Oticon replaced my hearing aids under warranty, are they new or used?

My OPN S2 HAs were sent in to Oticon under warranty and when they returned to the audiologist the notes said the instruments were replaced with new instruments. What prevents Oticon from using some used instruments and calling them new since there’s no way (that I know of) to determine if they’re new?

You can test them and if they work and are under warrenty, what is the problem?

That being said, what prevented Oticon from using some used instruments and calling them new when they sold them to you?
There are obviously no refurbished Oticon aids being offered to the market and still people keep trialing them and returning a fair percentage? You think that they are destroyed as medical waste? Either the audiologist or Oticon is reusing trailed-and-returned aids. I mean those hearing aids cost at least 150$ to produce!!


Have you had some bad situations with oticon in the past that you seem to have developed such a huge distrust.

The ones you sent back were also used. Most companies of high end electronics will replace with refurbished if they can’t repair. At least they called them new.

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Any time a HA is worked on and parts are replaced - they should be completely new parts and not used parts. Alas, all hearing aid manufactures are not the same and some do use - used parts and even defective parts to repair hearing aids. All you have to do is google - Five indicted for 20 million dollar fraud against Starkey (2016) to find out all the gory details.

Its really sad when someone puts down Big money for a hearing aid, and then sends it in for repairs to then find out later through a “major Starkey lawsuit” the company was repairing hearing aids with defective parts. Hence I will never buy a Starkey hearing aid ever again.

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When my 3 year OPN 1 warranty was almost up (about a month before), one of them went bad and I turned both of them in and asked to have both of them replaced. I received 2 different ones with new serial numbers. Whether they’re brand new or not, I can’t really verify, except that they seem to work fine so far 8 months into the new pair.

It also seems to be a practice of my HCP (and probably common practice in the industry) to turn in the hearing aids when their warranty is almost up for new replacement anyway, even if the existing ones are not broken yet, just to be sure that their patients are not caught with older hearing aids that may turn bad shortly after their warranties run out. This is probably to ensure better customer satisfaction with the HCP because it’s more likely that the newly replaced hearing aids will last for a good while longer compared to the original hearing aids that may be more prone to fail out of warranty just because they’re much older.

I’m also inclined to think that the labor cost born by the mfg to service/repair in-warranty older hearing aids is probably more expensive than to just replace them with a new one. So it just makes more sense to ship out a new one out and discard the bad one. New hearing aids also probably go through some kind of mass automated testing that’s probably less expensive than the manual testing that a mfg would have to perform if they had to verify the functionality of the item that they would service/repair manually.

But that’s just wishful thinking on my part. However, I think Oticon is a big enough company that this practice would make sense for them to do.

The sale or dispensing of used medical equipment is strictly prohibited. I doubt such a large company would risk their reputation and being fined by sending you used hearing aids.

Can we stop this now. The sale of ‘used’ devices is strictly prohibited at least in the EU where most of the companies are based. Not sure what Starkey we’re playing at tbh.

Nearly all manufacturers simply swap the entire BTE/RIC instrument on a warranty repair. It’s simply not worth the risk unless the repair involves something minor like a battery drawer or filter swap/receiver change.
3rd Party repairers will usually change components only.

ALL manufacturers will have methods of dealing with returns, some will get lasered up as demo units, some will get stripped for uncontaminated spares, but most just get binned.


I read the article you referenced again the lawsuit you refered to was a whisleblower suit by a Mr Ruzicka who was one of 5 people caught embezzling over 20 million dollars from Starkey.

He was just trying to devert attention from his self and his crimes. Starkey was never investigated for wrong doing. I see not reason to blame or disparage a company because they were robbed by some trusted employees.

Full disclosure I do have Starkey aids that were provide to me by the VA at no cost to me and I did not request them. The audi said that they would be the best ones of the six differant brands he could pick from for my hearing.

Not trying to pick a fight but I feel in this case the company is not guilty of bad product.


I also get my hearing aids from the VA here in Hot Springs, Arkansas, my Audi chose my aids for what he believe was the best for my needs. And I have been wearing and getting hearing aids for over 15 years, and I have never even gotten repaired hearing aids to replace any hearing aids that was sent in for repairs, I have always gotten new replacements. I have always in the past worn ITE hearing aids and everytime one went in for repair I even got new molded replacements back.


Absolutely, it seemed really odd behaviour anyway. All the main suppliers are pretty professional in this regard. If it was a spurious claim under duress then the aim was clearly to damage their wider reputation.

My original point was that the manufacturers would rather take the loss than put out potentially defective refurbs as ‘New’ product.


