Old hearing aids requiring repair/maintenance

Okay…here’s my stupid question…

I live in toronto and I go to every hearing aid store that offer maintenance and regular routine check ups of hearing aids.

Now we know that hearing aids are not divine items. They are machines. And like all machines, cars, television sets, computers…

they break down from time to time.

They require routine maintenance every year.

Sometimes its merely just a faulty wire that isn’t delivering the power to the machine and parts…(which was my case) Simplest malfunction in the world.

So I go to the hearing aid shop to see if they can fix my problem. I don’t mind they take it back to the manufacturer to have it tuned up or the part replaced.

But, when I do go in the shop, they tell me they can’t fix it because “the industry is moving so fast that they no longer service those models”.

And my “model” was only five years old. Its not THAT old.

I hear of people who had hearing aids that lasted and still work after 15 years.

Any machine gets problems after five years. Doesn’t mean I should toss it!

Whats the deal? Manufacturers should be able to provide service to old models that they sell.

Any other machine or device: televisions, microwaves, cars, computers all have places you can go to get them serviced and parts renewed.

What’s the deal? Can I do anything to get my 5 year old hearing aid serviced?
Its apparently a model that’s no longer in service.

Even 5 year old cellphones have places where you can maintain them!

Sounds like you’re getting the run around and they just want to sell you a new aid. Check the Internet - There are many inexpensive repair shops that do good work.

I’ve used EarMall in the Cincinnati area and had good luck with them. There is absolutely no reason that a 5 year old aid cannot be repaired unless it was run over by a truck! :smiley:

I am getting the impression that the hearing aid industry needs some severe regulating and it is hardly better than the “used car” industry.

There are a scores of these devices and there are no comparisons. The manufactures set up dealers who push their devices… very similar to how autos are sold through dealers.

There is no control of pricing and when you do find a device on the internet such as the GN Resound Pulse for $850.new… presumably one with a serial number and I would assume therefore a mfg warranty when the mfg’s suggest list price is $3,200 something is very weird.

When an audi tells you it is $500 to program the device and this appears to be as simple as connecting a wire to a laptop and using the mouse to set some points on a graph on the screen and mfg supplied software does the work… something is very weird.

The audi I went to apparently has me sign a purchase contract, but did not give me a copy. He said the units were 100% guarantied for a year and returnable up to 45 days. But there is a hefty deductible and re stocking charge.

When I told him that I thought they were not worth what they cost… ie that the benefit was not sufficient he insisted I continue with them for another two weeks… and said he was not a used car salesman… Guilt?

I think many older people suffer hearing loss and do need some assistance and they are not informed very well and too trusting of these audis. I do have some hearing loss according to the test I took. But I can get on perfectly well and although an aid does improve my hearing… I determined that it was not worth it.

How could I know unless I took it for a test drive? You take a car for a test drive… see them all over… ask others who have them and so forth. Much more transparency.

And on top of all this there is so much slick marketing of these devices all aimed at making people comfortable with them, how they look… like a fashion accessory. If you need it what’s the big deal about the fashion aspect? People accept eyeglasses and don’t think twice about wearing them.

My experience was very off putting and I was way too naive about hearing aids and the ethics of this industry.

Never ever ever forget it’s usually about money and helping people out only assuages the guilt present in some of these rip off operations.

Yes, every hearing aid, whether 10 or 15 years old should be able to be repaired. If it is only 5 years old, it can be repaired.

Of course, it is always recommended to change hearing aids around every 5 years, yet it is not always necessary.

No, they are forcing me to get a new hearing aid.

I tell them I want to buy a new hearing aid, BUT I want to fix this one too, because its pretty amazing on the phone. The reception is much better (its analog) on the phone than a digital hearing aid.

And it has three sets of “programs” for voice, crowded settings…

It costed me originally, when i first bought it, 1,300 for it

And it doesn’t keep condensing the sound reception, like digital hearing aids do, to adjust and adapt to different environments.

The sound reception and clarity for it is POWERFUL and amazing. When I had it programmed, the audiologist brought it up to maximum power which I LOVED. And it works well with the digital hearing aid. On both ears.

So, naturally, yes, I want to try to save it.

But, she calls the manufacturer and then gives me this song and dance about how they can’t even replace faulty wiring because they dont’ serve that model anymore.

At first, I believed her totally and was like, I understand. But the more I thought about it…I came to the conclusion I’m expressing on this entire thread. It doesn’t make sense at all. They should be able to service older models, like they do ti every other machine, cellphones, cars, microwaves. I’m thinking like wtf? You can’t even replace faulty wiring? sheesh. That’s total bullshit.

