211 South Main Street
Laconia, New Hampshire 03246
Have you bought hearing aids you are not happy with? Do you wish you had made a different choice? Do you have hearing aids that spend more time in the drawer than in your ears?
If this describes your experience or someone you care about, then perhaps you should know more about the current legal details of purchasing hearing aids.
The purchase and sale of hearing aids is regulated by the state of New Hampshire and by the federal government. Presently, NH law states that hearing aids may be returned, for any reason, within 30 days of the purchase date. The law does not require you to make a deposit when you order hearing aids but, any deposit you may choose to make is considered part of the purchase. Hearing aids can be returned only when they are undamaged.
NH RSA 137F:26 states you must be provided a written purchase contract when you buy hearing aids. The contract must tell you how much the total purchase price is. This total price must reflect any rebates, discounts or allowances provided to the seller. This law says, if you initiate the return your hearing aids within 30 days, you will receive a refund. The refund you receive will have no more than 5% of the hearing aid price deducted. This 5% is the only amount allowed for “restocking”. The amount you may pay for “custom” ear molds purchased to connect to the hearing aids is not refundable.
Your purchase contract must also state:
(a) The name and address and signature of the purchaser.
(b) The date of consummation of the sale.
(c) The name and the regular place of business of the hearing aid dealer or dealer's registration number or of the audiologist or audiologist's license number, and signature of the registrant or licensee.
(d) The make, model, serial number, and purchase price of the hearing aid and the terms of the warranty.
(e) An itemization of the total purchase price, including but not limited to the cost of the aid, ear mold, and batteries and other accessories and any other services.
(f) A statement as to whether the hearing aid is "new'', "used'' or "reconditioned''.
(g) The complete terms of the sale, including a clear and precise statement of the 30-day money back guarantee required under RSA 137-F
(h) The name, address and telephone number of the consumer protection and antitrust bureau, with a statement that complaints which arise with respect to the transaction may be submitted in writing to the consumer protection and antitrust bureau.
(i) The following statements in 10 point type or larger: 1) "This hearing aid will not restore normal hearing nor will it prevent further hearing loss;'' 2) "You have the right to cancel this purchase or rental for any reason within 30 days after receiving the hearing aid.''
Thus, it is very important to use your new hearing aids as much as possible, when you first purchase them. It is also important to be aware of the length of time that passes and to return to your hearing provider as often as necessary to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase. Make sure your hearing aids are comfortable and you like the way they help you hear.
If you are offered more than 30 days to return hearing aids, make sure you have a full description of the return option stated in writing. It is possible your hearing provider may be able to make an arrangement for you, if you approach them and discuss your circumstances. Good communication is key and hearing well is vital to that communication.
Submitted by Laura O. Robertson, Au.D., Doctor of Audiology
AUDIOLOGY SPECIALISTS, LLC
211 South Main Street • Laconia, New Hampshire 03246
(603) 528-7700 • (800) 682-2338 • firstname.lastname@example.org