I understand price point may be the reason people would seek Cost Co for hearing aids. However for something so vital, isn’t it worth a few bucks more to visit a true professional? I had a bad experience when I received my first hearing aid in 2015 at one of those strip mall - chain store hearing aid retailers. Never again.
The thing is that it depends more on the person than the license or the certification. There are hearing aid specialists that are more proficient than some audiologists and vice versa.
Consumer Reports did a survey of about 17,000 members a couple of years ago and with the results of the survey did a rating on the various larger hearing aid retailers. They came out in this order from best to worst:
I thought that when I first started looking into hearing aids and avoided Costco. (My mother drummed “You get what you pay for” into my head for years.) Then my first exploratory adventure at a private audiologist resulted in a trial of aids that did nothing for me and were priced at $7,000, which was double what I could pay. When I mentioned my hearing problems to my regular doctor, he told me to go Costco. He said of his patients who wear aids and are satisfied with them, almost all are Costco customers.
So that’s where I went and had satisfactory aids for 4 years and am now trialing their KS9s.
tribalrose - I visited a CostCo today. I stood at the counter for 20 minutes before I was even recognized or acknowledged. I didn’t have an appt, didn’t see any other customers in the area and all the audio test booths were empty.
I was told the Phonak Audeo Marvel 90s were not available but introduced me to Kirkland Signature 9.0 Premium. I was told these are made by Phonak.
I would be curious to hear your feedback your new devices.
Hi orgullodemexico - Does your screen name mean you’re in Mexico? I ask because any experience I have is in Colorado, and since it seems things are different in UK and Canada, I assume they may also be in Mexico. Also I’ve never gone to the hearing department except with an appointment, and I have had to wait as much as 15-20 minutes past my appointment time once or twice. The audiologist at my Costco is very deliberate and I doubt if anything short of a fire would make her hurry, so if the person ahead of me needs extra time, they get it, which of course means the same for me.
I hope nothing I posted made you think Costco has the Phonak Marvels. The references in some threads that make it sound as if the KS9s are some kind of Marvels are unnecessarily confusing IMO. Both are made by Phonak and are similar, based on the same Phonak technology, but they are different aids and the Marvels have a lot of features that justify their higher price. The KS9s are a great aid for the price. Only you know if you can pay the premium for the Marvels and if those extra features are worth it to you.
Anyway, I’m sorry you got ignored for 20 minutes and hope that’s not a sign that the particular Costco you went to has a less than sterling hearing aid department. It does seem, not just with Costco, but with all hearing aid sellers, the big thing is a knowledgeable and caring fitter.
As to my aids - I’m so delighted with the phone thing (Android phone) it probably shades my opinion of everything about the KS9s. Some posters here say the person on the other end of the line doesn’t hear your voice well, but I’ve asked and asked people I’ve called or who have called me, and every one says they hear me fine.
My previous (and first) aids required a necklace with medallion for Bluetooth for phone calls and to connect via the tv device, and I came to dislike the thing more and more as time passed. Clumsy, ugly, finicky to connect, which means I REALLY love the way the KS9s do phone calls.
Other than that, I’m hearing better, not a lot, but noticeably. I do a lot of dog training and competition and those kind of events are always held in venues that aren’t great for aids. Big, high-ceilinged places that echo and have noisy fans and heating. Instructors and judges are always a distance away. The first week I had the KS9s, an instructor remarked to me that I seemed to be hearing better - I was acknowledging her when she spoke to me the first time, not the third.
The KS9s feel very light and “not there” compared to my previous aids, and that means I’m wearing them longer hours, far more inclined to put them on when I first get up rather than waiting until I need to go somewhere. I always know when I have the Trax on, but I’ve fallen asleep with the KS9s several times and when I woke not realized right away.
I’ve had a chronic problem with the aids backing out of my ear. I often wouldn’t notice until I realized I wasn’t hearing well and pushed them back in place. Custom molds helped that problem but didn’t eliminate it. The KS9s stay in place wonderfully with the small power domes I have now. The audiologist thinks it’s because the receivers have a sight curve to them. Whatever it is, they’re eliminating that small aggravation.
I can’t pretend it’s magic. If you look at my audiogram, you’ll see I have a flat loss. My big problem was with low, grumbly kind of voices and still is. Whether that’s better or not I can’t say. It’s not just fixed.
There is a thread here on the KS9 that is well over 1000 posts long.
I’m not in Mexico - Chicago.
I hope my experience isn’t an indication of Costco in general - but you know what they say about first impressions.
Thanks for all the feedback about your device. I haven’t made my mind up as to what direction I will go.
My wife and I have gone to the Costco in San Antonio. My one time with an appointment was a no wait at all visit. My wife has similar results.
We have had nothing but admiration for the service with this Costco hearing department. Hands down the best service I have had concerning hearing aids.
I was so unlucky and cancelled my appointment .Tuesday morning I had a sudden unbearable pain which resulted to be hospitalized and a surgery to remove my gallbladder and just went home . Will start cycle of appointment again
Not sure if this bad luck or a sign to not go to Costco
@orgullodemexico, I had a similar experience at Costco. I stood at the counter to try to get info about their appointment process, and I was ignored. It didn’t leave me with a very good impression, so I took my business elsewhere–to an audiologist in private practice, even though it costs more. However, there are many on this Forum who will not buy hearing aids anywhere but Costco. It just goes to show that we all have different opinions on what is excellent “patient/customer service,” and what we’re willing to pay for it. Good luck with your hearing aid purchase.
Feel better, @AshFan!
Ouch! An appointment wait will at least give you some time to recover…
Sorry to hear that. Obviously you have a new priority on hand. I wish you a speedy recovery.