The “Bargain” of Big Box Hearing Aids
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It’s no secret that many of us have trouble hearing. 48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss, and the number is growing. Aside from the fact that hearing loss is directly associated with dementia, an increased risk of falls, and a list of other health problems, hearing is still considered an “invisible” concern, often addressed with a roll of the eyes and an online search to figure out the quickest and cheapest way to get one’s spouse off their back.
For many, this “first stop” or “quick solution” is a big box wholesale store that promises “similar products for less.” After all, why not grab a pair of medical grade hearing devices while you’re picking up toilet paper and a pound of chicken? It’s all the same, right?
In the last four years, the phones of Audiologists, who hold Master’s and Doctoral Degrees, have been ringing off the hook with big box hearing aid customers asking for our help. Their hearing aids don’t fit, don’t work, and won’t stop whistling. They have spent thousands of dollars and they can’t hear. Can we help them?
Unfortunately, we cannot.
Hearing aids purchased from wholesale chains are not the same products that hearing aid manufacturers are currently releasing into the Audiology marketplace. In many cases, the “top-of-the-line” technology from a big box store is so out of date that it is no longer compatible with our current hearing aid programming software. Imagine trying to stick an old VHS tape into your DVD player… it won’t work.
In other cases, big box hearing aids may be “current” from a software perspective, but are de-featured versions of the technology that Audiologists have access to.
One of the biggest features deleted from Big Box hearing aids is tinnitus treatment, otherwise engaged in almost all hearing aids. Tinnitus therapy combats the unwanted ringing or buzzing in your ears that is commonly associated with hearing loss, while simultaneously allowing for amplification. Without this feature, patients often report that their hearing aids are too LOUD but still not CLEAR. If you’re looking for clarity, the importance of a tinnitus treatment option in your hearing aids cannot be overstated.
Here’s how it works. Hearing aid manufacturers spend about 100 million dollars a year EACH to come up with amazing hearing aid technology that is smaller, faster, smarter than the year before. That technology is available to private practice Audiologists, ENT clinics and the VA for a premium price.
Big box hearing aids are, on average, about 3-4 years behind in technology. So, for example, what you might buy at Costco for $1,349, you can buy at our office for $999.
For that $999, you are tested and fit by one of our extensively educated Audiologists, given a complimentary hearing aid warranty that protects you against repairs and loss, and FREE BATTERIES and SERVICE for the life of that hearing aid. And, we bake fresh cookies daily… we don’t sell them 🙂 .
Enough about the differences in PRICES and PRODUCTS, now let’s talk SERVICE.
As anyone who has ever stood in line to buy products at a big box store knows, it’s a zoo. Now imagine waiting in line for SERVICE at the same location. It is common to wait weeks or even months for an appointment at many big box hearing aid clinics.
At our office, we see you the same day whenever possible, and our patients rarely wait. In fact, we only have one chair in our waiting room…. since we’re somewhat obsessed with running on time and respecting your schedule.
If you break your hearing aids, we’ll fix them. If you lose them, we’ll replace them. If they’re dirty, we’ll clean them. If your dog eats them… we’ll even deal with that for you. It’s what we do, and we do it better than anyone else. There are many awards and recognitions hanging on our walls, but we think the most important thing to recognize is who is sitting in our office: YOU
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Hearing more naturally can be possible today!