Not to be dissing the quality of Starkey HA’s but just to point out that Starkey has had some incredible goings-on, including the dishonest executive who went to prison, in part caused by the misadventures of its founder not quite being able to handle the company’s early success and misadventures in his personal life that drained his time time and finances. I mentioned the article in a previous post providing a link to an in-depth Forbes Magazine article:

BTW, relative to fact-checking and media bias (I tend to find Forbes guilty of a lot of “click-bait” stories where the important of the article content is grossly exaggerated in the headline, etc.), I found the following website today for checking online media source reputation. mediabiasfactcheck.com Here’s their evaluation for Forbes: Forbes - Media Bias/Fact Check I decided the fact-checking site is actually pretty decent after comparing their evaluations of two of my “favorite” sites: the NY Times and Fox News.


So, if I buy a HA, and have 3 months to return them if I don’t like them, they will just be tossed?
I know that most of the price is software and service, but how much that hardware really cost, do you have any ideas maybe?

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Grandpaw - you need to do a little more research on the “Starkey Lawsuit” matter. Please read the following then make your own judgement.

Former President Jerry Ruzicka alleged in a whistleblower lawsuit that Starkey owner Bill Austin or his family members diverted millions in company funds for personal use, violated U.S. tax and customs laws, falsified records and sold hearing aids labeled new that were made from old components. “Austin routinely pressured manufacturing personnel to use defective microphones and speakers, and other used or defective parts for hearing aids” sold to the company’s foundation, the lawsuit said.

I’m also not trying to pick a fight - just reporting the facts as they played out in court. The majority of Starkey employees are good workers but it was a top executive that got caught (big time) with his hand in the Starkey cookie jar. And as we now know - many Starkey HA users thought they were have their hearing aids repaired properly - when in reality there were not.

I’ll see what I can find where did you find the comment you quoted here. I think a person that is reading this comment should keep in mind that it was made by a person who was convicted of stealing from Starkey while in a position of trust and total control of the company. Austin was not directly involved in the day to day operation of the comapny during this time.

What I have read so far was that Starkey was not investagated by the FBI as Mr Ruzicka was and he was convicted of his crimes. To me it’s clear Ruzicka made the claims against Austin merely to try and devert blame from his self and save his hide.

Since Austin was not directly involved in the company and Ruzicka was running it then it would seem to me that the blame for any improper repair issues being preformed by the staff would have been his.

I respect you and your opinion but the issue to me is not as clear as it seems to be to you and I still don’t think there is reason to make negitive statements about the company.

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As someone that has been on too many juries, I have come to realize that so much that is said in a courtroom is lies. The lawyers are no better than the criminals that are being tried. They are will say whatever they have to to win the case, they will prevent information from being presented that should be presented, and they will do their best to turn lies into truths. The justice system in this country is a joke.

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Going back to the time of King John (a.k.a. Prince John of Robin Hood fame) where his nobles held his toes to the fire to get him to sign off on the Magna Carta, trial by peers and subsequently the right of habeas corpus, etc., has been judged more preferable to legal systems administered by “suitable authorities.” Lawyers are not under oath, witnesses are. Perjury is a felony punishable by imprisonment in most states, and lawyers can be disbarred for unethical behavior, mistrials declared especially when the prosecution withholds evidence, etc. So I think for all its faults, it was decided preferable to have malfunction, let some of the guilty go, etc., rather than lock everyone up for whatever. People are only supposed to be convicted if they appear guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. For whatever shortcomings there are in achieving “justice,” I don’t think it’s the shortcomings of the legal system per se. It’s that certain fraction of humans that will be liars and cheats no matter what political or social or legal system one is under. That’s a fact of life and basic problem about life. Parasitism is a way of life that’s existed amongst many animals and plants eons before some humans found a way to make a living out of it.

P.S. The Magna Carta, etc., did not keep Mary I, Queen of the Scots, Elizabeth I’s half-sister, from being imprisoned for 19 years before she was finally executed. That’s the sort of thing our legal system seeks to prevent when “suitable authorities” are in power to administer “justice.”

I agree lawyers, politician’s and news media survive on lies. I have been a volunteer in the juvenile court justice system for about four years now and it is appalling how much of what is said both in and outside the courts is lies and the “support system” for children is as bad or worse.

Mics x2 $18, receiver $14, circuit board $20-100, plastics $1. Dip switch $3,
Chassis $5, Bt Aerial $8. $20-80 on assembly depending how automated the process is.


A ridiculous question about the ethics of a large medical devices company have degenerated into conspiracy theories. Go out for a walk ladies and gentlemen. Get some air.