When discussing hearing aids, one of the first questions I always get hit with is, "how much is this going to cost me". The cost certainly is a big factor in anyone's decision to purchase hearing aids, but it should never be the only factor. And many times the purchase price that you see may not be the true price of owning hearing aids. So it worries me when I see individuals shopping hearing aids based on price tag alone. More information than price alone is needed to make a wise investment in hearing aids. So what information should be included in the decision making besides price? Warranties, returns, cost of service, and cost of repairs.
When asked what the difference is between Brand A is and Brand B besides the price, I use the analogy of automobile dealerships a lot of the time. Most dealerships have very comparable vehicles; the body styles may be slightly different, but not much, the technologies in the vehicles are very similar, although named differently, and they all get you from point A to point B. So how do you choose a car? The story is in the details, the service you get along with the purchase and the warranty that comes with it. Hearing aids are no different.
What kind of warranty is included? This is a very important question to be asked. If you are going to invest in better hearing, you want some protection on your purchase. So ask, does the warranty cover office and factory repairs? Do I have to cover the shipping if it has to be sent off for repair? Does the warranty include loss and damage? How long is the warranty period? Can the warranty be extended? How much is a repair if you are out of warranty? Find out how much protection you have. You don't drive your car off the lot without insurance; your hearing aids should be no different.
Are you able to return the hearing aids if you are not pleased? Some states by law have a return period while others do not. Find out if your purchase includes a trial period. If you do decide to return them, what kind of fee will be charged of you? For most places, that should be between 5%-15% of the purchase price.
Another question should be how much will service cost? Whether it is making the hearing aid fit right, work right, or regular cleaning; all hearing aids need service from time to time. Find out if there is a fee for this or if it is included in the purchase of your hearing aids. Service can add up in the long run and add quite a bit to the cost of owning hearing aids, so figure this into your decision.
All of these things should be outlined in your written purchase agreement. Any reputable place of business will have a written purchase agreement outlining these things along with information such as what model you are buying and payment arrangements.
The price is a big factor in any purchase. But I hope if you are looking into purchasing hearing aids, that you take into consideration a few more points than just the price. I hope this information helps you make a wise investment in better hearing!