OK I'm freakin out


#1

So, I get tested by a local audiologist. She suggests a Starkey Ignite I 30 RIC and even has a samlple in the office. I try it. I like the sound. It’s $5,000.00 Woah, I’ll get back to you.
Great apt. Liked the Dr. Liked the way the HA sounded. She adjusted the occlusion on the spot and makes it better. It was just the shock of the price. That’s more than my car costs, more than my favorite shotgun, that I waited years for. (Not a vet, not included in my ins.)

I go down the road. Do the test again. He suggests a MicroTech CIC Focus 30. $3500.00. When it’s said and done, I buy the Focus 40 because it’s got more of all the things I don’t understand. Total is $4500.00 w/1 year worth of #10 batteries. I leave calling myself an idiot and shaking my head.

Time comes for delivery. They are not right and need to be sent back.

I probably didn’t list these results correctly but both ears were the same. The graph just drops straight down at 2k for both ears. They are about the same except where I listed 2 entries. The right ear is slightly better. Have no idea what this means.

250=30
500=20
800=20
1K=25
2k=60
3K=70
4K=75/85
5K=70/75

Seems to me that this industry is in drastic need of an update. Today I find out that On Line retailers can’t ship to Florida. So now I got the government getting into my pocket too. Whole things makes me want to stay deaf.

Just sayin. All electronics go down about 8% a year but hearing aids go up about 20%. What a rip.

For $5000.00 I should have a live in servant serving me home made chicken and dumplings.

Everything I read says people are trying HAs out and returning them like it’s a normal thing. Audio’s not being able to adujut the aids they sell, I called Costco and they are making apts over a Month out. That’s insane.

I ought to be able to walk in a store and buy a good hearing aid for $600.00-$1200.00. There isn’t that much to them.

Sorry for the rant, but I enjoyed it.


#2

Stand up for your rights and insist they take them back. Say you’ll report them to the Better Business Bureau if they don’t. Dispensers are as varied as all businesses–there are good ones and unethical ones. Don’t allow yourself to be rushed. You should be able to try them out for a couple of weeks at a time and have the readjusted as needed. I hope you find some that you’re happy with and don’t settle for something you’re not.


#3

You can go into Costco and sign up for an appointment and when you do tell them you will take any cancelled appointment, it will probably get you in earlier. There are a lot of audiologists out there that I think sold used cars while going to college. Sorry you live in Florida, they seem to be one of those states that are hell bent on screwing their citizens and letting them save money on medical devices; it probably came from the state having to many older people getting suckered by medical professionals who took advantage of them, so the same medical professionals got the legislators to pass a law that would allow only them to sell to the people of Florida thus taking more money out of the people that can least afford it’s pocket.


#4

I paid $1299 each for mine, from Costco. I’m very happy with the service. I have been back 10 times or so for adjustments (some were just about my preferences).

It is necessary to have adjustments to fine tune and if Costco has just one professional, they can be pretty busy. An adjustment session may take an hour, so multiply that out over the dozens of sales per month. It is nothing like getting glasses where you go back, get the glasses, and see perfectly.

It is normal for CIC to sound occluded, especially if you have pretty good low end hearing (which you do). That’s why I don’t wear CIC. My RIC style hearing aids have tulip domes which are very comfortable and are still “open” (no occlusion).


#5

I’m with you all the way! It seems a lot of audiologist do not know how to set up hearing aids or even care. I’ve said it before the only person who knows how your hearing is you! There really should be an easy way for us to adjust our own hearing aids (fine tune) once we have left their office. Let alone have them made right in the first place. One I have been to charge me $150 to set them up, with no follow ups. Unless I pay another $150. Thats a lot of money for a 10 minute adjustment.


#6

@ Bobbyjo, I would agree with your comment about the user know’s best about what they hear and doing their own tweaking makes good sense. I don’t think the 150 cost you mention is out of line. The extra 150 is probably a program for future adjustments. The Audi is a trained pro due their reasonable fee. MHO

CLIFFORD


#7

Seb. your post made me laugh. You can go into CostCo but you wont see or talk to anyone. They are the busiest hearing center of any costco. I cannot even call them. I leave a message and they call back, sometimes at the end of the day sometimes the next day.

