Nowhere to turn? (Widex Passion)

Six months ago I got my first hearing aids - Widex Passion 105s. I’m absolutely delighted with them but for one thing. Some time after the “free return for refund” period was over, I began to notice an intermittent “crackling” or “popping” noise in one ear or the other. I mentioned it to my audi, and he sent one back to Widex for repair. When it came back the repair sheet indicated that they had “Cleaned and tested” it. I tried it for a week or two and it seemed OK so we sent the other one back with the same result.

Soon after the second unit came back, the noises started again, so we repeated the routine of sending one back and then the other.

This has gone on for nearly four months. Most recently I filled out a customer complaint form on the Widex web site, and got back a response that “We will work with your dispenser”. We sent both hearing aids back to Widex and the were returned to my audi yesterday, two weeks after they were sent in. Widex had put them on a test machine for 24 hours and they performed properly, so they are taking the position that the units are OK. (They came back with two left-hand ear wires, so one has gone back again.) I got home and sat down to watch then news, and the noises began almost immediately!

I am totally frustrated at this point. My audi is a really nice man, but relies heavily on Widex tech support since his strengths are in the person-to-person aspects rather than the technical ones. I unfortunately am the opposite! I’ve worked all my life in the computer world and am well acquainted with the repair procedures for electronic equipment.

For small, expensive items like the Passion, my experience has been that the manufacturer will ship a new item from stock (often before the old one has been returned) and then will attempt to repair the returned item and either scrap it or place it back in stock. Widex insists on “repairing” my hearing aids, with the result that I am left without the product for an average of about 2 weeks. So far, the “Repairs” have accomplished nothing.

I live in Florida. That means that I and my hearing aids are subject to frequent variations in temperature and humidity, but I don’t think that’s much different than someone living in the north in winter. With my familiarity with electronic equipment, I interpret the noised I am hearing to a poor solder joint or loose connection somewhere inside the hearing aid; this is a phenomenon that is severely aggravated by temperature changes, yet Widex seemingly is ignoring this factor.

So far, I am out a lot of money with seemingly no recourse. My audi keeps on trying to reassure me that the problem will be fixed, but there has been no progress whatever. The only conclusion I can come to at this point is that I don’t want to ever buy another product from Widex, but that doesn’t change the fact that I have to live with these things for another five years before I can justify replacing them with something else.

If anyone has any ideas as to how I might solve this dilemma, please help me.

Walt

I will write to widex headquarters

I appreciate your offer to contact Widex for me :).

Since you live in Miami I’m sure you can appreciate my theory about temperature changes, (I live in Delray Beach) but as I go through the day today, carefully observing my one hearing aid, I’m not altogether sure that the theory is valid. The noises seem to be almost totally random. I’ve been indoors for about 3 hours now, just sitting and reading, with the occasional crackle or pop, and just as I’m typing this, there has been a lot of noise. It really does sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies :D. We are in the middle of a thunderstorm, but there has been very little rain and no noticeable lightning flashes, so I doubt that’s the cause. The storm center is probably several miles away.

In the computer business, we tell our users, “if we can’t reproduce your problem, we can’t fix it.” so I appreciate the difficulty of diagnosing something that won’t misbehave on Widex’s test equipment.

I don’t think my audi has sold a lot of the Passions, so I don’t know whether it is just a bad design, maybe only bad for warm climates, or if there is something “wrong” with me.

I treat the hearing aids with great care, taking them off if I’m going to be working outdoors and sweating a lot, and keeping them in a Dry Box overnight. I honestly feel as if I’m doing “everything right” but the result still comes out wrong.

Again, thank you for your help.

Walt

I would tend to think, Humidity has to be part of the problem. Have you try a Dry and Store box? I would def. write widex denmark

Walt,
I just received a comment about your situation (from your wife) on my blog, hearinginformed.org. What an annoying situation- I wouldn’t be happy with Widex either. I haven’t had this same experience with them- they actually replaced a hearing aid instead of trying to fix one.

I too own a pair of Passions. You are not crazy- I get the same crackling on occasion over here in the rather dry weather of San Francisco. I’ve even had the experience when I get a series of crackles that sputter out all at once and then it goes quiet. It doesn’t happen very often for me. My theory- it IS associated with moisture thats trapped in the aid. We can test that theory by having you get a drying box for your aid …I use one called a mini dri aid. Theres one here: http://www.marilynelectronics.com/Mini-Dri-Aid-Kit-Canister-and-Jar-p/me-hh-2840.htm

I would also have the speaker (the part in your ear) replaced along with the wiring that runs from yoru hearing aid to the speaker. That should be a low cost replacement for your audiologist. Maybe he already did that?

You certainly deserve better service than your getting. I’m going to go ahead and shoot them an email too. You paid too much money to deal with this crap.

Thanks, dsigismund.

I posted a lengthy reply on your blog, http://hearinginformed.org/?p=193

I am using the Dry-And Store box, featured in the rotating ads at the top of this page.
When my aids are returned from Widex, the wire and speaker are already attached, and since they sent 2 left-hand wires the most recent time, I guess Widex is replacing them.

I appreciate your help :slight_smile:

Walt

Thanks for all the help and encouragement! :slight_smile:

Widex responded and offered to exchange my hearing aids. I now have two new Passions and they are working perfectly.

Walt.