Buying hearing aids online has been the source of disagreement for years now in the hearing community. The fact is that buying online will often come with a lower price, some form of after care service and most identifiable- the products are exactly the same.
What You Need To Know When Buying Online
There is no question that you should see an audiologist first before buying online. Realistically you don't know your exact hearing specification and needs and so why would you pay $2000+++ for a device you don't even know works?! You wouldn't right? So, the way to assess your hearing loss is to first gain the information you need, and then to price shop. When you book a holiday you first look at the pictures of the hotel, read the reviews and then look at the pricing. If one hotel has a lower price on a credible booking site, 9 times out of 10 we book that price. Why is it not the same with hearing aids?
Audiologists are first and foremost care givers. They are there to protect your ears and enhance your hearing. Most audiologists will offer a free consultation and will provide an audiogram detailing hearing loss. Now, here's what you don't know. Audiologists by law have to provide you with this medical document. They will also recommend a specific brand and model to go with based on the severity of your hearing.
You will need care and attention to get the very best out of your hearing aids for as long as you have them. If you feel confident that the online retailer can give you that care and service and is committed to doing so, then you are onto a winner.
If not, most audiologists will service hearing aids purchased elsewhere.
Indeed, even if they charge $200 per consultation this is substantially less than the mark up they are selling.
What You Need To Think About When Buying A Hearing Aid Online
- In the first year of purchasing hearing aids you will need to see an audiologist an average of twice to have these devices re-fitted and programmed.
- In the subsequent years most visits are rare, with care offered remotely and through apps on your phone.
- The cost of an average visit to an audiologist is $150 if you did not purchase the hearing aids through them.
- Hearing aids begin with the exact same specification regardless of where they were purchased, as long as the brand and model is the same.
Therefore, you spend $2500 instead of $5000 for the exact same devices.
You then visit the audiologist 6 times over the next 2-3 years for a grand cost of $900.
Then on the rare case you lose an earbud, you go online and buy a new one for $10.
In an even rarer case- the hearing aid breaks! Oh no! You gasp, you can't afford new hearing aids. But, all manufacturers offer a 2-3 year warranty on their devices. So you have to pay $20 to ship the hearing aids back direct (after a 1 minute google search you find the address) and within a week or two you will have your new pair.
Audiologist cost is $5000
Cost of buying through hearing delivered + unforseen costs + natural costs is $3430!
For the exact same device, the same level of care and 15 minutes of online research you have saved over $1500!
Make sure to do your research first, make sure you have an audiogram and make sure you know the model the audiologist recommends, and then why not purchase online? After all, can you afford to not save $1500?