The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently investigated the hearing aid industry by surveying consumers and others within the industry. A few concerns have come to light, emphasising the importance of independent hearing clinics such as Victorian Hearing.
Commission or Consumer Driven?
The biggest issue to emerge from the survey is that several hearing clinics – particularly those owned by major operators or hearing aid manufacturers – are paying their staff commissions on their hearing aid sales This is worrying for consumers, as it means they don’t know if the product being recommended to them is the right product for them or if it’s just the means more money in the back pocket of the individual hearing provider.
As an independent hearing clinic, Victorian Hearing or our staff do not receive commissions or other incentives. Our clinicians are not set sales targets and are not punished for not pushing sales. Our priority is meeting your needs with the right hearing aids, regardless of the manufacturer.
Cost and Performance
Prices of hearing aids can vary quite significantly, but it has been found by the ACCC that many high-end hearing aids being recommended to consumers are not always necessary. Unlike independent hearing clinics, manufacturer-owned clinics often push the most expensive version of their product. Expensive hearing aids have the technology which allows them to be particularly effective in noisier, more challenging listening environments. If this doesn’t suit the consumer’s lifestyle, they become a waste of money.
Clinics that push for the sale of more expensive products are usually profit and commission driven. Victorian Hearing is an independent hearing clinic and as such, we strive to fit you with the correct hearing solution that suits your hearing loss, lifestyle, dexterity and budget.
Treatment of Customers
Vulnerabilities come in many shapes and forms including age, income and disability. It is well known that older consumers are more vulnerable to sales techniques. As many wearers of hearing aids are over the age of 65, it is important these people are not taken advantage of. Unfortunately, the ACCC heard countless stories from families of vulnerable consumers that were taken advantage of and unable to escape their contracts and financial burdens.
Independent hearing clinics such as Victorian Hearing that employ trusted and experienced Audiologists, adhere to the Codes of Conduct and Ethics set by their professional body, Audiology Australia. Victorian Hearing is registered with the government Office of Hearing Services to provide services and a range of fully subsidized hearing aids and technologies to pensioners and Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) clients. We also offer payment plans to private clients and are registered for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), TAC and CommCare clients. We aim to understand your needs and minimise the complications and adversity you face on a day-to-day basis.
To learn more about our ethical services contact the team at Victorian Hearing today.