New hearing aid specialist is terrible!

#1

**I just need to vent my frustration. I had an appointment with my hearing aid specialist to pick up my Phonak hearing aid today and have it programmed. To my surprise, my regular specialist, who was incredibly nice, had patience and really took concern with my issues and genuinely wanted what was best for me with my new hearing aid was gone! This new guy stood there when I walked in and at first seemed nice. **

**When I inquired if my regular specialist was gone, the receptionist just motioned her hand in a “so so” manner as if she didn’t know. Ok. **

I went into the office and the new specialist put the Phonak on. I heard the beeps and he made a few clicks on the computer and asked how it sounded. I said i’d like more volume. He adjusted it and asked again "How does that sound?"

The way he was asking I felt was in a rushed manner. I asked if the volume can go any higher and he just nodded, rather than asking if I wanted it higher. So I had to ask, "Please make it higher and i’ll let you know when to go lower."

He did a few clicks on the computer and looked at me. I said that’s a lot better. He said something I didn’t understand and before I could even ask him to repeat it, he got up and took off the setting thingy from my neck, and I am not kidding, the very next thing he did was place the bill for the aid in front of me with a pen!

What?? Is it over already? I was literally in there not even 10 minutes! He gestures for me to head out to the receptionist to pay for it. I was so flustered by this that I complied. It was all so rushed like he just wanted me to sign and get out. And in the lobby area there were NO other clients waiting. It was completely empty! What’s the big rush for??

**At the receptionist desk, I opened my mouth to speak to her and there was loud feedback that even SHE heard from the ear. I could tell by the look on her face. I said “Can you hear that?”. She nodded yes. **

So I asked for the specialist to come back out and check the ear mold. He simply put his hand on my hearing aid, took the volume down a couple of notches and said it’s fine now. What a condescending prick! Now I have less volume you idiot!

So I stood my ground and said the mold shouldn’t be doing this kind of feedback. I shouldn’t have to lower the volume to reduce feedback. That negates the purpose of the hearing aid! He looked miffed and literally tried taking the hearing aid out of my ear right there at the receptionist desk. He tried yanking it out of my ear with his hand that I even exclaimed "Don’t yank it. I’ll remove it."

He takes the aid and said he’ll send in for a new one. “But don’t I need to make a new impression?!” He looked insulted and says no and actually added “I’m the specialist. I know what to do.” Needless to say, I hated him at this point.

**The mold had a big hole on the outer shell where you take it on and off. It was purposely made that way. My old mold is all solid throughout. He says they just need to fill that hole on the outer shell. But the feedback is happening IN the canal area isn’t it?, so it would need a new impression I said. But he again states, he’s the expert and knows what he’s doing. **

At this point I knew there’s no point saying anything to this guy anymore. He placed the mold from my old hearing aid onto the Phonak, gave it to me and went back into his office. The receptionist swipes my credit card for $1,300 and says come back next Tuesday to pick up the new mold. (the one I made no new impression for)

**I left the office feeling distraught and walked about 100ft before I realized I didn’t ask about the programs of the aid. I pressed the program button and I heard the beeps but unsure if there’s a 2nd program. **

**As much as I didn’t want to, I headed back to the office to ask about it. Now I only walked about 100ft away, gone less than 5 minutes. I get back to the office and he’s outside in the parking lot…smoking a damn cigarette!! Was his smoke break the whole reason to rush me out? Was his cigarette more important than my hearing?! I felt very uncomfortable walking up to him after seeing that. **

**Out there in the damn parking lot I asked about the programs, and he said there’s only 1 program. He didn’t make any others. (Shouldn’t he have ASKED me if I wanted a 2nd program inside?!) I then asked him about the sound compression and if it was turned off because it was muffling the wind and sound of cars. He waved it off saying it’s off and this was the best the aid is going to be and “i’ll see you next week”. The bastard! **

