You Don't Need to Upgrade Three-Year-Old Hearing Aids!

By Colin Forrest on 14 July 2022

Unless there is a very good reason and dirty wax guards are not a good reason

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A Four Thousand Pound Hearing Aid Wax Guard Change!

I had a phone call recently from a prospective customer who had been recommended a new set of hearing aids coming in at £4,000. He had been researching online and had realised that my price for the aids was almost £1,000 less than quoted.
As I spoke to him though, it became clear that his existing hearing aids were Phonak Marvels that he had purchased just three years ago. I asked him why he wished to upgrade his aids after three years?
He explained that a hearing professional from the business where he purchased his hearing aids had come to his house and told him that his hearing had changed slightly and his hearing aids were tuned to the maximum so he should consider new hearing aids.

As I spoke to him, it became clear that he felt his existing hearing aids were no longer performing and that was why he had called this business for an aftercare appointment. The professional had come to the house, tested his hearing and told him there was a slight change in his hearing, new hearing aids were the answer!

None of this added up for me, the Marvels are outstanding hearing aids, he had purchased the 90 level of technology which is the premium level. It was mentioned that there was only a slight change in his loss, so I couldn't quite work out why there was a need for new hearing aids? I explained this to him as I will explain it to you dear reader now.

The Audeo Marvel devices can easily be altered to fit any hearing loss, no matter how severe. The programming software allows us to easily change the prescription in the aids to meet any change in hearing ability. Even if that change is dramatic, we can easily change the power of the speaker to give us the new levels of amplification we need. That is in fact why we recommend Receiver In Canal devices like the Phonak Audeo because they are so versatile.

He mentioned that the professional had given him a demonstration of Oticon More hearing aids and that he heard a distinct difference. I explained to him that perhaps his Marvels had degraded somewhat over time, but they were easily repaired and they may even still be under warranty so it may cost him nothing. I began to talk him through some typical troubleshooting tips so we could get an idea of what may be going on.

The first thing I asked him was when had he last changed his wax guards? It became obvious that he didn't know what I meant and in three years, he had never changed them. I told him that we had likely found the problem! I talked him through taking his tips off and how he could use the wheel of replacement wax guards to change the existing ones.

He said that he never knew what the wheel was for and no one had explained it to him. Anyway, he managed to change the wax guards and get the silicone tips back on. When he put the hearing aids in his ears, he said it was like a brand new set of hearing aids. He was blown away with the sound quality and was really grateful for my help.

I explained to him that if there had been a small change in his hearing, it might be worthwhile to have them re-programmed by someone, but otherwise, he should be good to go.  The reasons I am sharing this are twofold, firstly, Michael, the prospective customer, left me an excellent review on my Google profile which you can read below

"My existing hearing aid supplier said my Marvel hearing aid were insufficient after only 3 years and recommended I spend another £3800 on new ones. I looked on line and Colin was £600 cheaper. However, after a chat with Colin I discovered that they had not changed the filters on my aids and there was nothing wrong with them. He could have easily persuaded me to buy new ones but was very helpful with his advice. Its refreshing to find an honest, knowledgeable professional. Thanks Colin." Michael Veitch

The second is that it is very rare that a three-year-old set of premium hearing aids need to be upgraded, I would say rarer than a very rare thing! Hearing aids that are three years old can always be re-programmed, serviced, or repaired. The only reasons that they might need upgrading are that you ran your car over them, the dog ate them, or you have lost them.

To be honest, even if the dog ate them, they may well be repairable. You would probably have to sanitise them first, but hey! Michael asked me why the professional that came to see him hadn't gone through this with him? Solving his problem had taken a simple conversation and changing of some inexpensive wax guards.

I explained that the professional was probably on a commission-based pay deal, which meant that the purchase of new hearing aids by Michael would directly benefit him. Unfortunately, over time, it has become more obvious to me that this is a prevalent issue. More large audiology businesses, especially those that provide home visits, have high staff turnover.

This translates to higher sales pressure on the people who work there. Their commission is based on selling hearing aids, not servicing hearing aids that were sold by someone else, who has probably left the business. This translated to Michael nearly paying £4,000 for a problem that was addressed with a £4 pack of filters. 

I think this should be a cautionary tale for hearing aid users, sometimes, you might not get the best advice possible from the people you see. I think that is why it is worthwhile to do your own research. The more knowledge you have, the better armed you are to make good decisions and choices. That is why I started my business and this website.

My idea is to provide an excellent source of information so consumers have the knowledge they need to make good decisions. I won't mention the name of the business that was dealing with Michael, as I don't feel it is my place to do so. I would just warn you, the consumer, that you need to be careful of who you deal with and what you are being told. 

If you are looking for hearing aids in Scotland at the best price, honest advice and care, give me a call on 01506420519 to book an appointment now.

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