%. Looks like I can expect that to be fully charged soon. If any surprises, I’ll update.

Fun fact: The app can read state of charge (SOC) while the HAs are in the charger. I thought they were off while in there.

Suggestion: If you’re putting your aids in the charger and you can’t afford any surprises when they come out, do a reboot first.

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That’s interesting. I just experimented by putting one side in the charger, then opening the app. Sure enough, both aids show their battery level.
It must tough to accurately measure the SOC of a tiny Lithium Ion battery by voltage alone, especially when the potentially varying resistance of physical charging contacts is added into the mix. I wonder if they supplement with an algorithm based on previous charging history. Nothing could go wrong with that! :slight_smile: The weirdness I’m seeing lately is about once a week, an aid that I know should be blinking amber in the charger, blinks green instead. Easy to imagine that if the processor is using past history to decide what to do, then one weird thing could cause another.

Yeah, I think most battery indicators for hearing aids aren’t terribly precise.