Are Hearing Aids a Scam?

In this article you learn more about if hearing aids are a scam and scam tactics to sell them. Unfortunately there are a number of sale tactics in the market which llead to hearing aid sales but are ver quiestionalbe or just straight frauds.

Predominentlly this article will focus in the hearing aid scams listed below. They are really just there to get you in the shop whether it is a local store or an shop online. It does not matter. You will find this tactics everwhere to generatet sales.

  • Claimed studies which are really just marketing
  • Online Hearing Aids which cllaim to be fitted perfectly without an audiologist
  • Over the Counter Hearing aids which claim to solve hearing problems
  • Questionable marketing

The problem is you as a normal consumer can hardly tell what is a scam when it comes to hearing aids and what is the real deal. Because some manufactuers simply print hearing aid on the package although it is actually just a cheap hearing amplifier. But it is just not that written on the package.

When you do not knwo as a consumer what you can expect from an actual hearing aid in terms of how good it could work for you it is very hard to ttell if what you received comes near to the results of a real hearing aid. One of the most effective scams when it comes to marketing hearing aids are studies. Lets find out more about what I write here.

Claimed Studies Which Are Really Just Marketing

When you see the advertisement for a study which needs to be tested and you could be one of only 100 people to test out this new disruptive technology you’ll get scamed in mulltiple ways.

  1. There is no study
  2. The provider actually has unlimited devices available
  3. The provider advertises the study for mulltiple years already
  4. You do not test new disruptive technology but a normal hearing aid which is already on the market

In most cases no test results will come from such an offering. First you can come in to participate within a claimed study but actually it is just a way to make you an offer after the study is over. And study here in this case couod be also replaced with normal trial period which you get at every local audiologist.

But it sounds way better doesn’t it to be one of the first persons to have a chance to use technology which is not even out there. So first in most cases you get paid as a compensation when a manufacturer performs testing on you and second the devices you test in this study are simply labeled differently. Manufacturers usally produce their main brand and side by side you can buy private brands too which use the exact same components and software.

And now somone with a private brand can claim they are the only ones selling this or that device. When in reality they are just marketing in a shady way. Of course in order to sell you something after you tried the devices you will get an smoking deal for your hearing aids. But after the multiple scams just told you would you really believe it is a smoking deal?

Online Hearing Aids Which Claim to Be Fitted Perfectly Without an Audiologist

When it comes to hearing aids, consumer oftentimes think buying them is comparable to other prodctus. You need just to pick and choose and they do what they say in the advertisement. With hearing aids this is different. When the “hearing care professional” just sits on the phone and talks to you there is no way your hearing aids will be fitted the right way.

For example the needed amplification levels change depending on how thehearing aid sits in your ear. How on earth could somone on a phone verify if the fitting is correct? But when it comes to buying hearing aids online it is more about is it good enough for you to accept the hearing aids.

Of course no one would write that in their advertisement. Instead of telling you about the limitations many online shops selling hearing aids just present you with messages how simple and smart it is to buy hearing aids online.

How could you tell if this is a scam when you do not know what an actual professional would do compared to somone talking to you on the phone who also claimes to be an audiologist? You just can not tell as a non professional because the one who uses best practices and the one who does really just the basic fitting will tell you “we adjusted your hearing aids. Do you want to pay cash or EC?”.

In such a case you have trial periods. But most people will not use the trial periods they have when they buy hearing aids online to check if a local audiologist could simply do a better job of making speech more clear.

Over the Counter Hearing Aids Which Claim to Solve Hearing Problems

Over the counter hearing aids seem to do the same job as highly customizable ones. Even when you hear better. You will not know if what you bought could be bettter? Your hearing changes over time and if the amplification levels are too high your ear will get too much exposure to loud noise which could damage your hearing in the long run. How do you know as a non professional? You simply can not. Only the professional can verify the fitting if amplification levels are to high at certain frequencies.

To be fair there are studies after which the authors conclude it is possible to generate similar results for OTC hearing aids to deliver similar performance when comparing them to perfectly fitted hearing aids by a clinician. But depending on the hearing loss other skills and aproaches are necessary to fit hearing aids properly.

When the adjustments are simple nothing else is needed OTCs may work just fine. But when it comes to problems like compression levels or the verification thereof and more an audiollogist willl be the place to go.

Questionable Marketing

Despite the marketing techniques mentioned above a lot of customers find the marketing techniques used by hearing aid manufacturers misleading. In the ads people are shown which seem to just got their natural hearing back as it was when the wearer were young.

But this is not the case. With medical devices you will always have limitations. And whille most people are happy to have their hearing aids they expected more in regards to the features when they look at the price tag.

Is this a scam? For some wearers it seems this way because they do not have any benefits form certain features. But when those features are not working in anyways the decision can be made to buy a cheaper heaing aid.

How to Not Fall For a Scam in the Hearing Aid Industry

In doubt do not buy where you are not sure. Ask the seller if you could get more information about the study. Do not buy online and try to adjust your hearing aids on your own. I wrote an article about this here. If you do not knwo what you are doing the likely hood for a good fitting is very minimal. Make an appointment at your local audiologist who measures the persomance of hearing aids in noise and when its quite and compares hearing aids side by sides after best practices have been used.

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