Wow

I have been reading postings about internet purchases and I am really surprised by the vitrol and complete lack of empathy and understanding aimed at people who are simply trying to improve their lives by some of the folks here. Talk about an elitist attitude.

I am a law enforcement professional and find myself in a situation where hearing aids have become a neccesity in order for me to safely continue in my profession. I have insurance through work which will provide a very nominal reimbursement, but will not come near covering the cost of ha’s. I had my hearing tested through the insurance program and was told that I would benefit from ha’s and the provider made two recommendations for aids that would benefit me and my particular situation. Unfortunately, it was not financially doable for me at the time.

I am contributing to the care of elderly disabled parents, and at the same time have had my compensation reduced due to the current economic situation, so unfortunately, the cost for ha’s locally is still out of reach for me. Additionally, the person who did the initial testing and recommendation is no longer practicing.

I was able to obtain a pair of the same brand aids as was recommended by purchasing them on line used. This was the only avenue available to me at this time, and while not ideal, I felt it was a reasonable thing to do.

Fortunately, I was able to find a local audiologist who understands my situation and is willing to work with me on a fee basis. I spoke with several other local business and got varying responses from helpful to completely hateful before settling on this gentleman, who just coincidentally happens to be the closest to me. Hopefully this will be a workable solution for me.

My point in making this post is that there seems to be an awful lot of judgement here. That is a shame, because someone who is not as thick skinned ( it helps in my job) could be quickly turned off and discouraged from seeking help due to some of the responses from “professionals” here.

I lurked here for quite a long time before signing up and posting this. I have scoured the net for a solution to my hearing problems for several years, and feel like the solution I am trying is superior to doing nothing, and probably not being able to safely continue in my job.

Perhaps a bit more understanding and a little less judgement could be used in some of the responses to folks who are just here looking for help. I understand that this is some folks’ livelihoods that we are talking about, but perhaps a look at the big picture is in order. Someone who you help now may be in a better position a little further down the road when they need their next set of ha’s, and they will probably return to someone who actually helped them when they needed it rather than excoriating them and treating them poorly.

I chose my profession because I enjoy it, and it is my opportunity to help people. I would think that people in the hearing aid business would have some of the same motivation. Some of the things I have read here make me wonder- one person talks about his thin margins in one post and then talks about his expensive designer watches in another. Kinda makes you wonder…

Anyway, thanks to those of you who actually are trying to help here. I have obtained a great deal of useful information here and I appreciate it. To some of the others- maybe a step back would be in order.

just my .02

I don’t think the big issue is buying online (since you found what was recommended)… but, the issue is expecting an AD to test your hearing and configure your hearing aids for free. I would think if you buy online you should at least be willing to pay a nominal fee for the programming. Kind of like if I bought car parts cheaper online and then show up and expect a mechanic to install them free. If you live anywhere close to a decent size city most will have free speech and hearing clinic. would be interesting to know what you bought and what you paid for your aids?

I think the audi’s reluctance to program HA purchased though online sources is more of a fear of dealing with stolen HA than helping someone out. If purchasing online it’s important to get a signed bill of sale from the person who is the registered owner of the HA and if the person has died, get a copy of the death certificate with the bill of sale. You should also give the person you buy them from a signed release of liability. If the person you are dealing with refuses to provide you with the documents, run away.

I agree, although, as others have pointed out, there are some risks in buying used online. But, if that’s the way you want to do it, you should be able to do it.

I think all the pros should have an hourly rate they can live with, and the forms and releases for the patient to sign that would protect them. I get the impression, though, that most would not agree to work on hearing aids they did not sell.

Mick the original poster said that he found someone who is willing to work with him on a FEE basis. He is not looking for freebe.

that is correct. I would not expect anyone to do it for free, although the person who took over the practice where I had my original test done two years ago offered to do it free.

One of the people who returned my call was sweet as sugar until she found out that I had bought used ha’s. She then got very unfriendly and said she would charge me a $1000 testing fee (when I talked to her receptionist the day before, I was told the testing fee was $65). She could have just said no, rather than ranting at me, and I politely told her so.

My financial situation is not going to be permanent, and I will certainly remember those who were reasonable and those who weren’t.

Wow. $1000 for a hearing test? We sent veterans to get their aids from the VA all the time and charged them hourly to work on the aids (we were a lot closer) and I don’t see how that is any different.

Sure, we probably would have made more if they had bought aids from us, but we have to remember that a lot of us got into this business to help people hear better. It sound like some of the people that posters here have run into have forgotten that.

I meant in general as you always see posted on these forums… ‘I saved big $$ buying online’ then they rip ADs for not waiting to configure them.

It’s one thing buying new HAs online but buying used is another game altogether… so, you find an AD willing to configure them and they suck… who you going to blame? I didn’t think you could legally buy ‘used’ medical devices online?

So, he got lucky (maybe if they work) so what’s his need to come on here and complain? The reason I asked price and brand was I’m wondering how they compared to Costco? If he had posted his audio-gram we would also know if he might need ear molds made to get the correct fitting.

