When it comes to hearing aids
, almost everyone has heard of Miracle-Ear. I have no experience with Miracle-Ear, so I went to their website and other websites to learn the facts about Miracle-Ear hearing aids.
History of Miracle-Ear Hearing Aids:
Miracle-Ear has been around since 1948, when it began as Dahlberg, Inc. Today Miracle-Ear is all over the United States. Miracle-Ear centers are in Sears stores, and there are also stand-alone centers. The website has a center locator that locates centers by state and/or zip code.
Miracle-Ear offers free hearing tests to people who schedule appointments at Miracle-Ear centers. If a test indicates a need for a hearing aid, the customer has the option of selecting a Miracle-Ear hearing solution package. They also claim to offer a warranty, free annual hearing screening, free personalized programming, and free cleaning/adjustments.
Hearing Aid Styles Available:
Miracle-Ear offers all the standard styles available today. Customers can choose from traditional behind the ear aids, open fit behind the ear aids (no ear mold), and in the ear aids.
Additional Information from Miracle-Ear:
The website also has basic facts on hearing loss, tips for care and maintenance of hearing aids, and information on types and causes of hearing loss. A page about the benefits of hearing aids reports that the top benefit is improved relationships at home. There are also two online questionnaires, one for people who think that they may have a hearing loss, and one for people who think an adult close to them has hearing loss. Each questionnaire has a top score of 40 which indicates a severe hearing loss.
Miracle-Ear Children's Foundation:
The Miracle-Ear Children's Foundation gives free hearing aids to families who can not afford them for their children. Families can not have a gross income that exceeds Miracle-Ear Foundation
guidelines The Foundation is considered a last resort for families that have been rejected by other sources of help for hearing aids. Indeed, families that apply to the Foundation must provide proof that they have been rejected by other sources such as a Department of Rehabilitation. Applications can be submitted online.
Consumer Feedback About Miracle-Ear:
How do people who have bought Miracle-Ear products feel about them?
On Disabled World, someone wrote that their Miracle-Ear hearing aids had worked well for years. Seniors Site has a page with both praise and complaints about Miracle-Ear.
However, others have had problems. The Washington Post had a consumer column that reported on one Miracle-Ear customer's negative experience. That customer was not able to benefit from the Miracle-Ear hearing aids, and the repeated adjustments took so much time she went past the 30-day trial and money back period and could not get a refund. To be fair, the Washington Post article points out this is not a problem unique to Miracle-Ear.
Plus, a check of the ConsumerAffairs.com mentioned in the Washington Post article, found a page with two complaints about Miracle-Ear. Another consumer site, Ripoff Report, has several complaints about Miracle-Ear found via their search engine. Finally, a check of the Better Business Bureau website found that as of May 2009, Miracle-Ear was rated C+ by the Better Business Bureau.
Other hearing aid manufacturers that have been profiled at About.com are Oticon and Siemens.
The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/03/AR2005090300228.html, September 4, 2005.