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Subject : Re: to Man in Black|
posted by kacey on Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:37 am
|I think people are still around lurking... yet so many of us have been beaten up for expressing our frustrations with the dispensing process, that we have chosen to talk among ourselves and look for alternate methods of HA dispensing - ie: companies that allow self-programming or obtaining software to DIY (interestingly most companiesies put their "proprietary" software online where it can be downloaded by regular people.)|
A lot has changed in the 10 years or so when I first joined this board - alot of info traded here is now availabel on manufacturer's websites - something that just did not exist back then - there are other boards such as the Hearingaidforums.com one where some of our old dealer posters are frequent flyers - you can figure out for yourself who they are but that board, moderated, is really about answering product questions with a back and forth between dispensers and users. The info is good and it is another place to go, however there is no place there for discussions of industry reform and that is what made this board so contentious.
Users furstrated with the status quo came here to vent and offer solutions - some dispnsers like Edwin listened - others spent more time placing blame on the user than on the system in place. KInd of the same approach used in their dispensing pratices if you ask me.
Hearing aid prices have only gone up, mst practices STILL DO NOT have listening environments or do real-ear. As the economy tanks and prices of aids (not including streamers and whatnot) hover at 5 -7K per pair, dispensing practices seem to be tightening their product line offering LESS choices overall to the consumer. THis allows them to manage their price-point better (sellign more aids of a particular brand equals better margins) but may limit the chocices of the consumer if the programming skills to achieve the desired litening result are still deficient.
One of the mags - Hearing review maybe? - had a recent article on how 80% or so of returned aids still were set with their first fit settings - this tells me that dispnsers are not doing their job STILL, but I guarantee they defended those returns with the familiar stories : users were in denial, could not adapt - whatever.
For years the industry has protected their dispensing channel by saying HAs must be dispensed properly because users are too old, uneducated, tech dull, whatever ... to program themselves - well folks it is 10 years later and the folks needing aids now are far less tech inhibited than years ago. New data shows more teens with aidable hearing loss, most boomers - and I guarantee these folks do not have the time needed to go for multiple adjustments, during office hours that too often conflict with work schedules and college classes. People's living situations are often up-in-the-air, forcing hem to commit to purchasing a product whose programming and support can only be provided by the initial dispensers is crazy and out-of-touch with reality.
We have a HA industry that dispenses aids with remotes and streamers in order to access features, requiring users to carry more components than imaginable to use their aids - how about putting everything in one device - or better yet how about an ipad or iphone app?
But the HA industry has always been 5+ years behind the times, too many dispensers have taken to tech begrudgingly, and most do not have the patience or desire to put int he time to get the aids to sound right. And consumers spending thousands for a less than satisfactory result is just not flying the way it used to.
The hard sell at my local dispensers is disgusting and off -putting because the real question: "how have you changed your practice and dispensing style to persuade me to come to you?" remains unanswered.
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