He’d purchased them eleven months ago in St. Cloud from an outfit he’d gone back to several times without satisfaction, only to call and find them out of business. While searching on the internet, he’d found the Widex site, and been referred to us.
Though I assured Mr. Fox that he had a great set of hearing aids that I could probably make him very happy with, he wasn’t buying it. HIs experience to date simply indicated otherwise, and I really couldn’t blame him.
To say Mr. Fox was unhappy with his investment at this point would be putting it mildly.
To say that this information failed to improve his mood, would again be a bit of another underestimation of how he was feeling at this point. And, even though he’d driven over forty miles, he left without us doing anything.
Now, from our vantage point in the store, we could see that he, and Mrs. Fox were having quite a discussion about the situation once he’d gotten back in their car.
Something about Mrs. Fox’s gestures, and facial expressions made me even comment that I thought that they’d be back.
Sure enough, we got a call about a week later, set up an appointment, and I went to work.
We call folks like Mr. Fox orphans.
They are hearing aid users who have been left without a supporting dispenser due to the one where they initially fit having died, in the metaphorical sense. They’d gone out of business. Or, they’ve moved away from their original dispenser, or even got their gear over the internet, from dead uncle Bob, or by mail order. We lump them all into what we call orphans.
Hearing aid purchasers, and potential users in this case, who without professional help simply aren’t getting what they expect out of their fittings.
We love orphans, and the occasional lemons they bring with them. Turning orphaned lemons into lemonade, and unhappy customers into happy ones, is about the most fun this old boy can have around town with his clothes on. We love it!!
Once Gerald got over the idea of having to actually invest a hundred dollars in professional services, something he had honestly already paid for without effect, he found the process not so bad. Once he understood what our mutual goals were, and how I was going to go about things, it was all smooth sailing fun for all.
Honest, just ask Gerry, as he now asks that we call him. He is so happy that he’s agreed to let us tell his story of turning a set of lemons into lemonade, so we can illustrate the importance of the professional, component in every successful fitting.
As I began to examine more closely the equipment that he’d brought in, some things started to become apparent that might not be with a cursory exam, even by another professional, if they hadn’t been properly trained, or were working beyond their scope.
The equipment presented had a set of receivers, not even recognized by the series of hearing aids they were on.
It’s not that I am particularly smart. That information is up on the initial setup screen for anyone who actually wants to look. You actually have to initially pick the setup you have, but, whoever had set these instruments up, and tried to adjust them was lost from the start. Everything they were looking at on their screens after that initial setup screen was tainted by the classic; garbage in, garbage out description so appropriate in programing.
The basic information that began this fitting was mismatched to the equipment installed. Once we changed to a series recognized by that series hearing aids, we began to get good data from the instruments that actually matched the output of the receivers on them.
This uncovered another issue. Gerry’s is an asymmetric hearing loss with much higher thresholds on one side, as compared to the other. The loss was significant enough to warrant a change to one of our power receivers on his weaker side.
Once we had this setup, we were not only to achieve binaural balance, but Gerry reports that now he’s easily able to track where sounds are coming from, something he’d not been able to do for years, due to the asymmetry of his loss.
When I got off the phone with him immediately before writing this article, he reported that they had even stopped at a Cracker Barrel restaurant on the way home, and though it was real noisy, as one might expect, he was comfortable with his fitting, and able to hear his wife, even in the noise.
“The Best $100 Investment I’ve Ever Made, was coming to see you.”
So, the lesson here is this; if you are contemplating getting hearing aids through the mail, or from some warehouse setup, or over the internet, and think professional fitting, and care don’t matter, think of Gerald Fox.
Great guy, with a great set of hearing aids that were functionally useless to him, until he got qualified, professional care. It made all the difference for him, and we think it will for you as well.
So, come all you orphaned, and lost hearing aid users, bring us your lemons, we’ll either turn them into lemonade, or buy them from you in trade. But, regardless, don’t put up with something that’s not working for you. Bring it in, I’ll give you something for it, even if you root it out of the sock drawer.
We offer all make service, programing and repair, in an environment that we hope you’ll enjoy, want to repeat and hopefully, if we do a really good job, even become one of our featured patients like Gerry, who let us tell honestly how we helped them with their hearing problem.
It’s what we call being Patient Centered, and Results Oriented, A Advanced Hearing Care, for over twenty five years in the heart of Historic, Downtown Melbourne, Florida where we have hearing help for every lifestyle, and budget, even orphans with lemons.