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Buying a hearing aid sight-unseen--really smart or really dumb...

The analysis from the Ear Specialist, stated that I needed a "behind the ear"  type, because the smaller, less visible model would not provide enough horsepower to help my bad ear hear any better.  The one this office suggested was $900, and you had to pay for it so they could go out and buy it.

I was a little shaken by the price, so I decided to surf the Internet for a better deal.  What I found was that the $900 was almost a "floor" for pricing, and they went up dramatically for those sold by other companies.

I found out that many folks pay thousands of dollars for hearing aids.

Now this state of affairs is really strange, because you can buy a really good computer for about $500, and it is infinitely more complicated that a hearing aid.  So...what gives?   My guess is that it is price fixing by the manufacturers with assistance from the hearing aid offices all over North America.

It reminds me of the funeral industry before cremation and "cheap, no frills funerals" began to chip into their incredible profits.

There are now cracks appearing in the price fixed hearing aid industry.  Number one is that the law was changed to allow adults to waive the "hearing test, hearing counseling, doctor provided" hearing aid.

By waiving the Doctor route the consumer can buy direct from the manufacturer...

In no way, do I condone giving up getting all the info you can relating to your hearing problem.  I just don't think you have to have it connected at the hip into the hearing aid sales business...

I discovered a couple of websites that helped hearing impaired folks with all manner of advice and devices, and they sometimes mentioned the disposable hearing aid, sort of like Wal-Mart reading glasses, if you know what I mean.

I wasn't too interested in a disposable type, but when I checked the website, I was surprised to see that they had just come out with their first "permanent" type, and it was just what I was supposed to get!

http://www.songbirdhearing.com/index.html

I called their customer service and asked a bunch of questions, and decided to take a chance, so I gave them my Visa number for $259, and had it shipped to good friends of ours, who will arrive in two weeks.

For this price you get a neat model with easy adjustable volume, six batteries that are common in Ecuador, and earpiece inserts that make it fit either ear.

Now...I may be just wasting my money, or maybe I have saved a bunch of dough and helped to bust a price fixing tradition.  I will post a follow-up when I get a chance to try them out, but I thought that several of you folks out there might just benefit from what I discovered.  Stay tuned!

I should also mention that Songbird gives you a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee if not fully satisfied!!!

Posted on Wed, March 3, 2010 at 12:55AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments4 Comments

Reader Comments (4)

Interesting to read about the hearing aids.
My dad spent $5000 on his hearing aids last year.
He went thru his hearing specialist. They were
made in Denmark. I'll let him know about songbird.

I am in Quito and want to find a dentist for
my semi annual cleaning and inspection. I would also
consider Cuenca since I might be headed thru there in late march.
Do you know of any good dentists in Quito or Cuenca?

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSeattle Pete

Hi Pete...Look up Brian and Shelley's blog and drop them a line. Brian just had a lot of work done, and he can steer you to the right dentist in Cuenca...good luck.

Bob & Rox

March 3, 2010 | Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne

Others preferred to use those invisible looking hearing aids. The invisible hearing aids is especially or custom made to fit exactly to the contours of someone's ear canal and looks invisible outside. This will make it more comfortable to wear.

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhearing aids London

I don't know if I can afford a $900 hearing aid either. $259 sounds much better to be honest. However, our case might be a little tricky. Our son has a funny hearing problem that only picks up certain frequencies. It's odd to have a spotty range of hearing, but for him that's how it is. I hope we can find a hearing aid that will help him out the best.
http://www.ent-drs.com/services.aspx

March 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDavey Hiltz

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