by Cliff Olson, AuD
Depending on who you talk to, pursuing hearing treatment at a Costco is either a terrific idea or a horrible one. You hear success stories where their hearing aids are virtually indistinguishable from hearing aids that cost twice as much. You also hear horror stories about how poor their hearing aids perform compared to ones that are fit in an audiology clinic.
Considering Costco has very similar hearing aids to those that you can find online or in an audiology clinic, you may be wondering why so many views of Costco hearing aids are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Ultimately, it really comes down to what things are most important to you and how well those hearing aids are fit and programmed by the hearing care professional at that Costco location.
Should I Buy Hearing Aids at Costco? Examining the Pros and Cons
To learn more about the Pros and Cons of purchasing hearing aids from Costco, check out my video:
Clifford Olson is a Doctor of Audiology and Founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem, Arizona. He served as a Marine Corps Scout Sniper during his time in the military which introduced him to the profession of Audiology. He also posts informational videos on his YouTube Channel – DrCliffAuD – to educate consumers on hearing healthcare.
*featured image courtesy wikimediacommons
The term “hearing care professional” equates audiologists with those less trained than us, it confuses the public and cheapens the single greatest differentiator we have in this space: expertise. Clif you should never ever ever use this term!!!!!
Bob, its a fallacy that HAD’s are somehow less trained in hearing aids than audiologists. I train audiologists and MD’s, along with regular entrants in the HAD field.
My standard of training includes dispensing technology, and neuroscience. I also train them in the psychology of the hearing impaired. My students are competent and able to rub shoulders with any other professional in our field.
I have spoken to two HA manufacturers, and will let you on a secret. Costco hearing aids are 5 years old and more. When the manufacturer has HA’s with a shelf life at 5years, The r=technology is declared obsolete and the aids are “dumped ” into Costco. They are declared reconditioned since after 5 years they cannot be sold as a new product. The remaining life is 2 more years after which the product has no support at the manufacturer level. COSTCO has upgraded the warranty from 2 years to 3 years to allow the consumer an added year’s protection.
The technology is obsolete, and exactly 5 years behind. The price is lowered, and the product is no longer sold as new!
I know I’m late to the party, but this is a bunch of hooey. They’re not older technology, they’re not reconditioned – Costco doesn’t even sell open boxes of returned merchandise, so why on earth would they pawn off reconditioned hearing aids as new? Costco doesn’t offer any warranties themself either. It’s all from the manufacturer for both repairs and L&D, and they set the time periods. None of what they sell is obsolete. Have you even looked for yourself? This kind of nonsense is told to patients in an attempt to keep them from considering Costco, but they go anyway because they’re curious about the price difference. Then they find out that the independent lied to them, and Costco gains another sale, while the independent gains a reputation for not only hiking up prices (all patients think that about hearing aids) but also for lying to denigrate competitors. Yikes.
Anjan and Marty, Can you source your info for us, please? These claims are huge and really helpful if they can be validated!
Thanks so much for your input!