Buying Hearing Aids Online? Read This First
In these difficult financial times we are all looking for a bargain and there are many offers for hearing aids on the Internet.
But are these fantastic sounding deals really all they are cracked up to be?
Here are five common myths. Read this first before you think about spending your hard earned money buying hearing aids online.
Myth 1: Hearing aids are cheaper online
There are some great sounding deals to be had but do you really know who you are dealing with? What happens if things go wrong? A key component with buying hearing aids is the aftercare. Can you really be sure that if you buy online you will receive the high quality of aftercare you deserve? If you read the fine print some of the models you will be offered will not be the latest versions in the range.
Myth 2: Free NHS hearing aids are better than private hearing aids
The service from the NHS is good and there’s no doubt that the quality of its hearing aids has improved dramatically over the past few years. But because of the economics of the NHS, the latest and most sophisticated technology is always going to be found in the private sector. If you want to get the very best in hearing aids going private is really the only option.
Myth 3: It is cheaper to buy a hearing aid overseas
Taking a trip to another European country to buy your hearing aid can seem like a good idea as the prices appear to be quite a bit lower. Because of the way subsidies operate in other countries sometimes there are price advantages.
But you do need to be aware of certain things, especially of what is included in the price of the hearing aid which might be different than in the UK. For example, in the UK often aftercare and service is included in the cost of the hearing aid but that is not always true for other places in Europe.
If you need several aftercare visits you will have to make lots of journeys to your original hearing aid provider in Europe or arrange to have them in the UK. This could end up being as expensive as if you had stayed with a UK provider.
Myth 4: Hearing aids are being sold over the Internet by registered hearing aid companies employing local audiologists
Anyone can sell a hearing aid over the Internet. For this reason it is important that you know who you are dealing with and where they are based. It is worth bearing in mind that some companies advertising hearing aids for sale online are not hearing aid providers. They are simply selling your details to local audiologists who take a commission. There is no way of knowing who you are dealing with nor the kind of service you will receive.
Myth 5: Hearing aids are just like any other consumer item so why not buy online?
It is tempting to think that hearing aids are just like any other piece of consumer electronics. But it is important to remember that the assessment, fitting and aftercare are essential parts of the service.
In fact, in many ways it is more important to consider these aspects and be guided by your audiologist rather than concentrate on the product’s features. Your audiologist will be able to advise you on the best type of hearing aid for you. It is more akin to a surgical procedure than buying a washing machine. You wouldn’t book an operation online and it should be the same when thinking about getting a hearing aid.
If you really want a cheap hearing aid then go to the NHS and get a free one. But if you want something which is better than the NHS can offer go to your local independent hearing aid provider. This way you will be sure of the best product and the best service. And you’ll also be supporting local businesses.
Remember: A hearing loss is like any other important health-related issue. It needs to be taken seriously, professionally diagnosed and treated with the best solutions available.
Hearbase is Kent’s largest independent hearing company and its largest independent provider of digital hearing aids. We have been working in audiology for more than 25 years.