I’ve actually stood at the Hearing Center for over an hour without being seen.
I’ve called in twice. I wonder how they are able to schedule follow up or repairs as the wait is like I said over a month. I’ve looked and the next closest one which is an hour away and it is also that backed up.

Like someone said, just the way it is in Florida when it comes to health care.

I don’t have an issue with audiologists charging $150.00 an hour for their services, but I do have a problem with them collecting it up front. No one does that unless you are using a concierge Dr. Then the perks that come with that are far beyond what you receive from an audiologist.

The GP I use has a Concierge Service. He will come to my house. There is no wait. Cost is up front $2000.00 plus the cost of the visit when it happens. He keeps me alive, not fiddling with a device with $100.00 worth of hardware.


#8

Sho,
A visit or call into the manager of that Costco will probably do the trick about getting into the HA center. Costco goes crazy with poor customer/ member service, if your not happy, they aren’t happy, because as they say " your not a customer, your a member." Is this the only Costco in your area? I have 6 of them within a 15 mile radius of my house.


#9

Yes, there is only one in Naples, There are two in FtMeyers (30 miles north)but only one has a Hearing Center. The next closest is 2 hours away and although I haven’t called I’m sure they are the same way. This is Florida, my home. LOL

I could call the manager however it’s not a matter of their staff not working. It’s a matter of 300,000 old people in a town that has only 90,000 once season is over. Most people are here only 6 months a year and this is still season. They have only one person working in the hearing center. The manager knows how many people work there and he knows how backed up it is. $$$ You can’t be the number one hearing center for Costco in the whole US and not be aware of it.Give them a call. They’ll see you sometime around mid May. LOL

Even at the audiologists office I visited, the receptionist works through her lunch hour to phone those who have phoned during the morning because they are so busy with apts during office hours. She then stays late and phones the afternoon callers after hours.

Same thing happens to the poor UPS Guys. They work until 10:00 every night here during season because the can’t have that many trucks and drivers sitting around the other half of the year.

Soon they will all leave and go north, the streets will be empty, restaurants will struggle to survive and I’ll actually be able to go out and get seated with less than an hours wait.

Just the way it is here.


#10

Do they cost more? Yes. What are you paying for?? The service definitely but also the convenience of not having to wait, the knowledge that your problems are taken seriously and a concerted effort to address and fix them, overall what seems to be a far better user experience, all for $500 more than you already paid…Hmmmm…seems like that $500 might be worth it in this case.

As for the rubbish about dates on the contract and “this is the way it is” THAT should set off all sorts of alarms. The trail period doesn’t start until you receive the hearing aid. The fact that they put the different date on there, when you purchased it, would really give me cause for concern. Imagine if you had taken them and come in in 2 weeks wanting to return them only to hear “well you’re beyond the 30 days” because that was what was written on the contract??? Sounds very shady.

Also, CIC’s will always be more occluding because that’s what they do, occlude your ear. It will never sound the same as the RIC. If occlusion is a big issue for you - don’t get the CIC - it’s that easy.

Lastly, returns usually have nothing to do with not being good at working with people. People get hearing aids for all sorts of reasons to satisfy other people’s wants/wishes looking for reasons to not wear them. Sometimes it’s the providers fault, sometimes it’s the end user’s fault, often it’s a bit of both…but to attribute it to a delivery model issue or saying it’s a people-skill issue is very near-sighted. I have VERY few returns, less than 10%, maybe even 5%. Maybe I’m just that awesome or maybe I vet my patients a bit and don’t try to force them into something they are obviously not ready for.

Regardless, if you don’t feel comfortable with the people you are currently working with (and it sounds like that is the case) cancel the order and go somewhere else. See if they will give you a discount or the same level of technology device for the price you paid or maybe extra batteries/service. You often get what you pay for in this industry and I don’t necessarily mean the technology itself. If you don’t like or trust the person you are working with, the money you “save” you will end up spending somewhere in actual monetary amounts or pain/suffering. IMHO.


#11

Hello Doc.

You are right. I’ve had a chance to spend more time with the HAS and he’s been very helpful. Seems like I was becoming frustrated with the process and how hard it is to get comparable information.

I’m also coming to believe I should have gone with the RIC and that may be the way I end up.

I’m curious if the Kirkland from CostCo have a dual speaker. I know they talk about directional microphone but I do not see anything about dual microphone. I understand that is what helps with Speech in Noise.