Another thing I found odd about the “industry” is that when I was going to two places that service hearing aids …(I’m in toronto. I go to the Hearing Aid Society and Union Hearing)

When I went to Union Hearing. They gave me this “education” about how I should be going to Hearing Aid Society to get my hearing aids serviced, not coming to Union Hearing because I originally bought the hearing aids, that I was bringing to them to have looked at, from The Canadian Hearing Society.

So, they tell me, they can’t take a look at it …(because of the song and dance I got from the Canadian Hearing Society). So, I tell him the whole story about the song and dance I got from Canadian Hearing Society and can you please, please take a look at it and see if you can do anything for it??

And they say, sorry. You originally bought these from Canadian Hearing Society, so we can’t look at it or have it serviced because you originally bought these from the Canadian Hearing society and we’re not profitting by having it fixed, looked at, etc. because the REAL profit is made when a client/customer buys an ACTUAL hearing aid from us. Then we back it up with having it serviced, fixed, looked at and by making hearing molds for you.

He keeps mentioning LOYALTY and keeps emphasizing the word LOYALTY every 60 seconds as he continues to “educate” me how his business works, how the industry works, how competition work…

He also goes on to tell me, that he doesn’t actually make a profit from making hearing molds, so he only makes hearing molds for clients/customers that actually have BOUGHT a hearing aid from him. Its like a charity service, AFTER you buy a HEARING AID from him. Because that’s where the real profit is made, in the business.

So, he refuses to service, look at the hearing aid and faulty wiring, which I explain to him that the hearing aid DOES indeed work, it just keeps switching off and on, but the engine does and can amplify sound and give me better hearing.

But he refuses to look at it AND he refuses to make hearing molds for me, when I tell him I need hearing molds and I’ll pay for them!

I’m telling you. BOGUS INDUSTRY!

If you go to a comic book store. Do they refuse service to you because you go to OTHER comic book stores. And do they refuse to sell you accessories like plastic protection covering because you didn’t buy a comic book from them?

Like wtf? I can get a dozen different other examples.

Does the local mechanic refuse to replace your tire, or have a look at what’s making that “whirrring” sound, from the engine, because you didn’t buy a car from them?

Does the local 711 refuse to sell you coffee, because you didn’t buy a donut from them?

Tim Horton’s, Coffee time…never gives me a song and dance.

On a different note, I do know that many businesses are decietful and try to “play” their customers.

For example, mechanics DO try to add more to the bill, with bogus “services” like changing the oil, replacing a faulty muffler that was bogged down with too much rust. Or by having your car “environmentally checked”

And I know cellphone services are alot similar. They add bogus charges to your phone bill, like “connection charge” and etc etc etc.

The wonderful thing about business is the COMPETITION. Once these lousy and decietful, cunning businesses realize there’s COMPETITION. They start valuing their customers more and stop bullshitting them.

So, now, I need to find me some of their Competition.

Or maybe just an outlet that services older models and used hearing aids, in toronto?

There’s got to be a hearing aid fix-it store somewhere. That carries all sorts of models! In Toronto?

The fact of the matter is that there is insufficient competition in the hearing aid business in Ontario and the government subsidies make it even worse… the subsidy goes directly to the dispensery and you are entitled to one subsidy every FIVE YEARS. So, if you have need for a hearing aid repair and your aids are over five years old it is in their best interest to sell you a new set. Period. The money to be made in repairing a five year old set of hearing aids is minimal, especially as the parts can be a pain to obtain, it takes special equipment, etc. TONS of money to be had in dispensing a hearing aid, just take a look at OUR last transaction with a Markham firm to get an idea. The wonderful thing about the internet is that consumers can speak right up and make or break the bottom line for a firm. In Ontario, however, it doesn’t take too many transactions over the course of the month to make it a very profitable month IMHO. Don’t know what to tell you but I think the suggestion of looking online is probably a pretty good one. No longer are we restricted to dealing with local suppliers, which we, unfortunately, learned the hard way. The trick is to find an audiologist that will present you with a prescription and a set of hearing aids that will adapt to your environment. My wife’s Phonaks do a marvellous job and needed very little ‘tweaking’.

Why did you dig up a five year old thread on this?

I thought your wife was now happy with her Phonak CROS system?

the place i go services any aid they sell (any many others that they dont) for up to 10 years as long as the parts needed are still available

I would call the hearing aid manufacturer and ask them if they still support the models you own. I also believe the retailer is trying to rip you off. If the manufacturer says you need to have one of the audiology practices that sell you brand of HA’s to have the question answered, I would take them to another audiology practice. They want your business and usually be happy to see if the aids are still supported. I have never heard of a manufacturer that only supports their expensive product for five years.