Hearing Aids

The ACCC and courts at their finest.

and [for those guilty companies] to make joint submissions in relation to the imposition of penalties totalling $2.5 million.

Have any of us ever been asked if we are happy about, or for our opinion about, the penalty notices some of us get from time to time?

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There have been occasions when I have offered my views on a situation and it’s associated penalties but it was unsolicited and I don’t recall them being received well.

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An interesting read … again doesn’t seem like a huge penalty …

… and for the spin?

https://www.hearing.com.au/News-Hub/Latest-News/Australian-Hearing-acknowledges-ACCC-concerns

“concerns” ? I read them as “infringement notices” not “concern notices” … they should cop another $20k for not taking it seriously … there is a rating button on the press release:

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The whole naming situation is a little misleading as well - even the ACCC seem to be confusing the act, the company and the department …

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Do I have this correct.
Government owns a for profit company
The government owned for profit company has been dodgy dealing
The government oversight agency caught out the government owned for profit company
The agreed fine was typically modest
The government transferred the cash from the government owned for profit budget to the ACCC budget (?)

That will really get shareholder’s attention! The responsible Minister disclaims responsibility for anything that is not great but reinforces for profits are the way to go.

Close enough?

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Funny thing is, I was confused because it didn’t make sense - now it makes sense, but of course it doesn’t. More spin than a top !! :wink:

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Here’s our updated buying guide on how to get the best hearing aid. Thanks to all those who contributed ideas here :+1:

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The report mentions but somewhat glosses over Costco. Furthermore it is telling a very positive member comment about Costco audiology, without naming Costco, got 20+ down-ticks as well as many up-ticks. Human nature can be strange. My experience was posted previously and the differences in costs for any comparative quality as compared to those mentioned in the buying guide is non-trivial.

https://choice.community/t/do-you-have-a-hearing-aid-help-others-learn-from-your-experience/15697/5

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I have been wearing BTE (behind-the-ear) hearing aids for some 10 years now and despite several models and makes all have proved unsatisfactory. The latest (Siemens) were expensive but again, just did not give basic clarity. A web search shows many models and makes on the market (and price) and I’m wondering if Choice can do a road test please? There is a huge disparity between prices quoted by providers in Australia and those from overseas (even allowing for after sales service). This topic needs exploration as many members would be suffering from a misspent youth listening to load music.

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Hi @john.blakey, I totally agree. Although many Hearing Aid Manufactures have slogans like ‘good clarity in noisy situations’ or even ‘better than normal hearing’ they amplify and that’s it. Some models are better at it than others and may also have better tuning and accessories. Hearing aids are vastly overpriced here in Australia and as mentioned previously the Australian hearing aid industry is a closed shop. All hearing aid providers / clinics or what you may call them should be forced to provide a hearing test without hearing aids fitted and one after the new hearing aids have been fitted. When I asked once for that service I was told it can’t technically be done?!

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I need to tell my Costco audiology department they have been doing the impossible for the past 5 years :rofl:

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Thanks Dieter and BBG. It would be interesting if Choice could respond please. There are a lot of seniors who face this issue as they age.

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Hi @john.blakey, have you seen our hearing aid buying guide? We’ve found that different brands will focus on different aspects of hearing, so sometimes one brand may suit your needs better than another. It’s also about how the device is programmed.

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Some issues cannot be helped much by a hearing aid, once a frequency has been lost all an aid can do is boost other sounds to improve some level of hearing but never those at the lost frequencies. Some people also have hearing difficulties due to issues in sound discrimination, auditory nerve damage, sound interpretation that no matter how much you boost levels the problem cannot be fixed. In some the brain can be somewhat retrained to discriminate between desired communication/sounds and the extraneous sounds that “confuse” the brain in a form of auditory overload.

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One function that helps - some aids have programs to translate the ‘lost frequencies’ to frequencies that can be heard. Mine have such a program. It is not a perfect solution because it is much better in relatively quiet and 1 to 1 conversations, but becomes overwhelming in eg noisy restaurants, when I use a program that does not do that.

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I agree that there is some level of workaround to address some loss and why I say “cannot be helped much”, even switching to directional pickup on the microphone can be of some assistance in the right places/circumstances. The problem for some though is that the workarounds may ‘push’ some sounds and still leave the person somewhat lost hearing wise, particularly when there is a lot of frequency loss over a wider range or they have sound interpretation/discrimination issues.

The advances that have been made in the technologies and pushed into such small devices is wonderful for many and hopefully progress will continue to rapidly improve the outcomes for the many sufferers of hearing loss.

I guess my post was more about the comment by @john.blakey of " I have been wearing BTE (behind-the-ear) hearing aids for some 10 years now and despite several models and makes all have proved unsatisfactory. The latest (Siemens) were expensive but again, just did not give basic clarity". Not all Audiologists successful detect the other issues that may hinder good outcomes when using hearing aids. Then it becomes a matter of trying Specialist intervention to get detection, help and support so that any of the underlying problems can be found and hopefully managed. .

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I had no idea such a thing exists - even though I did quite some work in the industry, admitedly many moons ago (long before you could have something small enough to be ‘programmed’ in your ear - don’t say that too quick :wink: )

I have trouble in noisy (multi conversation) environments as it is - while my hearing is still functional, I feel some loss in these environments helps me maintain something else I have also lost a noticeable quantity of in recent years … my sanity …

edit: does it have a “my partner is about to nag me” function? - no actually, best not answer that !!

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A good news story regarding the development of very cheap hearing aids to assist persons who cannot afford the commercially available models.

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What a great solution to those stupid little button batteries too.
Looks like it uses a pair of AA cells, or equivalent.
AA and AAA are also commonly available in rechargable long life such as Eneloop types.

We encouraged our dad and mum to use wireless head phones to assist with the problems of hearing loss and the TV turned up to 50/50. Some of us are very resistant to wearing hearing aids. Hopefully they can also offer a version that can connect to a BT or other form of wire free TV audio?

The small wearable player style box is likely able to accommodate a wider range of functionality.
For the more financial, is there a simple mobile phone device App that might provide a similar solution - for free?

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I have always wondered by hearing aids haven’t been installed with long life rechargeable lithiums. As existing button batteries only last a few days (possibly life getting less the more technically advanced the aids are becoming - bluetooth, frequency amplification etc)), the amount of waste which is generated is significant over the whole population. The cost is also considerable.

A cradle could easily be developed that allows one to charge the aids beside one’s bed when sleeping…so that it is fully charged at the start of the day. It would also be good if the batteries could easily be replaced when they lose their holding capacity.

Charging should not be a real issue in today’s day and age as most are used to charging one’s phone or other digital devices.

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Some hearing aids can use rechargeable, p312 size is the only choice. The hearing aids go into a charging cradle so the batteries do not even have to be taken out. The hearing aids have small external pins. The batteries last 1-2 years in my experience at full capacity, and then deteriorate. The charging cradle also acts as a warmer to dry them.

Many smaller as well as in the ear hearing aids use smaller batteries that are not available as rechargeables.

That is exactly how they work. They have been on the market for decades.

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