I looked at it, too, now, on their website, and it does look to me that what they’re calling a “subscription” is another term for a financing charge. One benefit to this is that some customers who may not qualify for credit can get aids that they otherwise would not be able to afford. The downside to this is that the customer may not have consumer protection that would be afforded to someone paying a properly labeled finance charge. For example, you’ve calculated the 48-month price, but this may be so much higher than the cash price for these same aids as to border on usury. This could be in effect a 50% interest rate. They could get away with that by calling it a subscription. Or it could be a very reasonable 15%. There’s no way to tell from I could see what the effective interest rate is because I’m not seeing the aids or their cash price identified.
And it is a “new aids every 4 years” deal. I presume they would have a way for you to cancel AFTER paying off the subscription. That in itself is not necessarily bad, to me. Some aids will last longer, and some would want to keep their aids and not pay more money. Other people would like that arrangement. You may want new hearing aid technology sooner than four years from now, and you’re correct, it’s changing quickly out there, but buying new, high-tech aids every two to three years gets quite expensive (as with Lyric subscriptions) and is more money than most people want to or can spend.
This is similar to cell phone companies offering “new every two” phones, which is probably what gave this guy the “new every 4 years” idea. Some people love getting a new cell phone every two years. Some want to keep their old phones and will stay with their cell phone company paying month-to-month rates until the phone dies. Others want a new phone every year or so and pay through the nose for the privilege. It’s the customer’s choice.