Using A Hearing Test to Shop Smart
If you have been shopping for hearing aid lately (which you most likely are since you are here) you have probably seen advertisements for "Free" hearing tests. It sounds great! Call a number and make an appointment for your complimentary hearing evaluation. Wait. Don't do that. Do a little research first. Companies offering free hearing tests are doing so because they hope to sell you a hearing aid. That in itself is not bad. However, most of these providers are charging a magnificently huge mark-up on their hearing aids. I have seen prices between $2000 and $5000 and often more! Paying that much, even for a top of the line aid, is highway robbery. Don't fall for it.
The hearing aid industry is following a 50 year old sales model. It expects the patient to go to an audiologist to get a hearing test and once the test is completed, purchase a hearing aid from that provider at a substantial profit. The industry has not changed even though the shopping habits of people have. Think of it this way. One use to go to a specific optometrist or ophthalmologist to have an eye exam. Once the exam was finished you would order your glasses or contacts from them and pay whatever price was given. No longer is that the case. There is competition in the vision business. You can shop around locally or even visit 1-800-CONTACTS or companies like it and receive your eye-ware at a big discount. The consumer dictates what they pay, not the optometrist.
Our suggestion is go to an actual Ear, Nose, Throat doctor to have your hearing test done. Often if your doctor refers you, Medicare will cover a portion of the exam. Once you have you hearing test (audiogram) do some research online. At Advancedhearing.com you can even fax or email us a copy of your hearing test and we can advise you which aids will work better for you. Most companies (including ours) have a money back guarantee if a hearing aid does not work out so your risk is minimal as well. You will be shocked by how much money you can save by doing so.
So next time you see that advertisement in the paper for a free hearing test (or television, online, etc) take a pause. There is a reason they are offering it for free and most of the time it will come at the expense of your pocketbook. As always if you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us! Happy holidays.