1 Buying online can result in you bypassing the Audiological Assessment. This is an essential step in finding the right make and model for you, and allows the hearing aid audiologist to programme them correctly to ensure you enjoy their full benefits.
2 Non-existent aftercare – many companies offering hearing aids via the internet deliver nothing in terms of aftercare service. This involves all the routine service check-ups and maintenance work. Like your eyesight, hearing loss changes over time.
3 No warranties when you purchase a hearing aid. Over time they may need adjustments. Think about where you have to send them for cleaning/repairs. Do they have local centres for you to pop into, or do you have to post them and wait weeks just to have them cleaned?
4 “Too good to be true” prices. Be cautious of companies who claim to offer the cheapest prices on digital hearing aids. Watch out for attractive discounts on top-of the-range hearing aids.
5 Beware of sound amplifiers! These are products which simply ‘sound amplify’, repackaged and re-branded as Hearing Aids.
6 Change your mind? Buying goods online means that you are guaranteed a short cool-off period to return the goods, normally as little as seven days. You will be guaranteed a totally transparent service when you purchase a hearing aid from a qualified hearing aid dispenser.
7 Is online less time consuming? People claim that buying online is cheaper, which is true for many consumer products. However, this isn’t necessarily the case with hearing aids. Frequently, products offered are amplifying devices that are ‘one size fits all’. Everyone’s hearing loss is different and it needs to be programmed to your individual loss.
8 Please be aware that purchasing hearing aids is a protected function and is governed by the Health Council Professions Council [HCPC] This is an independent UK-wide regulator providing protection to the public.
9 What is OK to buy online? There are some related products safe to buy online such as hearing aid accessories, batteries etc.
10 And remember, the internet is a useful place to research about hearing loss from the comfort of your home. Also to research the company that you are considering buying from.