Hearing aid firm ceases trading in city after series of complaints
on 15/09/2012 00:00:00
Numerous relatives have expressed unease about parents living alone being targeted by hard-selling salespeople from Hearing at Home.
Earlier this year, the Irish Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists warned that the audiology sector must be regulated urgently, as untrained staff were carrying out hearing aid tests in the homes of elderly people and charging sky-high prices for aids or offering aids where none are required.
Elderly people are waiting up to two years to have hearing aids fitted in the public health service and therefore many are open to speeding up this process. Hearing aids cost about €1,000, but some private companies are charging up to €2,000.
One man living in the Cork area said his father bought a hearing aid from Hearing at Home after initially taking part in phone-based market research in May. He later decided he did not want the aid. However, he has been waiting nearly two and a half months for a refund.
It is understood the main sales representative for Hearing at Home in the Cork area quit her post in recent weeks.
Friends of the Elderly says its network of volunteers regularly hears stories of old people paying inflated prices for home improvements and "third age" landscaping following cold calls and targeted door to door sales.
It has described the practice "as a cynical recession industry" founded upon the belief that old people have savings and a more substantial disposable income.
Hearing at Home was unavailable for comment last night.