If someone asked you to name a hearing aid retailer, I’m sure that at least one or two names would immediately come to mind. Many large companies have the resources to be able to flood the market with a variety of advertising campaigns so their names stick in your mind. It is important to understand that just because you have heard the name of a retailer, it does not necessarily mean they are your best choice for products and service. When purchasing hearing aids, you have the option of two different kinds of retailer, there is the high street retailers or you could visit a local independent hearing aid dispenser.
The main thing to look out for if you visit a high street retailer is that many of them have ties to certain manufacturers, usually through ownership. This means that while the products you get could be top of the range, your choice has automatically been limited as they are more likely to recommend hearing aids from that particular manufacturer.
Retailers such as Boots Hearing Care, Hidden Hearing, Regional Hearing Services, Bloom Hearing etc are all known to have affiliations with certain manufacturers and will therefore offer you those products without giving you the opportunity to see what else is available. Specsavers produce their own range of hearing aids so there’s a good chance you will only be offered these. The biggest drawback with this is that you can then only deal with Specsavers as these hearing aids cannot be reprogrammed by another company or person.
Another issue that has been identified with high street retailers is that the manufacturers they are tied to will often use them to get rid of older hearing aid models. They do this by promoting cut price deals or 2 for 1 offers but don’t tend to explain that you are not necessarily getting the latest technology available. If you are presented with one of these deals by a high street retailer, make sure you check exactly what model is being offered so you can accurately assess how good the deal really is in regards to the technology.
This type of retailer often gives you the best option when purchasing hearing aids. Independent dispensers are not affiliated with specific manufacturers so they will make their recommendations based on your test results and personal requirements. This means you will receive exactly what you need for your hearing loss from one of several manufacturers that are available. They are able to keep their prices lower due to less outgoings than larger companies which eliminates the need for ‘special offers’.
All hearing aid dispensers must be registered with the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) who have a website that is accessible to the public so you can check the name of your local dispenser to ensure complete peace of mind. You will also find many dispensers registered on the BSHAA (British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists) website. If you do decide to go with a local independent dispenser, you can check these sites to make sure they are a fully qualified and registered hearing aid professional.
When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is new to the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.