As further reports emerge regarding clients who have been grossly over-charged or sold hearing aids with technology beyond their needs, I am more concerned than ever for anyone in need of hearing services. This past week alone I have had two clients come to me with hearing aids that were unnecessary for their lifestyle and budget. They had been up-sold and had over-spent on technology they didn’t need.
One individual was a client of the government Office of Hearing Services program and therefore entitled to free hearing aids. This person was sold top-up hearing aids at a cost to her of $6000. She is 75 years-old, seldom goes into background noise, and just wanted to hear her family and the TV better. Why, I asked, did you pay $6000 for top-up hearing aids? She said the salesperson/clinician said she needed better hearing aids than the free ones. In my opinion, the free hearing aids would have met this client’s needs and this was a case of taking advantage of someone’s trust. No wonder the ACCC is investigating the hearing aid industry.
You might ask how is this possible? This problem occurs for a couple of reasons, including:
The solution to these problems is to make sure the clinician is acting in the best interest of the client. Consumers need to do their research:
Not everyone needs a hearing aid but everyone needs independent and professional advice.
I pride myself on maintaining an independent and ethical practice that acts on behalf of my client’s best interests.