What does your provider do for you? What do you get for your money?


#1

In a recent discussion, I listed the things my HIS does for me. Someone asked, do all providers do these things? My answer was; based on my reading these forums, most providers do some of these things.

But I’m new at this, and don’t have much to go on. So I thought I would start a discussion on this. You pay your provider a sum of money, but you are usually buying more than a product, you are buying a service. The question is, how much service?

So I’ll get us started.

My Siemens Pure 5bx cost $5300.
My insurance brought my final cost to $700.
Warranty is 3 years.

I just recently found out that I get a $100 gift card for every referral that purchase. (Hopefully the friend I sent there purchases!;))

What I get:
Free batteries and/or free charger
Free cleanings
Free adjustments
Free accessories: EasyTek, Transmitter, etc.
Free custom molds
If one of my aids needs to go back to the factory for repair, I get a free loaner so I’m never without aids. Same for the accessories.

All of this for the life of the aids. Basically, I paid him once, and never pay him again until I need new aids or for repairs after the warranty.

15 day no money down trial. Upon purchase, state mandated 30 day trial with $300 restocking fee.

So I feel like I’m getting a really good deal, but I’m not sure because this is the first time I’ve done this.

Oh, and he also gave me two really nice coffee cups! That’s how you seal the deal in my book!:cool:

So, tell us what you get for your money and we can help others know what to expect from their providers.


Not much talk about prices
#2

Private Audiology Clinic:
-choice of any of big 6 brands
-free trials of Phonak/Unitron products - no money up front
-30 days money back on purchase
-$200 “restocking” fee if no eventual purchase made
-Hearing test was covered by Medicare in Australia
-Insurance claims handled by patient - I got $1,000 (every 5 years) but now have $1200 every 3 years after having served -3 year waiting period for my last cover upgrade

Phonak Audeo V90s (312T) pair $AU 11,000 with
-Easycall II to stream from mobile phone
-Pilot One II remote control
-could have had either Compilot II or Compilot Air II but I was not willing to wear a streamer
-D-Dry hearing aid dryer with UV treatment (also have drying canester with microwave recyclable desiccant from first purchase - useful for travel)
-2 cases with cleaning tool in each, large hard case, neoprene travel hard case, cleaning cloth, sets of spare domes & wax guards
-several Magnetic Reed Switch Activators for Auto T-coil
-30 days money back
-4 years warranty - premium aid
-Consumables for life of the aids - includes receivers, wax guards and domes
-Battery supply for 12 months
-Unlimited adjustments for first 12 months (average time to appointment few days to a week)
-Easycall Phonak hard case for iPhone 5S

Also able to email Audiologist about problems. Just before my first purchase, a newer model was released overseas. When I requested (within the 30 days of purchase) if I could upgrade to that model when available there was no problem. I switched to the new model at 7 weeks and I had those for 2 months before they were returned and swapped for the V90s. This was due to fitting problems with microphone noise and the lack of a ReSound rep in my state to offer any assistance. I had no problems switching even outside the 30 days return period and new warranty/fitting adjustment times all started again from date of receipt of the V90s. When I had problems with the ReSound aids my audiologist would fit me in at short notice outside her usual clinic hours. Also follow up call from audiologist to check if everything going well.


#3

Thanks for your response Psocoptera. You made me realize a few things I left out! I’ll have to go back and edit my post now.

I like that you can email your audi. That’s one thing I don’t get that I wish I did. They have one e-mail address for the entire business (multiple offices) so it doesn’t have that personal and private feeling about it, and you never know who’s going to answer. I wish I could just email him directly, or at least his office.


#4

Blue Crab, how do you like your EasyTek and transmitter? I am thinking of returning mine. I get very few phone calls, mostly texts. And I have yet to get the transmitter to work. The tv I’m working with is five years old, don’t know if that’s the problem. My Pure 5bx’s were $4400, insurance paid all but $900, plus I paid $300 for the EasyTek & transmitter. I’ve had them about a month now, previously had Phonak in the canal ha for eight years. I am happy with the Pure 5bx, just not the extras.


