Is this a hearing aid rip off?

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My mother's hearing aid had a minor repair (when it happened before, it was $25 to 35 to fix it) so it was taken to the hearing aid center. They sent it off and then dropped the bomb on us that we owed them $600 for the repair. They completely rebuilt the hearing aid and did not bother to notify us. No one signed off on the repair, so now they have the hearing aid, since my mom could not afford to pay this. She was very upset to hear about the amount of money they wanted since the aid seemed to be working fine. What kind of recourse do we have? I feel that she was really taken advantage of, and being at Christmas it's even worse. I am having to shout to tell her anything - which is adding to stress.

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What a mess.. and what a crock! My mother sees her hearing aid guy every few months for something,,lol and he never charges us for any adjustments or small repairs. The aids have a warrenty for up to 5 years ( at least mom's do) so I'd look into that.
Is there some type of organization that would be over hearing aid centers? This hearing aid was just worked on two years ago to the tune of $400 and it was working fine. I feel like we were taken advantage of.
When you think you are being had, you probably are.... small claims court, state attorney general's office, legal aid....  must be somebody to help?
I'm so sorry this happened, and at the holidays. Can you check with the Better Business Bureau after Christmas? Perhaps filing a complaint with them would help resolve the issue. Or -- this is perhaps not practical but just an idea -- maybe your local news station has a like "consumer watchdog" division that you could contact? Also, was anything signed when you gave them the aid to repair it? I wonder if there is anything in writing that could justify them keeping your mom's property.

I certainly hope you can get the aid back and for a reasonable price.
If the HA was worked on two years ago I'm assuming it is already several years old? It is unfortunate that there was a misunderstanding about getting the work done, BUT, $600 is a bargain when you consider the cost of a new one, and presumably a totally rebuilt aid will be good for a long time. If they had told you the price up front or that the HA was not fixable, what would you have done? I struggled with mom's malfunctioning hearing aids for years because the manufacturer would not even look at them, apparently anything beyond 5 years old is too old and mom's were over 10 when they finally quit completely. Fortunately mom can still hear one-on-one conversations pretty well so we've been able to cope without any at this stage of her life. Maybe you could ask about a payment plan, or you could try some of the personal amplifiers - not nearly as good but perhaps better than nothing.
I just don't understand how a hearing aid that was just worked on two years ago, and costs several hundred then, could need a total makeover? We didn't sign anything and I do think that maybe the BBB or maybe the Attorney General office. I could get a used one for about $200 so that would still be less than what they want for this hearing aid. Every time I asked her if she was having any problems hearing with the aid, she said that she could hear ok. They told me that their policy is to just completely refurbish any aids that are over five years old. Only they didn't tell me that until AFTER they had done it!
Mine lasted 6 years and already had a $300 overhaul 2 years prior. They can last between 5 to 10 years. Pricing is getting better now at 2 k for a pair with better upgades. In a couple more years There is a law that affordable HAs will be available for under $500 but not with all the bells and whistles. I agree with others that the vendor failed to disclose.
Your only options is to let him eat the bill and contact BBB.
So, the hearing aids are being held hostage and consequently your sanity is along for the ride. I hear you (pun intended). This business and boy is it one, gets me SO riled up. I don't know where you are...but in OH there is state law I believe to cover the hearing aid dispensers. You may have recourse through small claims...but it seems your first goal is to get the hearing aids back. My dad is deaf and we write notes, or use a "boogey" board which are fairly easy to get and erase with the push of a button like the old "magic slates". Still tedious. He also has an iphone with an app for dictation so if someone speaks into the phone the words will show up on the screen, but it is probably not the time to teach your mom the new tech when patience is already worn. If you can, I think I'd give them the money, consider court, and clearly never go back there again if it's possible. If buying in the future, all I can say is that the folks at Costco near us have been outstanding. You have to be a member, you have to pay in full (but can open and put it on their credit card), but they give you the longest time to try them out, the quality is as good as what you find elsewhere since the big manufacturers make what Costco sells, and any Costco anywhere can service it. My mom got the rechargables so you don't have to keep shopping for and looking/dropping, replacing batteries. BTW, if the law re hearing aids isn't of help, you might find the section is helpful in Consumer laws/protections. You may have to pay court costs up front, but if they make a decision in your favor the other party will be liable for your court costs. Maybe as someone suggested before calling your local tv channel? Good luck.

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