However much we ignore the temptation, we never seem to learn and it’s always dare I say, our greed that drives us towards the salesman’s lure.
You wouldn’t think that you would find these luring sprats in an industry whose customers are primarily senior citizens, some of which are extremely vulnerable. But alas they are!!
The hearing aid industry is unfortunately one which has been made so confusing, that even the most intelligent of people cannot fully comprehend which information is right, behind the inventive and woolly buzz words that only add to the confusion which, pardon the fishy pun, are only a red herrings. Here are a few examples of what you will find the hearing aid market to be all about and I make no apologies to anyone for exposing some of them, that I know for sure not to be genuine.
There is an old phrase that is so true -”If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.
1. The Hearing aid scrappage scheme; Whilst this seems like a very plausible offer on the surface, the question beckons, what on earth would a hearing aid company really do with someones old hearing aids? The real truth is that these companies will lead you to believe that there is a value to your old hearing aids in order to sell you new ones. Your old hearing aids might actually end up in a bin but where they should really go, is to charities such as your local Lions clubs, who I believe still collect old hearing aids and donate monies received after recycling them, to third world countries.
2. Buy One Get One Free or Two For One; This is quite a common offer to see and is even advertised on TV, in order to make people believe that they can bag a bargain in a one of special offer. This offer in marketing terms is aimed at doing two things. Firstly to induce the potential buyer to believe that they can save a great deal of money and secondly to create what is called a call to action for the buyer to act sooner rather than later. Unfortunately unbeknownst to the buyer, the offer only applies to older hearing aid models, superseded by more efficient up to date hearing aid technology. All high street shops use this marketing ploy in one way or another. You must ask for what make and model the offer applies to and always check it out on the Internet.
2. Free Hearing Aid Giveaway- Now call me naive but if this were really true then the private hearing aid industry would surely fold altogether and we wouldn’t even need N.H.S. hearing aids, which are the only free hearing aids of any true worth. But this one, just like next one on my list, tries to work on the old sales principal that if you give something away for free, the receiver of that free gift then feels beholden to give you something back. What is seemingly clever about this one is that the people who unwittingly apply for these “free hearing aids”, are people who feel that they may need assistance with their hearing. For any company, this is a great way of building up their data base of potential and future customers. I can guarantee you that these people will for as long as they live at the same address, be bombarded as much as 4 or 5 times a year with hearing aid literature with guess what??/…SPECIAL OFFERS!! to induce them into buying.
If you ever get the chance to see the film “The Tin Men”, watch for the bit when the aluminium house cladding salesman drops his own money on the floor, only to give it to the potential customer. The result is that this potential customer is so over joyed at the salesman’s honesty, becomes his next customer.
3. Free T.V. Amplifiers- Working on a similar principal as above ploy, this well advertised freebies is purely and simply targeted at people who have issues with hearing their television clearly or at a level of volume too loudly for their partner, family or friends. I know for a fact that even the dispensers that work for the hearing aid companies that advertise these products, rarely even carry their freebies around with them. They are simply yet again, another fishy sprat set out to hook the buyer in order to sell them a far better solution for their problem.
4. Up selling- This is a term that is used when a customer responds to an offer for a cheap hearing aid, perhaps advertised in newspapers at a seemingly good price that can be as little as £99. Other sprats can even include our own website, where hearing aids are advertised at starting from £495 , when truthfully H.A.A.T.’s lower cost hearing aids may well not provide the proper solution for our clients needs, depending on their lifestyle and therefore may not be suitable. After all I don’t want to be branded as a hypocrite?
The principal of these offers is that the people who respond to these adverts, are firstly in the market for help with their hearing and secondly are prepared to spend money on it too. Guess what though?, when the salesman arrives at your home or even if you attend their branch, a carefully crafted consultation and assessment of your hearing will most probably reveal that you really need something more sophisticated to reasonably deal with your hearing loss.
Something more sophisticated will be something more expensive and that is what up selling is partly all bout.
5. Volunteers Wanted for Free Trial- This ploy is from the U.S. but similar events do occur in the U.K. Whilst this ploy is arguably one of the more ethical ones, don’t be fooled by thinking that the aim is for you to test out their latest hearing aids. The aim is purely to show you how good the hearing aids are, so that you will love them so much that you will want to buy them. Similar past events in the U.K. have been generally held in hotels and some of these events have been known to actually turnover around £50,000 worth of sale in one day.
If you know more about these or any other fishy tales, please let us know so we can warn others before they get “caught out”.
The “Which Report” on private hearing aids was carried out in conjunction with the former charitable body R.N.I.D. – Now known as Action on Hearing Loss. This report highlighted the need for improvements in high street dispensing standards.
For more information on where to get a clear transparent pricing structure, check out our hearing aid prices or call us on 0800 0304 542