#5

I absolutely love my EasyTek despite it’s flaws. At first, the aids constantly cut out if I turned my head. My HIS replaced the cable, and it was okay, until yesterday. It happened again, but not too badly. I’m going to reseat the connections and see how it goes. But really, 99% of the time it works great.

It’s awesome for phone calls. I’ve always used a Bluetooth headset, and this much better. I don’t get many calls either, but I do talk to my wife during my lunch break everyday and on the way home, and it works great for that. The other neat thing is that when I get a text message, the alert goes off in my ears. No more missed texts!

I also love being able to use it to adjust volume and change programs. I work in a very noisy environment on occasion. When I am around the noise, I just push the button to go into my “noise” program. Sometimes, I push the up and down volume buttons simultaneously and shut the aids off. When someone needs to speak to me I can easily turn them back on. So it’s not just about phone calls, it’s about having a handy remote control.

The transmitter I haven’t used much. I only use it for my laptop. It’s an older computer and it wouldn’t pair with the EasyTek, so I plug the transmitter into the headphone port. And I only do that when I am trying to listen to a song to write out the sheet music. When I’ve used it, it worked just fine. Don’t think I would have been willing to pay much for the transmitter just because I use it so little, but it was free, and I do like it. The first one he gave me wouldn’t even turn on. He replaced that, and the new one works just fine. You might want to try swapping yours out before you give up on it.

I don’t use anything for the TV, the aids themselves work fine for that, and my wife loves that the TV isn’t so loud anymore!

I hope that helped.:slight_smile:

So Calico, are you going to share with us the level of service you get from your audi?

*UPDATE 05-21-2017
I take it all back, the EasyTek sucks. Maybe I’ll write a post all about that soon…


#6

I’ve been using the same audi for 8 years, never had a problem getting in to see her within a couple days of calling, sometimes the same day. They do have a walk in clinic on Tuesday morning, you don’t need an appointment, just show up. After the warranty expired on my Phonak’s, it was only $20 per visit to see her. I didn’t know how well my insurance would pay on the Siemen’s. If it hadn’t paid well, I was going to check out Costco, but dreaded changing audi. I am pleased with their service. My new aids have a three year warranty, and I’ll get free batteries for a year. I can lose each ha once and replace it for $400. They would also have given me $$ credit for my old aids, but I can’t see giving them up since they still work well.


#7

It would be useful if a Costco customer posted their details.


#8

Okay, I’ll give it a try.

A big deal for me was the 90-day test period. Yes, you do have to pay up front and you get a refund if you don’t decide to keep them, but I just put them on my AmEx card and when I didn’t keep the KS6, the refund was issued without so much as an eye blink. For about three weeks I “owned” both the KS6 and the Rexton Trax 42s. I’ve probably been back for one reason or another at least every 2 weeks since I first got the KS6s, which is to say close to 5 months, and those appointments have all been done with a smile. I actually still have about 10 days left on my trial of the Trax, but I haven’t figured the date exactly because I’m keeping them.

Equally important for me was price, of course. I’m not one of those who can say price doesn’t matter. I put off even looking into HAs for at least 10 years because of the price. My only insurance is Medicare, so the cost is all out of pocket for me. The aids came with enough free batteries for the test period, so I guess you could say I’ve gotten 6 months of free batteries out of this. The Trax came with either rechargeable batteries and charger or a remote, and I chose the remote.

Adjustment appointments will continue to be free, and the audi says I should get retested every year, which may mean more than tweaks I suppose and that will be free.

Things like domes and wax guards will be free for the life of the aids. If I didn’t want to deal with them, the audi or her assistant would change them out for me, but I chose to have a lesson on how to do it myself instead. The dome issue is moot at the moment because I have custom molds. I did have to pay $80 for the molds, but I also have 90 days to have those redone and adjusted over and over and can simply reject them and get a refund - a refund on a custom item still surprises me.