There’s a sign that use to hang in the gasoline here that read… hourly rate $10 if I supply the parts and do the work. $50 if you supply new parts and I do the work. $100 an hour if you supply and parts and insist on helping.

Good for you tiredofhuh:D You have found the best solution within your means, as it should be!!!

I agree with your sentiments entirely about certain Audi’s & HIS; whom seem to think it is a cardinal sin for buying on line and then asking them to program the aids… for me, business is business it is not as if you were looking for a freebie and those Pro’s whom help you and others, then the more likely you are to come back when your financial situation improves?

On the other side of the coin, there are many wonderful and helpful Audi’s & HIS out there whom will bend over backwards to help the HOH of this world, for instance; around about a year ago I had to go to a FAI (Fatal Accident Inquiry) My boy of 22 years was killed the year before in a road traffic accident, black ice, going to a call out to repair a truck, straight into a tree, he died instantly! My aids were a freebie issue from the NHS, Naida V UP’s, I had pacifically asked the NHS Audiologist to program in the Telecoil 2 weeks prior to the FAI as the court has an inductive loop system, they never did it and I would be totally lost in the FAI without Telecoil, I could not get another appointment with the NHS till after the court and as you can imagine, panic kinda set in when I realized a week before the FAI, that I had no Telecoil! I called into a local Private Audi’s I know and explained my situation, he tested my ears on the spot, programmed in Telecoil and gave me the best HA’s he had in the shop and sent me on my way, no charge, no fee and never even asked me to sign anything and just told me to bring them back when I was finished with them!!! I thought it was a wonderful gesture, which I will never ever forget such a true kindness, I would have bought my Phonaks from him if he were able to supply them, but unfortunately he did not work with Phonak, but I think he now supplies Starkey’s, so next time round you can be assured, if he does then he will be getting my business:D

Good luck with the new aids! Cheers Kev:D

Tiredofhuh I had a similar experience with fitting my hearing aids I received as a gift from my brother- in- law few years ago. Local audiologist wanted $1000.00 for initial fitting and programing!!! You just have to make additional phone calls and eventually you will find someone who will help you. Just like in any other business. some hearing aid audiologists are more helpful then others.

I’ve read a lot of similar comments on these boards and it’s sad. A person like this should not be allowed to call themselves a health professional. I know not everyone is like that but it comes out a lot, too much. They need to make a living, but so is my dentist & doctor, and they provide a service for a fee without having to sell me 6000$(or more) worth of equipment. They make a living just fine

Last year I had to tell a really sweet older lady that I couldn’t send her hearing aid in for repair because it was a stolen hearing aid and if I did the factory wouldn’t send it back to us. It turned out her son had helped her buy the hearing aids on eBay to save her money. She saved a few bucks initially, but considering she only got a year and a half of useful life out of the hearing aid it turned out not to be such a good deal in the long-run. Part of the reason her son helped her with this was because she had very little money coming in and didn’t think she could otherwise afford hearing aids. I then proceeded to show her how we could fit her with a budget model that when financed cost her less than $40 a month and would meet her needs sufficiently.

She was upset that she was going to have to spend more money, but had she come in before buying the aids online and explained her financial situation I could have saved her money and a lot of grief!

I think a large part of why the professionals on here come out so strongly against buying hearing aids online is that we’ve seen too many folks fall prey to the illusion of lower hearing aid prices and are hoping to keep someone who is new to hearing aids and doesn’t know any better from making the same mistake we’ve seen others make. This is especially important when we’re talking about someone with very limited financial resources who may not have the means to correct such a mistake after it has been made!

I think that some of the responses come from fear. If I had a practice that I had opened ten years ago, and make a living from said practice, I’m a happy camper.

Then some Internet upstart comes along and undercuts my prices, not because I am ripping people off, but because they are not selling the same thing. They are basically FedExing you a set of improperly programmed hearing aids (despite what these sites claim, some calibrations MUST be performed in the patient’s ear), with no real live support, from some cheap warehouse for for all I know someone’s spare room in their house.

So now I can’t compete, I’m losing sales to this Internet company. And people walk into my business which I now perceive to be at risk and want me to earn $50 here and there for programming some hearing aids that were not properly dispensed in the first place. You can see how this might offend some.

On top of that, some insurance companies are now selling so called ‘hearing enhancers’ in place of real hearing aid coverage. So now my practice is in even more trouble.

In this fictitious example, I worked hard for my license, I put in the time, I took out the business loan, put my house on the line, and now some here today gone tomorrow Internet company is taking my potential patients away from me.

I think this is where the attitude comes from.

To my way of thinking America often lacks help for the middle class. Someone like yourself earns too much money to qualify for charity programs like Starkey’s Hear Now program. You have insurance, but it doesn’t do crap for you in things like this. So you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

People shouldn’t have to buy medical devices off the Internet. Insurance should provide people with the health care they need at a reasonable price. It is astonishing to me that serving this country and state as you do, putting your life on the line for the safety of others, you are rewarded with crappy insurance that doesn’t cover the health care items that you need to enjoy a quality of life, and to be able to do your job at peak efficiency.