Consumer Guide 2 - Page 14

Prices The best value for money? Any quote above this will typically be from a company that does not list prices on the internet (or elsewhere) and therefore should be viewed as excessive. Regional variations do occur as well, however reasonable prices can be found in most locales. After a consultation and a hearing test, hearing aids will be provided that will be programmed to your hearing loss. A degree of ongoing after care will be included in the price of the aids to allow for alterations in the future. The internet allows even a small independent audiologist to appear quite prominent. Be aware and check your chosen provider’s credentials… How long have they been there? Have they any personal recommendations? What are the conditions of trialling / testing hearing aids before buying? All providers include some sort of return period. Obviously, you should try to obtain a free trial before paying anything, followed by a 100% money back period over at least 30 days…but 60 day periods are easily obtainable. Any retained fee for returned aids should be very low, especially in the current economic climate. The most satisfactory hearing aid outcomes are those where a good long-term relationship exists between hearing aid dispenser and the patient. Take time to evaluate the advice you are given. Most internet prices quoted will be for ONE hearing aid, whereas most of us need TWO. One should expect to pay FROM about £600 for two hearing aids provided from a branch, or around £800 for two provided by way of home visits, with the average price being around £1600 per pair and up to around £4000 for top of the range hearing aids with accessories. Some larger providers have altered manufacturer and / or model names to give themselves an exclusive brand (or potentially to confuse the switched-on consumer). The simplest way to spot these tactics is to get more than one quote, and also ask the question “Can I have these reprogrammed elsewhere in the future?” If you spend £500 or under you’ll get a pair of hearing amplifiers sold through the post / over the counter where there is an absence of direct advice from a professional. £500 to £1500 will allow you to hear well, so long as you have a supportive and helpful professional to assist you. £1600 to £2600 will buy you a pair of hearing aids of very high quality. £3000 to £4000 should buy you the best technology available. Over £4000: exactly the same products that we supply, but in excess of our pricing. 14