Hearing Aids: A Legal Scam That Targets SeniorsPublished On: 13th October 2018
Last Updated On: 14th October 2018
It’s easy to take advantage of someone, who was raised in the era when a person’s word could be trusted. That’s why senior citizens can be vulnerable targets for unscrupulous opportunists to con in a plethora of ways.
This demographic of individuals was instructed to believe that those in the medical profession meant them only well. After all the Hippocratic oath states, “First, do no harm.” Many devoted health clinicians still live by this creed. The good news is that there are reputable companies senior citizens can now use to purchase hearing aids WITHOUT getting tricked.
(We currently recommend Nano Hearing Aids.)
But unfortunately there are a lot of “bad apples” to avoid. Let me explain….
Unfortunately, there is a small group of “medical professionals” who are motivated by dollar signs, instead of what’s truthful and best for a patient, especially a patient who has deep financial pockets. As a journalist, I am putting quotation marks around the words, “medical professionals,” for emphasis.
Sadly, someone with very little academic or clinical training, who dons a white lab coat does not deserve the respect or credibility of a studied and experienced clinician. Yet everyday these legal con artists greedily and legally extract hard-earned cash from unsuspecting victims. One most notable scam is currently operating within the hearing aid industry.
It works like this:
1) A company places an ad in the newspaper, on television, or via a mailing flyer advertising a “Free” hearing aid test. It’s a well known marketing fact, that the word, “Free,” will usually draw a significant response.
2) Seniors can be especially susceptible to this tactic, because they are often concerned about hearing loss due to aging. They are also quite frequently on a fixed budget, and the word, “Free,” can carry greater impact and enticement.
3) When they go for the free test, they naively offer their personal data filling out forms that appear to be for standard registration. From these forms, it may be rather simple to detect their financial status.
4) Then someone who appears to be a certified audiologist, that is a medical professional trained in ear disorders, administers what seems to be a legitimate hearing test. But this person is not an audiologist, although they might have some training, still they may be more of a high-pressure salesman disguised in a white lab coat.
5) Then this seemingly sympathetic specialist might relay the distressing news the individual being tested has already experienced some type of hearing loss. However, this astute salesman excitedly stresses the hopefulness of the situation by suggesting it can by rectified by purchasing hearing aids from their company which will restore an individual’s hearing insuring the senior’s continued quality of life. In reality, these devices which often cost thousands of dollars are of little value if not properly prescribed and wind up in a junk door.
IMPORTANT UPDATE:Sunday, 14th October 2018
We just got an email from James, the CEO of Nano, and due to a viral Facebook post, Nano sold 379 pairs of their most popular invisible hearing device in the past HOUR alone, and is forced to END ALL promotions for the rest of the year before they sell out — this includes ending their current Buy One Get One Free Sale in the next HOUR.
We got this special link from James to extend the sale for our Hearing Loss Association readers but it probably won’t be active for longer than an hour from reading this.
CLICK HERE to see if the BOGO sale is still active and claim this offer before it’s gone. You won’t see this big of a discount ever again, that’s for sure. You’ll be kicking yourself later if you don’t take advantage of this right now.
We also found this phone number you can call if you have questions or want to talk to someone. If lines are busy, keep calling – you may experience wait times since they’re very popular.
This very scenario happened to someone I love recently. I went with this relative for a “free hearing test” and heard the tragic verdict of hearing loss. I witnessed firsthand the distress and worry the patient immediately felt…
But being an “old” investigative reporter by profession, I didn’t buy it. I began researching that specific company on the Internet and found several complaints lodged against them. I also investigated the background of the “gentleman” masquerading as a hearing doctor (although he never said that he was) and found that he was more of a trained salesman….
Better known as a hearing aid dispenser, past Ohio Revised Code only demanded that these individuals be: “18 years old, [of] good moral character [which I question in this case], free of contagious disease, [possess] a high school diploma, or equivalent education (GED) and pass [a] qualifying examination…’shall be a thorough testing of knowledge required for the proper selecting, fitting and sale of hearing aids, but shall not be such that a medical or surgical education is required…’”
Until recent years, an audiologist was an educated clinician dealing with a myriad of ear disorders who possessed a Master’s or Doctoral degree in Audiology and passed an examination for licensure. Two decades ago, realizing even this was not enough, the American Academy of Audiology “developed a four-year, post-bachelors curriculum for the professional doctorate in audiology.”
In 2012, a doctoral degree became a requirement to become a nationally certified audiologist…
So, I called a real audiologist, one highly respected in her field, who is known for only prescribing hearing aids, when they are absolutely necessary. When she tested my relative, the credible audiologist found that his hearing was exceptional for an individual in his 60s. There was no hearing loss, and no need for hearing aids of any kind.
Of course, there are many individuals who do experience hearing loss as they age, and there are reputable professionals who try to help them. That’s why it’s critical, if you feel that you or someone you love might need help, please do some research.
Check with your local hospital, Better Business Bureau, or individuals who have had success with their hearing aids. Also, use the Internet to Google and find out about the background of individuals who are treating you.
There are wolves in sheep’s clothing or white lab coats who will take advantage of you or the seniors you love, if you let them.
We found this phone number you can call if you have questions or want to talk to someone. If lines are busy, keep calling – you may experience wait times since they’re very popular.