Lost a loaner HA

Newb here. So: I got a loaner pair of Oticon Delta 6000. Didn’t like them much - the usual complaints - clicks/crumpling paper etc too loud, not much improvement in conversation. Anyway, before I could return them, I lost one of them. I signed a form saying that I was responsible for them ($4600/pair). The audi says that they are covered by insurance, but that I now have to buy them (or at least the replacement for the one I lost). Extremely bummed. I realized, after I got home with the loaners, that I couldn’t afford them no matter what. Then I was bummed when even these expensive HAs were not satisfactory. Now I’m really bummed that I have to buy one of them, but I can’t afford it. Meanwhile, it’s the same old thing at work, home, shopping, etc. - pardon? what’s that? I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you…

I didn’t mean for this to be a sob story. But please, does anyone have any suggestions?

Did you like loose it at work, home, out the car window on the freeway, etc?

I expect the supplier is going to cover your vendor plus it is only a used aid and not a new one.

delta is an old instrument get a dual mini which is the replacement

I would consult an attorney. If they were covered by insurance you should not have to buy them.

BTW, look into your homeowner’s insurance, I do not know whether the coverage extends to that kind of loss but it does not hurt to check.

In no case would I pay for an aid that was covered by the vendor’s insurance. That smacks of fraud and double dipping.

Thanks so much all for the responses. I think I lost it on the way out of a restaurant - took them out and put them in my pocket because they’re awful in a place like that. Have looked and looked.

And yes, the audi told me that they are covered by their insurance, but that I am responsible for it and have to buy the new replacement HA.

I wonder if I can just pay the value of a used loaner HA (assuming that it would be depreciated in value, and cost less than a new one)? Of course, if I do that I won’t have even one hearing aid. I guess it’s kind of a moot point in a way - I simply don’t have the money and am terrified of losing my job in this economy.

Here: Free: Go to the yellow pages and look up attorneys. Some will advertise that you get an initial 30 minute consultation free. Or you can call your local attorney general’s office of consumer fraud and ask them what they think, that is a free call also.

Honestly, if it is covered by insurance they could say anything they wanted, I would not pay.

maybe the insurance has a deductible. maybe you could only end up paying this…

What is going to happen if you just say I am sorry and leave it at that. :slight_smile:

This may be an unpopular viewpoint, but perhaps somewhat more realistic. Look at it from the other side of the fence.

You are the retailer. Your insurance covers lost and damaged products in your shop. When you issue a product to a client, even as a loaner, the insurance does not extend to the client. That is why the client signs a responsibility waiver. As the retailer, you are now out $2,000 because of the client’s carelessness. Do you just laugh if off, or perhaps even laugh off the $1,000 you paid for it wholesale? Hey, it was an accident. You’re in business, you can afford to lose money here and there, right?

If you are the insurance company and you had to pay for the loss, would you just say “Oh well, goodbye money”, or would you go after the person who caused the loss with the resources you have at hand. You are in business and do have lawyers for just those reasons.

If you sign a waiver accepting responsibility, do you really expect to just walk away? Or is that responsibility you accepted something you should have thought about before signing and accepting it? If I have something that is not mine, a loaner or trial product … you better believe that I would be exceptionally careful with it as I would not want to pay for it if lost or damaged through my own actions. If I signed for its responsibility, I would expect to have to pay. If I decided that I could not afford it in the first place, and yet still took it out, I would return it immediately and not take a chance losing it by keeping it any longer.

Like I said to start, this may not be the popular or even liked response … but let’s be reasonable.

OK, I can see paying for the loss. At most the aid I expect is $400. I do not see the need to make a profit due to a mistake.

I am willing to bet the factory will NOT charge the vendor period.

Nowhere in my post did I suggest that I do not bear legal responsibility for losing the HA. I signed a contract, and knew what I was doing. Indeed, the minute I reached into my pocket and realized it was gone, that was the first thing I thought of. I feel like an idiot.

But, let’s talk about reasonableness. Yes, after I thought about the cost and put it into my budget spreadsheet I realized I couldn’t afford it. I should have taken it back then, yes. But is it reasonable to think that a person would continue to try them after hearing how it would change their life, and that one just had to get used to the weird noises? Change your life: man, those are powerful words.

Let’s talk about reasonableness. Is the “vendor” (funny how they don’t advertise themselves as vendors, but as life-changers) really out $2300 for a used loaner HA that is insured?

Look, I wasn’t suggesting that I be absolved of any responsibility. I was just asking for suggestions as to how to resolve this matter, short of trying to dig up $2300 for a product that doesn’t seem to work for me and is used and depreciated in value. The suggestions re: offer to pay for the deductible and their trouble (although I have already paid one bill to them) seem reasonable to me. I am deeply grateful for everyone’s thoughts, and that I found this resource.