I would have to pay for other accessories. Since I’m not interested at the moment, I don’t even know what those are or how much they would cost.

The audi will do cleaning and minor fixes she can handle for the life of the aids. Not sure what that would be - replacing wires maybe?

The aids have a 3-year warranty and a 2-year warranty for damage or loss that will replace each one once. The audi told me a way to extend that warranty by a year is to send them in for work just before it expires. The manufacturer then guarantees the reworked aid for another year. I didn’t worry much about warranty, replacement, etc., when I first got these. I couldn’t imagine how I’d ever lose or damage a hearing aid. However, I got in the habit of not putting the aids in right after a shower, taking them in the car with me when I left to go some place and putting them on in the car. One day as I started out, I heard a strange noise, stopped and got out to see if a tire was low or flat, and watched both aids tumble to the dirt road at my feet. I’ve changed my ways, but I’ve also changed my feelings about the warranty.

That’s all I can think of at the moment.


#9

Thanks tribalrose. Very helpful.


#10

Have to ask my audiologist if cleaning of aids is free. No free batteries at all, after warranty is over have to pay for every visit, fee for time to program loan aid when mine has to get repaired. Paid $5920 for my aids. Insurance paid $800.

@bluecrab
I want to live where you live, and have the same insurance.
:smiley:


#11

OK now that I actually have the aids:

Alta2 Pro 6200.00 Streamer 275.00

Insurance covered 5,000.00 less 10 dollars. Out of pocket including the streamer was 1485.00

Warranty is 3 years.
Replace lost pair for 250 per aid.
For the entire 3 year warranty period I get batteries, domes, wax guards, cleanings and adjustments.
Also got a dryer for storage. Desiccant type, non electric.
I can and have emailed the audiologist who responds same day if I get the email in before 2 or 3. Next day at the latest.

The clinic and the AuD have been fantastic. No complaints whatsoever. My research paid off here.


#12

I love Costco, everything is free. my brother in law bought a pair from there and then died in a tragic accident shortly after and his wife gave to me because she didn’t know what else to do with them. I had 3 year old phonaks that my audiologist (with a phd I might add) could never adjust well enough that I would wear except in meetings when absolutely necessary. so I thought I would give Costco a try with these. since I had all of the paperwork they said they wouldn’t charge me anything since he had already paid everything. they transferred the warranties over to me, gave me a hearing test, new receivers since they were ric aids, and adjusted, all for free. they said all cleanings and adjustments for life would also be free. how can you beat that. the dispenser was a wearer himself and adjusted them so well I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing.


#13

I do like my insurance, but I want to make something very clear. I am on a high deductible plan. My annual deductible is $3000, and my out-of-pocket maximum is $6000.

So, Gall Bladder Removal cost me well over $5000. The $700 I paid for my aids was to get me up to the out-of-pocket maximum. Actually, Gall Bladder surgery was the only reason I got the aids.

I feel I was very fortunate to find my HIS, but I still hate where I live. It makes me crabby!:rolleyes:


#14

:frowning: I am so sorry for your loss! But it is awesome how Costco worked with you on that.

I had 3 year old phonaks that my audiologist (with a phd I might add) could never adjust well enough that I would wear except in meetings when absolutely necessary.

Degrees have never impressed me. I have long had a saying that some of the stupidest people I have ever met are some of the smartest people I have ever met. Meaning I’ve known plenty of PhD’s who didn’t know how to cook a pop-tart.

so I thought I would give Costco a try with these. since I had all of the paperwork they said they wouldn’t charge me anything since he had already paid everything. they transferred the warranties over to me, gave me a hearing test, new receivers since they were ric aids, and adjusted, all for free. they said all cleanings and adjustments for life would also be free. how can you beat that. the dispenser was a wearer himself and adjusted them so well I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing.

Again that’s awesome how Costco worked with you. I know if it weren’t for my insurance, I would have ended up there.

Thanks for your input!


#15

I get 2 year warranty and insurance against loss, I think I get a number of consultations too.