Consumer report hearing aids


Nearly four out of ten Americans suffer from hearing loss till the age of 65 and many of them turn to hearing aids to once again hear what they've missed out. But a study released but Consumer Union finds that many purchasers get frustrated with their shopping experience due to high costs, short trial periods, and refund offers filled with loopholes. Consumer Union surveyed hearing aid dispensers in five Texas cities mainly Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, and examined complaints filed against sellers, or dispensers, of hearing aids to see what kinds of issues concern consumers most.

People's say

Hearing loss is an increasingly important issue to the large Baby Boomer population. There are approximately 28 million Americans afflicted by it. Every second a Baby Boomer population turns fifty and it is projected that by the year 2015 the number of Americans suffering from hearing loss may increase between 20 to 25 percent. Further, an estimated 10% of 40- year olds suffer hearing impairment, and certainly years of listening to loud music bring more and more younger people to this growing phenomenon. Three out of four people filed against hearing instrument fitters and dispensers related to problems with the 30- day trial period and refunds.

Examples of the complains

The list of complains can be listed as below:
1) Consumers tried to return the aid, but the fitter convinced them to get adjustments while the trial period ran out
2) Repeated repairs interfered with allowing consumers adequate time to try out the hearing aid without interruption.
3) Consumers could not get a refund or could not get it in a timely way
4) Consumers did not realize they would pay steep holdback fees if they decided the hearing aids didn't work for them.

More of the report

Refund issues are important to consumers because hearing aids are not generally covered by insurance and can range in price from a couple hundred dollars for the least technologically advanced models to thousands of dollars for digital models loaded with bells and whistles. Among the useful features and add-ons are volume control, directional microphones, audio-input options, and a device that allows hearing without feedback when using the phone.

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