Finally, I guess this post betrays my growing frustration and, I’m afraid, cynicism, over the HA business (or, to be fair, this one particular clinic). Did the audi really need to send me to the MD in the clinic to remove wax from my ear, to the tune of $75 (or something like that, I don’t have the bill in front of me)? Perhaps she did, but I’m becoming a cynic. Is she more interested in selling hardware than “changing my life”? Maybe not, but I’m getting cynical. Why did she tell me that there is no surgery that can fix this problem, when a friend with a similar profile got a middle ear implant in the neighboring city - and it appears that it was very successful? Perhaps I’m not a candidate for the surgery, but I’m becoming a cynic.

OK, sorry for the rant, I know that it probably gets old on this forum, but I’m just surprised at this whole business. I wish it were more like real health care.

Thanks again, all of you.

Randy there are a lot of good people in the industry I am sure but do know from first hand experience ethic standards are low due to make a sale over make a loyal customer for some hearing aid shops.

Key is to find what works for you or learn why you can not be helped but that is rarely the case. Just do not give up and drop out. There is NOTHING wrong with the questions you have raised. To force you to pay a 300-400% mark up on the lost loaner is not ethical even if it is legal which I really question.

Wow , I feel your pain. No one that I know of insures their loaners, (thats why dispensers have you sign an agreement). A loaner can be anything from a demo aid to an old (reliable) trade in. If it was a demo, and the dealer was wanting to sell you, a like product. Then he (she) is entitled to the replacment cost. If you are in the market for a new pair of aids,(and purchase from them) the dispencer may eat the replacment cost all or in part. It also would matter (to me) if you were a regular client (and had bought from them in the past).
When you rent, or borrow anything, you are responsible for it, but most dispencers (I would hope) will work with you. Why was the aid in your pocket? I’ve been involved with audiology, and hearing instruments for 35yrs and the majority of aids lost, are from pockets.
Also the replacment cost does NOT equal the retail cost, as long as the missing aid does not magicaly reappear in the very near future (on someones ear) GOOD LUCK!

The OP stated he was told by the audi that they are in fact insured.

I think you hit the nail on the head. In the last 50 or so years here in the US there has been an increasing trend away from personal responsibility. The latest and best example is the world economic collapse. It was fueled by people in the US buying homes they could not afford and wall street componded the problem by packing up these moragages as ‘safe securities’. If the writers of the US constitution knew what congress was doing today to place personal (& corporate!) liabilities on the the backs of the citizens they would be SPINNING IN THEIR GRAVES :mad: .

I’m with Nielk, you took personal responsibility for these devices and need to make good for their loss.

I’m all for personal responsibility. But if the loss of these hearing aids were covered by insurance and the audi will receive money from the insurance company, and further if they are not new , forcing a full price (cost plus profit) purchase is simply stealing, in my opinion. Taking insurance money if the audi is compensated by the customer may amount to insurance fraud also.

And I totally agree with this as well. I just said that responsibility should be accepted, not that the audi should make a profit off of the loss. But if you sign a waiver, you should expect to pay for the loss or damage. The audi also needs to be responsible in being honest and not looking to make profit from a loss, but to be reimbursed their expenses only. If insurance does cover it, the audi should not be double-dipping. If the audi’s insurance costs would escalate as a result of the claim, the customer should pay rather than filing the claim and prevent imposing future expenses on the audi as a result of the claim.

And to the OP … I apologize if I misunderstood your post, but it did look like you were trying to find a way out of it rather than just looking for sympathy. Others also seemed to post ways to avoid the expense … like what if you just say sorry and walk away.

I lend out aids - almost always brand new product I have paid for.

My business insurer won’t cover the aids when out of my practice.

Now what am I supposed to do when I have carried out the full evaluation including a hearing test, programmed the aids and sent the client away for a week ot two free trial … and then I hear that the aid has been lost … and that the client didn’t want it anyway … and couldn’t have afforded it either?

Am I likely to be ever so friendly and say: “Hey, no problem, I’ll give you a MEGA discount for the testing and that aid which fitted your hearing loss, but you couldn’t afford and have lost.”

As for your comment:

Finally, I guess this post betrays my growing frustration and, I’m afraid, cynicism, over the HA business

This has nothing to with the main issue: you borrowed a product you couldn’t afford - and then lost it. Not good. A jury would raise their eyebrows at this.

In the last 50 or so years here in the US there has been an increasing trend away from personal responsibility.

In the UK too.

I’m with Nielk, you took personal responsibility for these devices and need to make good for their loss.

Yep. The truth hurts.

There’s a lot of moaning and whining when the specific facts are not known. We do not know the extent of the insurance coverance, if it DOES cover the HAs, a jury would raise an eyebrow at a business trying to grab additional funds.

How much will it cost the audiologist to replace the aid? That of course is minus
any insurance coverage, if there is any. The cost of programing the aid…shouldn’t be included. If I try an aid and decide I don’t like it and return it, I then don’t get charged for labor. And of course what the audioloist pays for an aid is not what I would end up paying for the same aid. So it should just be what it will cost the audiologist to replace the aid.