My Audiologist: Only 2 years warranty and I pay for all batteries?

I am considering the Widex “X” model…an in-the-ear model. My audiologist says they are $2900 each and I will need two. It comes with only a 2-year warranty and I would have to buy the batteries myself.

I told all this to my Dad (lives in another state) and he said that deal sounds terrible…that he got a lifetime guarantee on his hearing aids and that he never has to pay for batteries.

If I don’t like the deal my audiologist/ENT are offering, what are my options? I have no idea what to do from here.

Also…I was told there is NO payment plan. I’d have to pay the $5800 upfront.

Thanks in advance…

Would it be an option for you to visit your dad’s audiologist from time to time, for adjustments and stocking up on batteries? I’m guessing that California will be more expensive compared to other states…

I’m also having trouble to cough up the same amount up front for my hearing aids and I’m having to arrange financing for them. Here we have some companies who specialise in financing hearing aids, it’s expensive though, but not much else you can do with an unplanned expense.

Get on the internet and do some investigation regarding hearing aids and their representatives and then get on the phone and find yourself some options.

I agree with the 2 posts…

Hm… so every State has their own set of rules when it comes to Batteries.

It’s maybe not a legal requirement, you are entering into a sale - what gets included depends on what you negotiate.

TBH, we give a 2 year manufacturer warranty and a years’ supply of batts.

Weigh up which parts of the deal are important and what you are getting front loaded onto the sale. Batteries aren’t a significant cost of the process, especially if you buy them in bulk from somebody like the site sponsor.

Extended warranties are available on product at the time of purchase - just tell the dispenser to upgrade you, there will be a fee, but it’s not significant.

Many dispensers of hearing devices are limited by the warranties that a manufacturer provides. Typically the more advanced the tech, the better the manufacturer warranty. The longest I have heard of, through the manufacturer (different from dispenser) is 4 years, but 2-3 seems to be the most common for the high-end devices. There are no hearing aids that I know of that have a lifetime guarantee for repairs through the company that made the devices. My guess is that your dad has unlimited repairs/services through the location that he purchased the devices for anything they can do in the office (I know this is how it is in my office). I highly doubt that if his hearing aid broke in 3 years and it had to be sent back to the manufacturer for repair and it was out of warranty, there would be no cost. Same as a fridge or a car or washing machine. There is no such thing as unlimited repairs as long as you have the device. Eventually the manufacturer warranty runs out.

Many offices do not include “free” batteries. In general, there is no such thing as “free” batteries. Either the cost is figured into what you paid for the devices or the dispenser is willing to eat the additional cost of batteries to keep their patients happy. We provide a 6 month supply at no additional cost or in some instances run specials where we provide a year at no cost to the patient. We have considered providing free batteries for life of the instruments for all devices sold but to do that we would have to increase our prices to offset the additional cost. We decided to continue to provide batteries the way we are to keep costs lower to patients. Most of our competitors’ (who do offer free batteries) hearing aids’ are $150 - $400 more per aid in the area, so in actuality the batteries are not free, patients simply pay more up front.

Your options are to ask if batteries could be included in the price, if not for life, maybe a year or 6 months. If there are providers in the area that compete with the audiologist you went to who are similarly priced for the same instrument (or one that is comparable) and DO offer batteries at no additional cost, this could be some leverage for you. It never hurts to ask, worst they could say is “no”.

Financing is not free for the office that offers it. Although you may pay $5800, they do not get that entire amount, a percentage is taken off the top by the financing company. For that reason, many offices choose not to offer it at all instead choosing to potentially lose the sale than lose 4% - 15% each time financing is used. Many times people who want hearing aids at an office that does not offer financing can get a loan through their bank or a credit card with similar terms on their own and use that so that the entire amount doesn’t have to be paid all at once.

No, battery policies are set by individual businesses/practitioners based on what they want to do. I know of no states that have any kind of laws pertaining to hearing aid batteries.

I should have re-read what I wrote… I meant to put a “?” at the end.

NP, hearing aids can be very confusing especially when it comes to what is and is not offered and also what is and is not under jurisdiction of the state board.

Nothing is FREE. A two, three. or four year warranty costs somebody something. FREE batteries??? Is there such a thing?

What you really mean is that you want more value in your purchase for your paid money and you want these values included in your purchase. I don’t blame you. I don’t buy extended warranties on almost anything. Usually I win, sometimes I don’t.

My criteria for purchasing anything is, am I getting a good value for my money? Do I have good support and a company that will stand behind their product when something goes wrong? And for hearing aids specifically, the competence of the sales person.

Thanks for the responses. I am still trying to decide, but I also think the competence of the people you’re buying from is important. This will be a big factor for me, as well as cost.

That’s the best way to think about it. I’m not suggesting that money isn’t an important consideration, but I am suggesting that given the price of most hearing aids and their intended 5-10 year lifespan, saving a hundred dollars here or two hundred there is not as important as:

  • The ability of your audiologist to fit you, set your aids, and teach you how to use and maintain your aids to your satisfaction. Some audiologists are generally better at these things than others. An audiologist who is great at doing this with aids for one particular client may not be great at doing it with a different aid/client.
  • The convenience factor of being able to get in to your audiologist quickly and easily when needed. For one thing, the savings from cheaper aids may not pan out over the lifespan of your aids if it costs a lot of extra time and money to get to the audiologist's office.
Another way to think about this is that if you save $500 going with audiologist B but end up hating your hearing aids, did you get a good deal? The service experience with the audiologist can make the difference between being satisfied and being dissatisfied.

The idea of a full lifetime warranty makes no sense for hearing aids unless you’re talking about a hearing aid subscription plan such as Lyric’s. With aids bought outright rather than subscribed to, I wouldn’t trust a company offering a full lifetime warranty to survive long enough for it to be useful. And the Lyric subscription plan aids are extremely expensive long-term in part because of the warranty feature, and their warranty lasts only as long as the annual subscription keeps being paid for by you. With most aids you buy outright, a one to three year warranty is the norm. These devices break easily, are expensive to repair, and are more prone to needing service with clients who don’t keep them clean and dry, all of which makes a full lifetime warranty a really bad idea from the manufacturer point-of-view. Extended warranties have be to expensive to cover these risks.

And ‘free batteries,’ yes, of course you will pay a hidden cost for them when offered, just as you do when you buy a luxury car and get X years/miles of free oil changes and other routine services included with the cost of the new car. One way audiologists offer ‘free batteries’ is to build the cost the audiologist pays for batteries in bulk into the aids and then regard the forgone profit on them as a marketing expense. After all, it gets your butt back in the office from time to time to pick batteries up which gives the audiologist the opportunity to continue to give you service and build an ongoing client relationship, which will lead to new sales. So are they really ‘free’? No. And again, in the context of the cost of most new hearing aids, batteries are an annoying but minor expense.