**I just wanted to get away from the guy so turned to walk back to the bus stop. It was such a terrible experience that I couldn’t shake it and did not want to return to him to pick up my mold next week. **

**So on the bus I sent an e mail to the main website asking if I could go to another location for follow up appointments and they said no problem and the woman who answered my e mail was empathetic to the whole situation promising she would contact that office about my experience. So now I have to travel 30 minutes further to the other location just to avoid this specialist again. **

**There’s really no point to this post other to vent my frustration at some of these “specialists”. They really should be completely deaf for weeks at a time in their training to understand more about their clients and perhaps it would make them treat us with a little more respect. **

He wasn’t the worst ive ever dealt with, (i’ve had some doozies) but he’s up there with the others. It really sucks too because my previous specialist was so wonderful and genuinely wanted what was best for me while this idiot only wanted his next damn smoke! :frowning:strong textstrong text

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#2

Wouldn’t be nice to find your old specialist at the new location!

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#3

I would love that as he was one of the very few that really showed concern and a genuine effort to understand and correct any issues. I never felt rushed and was comfortable to ask all my questions.

I just hope the new one is good. It really is a toss up with these specialists. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

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#4

You said that there is a hole on the earmold, what you have is a vented ear mold. If your hearing is very profound then you need a unvented earmold.

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#5

The hole is dime sized on the outer shell where you hold to place it in and remove it. Wouldn’t a vent be much smaller than that? It looks like it’s just a design style of it and serves no practical purpose. I wish I had it to upload a pic of it here.

I googled and found a pic of a similar one. Is this a vented mold?

earmold

EDIT: Would that hole cause feedback? I can’t see how since it’s nowhere near the canal.

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#6

This forum is going to help you a bunch.

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#7

Oh it already has. There’s so much useful info here and when I was shopping for my hearing aid a couple months ago I got great advice. Buying a new hearing aid is so difficult and (at least for me) nerve wracking.

I went back and forth between Resound Enzo and Phonak Naida and in the end decided on the Phonak. My loss is very profound and my old aid wasn’t even picking up the TV anymore and losing my TV was hard! (I know how sad that sounds lol)

The Resound wouldn’t pick up the TV unless I turned the volume up way high and even then voices sounded robotic and artificial.

But the Phonak is so loud that I actually have to turn the TV volume DOWN wearing it. So i’m very happy with my new aid, but just have a lousy specialist that I really never want to see ever again. Good riddance to him!

But yeah, this board is really a lot of help and also a great place to vent my frustrations to people who understand. :slight_smile:

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#8

I hate that question, it always sounds good in the quiet office.

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#9

And not only that, they have no idea what WE hear, so when they tinker and tweak the program, it’s all just guessing for them while we sit there giving them all the control. It’s a helpless feeling that requires much patience and understanding on the part of the specialist.

And when they ask questions like “How does that sound?”, no matter what we say, they’ll never ever know. And as soon as he did something that made an improvement, he took off the thingy around my neck used for programming, and placed the bill and pen in front of me.

I didn’t say it was perfect, just it was an improvement, but he took that as “we’re done here, pay and go”. I wish we could have the ability to program our own aids and not have to rely on specialists like this. Especially for the cost, it needs to be done right, and with patience and care.

And yes, it sounded much different as I walked down the street and heard the wind being muffled by the digital sound compression. But I guess that’s just something I need to get used to since analog aids are now a thing of the past.

A bright spot is that I heard the backing of a truck beeping from way across the street and it was loud! So it’s not compressing all background noise. As a profoundly deaf person, I enjoy hearing ALL the sounds I can get and want nothing muffled at all.

