'In Ear' hearing aid from Boots

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Disability Money Matters
1 reply 20.1K views
GustyGardenGalaxyGustyGardenGalaxy Forumite
698 Posts
Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Disability Money Matters
A few months ago my mother bought an in ear hearing aid from Boots. Naturally she had a mould taken of her ear canal and the hearing aid was made specifically for that ear.

The cost of the hearing aid was over £600.

She has had no end of problems with it, none of them caused by her, such as:

a) Battery is tiny and EXTREMELY fiddly to change. Even I can barely manage to change it and I'm used to working with small items on circuit boards
b) The battery can fairly easily fall inside the hearing aid and prove almost impossible to retrieve - when this last happened the technician at Boots took a LONG time to remove it ......... a while later we discovered that the battery door was cracked. Whether this was caused by the technician I have no idea, but it was sent away for a free repair.
c) The flip out door which holds the battery is extremely fragile - it's already been cracked once (as noted in point 'b' above).
d) The unit has now died on my mother - a technician swapped out the battery but to no avail, it will need to be sent away for yet another repair.

Ultimately, as far as my mother and I are concerned it's not fit for purpose. How would she go about getting a full refund?

If Boots refuse a refund, who should she contact? Trading Standards?

Thanks

Replies

  • Hear-HearHear-Hear Forumite
    325 Posts
    Hello GustyGardenGalaxy

    Batteries are indeed very small. But this will largely have been at your mother's request. If the smallest, most discreet, hearing aid is requested by the customer, then the smallest battery will have be used to actually fit into the hearing aid. Easy to solve though - ask the audiolgist for a magnet-pen ! They usually cost a pound or two, but many places will give one to you for nothing.

    Battery door cracked - yes, that can happen, but rarely because of poor workmanship. More usually because of heavy-handedness. Solution - most private audiologsts will spend as much time with the customer as needed in order to be certain that battery-changing can be undertaken competently. The audiologists at Boots should be no different. I any event, a replacement battery door can easily be fitted to Phonak hearing aids (I assume it's a Phonak, as they own a big share in Boots Hearing, and supply the majority of their hearing aids). Expect to pay no more than £5.00 for battery door replacement part and labour.

    Battery falling into the aid - cannot be done without excessive force. Again, the audiologist should be happy to spend as much time as necessary to show how to insert and remove batteries.

    Hearing aid dead - the most common reason is wax/debris ingress. If this is the reason, then you need to be shown exactly how to clean and maintain the aid. Find out exactly what the cause of the damage was, when the repair is completed. Details will be on an A4 sheet of headed paper from the manufacturer to the audiologist, and he/she should be happy to show you this. If it IS wax ingress, then be pleased that Boots don't charge £80.00 or so for repair. On the other hand, if it is a fault of the circuitry, then the warranty will cover it, as with any electrical equipment.

    I cannot see the reason to involve trading standards at this stage - they would only want to be involved if Boots were treating the customer unfairly, and it doesn't seem to have reached that stage yet.
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