Miracle Ear Hearing Aids - MIRACLE EAR

Jul 29, 2009
review #151515

HEARING AIDS-MIRACLE EAR & OTHER PRIVATE LABEL

Hearing Aids complaint by Alsip Judge

Today when I arrived home, I received a mailing piece from Miracle-Ear regarding an offer to buy hearing aids. They obviously are not aware I am a competitor.

Miracle-Ear, is a brand name created by a Hearing Aid Pioneer name Ken Dahlberg and his son Jeff. Kenny Dahlberg got into the hearing aid business after WWII. After some legal decisions involving the FDA and FTC and BELTONE Hearing Aids, in 1983 Ken Dahlberg announced the Brand Miracle-Ear. The name was associated with a very small hearing aid in the same way Frigidair and Xerox were identified with the products they introduced.

Dahlberg was one of the major suppliers to Sears for their hearing aid departments,among others, and was eventually sold to Bausch & Lamb and then sold again to Amplifon of Italy. Amplifon sold the physical properties to Siemens Hearing Aids who now is making the hearing aids for Amplifon with the various labels including Miracle-Ear. Amplifon does not manufacture hearing aids. They are strictly a marketing Company that sells hearing aids through Wal-Mart Stores, Sears Stores,Miracle-Ear Centers,and SONUS offices and Affiliates.

The only problem I have with Amplifon is not with their products, which are as good as any, why wouldn't they be, but with their marketing efforts, qualifications of their employees, and the way their business is conducted.

Like any Company, they are only interested in generating profits for the owners and the investors.Their employees, who are Hearing Aid Dispensers, whether they are Audiologists or Hearing Aid Specialists, are only interested in selling hearing aids, since that is how they are compensated.

Their marketing efforts employ typical current techniques. Promotional Discounts, in absurd amounts,over-priced products, incompetent employees, only interested generating sales, and sales presentations resembling those involved with selling jewelry.

The hearing aid product, and the services involved, and the Buyers of the Product, are unique, and the sales and marketing of any other product, do not apply to the Hearing Aid Industry.

It is primarily the profit potential available that attracts the big "Players" in retail sales.

The locations in the Sears Stores, are regarded as Concessions, the same as the Watch Repair Concession. The financial arrangement used to be that SEARS received 15% commission on the total sales of the Hearing Aid Division sales, and in return provided the space and all the expenses such as energy and maintenance. The Employees were all on Straight Commission, and usually there was a high turnover. Promises were made and not kept. Anything to sell Hearing Aids.

The Consumer suffered.

The Primary Problem with buying a Hearing Aid Product of any type, from any of the Names or Brands associated with AMPLIFON, such as Miracle-Ear or SONUS, is that no one else can service the products. No one else can program or adjust the hearing aids because the Computer Software is not available to Independent Hearing Aid Dispensers. The Consumer is at the mercy of Miracle-Ear and SONUS, and obviously, they have no mercy.

Look at their pricing, and the techniques they use to sell hearing aids. Would anyone really want to get involved in a long term relationship with them?

This is another case of BUYER BEWARE.

Consumers, especially World War II vintage, have a Trust Relationship with SEARS. Also, Miracle-Ear exploits the Credit Card advantage available through SEARS. SEARS is in financial trouble and is not the same SEARS of the past 100 years. Everyone is scrambling.

It is up to the Consumer, and Consumer Advocates, and of course the appropriate Government Enforcement Agencies, to police the Hearing Aid Industry, and the Retail Industry in general.

Thank God we have Small Claims Courts in every State.

Read the Literature from all Hearing Aid Companies, Distirbutors,Dealers,and Hearing Aid Dispensers, including Audiologists,including Medical Doctors,and Facilities, including Universities, and Non-Profit Organizations,with a jundiced eye, and great scrutiny. Involve your Family for their input before you get involved and buy any product.

Know who you are doing business with, and why.

Know their Reputation.

bf2efed
Was this review helpful? 12 24
Had an experience with Miracle Ear Hearing Aids?  Submit review ›
Is this your company? Learn about our business solutions
Anonymous

Sep 17, 2013

Very well explained!!! You are absolutely correct in every aspect and as a doctor of audiology I agree with you 100%!! These individuals give real hearing healthcare professionals a bad reputation and completely eliminate the patients best interest.

0 0 Reply
Anonomous

Jun 27, 2011

I happen to work for a Miracle-Ear and was curiously looking for comments. I am sorry many of you have found specialists who have taken advantage of you but where I work and other offices I know are very personable. I call clients daily to inform them they have not been here in some time and get them in the office to clean and check on their aides. I believe this is a great company and I'm sorry you had some faults. Please do not believe this goes for all Miracle Ear's. Also the franchise owner of my company is a great person. Happy shopping.

