What do Costco Hearing Aids, Miracle Ear Hearing Aids, Beltone Hearing Aids, Aveda Hearing Aids, Audibel Hearing Aids, NuEar Hearing Aids, and AGX Hearing Aids all have in common? They all sell LOCKED Hearing Aids!😡
In this video, Dr. Cliff Olson, audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Arizona tells you about the most important question you need to ask before buying hearing aids….Are your Hearing Aids Locked?
Ultimately, there is one question that is arguably the most important question you need to ask your Hearing Aid Provider…Are your Hearing Aids Locked?
What do I mean by Locked?
Basically, locked hearing aids are hearing aids that cannot be programmed by anyone except for the dealer company you bought them from or their affiliates.
This is how it works.
1. Hearing Aid Dealer Companies will “Private Label” name brand hearing aids
2. Basically re-naming name brand hearing aids
3. They then sell these hearing aids using the new name
4. No big deal right? It’s still a very good hearing aid
5. In this process, they also re-program the computer chip in the hearing aid to only work with that clinic’s computer software
6. Which means, if you try to take those “Private Labeled” hearing aids into another clinic who is not affiliated….
7. You’re out of luck
Why is this a big deal?
1. If you move or that clinic goes out of business,
2. You are limited on where you can go for service
3. If you are lucky enough to find a clinic that works with the locked Has
a. You need to hope that the provider is a good one
4. If you have a hearing aid that isn’t locked, you have many more clinic options and can focus on finding an excellent provider.
5. One other thing to note is that
When you try to research info and pricing online, you get very limited info. This prevents you from doing due diligence on the hearing aids that are being recommended to you.
Dealing with locked hearing aids is a weekly problem in my clinic. Being in Arizona, people are constantly retiring and moving or snow-birding it out here. New patients come in all the time with private label hearing aids from manufacturers that I work with, but because they are locked I can’t work with them.
Some of their hearing aids are under a year old.
The hearing aid companies will not give independent clinics the software to work with these hearing aids or unlock them in most cases.
You’ve got to watch out for these Private labeled hearing aids. Some of the more common hearing aids that are locked are ones purchased from Costco, Miracle Ear, Beltone, NUEar, Aveda, and AudiBel. But you also need to look out for Audigy practices that sell AGX private label hearing aids.
So what should you do if they say that their hearing aids are locked?
1. Ask them if they can sell you an unlocked version of the hearing aid (make sure you ask what major brand it is)
2. Go somewhere that does sell name brand aids that aren’t locked
3. Purchase the locked hearing aids knowing the risk involved.
Real Ear Measures Video: https://youtu.be/cHR0Oa6I-wY