#12

OK, today I had my first visit since receiving my HAs last Friday. This company and HA specialist are very nice to deal with and are extremely easy to see.

I made some requests based on the results of playing specific tone/frequencies with my aids on and my aids off. He was able to adjust volume and something else for each frequency. So now that’s my Number 1 program. Number 2 is the same thing but softer.
#3 is still the “Lecture” or just straight sound.

He made the changes pretty much as requested. I have only 4 programs on the Focus 40. I made the #4 program Mute because I am at shooting ranges 2 to 3 times a week. There are times where I don’t have ear protection on or in and for those times mute will be good. There are other times when I’m on the line or firing that I obviously will remove the aids and use protection.

He made some adjustments to the original #1 program based on the sound Frequency tests I gave myself. These seem to be working well.

I’ll wear these for the week and see how they do.

I mentioned RIC and he said that because of WInd Noise, and the fact that I told him that my head sweats so much that he thought CIC would be better for me. He also said that RIC did not have any less occlusion than my CIC because of the size hole we put in the CIC. It’s at leas a 1/8 " hole front to back. ?


#13
CIC aids are known for needing repairs for moisture problems more then aids that sit behind the ear. The ear will sweat more then behind your ear.

I always thought my ears didn’t sweat very much but was told otherwise.

Having hard plastic in the ear will properly make your ear sweat more as well.

There is this lady who lives round the corner from me who came up to me for advice on hearing aids. She had some CIC aids with large vents and felt so blocked up, she hated it. I told her to get hearing aids that were open fit. Now she is wearing open fit aids and couldn’t be happier. And even bought round a big bunch of flowers and chocs to say thanks.

CIC aids will alway feel more blocked up then open fit or RIC aids as far as my Audi has said.


#14

I know of know hearing aids that have a “dual speaker” The sound comes out of one point - the receiver. I think in this case the dual “speaker” and dual microphone are the same thing. CIC’s do not have the capability of directional mics/dual mics.

  1. “mute” will not protect your hearing like an earplug in - sound will travel through the CIC and you will still be subject to hearing loss from it.

  2. BS. Even the most open CIC I’ve fit still has more occlusion than a RIC. I will admit that I am highly biased towards RIC’s but the statement he made is totally false IMPO.


#15

If you already have hearing loss I would NEVER shoot a gun again without ear protection. Mute will not protect your hearing from a gunshot. I would buy the best noise suppressing muffs I could find and use them whenever I did anything that would endanger my hearing.


#16

Thanks and please understand that I have no intention of shooting without wearing hearing protection. I belong to several clubs and just like Golf clubs, there are activities other than shooting. Much time is spent sitting around talking, having lunch, etc.

No one I know would shoot without ear protection. Also know that I can wear electronic ear “Muff” type of protection with the aids in the ears and if they are muted so much the better.

I wondered about the occlusion statement also as I’d worn RIC that I think were open fit. They had a little open umbrella looking thing around the thing in the canal. It was much more open than the CIC.

I’m going to Costco tomorrow and expect to try RIC, probably Kirkland, so if you have any further suggestions please let me know.

You guys are a big help.

Thanks.


#17

I tried the Bernafon Chronos 9’s and the Kirkland Signatures and if I were buying them right now it would be worth the extra $900 to buy the Bernafon’s. The sound quality and feedback manager of the Bernafon’s was far and away better than the Kirkland’s but that could just be me. Ask the person you are seeing at Costco to let you try the various brands they carry and see what sounds right to you. Good luck.


#18

Thanks, I’ll do that.

I’m looking at this from a completely different angle from when I started. When I started I just wanted to get in, get something cheap, and be done with it.

Now I’m understanding how important it is to try different brands, and the importance of the audio tech.

Now that I’m comfortable with the 30 day return/trial thing, it’s a different animal.


#19

I have been very happy with the Resound model from Costco (after several adjustments). BTW, they have a 90 day return period. There is a newer model from Resound, the Verso, and I understand Costco will get their version of that early summer.

I like the electronic muff style hearing protection when at the range. They let more sound in between shots but still shut everything out when there is a shot. I found a cheap pair at Wallyworld for about $25.


#20

I went to Costco yesterday and, based on what the tech said, would like to know if anyone else is hearing something about a new Bernafon aid.
I posted yesterday under “Acrivia 9” which I read about on the Bernafon site as “new”.
Info anyone?