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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Angry Elderly Parents Bilked by Audiologist

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Michigan

    My 87yr old Mother got a Hearing aid a few years ago from a Beltone office.
    She had been talking for a while about getting my Dad (89yr old Diabetic, Blind,
    early Alzheimer's) some help, too. They are on Medicare
    and have extremely meager resources. A few Months ago she made an appointment
    for another check up there, and I took them both in.
    While we were there, she asked if Dad could have his ears tested.
    According to the results he needed TWO Hearing Aids, @ $3000 EACH.
    I had tried to talk her out of it previously,
    (since I wasn't sure how cooperative He would be to actually WEAR them),
    but she was adamant that his hearing was bad,
    and she wanted the best possible quality of Life for Him.
    I expressed my doubts again at the appointment,
    but the audiologist went ahead and helped her pick out the "best" Hearing Aids
    for my Dad's condition, took casts of his ears, and put the order in.
    2 weeks later, we were back for the final fitting, installation, instructions, and payment:
    $6000 paid in full out of their tapped-out Bank Account.
    Not 20 minutes later in the car, my Dad had taken them out, saying,
    "I found these, but I don't know what they are for." And so it began.
    After multiple attempts, it became very obvious that He WASN'T going to leave them in.
    When we asked the Audiologist about it at the next check up, he said to keep trying.
    I have been back there several times now with them both, mostly for Her check ups,
    and it was well known to the Audiologist within that first month
    that he wasn't wearing them. At that time, I asked Him privately
    what could be done about this (such as a Return/Refund, etc),
    but I was told nothing could be done.
    Several Months have now gone by, and it is now blatantly obvious that
    this was a shocking waste of Money. They don't live with me,
    and I was hoping against hope that he would eventually wear them, but alas, no....
    So yesterday I called their office to discuss this with them.
    Again, no satisfaction, no Refund, no Compensation.
    My Question: How would a Small Claims Judge look at this?
    I know my next step would be to send them a registered "demand" letter.
    Any other thoughts on how to resolve this?
    Anybody think I have a chance of prevailing (somehow)
    in Court (or otherwise, even) on their behalf?
    Note: The Beltone Office has otherwise been very Friendly, Professional,
    and accommodating. I have only this one (HUGE) issue with them.
    Also: WHY didn't they recommend we try just ONE Hearing Aid FIRST,
    just to see how He would do with THAT one? Have they no Ethics or Scruples?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Elderly Parents Bilked by Audiologist

    Is your mom mentally competent? If so, she wanted your father to have hearing aids, she knew that he might not wear them, she heard your advice and she went ahead and ordered them anyway, those were her choices to make.

    Your complaint, after the purchase, that your father wasn't wearing the hearing aids is not a basis for a refund. Lots of people choose not to wear their hearing aids for any number of reasons - but if they fit and they work, the audiologist nonetheless provided the product and earned the fee.

    I expect that they didn't suggest that your father purchase just one hearing aid because (a) your mother wanted him to have two hearing aids, (b) he needed two hearing aids, and (c) your mom rejected your concerns. I get it - you were right, she was wrong - but as long as she is mentally competent it is her husband, her money, and her decision.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Elderly Parents Bilked by Audiologist

    Thank you for your response.

    So are you (also) saying
    that a Judge wouldn't ask them to make it right some how?
    Not even to return HALF of their money for products
    that my Dad can't/won't use, and is not enjoying ANY benefit from?
    That a Judge will not think they have been taken advantage of?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Elderly Parents Bilked by Audiologist

    Buyer's remorse is not a legal cause of action.

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