Hear This! Consumers Enjoy a Range of Hearing Aid Options, but Comparison Shopping Can Be Difficult
April 21, 2003
A hearing aid purchase requires time, research, and sometimes considerable fortitude before its all done. While many dispensers (either an audiologist or a “fitter”) provide valuable information about available products and technologies, some discourage competition by making it difficult to shop around. Dispensers can charge significant fees to consumers to get a copy of their audiogram (the hearing test results) or to return a less than satisfactory hearing aid. Texas law does not require dispensers to honor one another’s hearing tests, so comparison shopping may involve multiple hearing exams and a considerable expenditure of time and money. But careful research up front will help consumers avoid a hearing aid that doesn’t improve hearing, doesn’t fit properly (frequently causing significant pain), or creates whistles, squeaks, or uncomfortable feedback.