Starkey customer service lately and what is reasonable

Hello all,
I’m in my late 30s and have worn Starkey hearing aids for at least the last 30 years once I graduated to BTEs as a 6 year old. I’ve mostly had very positive experiences with Starkey and have been very happy with the hearing aids. However, the past year or two, I am getting frustrated with them and for the first time ever, am thinking about leaving Starkey for another company when I am due for my next aids (which would be within the year). I am frustrated that everything has to be done through the audiologists’ office, even though I know they’re just going to send it in…why can’t I send it in directly and save myself the trip to the office (which is an hour trip out of the way for me here in Chicago). Also, a couple of months ago, my hearing aid kept not fitting right after they remade the mold with a bad mold (which my audiologist and I had told them before wasn’t good and asked them to dispose of it) so they finally agreed to send me up to MN and get it all done in one day instead of making me spend a week without an aid. When I spoke with the customer service rep for Starkey about my upcoming trip, she was all friendly until I then asked about how the payment worked and should I just send them the bill for the flight or what. At that point, the rep said to me, “We’re not paying for your flight up here! If your audiologist told you we were here, then SHE can pay for your flight with her own credit card!” Seriously. Upon talking to her supervisor, she realized that in fact the flight was supposed to be covered as they had been the who screwed up several tries. Anyways, now I have to send it back in again b/c apparently the little dome that goes over the very tip of the mold (closest to the ear drum) fell off and the office can’t just glue another one on. I have a full work week and asked for them to rush it so that I’d get it back in 3 days and not a whole week…now it’s $75 bucks for a rush fee? Does anyone know if this rush fee is imposed by Starkey or if it’s my clinic being greedy? I don’t understand why Starkey doesn’t rush all hearing aids, really…does anyone here really have the luxury of functioning at a lower level for a whole week? Why don’t they hire enough techs and makers to take care of more hearing aids each day? Especially since the last time I had to get something fixed, I had to send it back twice b/c the fit was off and didn’t work.

I guess I am just trying to figure out if my expectations are unreasonable and if I need to chill out and just accept that this is as good as it gets or should I be looking at a different company and possibly a different clinic? For what it’s worth, I had nothing but stellar experiences at this clinic for several years until my audiologist left and I’m now sort of in limbo without her.

My hearing loss is 30% in each ear; I can kind of function without one hearing aid, but it’s very obvious to anyone paying attention that I’m struggling and I also am sure that I am not hearing everything properly, either.

Thanks for any feedback you can provide.

Thanks for the response, Neville.

I have soundlens and wear each pair out before getting a new pair. My last pairs’ right microphone was so shot that it was almost like not having anything in, so it doesn’t work well enough to make it worth wearing. And no, even though I’ve had hearing aids for 30+ years, none of them have lasted well enough to be able to keep wearing them. I seriously doubt yours do either, right? As for the loaner, the clinic will only do a BTE kind (makes sense) and would require me to schedule an appt several days out in order to set me up with the loaner which takes more coordination and time than being able to send the aid in without a loaner. Plus, I don’t like having totally different sounding hearing aids in each ear; it’s very confusing and feels off balance.

I tried to find out from my clinic who is imposing the $75 fee but no one knew or wouldn’t tell me. I think I’m mostly frustrated that I spent $75 to get a 5 cent piece of plastic glued back onto the hearing aid that they clinic should’ve been able to do in house.

Starkey has a $50 same-day service charge and a $25 FedEx Priority Overnight charge, so that may account for the $75 fee.

Thanks, Ramus. I guess I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that it is fixed the first time. :slight_smile: