Manufacturers Release Statements Regarding Internet
Hearing Aid Sales Policies
At ReSound, we believe our hearing aids will only deliver their full benefit to an end user when they are fit and maintained by a licensed professional. We are committed to the idea that satisfied end users result from professional guidance in the selection, fitting and maintenance of a hearing aid. People with hearing loss deserve choices that allow them to find the solution that best meets their individual needs. We believe this is best accomplished through a personal relationship with a licensed professional.
Based on this, ReSound will not supply hearing aids to retailers that do not provide face-to-face fitting, counseling, and maintenance as part of their hearing instrument package.
Hearing Aids Online – Getting Started
The internet is a wonderful smorgasbord of products and information available to anyone with a connection and a computer. They’re many ways the internet can make your life easier and provide you with better peace of mind especially when buying a product. Unfortunately like anything, the internet is not infallible. Let’s step back and take a look at the health industry for example; can you get a surgical procedure through the internet? Can a doctor perform a physical evaluation over the internet? Can you improve your hearing loss over the internet? The answer to all these questions is obviously no, you can’t. Please read below to find out why buying hearing aids online is not in the best interest of the consumer.
Hearing aids for sale over the internet
Many people think that it would be a great idea to buy hearing aids online. Maybe a hearing aid for sale over the internet will be a cheaper or easier transaction. Maybe you can get the same quality of service if you buy hearing aids online because if you can buy a TV or a computer or a jacket online and get great service, why you can’t buy hearing aids online and get the same type of results seems like a reasonable question. The answer to that question is simple, hearing aids are unlike any product available to consumers.
Let’s put it this way; a new jacket feels warmer; a new TV has a better picture quality. These types of results are instantly known to the user. There’s no adjustment period for the results of the new product to be clearly defined.
Hearing aids on the other hand do have an adjustment period. In fact this adjustment period and the fitting process of a hearing aid is a huge part of the success or failure of that particular brand or model.
Every hearing aid is individually fit or programmed to the individual wearing the hearing aid based on the hearing loss of the individual. Purchasing hearing aids online severely limits ones ability to fine tune that hearing instrument to the proper settings.
We’ve noticed that some vendors claim they can program the hearing aids for sale on their website if you send them an audio-gram (hearing test), but that means that you still have to go into a professionals office (hearing aid dispenser, Audiology Center, or ENT Clinic) to get that test performed. Essentially, the vendor selling the hearing aids online can’t give you all the services essential to fitting the hearing aid properly.
Hearing aids for sale online – Do you really save money?
The most common reason someone would choose to buy hearing aids online is price. If you can find a hearing aid for sale online that is significantly lower in price than in a Hearing Aid Center, Audiology Center, or an Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic it appears to be the best financial option, right? Wrong!
Although you might save money up front buying hearing aids online, the long term cost will be much higher. Also keep in mind that a hearing aid for sale online might be used or out of warranty. There’s no guarantee with hearing aids for sale online because no major manufacture will support online sales of hearing instruments. As of now, none of the major manufacturers of hearing instruments support the sale of hearing aids online for the reason of patient care. An online vendor cannot support the capabilities of a hearing instrument unless the patient is physically in their office, which would eliminate the whole purpose of buying hearing aids online.
If you are able to find a hearing aid for sale online, that means that the vendor who is selling it to you does not have a direct account with the manufacturer, the product you are buying is not a hearing aid (assistive listening devices are not hearing instruments), or you are buying a used hearing aid. A lot of companies will boast that their assistive listening devices are just as good as hearing instruments, but they are not.