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How To Avoid Unethical Practices In Audiology

Time to Read: 8 minutes

On the 30th of November 2014, the ABC’s Radio National Background Briefing ran a piece called “Have I got a hearing aid for you!”

It exposes the poor practices in the industry and is a good listen for those hoping to avoid being taken for a ride.

The key takeaways from this piece:

  • Check if a retailer is owned by a hearing aid manufacturer or has a financial link to a manufacturer
  • Ask how much commission a clinician gets for “selling a specific device” and whether they are incentivised to promote one model or brand over another.
  • Check if your clinician is a qualified and professional body registered professional with a code of ethics.
  • Is the retailer owned by an audiologist?

Further things to consider:

  • Does your retailer regularly prescribe more than 2 hearing aid brands? The more brands they can choose from, the more likely you are to obtain the best solution for you out of the models available in Australia.
  • Did they explain your results to you clearly and related this to why you need hearing aids?
  • Did they test your hearing ability in noise and relate this to their hearing aid recommendation?
  • Do they specialise in your demographic e.g. self-funded client or are they a generalist with less specific experience.
  • Did they tell you that hearing aids will fix your hearing loss? Hearing aids cannot restore normal hearing; they do however greatly improve the user’s quality of life.
  • Do they offer you a money back guarantee if you aren’t benefiting from your hearing solution.

You may also be interested in our free Hearing Aid Buyers Guide which goes into much more detail about selecting the right hearing provider for an optimal outcome.

Value Hearing’s Disclosure to you:

Value Hearing & Tinnitus Solutions is owned by a registered practising clinical audiologist who complies with the code of Ethics of Audiology Australia and expects his staff to do the same.

We are independent of any hearing aid manufacturer and have no financial links with any of them. This gives our clinicians the freedom of choice to select the brand and model that suits your unique situation the best, when hearing aids are indicated.

Our clinicians are all University trained and professional association registered professionals adhering to their code of Ethics.

No client is ever forced to get a hearing aid. A client needs to be motivated to proceed with amplification otherwise a successful outcome is unlikely. We actually loose money if a client is unhappy, so we do everything in our power to ensure we recommend hearing aids only when a successful outcome is likely.


Our clinicians have a choice of either a fixed salary or one based on a small client satisfaction bonus. They may change their remuneration structure during their employment.

When the satisfaction bonus is selected, our clinicians receive an insignificant client satisfaction bonus of around $70 per device independent of price of device or level of technology. This bonus is deducted if the client is unhappy with their hearing aids and the hearing device is returned. Their main income is derived from a fixed base salary independent of any hearing aid sales.

The fact that this amount is fixed, means the clinician is free to describe appropriate technology in line with our hearing aid selection process, rather than one which will make them more commission. The fact that it is a small amount and that their fixed based amount is consistent with industry pay-rates, means that the clinician is not pressured to hard sell. So you only get prescribed hearing aids when appropriate and never get up sold for the sake of making more profit. Our clinicians are motivated to provide a satisfactory client experience without compromising their ethics. In fact, our very unique hearing aid selection process is designed to identify when a lower cost option is most suitable for optimal outcome.

We offer an unconditional 60 day money back guarantee and actively measure your outcome to ensure that you only keep the solution if it is working for you.

We actively follow-up with you every 6 months post fitting to ensure you are receiving long term benefit and even recall you for a free hearing aid service before your warranty expires. .

Note: Hearing aids do not restore hearing, they are designed to improve quality of life when selected and fitted appropriately. Uniquely we use hearing aid selection process in the industry that indicates what level of technology is most appropriate, even when it is a low cost option.