As an audiologist and blogger and someone who moderates multiple Facebook hearing aid groups. I have had the pleasure of observing a common question among them – can hearing aid prices be negotiated? The short answer is rarely.
In today’s era of online shopping, the internet has made it easier to compare prices and find seemingly low-cost hearing aids. However, it’s important to understand that the low price on the internet may not be a bundled price, unlike the price you get from your local audiologist. In this article, I will discuss the truth about negotiating hearing aid prices and how to navigate the purchasing process to make an informed decision.
Unbundled Prices on the Internet
It’s essential to understand what an unbundled price means before deciding to purchase hearing aids from an online retailer. An unbundled price means that you’ll only pay for the hearing aid itself and the initial fitting or set up of the device, and none of the services that typically come with purchasing hearing aids at a local clinic. These services may include additional programming, follow-up visits, maintenance, repairs, and lots of counseling and teaching about hearing aids. Without these services, patients may find it challenging to get the most out of their hearing aids or address any issues that may arise.
It is not necessarily bad to buy an unbundled hearing aid, I myself recommend on this site to people to check prices at ZipHearing and HearBetter.com so they know all the facts. But just understand that later on, you might have additional maintenance costs with the hearing aids.
Bundled Prices at Your Local Audiologist Clinic
Local audiologists have historically provided bundled prices that include hearing aids, fittings, programming, follow-up visits, maintenance, and repairs for a set period of time, typically three years. These bundled services ensure that patients receive the best care possible and get the most out of their hearing aids. That means they can go in for as many follow-ups and repairs as needed without additional cost. Local audiologists have the necessary expertise to perform hearing tests, select the best hearing aids for your specific needs, and fine-tune them for optimal performance.
Furthermore, local audiologists understand that hearing aids are a significant investment for patients and strive to provide the best value for their services. They can provide you with personalized recommendations for a unique challenge that you have. They often work with patients to find the right hearing aids within their budget and provide financing options to make the purchase more accessible.
However, as audiologists have to compete on price more and more and with OTC hearing aid prices, some clinics have begun unbundling their prices. Or at least present both options to patients and let them choose if they would like to buy an unbundled vs bundled hearing aid. You should ask before purchasing hearing aids what services are they buying with them.
Negotiating Hearing Aid Prices
While negotiating hearing aid prices may be possible in some cases, it’s not a common practice in the audiology industry. The cost of hearing aids reflects the quality of the device, the services included in the bundled price, and the expertise of the audiologist. I imagine that no audiologist wants to feel like a car salesman. Most local audiologists price their hearing aids competitively and provide excellent value for the services included in the bundled price.
However, if patients wish to compare the internet price with the bundled price, they can ask their audiologist to unbundle the price. This approach allows patients to see the price of the hearing aid alone and compare it with the internet price. Patients should also consider the cost of the additional services that come with the bundled price and the expertise of their local audiologist when making a purchasing decision.
Making an Informed Decision
Making an informed decision when purchasing hearing aids requires careful consideration of several factors. Patients should research the available options and hearing aid recommendations and compare prices between online retailers and local clinics. It’s also essential to read reviews and feedback from other patients to determine the reliability and trustworthiness of the retailer or audiologist.
When purchasing from a local audiologist, patients should ensure that the bundled price includes all the necessary services for optimal care of their hearing aids. Patients should also feel comfortable with their audiologist and trust their expertise to make recommendations based on their specific hearing needs.
Ultimately, patients should prioritize their hearing health and not compromise on the quality of care or the quality of the hearing aid. Hearing aids are an investment in one’s well-being, and patients should make an informed decision that will provide the best value for their investment.