The best-rated hearing aid provider in the market achieved an impressive 87% overall customer score compared to 62% picked up by the lowest scoring retailer in a Which? report that grilled hearing aid users on providers’ staff skill, service, choice, price and value for money.
The survey of more than 3,000 people looked at private independent retailers as well as national chains like Boots and Specsavers but it also looked at NHS provision.
The results showed that overall satisfaction with providers is high, whether customers use NHS or private providers. The overall average satisfaction score was 84%.
See the results below:
|Brand||Staff||Testing||Product range||Hearing aid appearance||Hearing aid suitability||Overall price||Value for money||Customer score|
|Local independent retailers||5||5||5||5||5||4||4||87%|
|Boots Hearing Care||4||5||4||4||4||3||3||79%|
|Specsavers Hearing Centres||3||4||3||3||3||4||3||71%|
Overall, customers rated independent hearing aid retailers excellent for transparency of price, and good on overall price and value. Amplifon was the only large high street chain not to advertise its hearing aid prices online.
Hearing aids can cost as little as £100 but people buying privately will often pay much more for high quality equipment.
The average amount spent on hearing aids according to the report was £2,475. People spent most with local independents where the average price for a pair of hearing aids was £3,217.
When it came to NHS provision, there was not a significant difference in overall satisfaction between those buying privately (88%) and those getting them on the health service (84%).
Most people surveyed received Phonak, Oticon or Siemens/Signia hearing aids, regardless of whether they went through the NHS or a private provider.
|Professionalism and knowledge of staff||93%||95%|
|Overall customer service||92%||95%|
|Dealing with repairs||87%||92%|
The survey also revealed that a quarter of private hearing aid customers felt under some pressure to buy, and one in five (21%) to select a more expensive option from a range of suggested products, but this varied considerably between providers, with the biggest difference between Hidden Hearing and local independents.