map-marker Santa Fe, New Mexico

Don't Get Fooled by the Term Non-Profit

Do not get fooled by the term “non-profit.” My advice is to go anywhere else, but here. I moved my mother to Southern California in 2010, focusing first on her cataract surgery, with the express intent of hearing aids next, so as not to overwhelm her with everything at once. When I saw in early 2011 that The Hear Center was conducting hearing screenings at the Pasadena Senior Center, I jumped at the opportunity. That is how we came to the Hear Center. The first purchase of Widex Hearing Aids was on March 3, 2011. The hearing aids were $1800.00 + $70 for the hearing test, which reflected a 30% discount because we came through the Senior Center. I believe they came with a 2 year warranty. Throughout this entire period I have been a bit of a thorn in Gayle, the audiologists side, because I kept asking her to raise the volume but she kept telling me that when she tested them out on my mother in the sound-proof room, the volume level was perfect for her. I tried to reason that life does not take place in a sound-proof environment & that I felt she needed a bit of an increase in volume. To begin with, the left one always sounded very crisp & clear to me, but the right sounded as if she were in a vacuum tunnel. In November, 2013 the right one failed altogether & because they were out of warranty the repair was $150.00 for a 6-month warranty or $250.00 for a one year. We opted for the one year. The Hear Center has very limited hours – they actually lock their doors between noon and 1:00 PM for lunch, so if you are just a regular busy person out & about running errands this can be quite inconvenient if you happen by during that hour, which is exactly what happened to me. Since I was simply dropping off, I decided to enter though the side door & leave them with someone back there. I was immediately swarmed upon by a slew of hateful faced women demanding to know what I was doing there – you would think I had just barged in on The Secret Service. Fortunately, the receptionist, Debbie, who is an absolute sweetheart, appeared and came to my rescue. In July, 2015, my mother lost the right hearing aid, so we had to order another one. The price for one had come down to under $800.00. The very night that we ordered the hearing aid, our dog found the missing one & bit through the casing, so the new purchase became a $400.00 repair, instead. By this time Gayle was no longer there. I again mentioned about the difference in sound quality between the left & right hearing aid to the new audiologist, Allison, who checked them out & agreed with me. When the repair was done, I again asked Allison to please raise the volume because even with her hearing aids in, it was apparent that my mother could not hear us. So, she raised & raised & raised the volume, until finally, my mother told her “I can’t hear you!” Finally, Allison decided to scroll through my mother’s chart & mentioned that she had not had a hearing test since March of 2011 & that it was very possible that her hearing had diminished. That was exactly what I had been telling them, periodically over the years, by forever asking them to raise the volume – I must have been speaking Swahili! Then she told me that the volume was maxed out & that my mother needed to come back in for a hearing test. I asked her if my mother would never be able to hear us again, what was the point. She looked very uncomfortable, hemming & hawing, until I finally asked, “Are you saying that she has gone as far as she can with these hearing aids, but that we can purchase another pair to accommodate her current needs?” She breathed a sigh of relief and said “yes.” I then said, “Couldn’t someone have told us that $400.00 ago, as much as I complained that she was not hearing?” Allison is a very young Asian girl, very sweet & very timid, and obviously in no position to be the moral compass for the company. She didn’t say anything. I’m sorry, but I am not in the audiology field. To my uneducated way of thinking, a pair of hearing aids is a pair of hearing aids that get adjusted as is necessary over time. I feel that they are the professionals & it is their responsibility to educate us that after so much time, she should have had another hearing test – especially in light of my constant complaining about both the sound quality in one of them and the fact that she wasn’t hearing us!!! My question now is – who is supposed to absorb that $400.00 wasted expense? Had I paid for them with a credit card, I would have some leverage – but I paid with a debit card. I had actually, been in touch directly with Widex previously to complain about the sound quality & that no one would pay attention to me at the Hear Center. Widex asked me, at the time, if I would like them to speak to the Hear Center on my behalf. I declined the offer, reasoning that adding to their dislike for me could adversely affect the care that my mother received. I am also sending this letter to Widex. Will keep you posted.
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Reason of review:
Poor customer service

Preferred solution: Full refund

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Prof. Karen Jubanyik
Prof. Karen Jubanyik

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