In today’s world of glitzy ads and high-priced hearing aids, one company stands out with a unique philosophy—give customers top-quality hearing aids, give them fantastic customer service, and do so at a very reasonable price! That company, still relatively unknown, is America Hears, Inc. located in Bristol, PA.
What sets America Hears, Inc. apart? First, America Hears is one of the most ethical companies you’ll ever do business with. You never have to be worried about getting ripped off, or not getting the quality or service you need.
Second, America Hears has the strange idea that you should get hearing aids based on the features you need, not on what you can afford. Therefore, all their hearing aids are the same price—no matter what you want/need from the biggest BTE (behind-the-ear) power aid, to the smallest CIC (completely–in-canal) aid.
Third, you deal directly with the company. This means there is no middle-man to inflate the cost. This alone keeps the price down.
Fourth, their prices aren’t closely-guarded secrets either. As of November 1, 2008, each hearing aid is $1,099.00. That’s it! This makes their hearing aids affordable to many.
Fifth, when you deal directly with the company, you get people that intimately know their products. They don’t have to phone headquarters to find out how to program the latest hearing aids.
Sixth, you can try any of their hearing aids for a full 60 days before you need to decide whether they are right for you or not. If you decide to return them—guess what?—you get all your money back, even shipping costs. None of this withholding $300.00 per aid or other nonsense when you return them like most places charge.
Seventh, what really sets America Hears apart is their “in house” fitting process. You purchase your aids, are fitted with your aids and have your aids tweaked as often as you need, all without your having to leave your house. No, they do not make house calls. Here’s how it works.
First, you need to go to your local audiologist and have a complete audiological evaluation. Next, you FAX or mail the audiogram and associated results to America Hears. There, their staff of audiologists and qualified hearing aid dispensers evaluate your hearing needs and work with you in person (if you come to Bristol), or over the phone, or via email or postal mail to choose the best hearing aids for your hearing needs and lifestyle. They program your new hearing aids according to your audiogram, and send them hurrying to your doorstep via overnight courier. It’s that easy.
Now, what do you do when you need adjustments—and most digital hearing aids need a few adjustments to get them working exactly like you want them to? Glad you asked. Here again, America Hears has a unique way of doing things. You don’t have to take time off work, or drive across town or to the next town to get them adjusted.
There are three basic ways of adjusting your aids. One, you can send them back to the factory to be adjusted. (They pay the courier fees both ways.) If you are not computer-literate, this is the way to go. You’ll be surprised at how fast this happens. You don’t want to be without your hearing aids for very long. In a test, from the time the courier picked up my hearing aids at my house until they returned them was—now hold on to your hats—only 46.5 hours—not quite 2 days. That is very acceptable service to be sure!
The second way, if you are somewhat computer-literate, is what many people use—and boy is it fast! This is because you have the option of purchasing a programming kit for $149.00. This kit includes the Virtual Office software to program your aids, the Freedom Programmer box and necessary cables to connect it to both your computer and your hearing aids. I love this option.
To use this method, first you have to install the software on your computer, then you either phone or email America Hears and tell them what the problem is. They will adjust whatever programs need changes and upload these modified programs to the web. You log in to your account with them, download the updated hearing aid programs to your computer, then upload them into your hearing aids. This only takes a few minutes—and often it is done in real time. In other words, by the time you get off the phone, your updates are already there waiting for you. You can’t beat that for service!
The third way is for you if you have always wanted to adjust your hearing aids yourself. Now you can, and with America Hears blessing too. When you purchase the programming kit, you’ll have the same software on your computer that America Hears uses at the factory. Thus, you can make any changes you want, whenever you want.
Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about “messing up” your existing programs either. You see, the software on your computer can store something like 1,000 different programs if you ever wanted to. Thus, all you do is clone your existing programs and give them different names, then “fool around” to your heart’s content, knowing that if you don’t like what you come up with, you can always reload one or more of the factory programs back into your aids. You can also make “special” programs that exactly fit your lifestyle. For example one wildlife biologist programs one of the memories in her America Hears aids to best hear the specific species of owl she will be listening for that night!
As you can tell, I’m impressed with America Hears. I’ve been wearing my America Hears Freedom hearing aids for more than three years now. If you are interested, learn more about America Hears here, or phone them at 800-492-4515.