I have recently read an interesting study from the USA which looked at the sale of hearing aids and personal hearing amplifiers (which are hearing aids but for the name and called such to avoid falling foul of FDA regulations governing the sale of hearing aids in the US). In the study, the particular focus was on the sale of hearing aids online rather than through a face to face consultation. It was carried out by the recognised global leader in hearing aid research Sergei Kochkin. He draws several interesting conclusions but the one I found most interesting was that, in his opinion, most people that bought online would not have obtained hearing help otherwise. This suggests that without the presence of services like HearingDirect, more people would carry on struggling to hear and coping with the associated frustrations for themselves and for those around them.
So, why do people feel comfortable buying hearing aids online when they would not otherwise do so?
There are several reasons. Firstly, as many of the costs associated with providing a face to face consultation do not exist in the online world, the prices charged are considerably cheaper for very similar high quality digital hearing aids. This clearly holds great appeal as similar levels of hearing benefit are achievable for around 10-20% of the price. (In the UK, face to face sold hearing aids are around£1,100 on average; at HearingDirect prices start from £99). Secondly, as there are no sales pitches made to encourage greater levels of spend to boost commission fees for a dispenser, customers can browse and choose their options with no pressure. And thirdly, their choice can be delivered to their door the next day; face to face hearing aids can take up to 2 weeks to become available. And, at HearingDirect, we also offer a no quibble 30 day full money back guarantee so customers will never be left with something with which they are not utterly delighted.
It is easy to see, therefore, why more and more people are looking at purchasing hearing aids online as a more convenient and affordable alternative to the traditional face to face option. It is not at all surprising in the face of the evidence provided by this study. In fact, why would you not try an online option first, safe in the knowledge it can be returned for a full refund? If the online alternative was not suitable for any reason, then the more expensive face to face alternative will still be available. Clearly for some individuals, the face to face sale is the only route either due to the severity or complexity of the hearing loss or physical fit limitations; this is only true, however, in around 15-20% of cases. Conversely, this suggests that around 80-85% of people could well find a satisfactory solution to their hearing problems at a fraction of the cost and without the need to leave their homes to obtain it.
If you are thinking about hearing aids and whether it is advisable to buy online then consider this:
We have thousands of very happy customers, many of whom have written fabulous reviews on our website. We also have plenty of evidence that this is happening in far greater numbers in the USA with similar levels of satisfaction. And we are so confident that you will be delighted with the results that we will give you all your money back if not, still leaving the more expensive alternative available. Is buying hearing aids online a good idea? Well, frankly, there seems little risk in doing so and plenty of reward; it seems to be a pretty good idea to me!
For more advice on hearing aid choice, please feel free to call our audiologist on .