0 0 Reply
johnnyguestisacrook

Jun 24, 2011

To the employees of Miracle Ear who keep commenting on here: I believe that it is not the entire company that is cheating people. It is the franchise owners. For example: if Miracle Ear truly cares about their customers who have bought their products, then they would follow through with checking to see if the customers are satisfied. I worked for a Miracle Ear franchisee that I assure you was NOT servicing his customers in the manner that he should have been. This owner lies and cheats people. He does not call customers back, even when he himself has promised to contact them. He makes promises that he never keeps. By the way, this man owns a franchise of 4 stores in Northeast Georgia. Maybe it is just him, but I have been reading a lot of complaints on the Internet today. I cannot believe that Miracle Ear as a whole has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau! How is this? I know many, many, many people who have complained and not have any solutions or closure to their complaints.

0 0 Reply
PLEASED

Apr 30, 2011

I have to tell you of my experience yesterday with Miracle Ear. It was not bad at all, in fact I couldn't be more pleased. My Aging Mother 86, was losing her hearing quite a bit, in fact it was almost impossible to carry on a cnversation with her. The person we made the apporintment with at Miracle Ear was young, but had explained everything, was concerned and after testing the hearing recommneded the less expensive model, because of her age and comfort, he programmed the demo model for her hearing loss and had her try it. First time in 2 years she could hear 10 words and get them exactly correct. Have a 45 return policy clearly stated in the contract. Cost for 1 hearing aid in the mid section about 2100.00, BUT, we also went to our Ear Nose Throat Specialist who has someone in their office that "specializes" in hearing aids. I asked for a discount or financing there, was told no we don't offer anything. Cost for one hearing aid in their office would have been 2900.00. Warranty not as long as mircale ear either.
At 86 my Mom need's to enjoy the years she has and not miss out on some conversation...the 12 months 0% Interest also made that dooable through Sears.
I am not dissappointed yet and hope not to be. So wanted to share my experience thus far...

0 0 Reply
Middle Aged in NY

Mar 20, 2011

:) I am delighted with my Miracle Ear hearing aids. I am 51, a registered nurse. Without my hearing aids, I would no longer be working and collecting disability. Thank you Miracle Ear for giving me back my career and my life.

0 0 Reply
LT

Jan 02, 2011

I have a question for those of you who are/were employed by Miracle Ear, or any of their competitors.

A little background information:
My 80 year old MIL got a Miracle ear hearing aid about 5 months ago. She asked for a refund shortly after receiving it, because it is just not working for her. It is bulky, uncomfortable, and does not adequately help her hearing. She paid $1,500.00 for one hearing aid (she had to borrow the money).

The man who she is dealing with has come to her house 4 or 5 times trying to "make it work". Each time he comes, she tells him she wants her money back. She is extremely distressed over the whole situation. She gets so upset that she calls family members sobbing. It is heartbreaking.

Now, her Grandaughter is trying to help her with this situation. The salesman tried to sell an "upgrade" for $500 for the aid to fix the problem. My MIL does not want this. She wants her money back, period.

This salesman told her Granddaughter that he cannot refund her money, because there is a FEDERAL LAW prohibiting refunds to anyone who has ever had a hearing aid before, even if it is a brand other than Miracle Ear.

This sounds preposterous!

Is there such a law? I'm almost embarrassed to even ask the question!

Thank you for any feedback or advice!

LT

0 0 Reply
Steve

Jan 01, 2011

I would never buy anything from Miracle Ear. Once you do the things are worthless. They wont touch them for another user. So if you wnated to donate them to a person less fortunate than you, it may not help their hearing loss and Mircale Ear could care less. All they are concerned about is selling, not helping people hear better.

0 0 Reply
Marilyn Dallas

Nov 08, 2010

I purchased aides because of their promotion. Gradually, I felt that the technician was uninterested in doing a quality job. I returned the purchase agreement on the next working day along with the charge that had already been placed on a Sears card. The technican became argumentative when asked for a cancellation statement. He also said he could not give me a refund on the Sears card because the secretary was not there. He took the recent and threw it on a box of papers.I have never been to a merchant before who did not acknowledge a return.

0 0 Reply
just shopping for hearing help

Nov 02, 2010

Comment by "Miracle-Ear employee" on 16-08-2010 criticizes the original review with this defense:
"Consultants earn considerably less than 20% on hearing aid sales. Let's just say that all your statistics are wrong."

WHAT? Fyi the original review clearly stated 15% commission. The only one citing 20% is YOU. LOL, so much for "Miracle-Ear employee"'s own employee competence and statistical accuracy!

