Customers rate local hearing aid dispensers

Between loud music in earphones and the aging baby boom population, hearing aid sales in this country are expected to skyrocket.

Unfortunately, that increases the chance that you, or someone you know, will eventually buy a hearing aid from someone who's mostly interested in making a sale. While many people might benefit from a having hearing device- there's a better way to get help than responding to unsolicited offers in the mail or over the phone.

"Some people are selling hearing aids- who are a lot like the people who are driving down the street in their pickup trucks trying to put a new roof on your house," warned President Robert Krughoff.

Krughoff and staff put their ears to the ground to get first hand feedback on hearing aid dispensers in the Puget Sound region. The latest issue of Checkbook Magazine breaks down everything you need to know about hearing aids - hearing loss- and how to find a reputable hearing aid supplier.

"One of the things you really want in a hearing aid supplier -- a store you go to, a professional you deal with -- is they give you good advice and they tell you the pros and cons of all the different features, so you can make a really reasoned decision based on your tastes, as to what you want to pay for," Krughoff explained.

Researchers got feedback from local hearing aid customers about more than 3 dozen local facilities. Customers rated the hearing aid dispensers based on reliability, the quality of advice, product, service and price. Companies getting high ratings for quality- include the Hearing and Balance Lab in Mill Creek, and the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center in Seattle Costco got high marks for reliability. Still others got Checkbook's top ratings for both quality and price.

As a rule, all Checkbook's reports and ratings are limited to subscribers to non-profit consumer rating service. However, as a courtesy to KOMO News viewers, Checkbook's complete Hearing Aid Report will be available on this website until March 10th. You'll need to enter your email address- then follow the instructions.