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#10

As you have a very profound hearing loss in one ear, l haven’t seen that kind of earmold. I always have a full solid earmold for better fit in the outer ear. You have a light earmold that can be moved a little bit when you eat or open and close your jaw resulting in feedback. I have been told that having a soft solid earmold is the best way for very profound hearing loss and l agree. For your type of hearing loss, the Naida B UP aid is the most powerful one and has a bigger battery type, the 675 battery which l prefer because l require more power and less freq battery changing with the 13 battery. Your Naida aids has the power slim tube goes down to 90 db fitting range. The regular unfiltered earhook goes down to the 120 dB fitting range. That type of Naida aids you are using might not be powerful enough down the road in a few years due to age related hearing loss.

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#11

The ear mold you were given is called a skeleton ear mold. The only benefits I see for these is some find them more comfortable. They are design for mild to severe. The “specialist” should have known this is the wrong type for you.

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#12

You can program your own aids. Many on here do. Search for DIY hearing aid programming to find the very informative guide.

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#13

Once again I find myself counting my blessings. I am truly grateful for the Audiologists I have had the good fortune of working with for the past 20 plus years. I’m sorry you had such a negative experience. I’m sure it is helpful to vent your anger and frustration here, but it seems that there should be a more official avenue as well.

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#14

When I opened my mouth yesterday to show him the feedback he actually said to me and even gestured with his own mouth that “You’re not going to be walking around with your mouth open” and he mocked me by opening his mouth wide and laughing. I found that extremely condescending because as you said, it happens simply when you eat. The mold is a hard shell, but I didn’t know the softer ones are better for profound loss. Now i’m wondering if I should ask about that in my follow up.

So far this aid is picking up a lot. Especially the TV which the Resound didn’t. I now put the volume back down where it used to be with my old aid. I can even hear the clock tick on the wall halfway across the room!

But you say the Naida B isn’t the most powerful down the road? What do you mean by that. I thought this was the best one for profound loss that should last years. Is there another one that you recommend? If it’s the Resound Enzo, that did nothing for me when I had it for a week trial.

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#15

When I had the Naida for my week trial it was with that skeleton mold and I don’t recall experiencing much feedback with it. I also found it comfortable too. The only thing I didn’t like was when taking it out of my ear, if felt like the mold would break because there was only a thin piece where the hole was to grab hold of it when taking it out.
It was only yesterday in the office that every time I opened my mouth the feedback would come so I guess ti could be both the programming and the mold combined that was making it happen.
The new mold is ordered and I should have it next week. In the meantime, i’m using my old mold from my analog aid and i’m getting no feedback at all. So it’s a good temporary fix.
I will search DIY programming. I would love to be able to tinker with it on my own to find the perfect setting without feeling rushed in the specialist’s office.

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#16

As soon as I left and was on the bus going home I just couldn’t shake the experience so went to the company website and sent an e mail in the “contact us” form. Within an hour I received a reply from the regional manager apologizing and saying my poor service “is taken very seriously and will be addressed with our staff”.

Who knows if it was basic cut/paste from their form letters, but it’s something. And she quickly had my records transferred to the new location. (which I hate that it’s 30 minutes away, but I don’t want to return to the other guy)

I agree there needs a more official avenue for this. It seems these “hearing aid specialists” get minimum training and only care about getting clients in and out quickly to make the most money. Perhaps an audiologist would be a better experience since they have much longer training.

I’m almost worried about my follow up with the new specialist. That if he heard my complaints with the previous one, i’ll get poor service from him as well.

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#17

My impression with most professionals is that they take pride in their work and if they know somebody had a bad experience, they really work to make a good impression. Not always of course, but I’d be hopeful it will go well.

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#18

All of the audiologists have told me that the Phonak Naida V or B UP is the most powerful aids on the market. There is an cheaper alternative, the Brio 3 which is offered at Costco is equal to the Naida V90 UP.

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#19

Thanks. I’m hoping you’re right, but i’ll be going in with my guard way up.

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#20

Do you know the ball park pricing for that one at Costco? I paid $1300 total yesterday for the Naida B30 UP. The bill showed originally $4,000 minues $2,700 discount for the $1,300 price.
I doubted that $4,000 full price was real. Seems enormously high just for 1 aid!

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