Hi, my name is David Boucher and here is my 'story' which has turned out more lengthy than I was expecting.
David Boucher is a customer of Century Hearing Aids. David purchased two Open Fits in 2011
Over the past 18 months I have become aware that my hearing is not 100%. My wife, who is very hard of hearing and wears 2 'top of the line' hearing aids has been telling me that I needed to go and see her audiologist at Clinic A to have my hearing tested and get advice for a hearing aid. My children and grandchildren also complained that I did not always hear everything that was going on. I thus decided that I needed to do something about it. I had in mind that I wanted to try one hearing aid in my perceived deaf ear to see what improvement that would make and what other issues were associated with the wearing of a hearing aid.
Phase 1 - Frustration
At about this time I received a letter addressed to me personally from Clinic A informing me that they were going to have a 'Special Event' at which their hearing aids would be available for demonstration. Also they were offering a free hearing test, a free Otoscopic Visual Assessment and a free discount Medicare Rx card. As well as all that they had been authorized by some manufacturers to offer up to 50% off the price of their hearing aids.
So I called Clinic A and made an appointment to visit them at their 'Special Event'. I arrived on time and after a 10 minute wait I was shown into a small office where an audiologist carried out a visual ear inspection and a hearing test. As a result he told me that I had some hearing loss in both ears. He then equipped me with a hearing aid in each ear and after he had programmed them I experienced a considerable hearing improvement. I then asked him how much these hearing aids were and was told $7,000.
At this stage I removed the hearing aids and departed. We did not talk about discounts and I was not even offered my discount Medicare Rx card. When I got home my wife was anxious to know how I got on. When I told her what had happened she replied that I really did need to go and see her audiologist and explain to him that I wanted to experiment with only one hearing aid.
Phase 2 - Severe Frustration
Some two days later I received another letter this time from Clinic B highlighting that they were offering a behind the ear hearing aid for $489. Included in the contents was also details about how you can carry out your own hearing test through an on- line web site. This I did and identified that I do have some hearing loss but nothing drastic.
Meanwhile my wife continued to press me to go and see her audiologist(at Clinic A) and talk to him and get his input. So I made an appointment to go and see him. The first thing he did was to carry out yet another hearing test, despite the fact that the results of my original hearing were in my file. Surprise, surprise it showed that a hearing aid would help my hearing but he insisted that I needed two hearing aids. He then gave me a chart showing 4 types of hearing aids ranging from $7,000 to $4,400 per pair all carrying a $500 discount. It was up to me to decide which level I would consider buying, without even explaining or even demonstrating any of the levels. This time I left to 'think about it'. Now I was extremely frustrated.
Phase 3 - Utter Frustration
I then called Clinic B and inquired about their $489 special offer. I was able to find out that it was a 'Rexton Arena basic amplifier'. I decided that I needed to find out what this particular hearing aid would do for me so I visited their office to see if I could try one. I was told that I would have to make an appointment for a hearing test before I could try one out. I told them I had already had 3 hearing tests but they insisted that I couldn't try it without having another one. Now I was utterly frustrated.
Phase 4 - The Solution
So I decided to look at hearing aids in Consumer Reports. Unfortunately there weren't any as the manufacturers had not provided any for evaluation. So I looked further on the Internet. The first thing I found out was that I could get a Rexton Arena from Amazon for $320.
Then I came across www.centuryhearingaids.com and there to my amazement was a complete evaluation of their range of hearing aids with a comparison table of hearing aids sold by the Clinics I had already visited. I decided to move ahead and try one which was equivalent in specification to one on the list of Clinic A selling at $2,800(basic model). The hearing aid I chose was the Audition Basic Open Fit selling at $599.
I called Century Hearing Aids and found out that if I had my hearing profile (which I had) they could program it and have it to me the next day. I placed the order there and then and sure enough it arrived the next day.
Phase 5 - Salvation
First of all I can hear clearly most of what is going on around me. Many things now make a noise which I did not hear before, e.g. I now hear the keys on my computer keyboard when I press them, I can clearly hear my car direction indicator warning sound.
I have now had a chance to try it out in a very crowded room and also in a teaching environment and it has performed well above expectations. A good lesson learned - I could have ended up paying $7,000 for the same results as achieved by spending $599.