KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A woman from Rutledge was a first-time user of hearing aids, but she was disappointed and sent them back. The hearing aid company said she missed the 30-day adjustment period and was responsible for paying off the hearing aids.
The bill has now been wiped clean.
The Miracle Ear Company has a promise of 100% satisfaction, but using hearing aids is definitely not love at first sight. The first two weeks are the most critical time for first-time users of hearing aids. This is the period of make or break and most manufacturers allow a 30-day test period. Many hearing aids users quit in the first couple of weeks of using them.
Crissie Reynolds said her new hearing aids were troublesome.
“The hearing aids did not stay in well, it came out. The back of it made a squeaking noise so you could not hear. It was very uncomfortable and they did not work,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds purchased behind-the-ear hearing aids. She bought them at the Miracle Ear Center in Morristown on April 10. The cost was $5,000. She put $500 down and financed the remaining balance.
“The hearing aid did not stay down in my ear as it was supposed to. It would keep coming out and it was really uncomfortable,” said Reynolds. “I went back [to the store] on the 13th. The lady said I would have to have an appointment.”
The appointment was set. Her first adjustment began on April 24. She went back just one time.
“It did not work. It was the same problem,” said Reynolds.
She said because the hearing aids weren’t working she sent them back to the Morristown office, but they were returned to her.
“I dropped them off. They sent them back to me. So I went to FedEx on the 21st of June and mailed them back,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds received a letter from the finance company stating her payments were behind on the hearing aids.
“I’ve been getting letters and phone calls since then from Synchrony bank, asking me to pay, to make a payment. $6,190.08. I want them to drop the charges,” said Reynolds.
Derek Horine is the hearing specialist for the Morristown Miracle Ear office. His office requested the charges be dropped for Reynolds’s hearing aids.
“We’d like to get the issue resolved,” said Horine.
He said Reynolds didn’t give herself enough time to get adjusted to the hearing aids.
“It’s going to take somebody at least 30 days for them to acclimate to wearing hearing aids. But if somebody doesn’t come in for follow-ups, it’s going to make it a lot harder for a successful fitting,” he said.
Horine said some of the common challenges that first-time hearing aid users face include the domes in the ears not being comfortable or not fitting right, the sounds are louder, and my voice doesn’t sound right.
“They’re going to hear sounds that they’re not used to, like their own voice. It’s probably one of the biggest complaints is my own voice sounds different. But we want it to sound different, that’s part of the acclimation process. That’s why is critical to do follow-up care,” said Horine. “A lot of times, patients don’t get them in their ear all the way. Well if you don’t have this receiver in the ear all the way, you’re not going to hear all the way.”
Another issue is wax buildup.
“85% of the time, this filter gets clogged with wax. If that hearing aid gets clogged with wax the hearing air won’t operate like it is supposed to,” said Horine.
Reynolds has thanked the manager for his decision to drop the finance charges.
Hearing aid specialists say first-time users of hearing aids need to be strong to get through the first two to three weeks. After that, your brain gets used to the sound they say, and the difficulties you may experience will start disappearing. The key to hearing better is return visits for adjustments.
Miracle Ear and other many manufacturers allow a trial or adjustment period. So if needed, the hearing aids may be returned for a refund within that 30-day trial period. However Reynolds had exceeded that time period, then Miracle Ear gave her a break.