When you purchase new hearing aids, they will come with several different warranties. Many patients don’t fully understand their hearing aid warranties. This blog post will explain the differences between the most common types of hearing aid warranties.
New hearing aids will come with a manufacturer’s warranty, and also commonly come with a service warranty (also called a “service contract”).
It’s important to understand what’s covered (and what’s NOT covered) by each of these warranties when you bring home your hearing aids. That way, you won’t experience unexpected surprises if you need to use the warranty in the future.
Manufacturer warranties for hearing aids will have two separate types: a repair warranty, and a loss & damage warranty. These warranties will typically cover at least the first year of use. You may have the option to purchase an extended warranty for your hearing aids. At Merit Hearing, the majority of our hearing aids come with a three-year manufacturer warranty. Check the pricing section of our website for specific warranty information.
The manufacturer’s warranties are tied to the hearing aids’ serial numbers. This means that you could take your hearing aids to any hearing aid center that has a contract with the manufacturer of the hearing aids, and these warranties would still be valid.
If your hearing aid stops working while it is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, it can be sent back in to the manufacturer without additional cost from that manufacturer. This warranty also covers replacement parts. So, if your audiologist needs to replace a receiver, or other component of the hearing aid, the manufacturer will not charge for the parts.
If your hearing aid stops working after the warranty runs out, it will typically cost $200-$300 per hearing aid for the manufacturer to fix it. There will typically be an additional 6-12 months of warranty after it is repaired.
The repair warranty only means that there will be no cost from the manufacturer of the hearing aid for repairs. This does not necessarily mean that there will be no cost from the audiologist for their time and services.
For example, if you purchased your hearing aid from Clinic A, and then take it to Clinic B for a repair under warranty, Clinic B will likely charge you for an office visit.
Another example, would be if you purchased your hearing aids from an unbundled clinic, like us. When you purchase hearing aids at Merit Hearing, they come with one year of services included in the price of the hearing aids. During the first year, you will not pay anything for hearing aid repairs. After that, you would pay for an office visit if we had to repair your hearing aid. We charge an office visit fee for both in-office repairs, and manufacturer repairs. This pricing structure is what allows us to keep our hearing aid prices low.
Loss & Damage Warranty
The second type of coverage included with the manufacturer’s warranty is a Loss and Damage Warranty. This is a one-time replacement warranty for each hearing aid. If you lose your hearing aid while it is under this warranty, it can be replaced one time. Your purchase agreement will outline a deductible, typically around $250 per hearing aid.
This warranty can only be used one time per hearing aid.
For example: You lost your left hearing aid, so we file the loss & damage warranty. The manufacturer will send out a replacement hearing aid with a new serial number. Your left hearing aid no longer has a loss & damage warranty remaining. However, your right hearing aid will still have this warranty coverage until it is used or until it expires. If you use the loss & damage warranty, the repair warranty does not change on the new device. This warranty will have the same expiration as outlined in the original purchase agreement.
The service warranty is different than a manufacturer’s warranty, but it is still important to understand. A service warranty is between the hearing aid purchaser and the hearing aid clinic that they purchased the devices from. This warranty is not transferable.
The services covered under a service warranty will vary from clinic to clinic. When you purchase your hearing aids, make sure to find out what is covered. For example, some clinics will include a yearly supply of batteries, filters, and dome tips under this agreement. For others, the warranty only covers certain types of office visits.
The length of the service warranty can range from no warranty at all, to the lifetime of the hearing aids. As you can see, these warranties vary widely among practices.
Our Service Warranty
At Merit Hearing, our standard service warranty includes the first year after purchasing new hearing aids. During that year, our patients can come in as many times as they would like to. We will provide hearing aid cleanings, hearing aid adjustments, and hearing aid repairs at no additional cost. Even though we consider ourselves an unbundled clinic, we believe that there is a tremendous benefit from including the initial services in the price. Sometimes it takes a few visits to get the hearing aids adjusted “just right,” and to learn how to perform maintenance at home. By including this time period in the initial price, patients are not discouraged from making appointments during this critical adjustment phase.
When comparing service warranties, longer is not always better. For example, if the patient moves away, they have paid for services at a location that is no longer convenient. Another inherent negative of lifetime service warranties, is that the hearing aid clinic becomes incentivized to sell you a new set of hearing aids sooner. They may encourage you to upgrade devices that still work just fine.
With any large purchase, it’s important to fully understand what you are buying. This includes not just the tangible product, but also the warranties that come along with it. If you have any questions about hearing aid warranties, feel free to contact us!