0 0 Reply
Former ME Guy

Oct 09, 2010

Wow, the main post is DEAD ON! I was a ME Dispenser for two years. I had to leave to protect my name. I had an office in a small town and the owners were screwing anyone they can. In a bad economy, I separated myself from my only source of income because I could not passively condone how they operate. I started my own company, expanded our capabilities (we are an in-home based company)and was able to set a business model to beat ME's "Sale" prices (for the same Siemens products) by 30%.

Don't fall for the fake sales! Trust me, everyday is a "Sale Day" whether they run an add or not.

Also don't fall for the "free test" bullcrap. The test are free because BY LAW it has to be done to sell you a hearing aid. If it wasn't mandatory, I believe they would not test at all.

I have also had clients who bought ME products elsewhere come to me with hearing aids THAT WERE NEVER EVEN PROGRAMMED!

Go with someone you know and trust. Do your homework, get 2-3 estimates! It took a long time for you to lose your hearing, so take some time and do research to correct it.

N Ga


Unfortunately, I don't see the attitudes of Miracle Ear or their sleazy franchisers changing anytime soon.

0 0 Reply
Miracle-Ear employee

Aug 16, 2010

I also work for Miracle-Ear, and about 90% of this review is, for lack of a better term, extremely misleading.

While I appreciate that you think I'm an "incompetent employee," I'd like to know your basis for that assessment.

- Sears charges Miracle-Ear rent, PLUS takes a share of every hearing aid sold.
- Consultants earn considerably less than 20% on hearing aid sales. Let's just say that all your statistics are wrong.
- Sears charges Miracle-Ear for the use of their Sears credit card promotions (eg. 12-months interest-free financing). At least at the location where I work, Miracle-Ear would much rather not charge a person's Sears card, but we offer it to our clients as a way for them to pay for their hearing aids, IF THEY SHOULD CHOOSE TO DO SO. All it does it make extra work for the Miracle-Ear employee when a customer wants to open a Sears account to get in on the offer.
- Unfortunately, programming software is not shared among any hearing aid distributors. This is why you need to go to a Miracle-Ear location to have your Miracle-Ear hearing aid adjusted. You need to go to Beltone to have your Beltone hearing aid adjusted. You need to go to a distributor who sells your brand of hearing aid to have it adjusted, and that is true system-wide. However, Miracle-Ear will SERVICE any hearing aid that comes in, whether it's cleaning, checking for problems, retubing BTEs or even performing minor repairs. The only thing
... Show more

1 0 Reply
Surprised

Apr 07, 2010

I work at Miracle Ear, I can only say that you are incredibly misinformed. I'm not going to lie, Miracle Ear does have its downfalls, but I would like to know a company that doesn't. I love my job and I love our patients. We DO NOT sell people over priced products and then send them out the door never to hear from them again. We care about our patients, and how they are doing with their hearing aids. Our pricing structure is set so that we can service your hearing aids for free for life. I'd say that an extra thousand dollars is worth free annual tests, clean and services, adjustments (pretty much any problem that you'll encounter, you've already paid for the service). Furthermore; not all employees are strickly commission. Sears does charge us a certain percent for rent (not 15%); however, i truly did enjoy how you turned that around into Miracle Ear being greedy and not Sears.
We may use Sears credit cards, but that enables our customers to take advantage of Sears promotional offers, and if they choose not to it makes absolutely no difference to us. Lastly, no one else may be able to adjust Miracle Ear hearing aids, but someone from costco can't walk into siemens, beltone, miracle ear, or any other company for that matter and get their aids adjusted. This is true category wide, and not only does it apply to miracle ear, but it applies to the hearing aids that you sell as well, Alsip. We have thousands of locations country wide, we even have locations in Japan. So I
... Show more

1 0 Reply
lucky

Nov 12, 2009

Thanks for the information. Much of it confirms what I suspected. I don't know which competitor you work for but I hope it isn't one of the three or four in the Tulsa, OK area that, almost without fail, have four or five full page ads per week in section A of the Tulsa World. You don't see this much print advertising by GM, Toyota, IBM, GE, Best Buy, Apple, American Airlines, and WalMart, combined. It is obvious to me that hearing aid distributors make a heck of a large profit to be able to spend that much of their budget on print ads-and I am not even counting the mail ads I receive evey other day. I am also betting that you could confirm for me that there are not really a whole lot of hearing aid manufactures, even though I suspect there are at least twenty different brand names being sold

0 0 Reply

Great comment! Would you like to convert it into review?

You will be able to edit the text before publishing.

 
×
You were reading a complaint about Miracle Ear Hearing Aids.
Filing a new complaint about
×