The hearing aid trial period explained. That's our topic today on Ask the Hearing Doctors.
Hi, I'm Jim Cuddy and this is Ask the Hearing Doctors. And I'm joined today by Dr. Wendy Thorne, doctor of Audiology with Hearing Doctors, the Washington, D.C. area's highest rated audiology practice with over 1500, 5-star reviews. Wendy, great to see you as always.
So what is the hearing aid trial period?
So the trial period begins on the day that you get a hearing aid that is set number of days or weeks that you are allowed to try the hearing aid where you can return it or exchange it during that time.
And who's eligible?
Anyone should be. So it is regulated by law based on different states have different lengths or periods of trial period that they have to abide by.
And Virginia, Maryland, this area, they have that in place.
So, yeah, so it has to be at least 30 days in Virginia and Maryland.
Do you perceive these trials to be a good thing?
So important. So important. Especially for someone who's new to hearing aids. I always say this is a really important time to really see if what we start with is the best style for you and the best option. And I always encourage during that trial period take the hearing aid and do as many different things as you can, go to noisy restaurants, go to movies, parties and really test it out and see how it works during that time.
Do you think that that the trial period can give a patient some insight to the clinic where they actually are purchasing those hearing aids?
Absolutely. So you should be seeing the audiologist and that staff at least once after that fitting date during that trial period. So it's really important to make sure that you feel comfortable with the audiologist or the specialist that you're working with to make sure that you feel like they have your best interest at heart.
Now, what types of things can a trial period show about a new hearing aid user?
Yeah, so it can determine is that a properly fitting device? Do they like how it looks or do they maybe they go to a party and they feel a little uncomfortable with how it's being seen. And those or maybe it's not working well and we need to adjust to a higher level technology in certain situations.
Now, what happens and I don't know if you've had any experience with it, what if somebody loses a hearing aid in their trial period?
So all hearing aids do come with a loss and damage warranty. So unfortunately, during that time, we would have to activate the loss and damage. They would get a new set of devices, but unfortunately in that trial period has kind of been washed away because that had to be reactivated.
Do you have any memorable stories about somebody that's been in that that that's happened to them during a trial period?
Of losing a hearing aid?
Anything at all? That would probably be the worst.
Yeah, that is the worst. And I always feel terrible when that happens. I usually say if someone's going to lose a hearing aid, it's probably going to be at the very beginning before they've gotten in a habit of putting it in a case and not in their pocket or things like that.
Well, and we've talked about on this program, too, inserting it the right way, which could sometimes lead to it falling out if you haven't done it the right way and that kind of thing, too.
So what happens, say, if I'm not happy with my hearing aids during that trial period?
Yeah, the trial period is set where we can make adjustments or changes on the technology if you're not happy. So we can always exchange it for something else, whether it's a different style of device or it's different level technology or you do have the ability to return it. If you return it most offices do charge a restocking fee, meaning you'll get most of the money back, but there is a portion of that that goes back to the clinic time that they spent in ordering the device and different things like that.
And of course there are different styles of hearing aids and that kind of thing. And perhaps I have a couple to choose from. I choose A, I get through that trial period. You know what? I'm just not happy. I want to try B, does that trial start over?
Absolutely. Yeah. So even if on day 30 you change your mind and we try something different, you get another full trial period to try the different option.
So it's a great program. It helps you learn to, to, to deal with hearing aids and get better at having hearing aids and makes your life a lot better, too. Yes.
Yeah, very much so. Thanks so much for your time.
Yeah, thank you.
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