3 Biggest Lies In The Hearing Aid Industry And Why They Should Make You Angry

By: Dr Cliff Olson
June 23, 2018
Video Transcript

There is not doubt that there are certain things in any industry that are said to encourage consumers to buy their products.  The hearing aid industry is well known for unscrupulous dealers of hearing aids and there are some common lies that are told to get you to buy now.

Lie #1. "These hearing aids normally cost $12,000, but I can sell them to you for only $6,000."  

First of all, nobody pays $12,000 for hearing aids and if you do, you just got ripped off.  This is a tactic that clinics use to make you think you got a great deal.  However, you can bet that a clinic like this is more concerned with SELLING hearing aids than TREATING Hearing Loss.

Lie #2. "Buying hearing aids online is the same thing as buying them in a clinic."

While these devices can be similar, the performance of these hearing aids will not be the same.  For hearing aids to function to their maximum capabilities, they must be programmed and verified in a clinic.  This is something that can't be done over the phone or by email.  Want to save money buy buying online?  Go ahead.  Just don't let them convince you that you will benefit just as much as buying them in a clinic.

Lie #3. "Real Ear Measures are not required because hearing aids are WAY more advanced today."  

To be fair, there is a possibility that your hearing care provider is not up to speed with research over the past 4 decades, but most often, they are lying to you.  Real Ear Measurement (REM) continues to be the Gold Standard of hearing aid programming verification.  Even the manufacturers of these "more advanced" hearing aids recommend that their devices be fit with REM.

At the end of the day, there are a TON of great hearing care providers who don't lie to their patients.  You just have to make sure you see through the lies to find one.

Dr. Cliff's Thoughts

There are so many lies in the hearing aid industry that it drives me nuts! When I first got into audiology, I assumed that anyone who worked in the hearing aid industry was doing things in the best interest of their patients. While this is the case for most hearing care professionals, there are a few bad actors out there who continue to lie to their patients.

Now, a bit of a warning: this is something of a rant, though I think it is still important. If you want to see me be a little more uplifting and positive, feel free to check out my other videos here https://appliedhearingaz.com/videos/

Until then, here are the three biggest lies that you need to look out for!

Lie #1: These Hearing Aids are $12,000, But I’ll Give Them to You for Only $6,000

First of all, nobody pays $12,000 to get a set of hearing aids. If you did, you just got ripped off. You see, these clinics use this lie in order to get you to feel like you’re getting a steal of a deal that you cannot pass up. That being said, any clinic who feels that they need to use this tactic on you is definitely more geared toward sales than toward giving you high quality hearing healthcare.

The simple fact is, even the best hearing aids on the market are only costing that clinic around $3,000 to get from the hearing aid manufacturers. If they’re a larger clinic, they’re paying even less than that. When they “mark down” this imaginary price from $12,000 to $6,000, it still means you should be expecting $3,000 worth of high-quality care. However, the clinics that use this type of sales tactic are probably more focused on the sales than on giving you that high quality care.

Lie #2: Buying Hearing Aids Online Will Save You Thousands of Dollars and You Get the Exact Same Thing You Would Get in a Clinic

Yes, the devices you buy online can be the same devices that you buy in a clinic – but that does not mean that those hearing aids will be able to be fit and programmed to you correctly. You see, hearing aids can only be correctly programmed if you are in an office, and that verification process is done on those devices while they are in your ears.

This is something you cannot get from buying hearing aids online. I do understand wanting to get hearing aids for a cheaper cost. You can absolutely do that online, and I do not fault anyone for wanting to go online to buy hearing aids. However, you cannot be under the assumption that you are getting the same thing. It is essentially comparing apples to oranges.

In my opinion, online hearing aids should be even cheaper than they are because they are not able to provide you with these certain best practices that required to achieve optimal results. I’m sorry, but a few phone calls and a few emails are not enough to justify thousands of dollars that you’re spending on hearing aids online.

Not to mention, if you need to go to a clinic to make sure that you get proper programming done or if you need maintenance on your devices if they break, you’ll have to pay anyway. So, you’re not actually saving as much money as you think. On top of that, you’ll be lucky if you can find a provider who actually works with the brand of hearing aids that you bought online.

Lie #3: You Don’t Need to Do Real Ear Measures Because Hearing Aids are Way More Advanced Today

To be fair, there is the possibility that your hearing care professional has not been keeping up to date with research over the past four decades – but chances are, they are lying to you!

You see, real ear measurement is the only way to verify if your hearing aids are programmed correctly. Research consistently identifies that hearing devices programmed using real ear verification are better than hearing aids not programmed using real ear verification.

Even the manufacturers of these way more advanced hearing aids will tell you that you still need to perform real ear measurement on them to ensure that they are programmed correctly to your hearing loss prescription. Like I said before, this provider is either lying to you or they have no clue what they’re talking about.

If you want to learn more about real ear measurement, check out my video on the process (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHR0Oa6I-wY). It is the single most important factor when programming a pair of hearing aids.

There are a lot of hearing care professionals out there who do things the right way and want to make sure that you succeed with hearing aids. You just have to make sure that you can see through all of the lies to find out who they are!

Doctor Cliff, AuD

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