Beware The “FREE” Lunch
Why We Don’t Advertise Free Hearing Tests
Sadly there is a trend among industry outlets to promote so-called FREE hearing checks. Ducking an initial consultation fee is generally not in the patient’s best interest. Oftentimes that initial waived fee will be recovered by a factor of ten or more if the patient proceeds to the next stage of rehabilitation. For example, avoiding the standard medicare determined fee of $135 at the outset, but paying an additional $1000—$2000 for a set of hearing aids is false economy enough.
However when you consider that a free screening check does not lay down the correct foundation for the patient to make informed decisions, it becomes clear that this model has little to offer the consumer, but plenty of appeal for the reseller.
Investing in proper testing and advice can only reward the patient by helping him or her avoid marketing ploys and common pitfalls. What is the point of purchasing an expensive set of hearing aids if they are later dumped in the drawer because of poor advice?
Some larger industry groups actually employ marketers with no formal qualifications in audiology to conduct hearing checks, but who possess the skills necessary to push consumers to the next stage.Would you go to a solicitor advertising FREE legal advice, or a dental clinic advertising FREE health checks! By now most of us are wary of such offers. It pays to be wary of similar offers within the hearing industry. A couple chestnuts that resurface at regular intervals include “trade-in discounts” and “100 % invisible hearing aid trials”. Such offers are generally cynical exercises in marketing. Traded-in hearing aids are generally junked or given away and don’t enable the reseller to extend any genuine discount to patients.
100% invisible micro-style hearing aids fit deep into the highly sensitive portion of the ear canal are not well tolerated by most people and are in fact fitted in very few cases.
We avoid such marketing lures, but charge a fair consultation fee for proper testing and advice.