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Bruised and Batteried

Batteries BrandsThe last few days have been interesting; the subject of hearing aid batteries has dominated the agenda for several reasons (the most intriguing of which will have to remain for a future posting, as it would be wrong to speculate on for the moment). The issue I can share with you was something I was speaking to a customer about. He called to ask about our hearing aid battery prices and whether the batteries we offer at £1.49 were the same as some he already had. My response was, as always, that hearing aid batteries are no different to other zinc air batteries (just like AA’s and AAA’s etc.), in that the size of battery determines it’s similarity and then it comes down to choice of brand much like the choice between Duracell or Eveready for batteries we are all a little more familiar with. This question comes up a lot and therefore I was quite prepared to answer it; what I was a little less prepared for was what was said next. “Only, the packet I have here was delivered to a friend of mine who is 92 and in a care home, she told me that she paid £18 per month for membership of a battery loyalty programme where she is sent one packet of six per month” Yes, you have just read this correctly, this poor women was paying £18 for something we sell for £1.49! I actually found myself a little short of words as, frankly I felt guilty by association; I just couldn’t believe that someone slept comfortably at night knowing that’s what they were charging.

Now, it would be most indiscreet of me to reveal the name of the supplier of these batteries, suffice to say, however, that this lady now pays £1.49 for six batteries and not £18. Whilst I’m fairly sure that this is not common place amongst hearing aid battery retailers, it does just prove that you should always shop around. Perhaps if she had known that they weren’t as ‘specialist’ as she had been informed she may not have spent £216 per year for something that should have cost her £17.88. Sadly, people in more vulnerable circumstances like these can easily be exploited by unscrupulous individuals. If you know anyone in similar circumstances; it might be worth talking to them and also finding out whom else maybe doing so! More to follow on the subject of batteries as promised…