16th March 2017, Oxford
ReSound Statement on Online Sale of Hearing Instruments
Over the last few days we’ve had a number of questions from customers regarding online sale of hearing instruments. These questions have provided a great opportunity for us to take stock, reflect on what is happening in a changing market and industry, and clearly state ReSound’s position.
ReSound has for many years pursued a clear policy of focusing on innovation and development of hearing solutions. Unlike other manufacturers we have chosen not to own retail outlets as this would put us into direct competition with our customers. Our ambition is in achieving a great experience for those that wear our products via our relationships with independent hearing aid dispensers.
The role of the hearing aid dispenser is an essential part of achieving high levels of satisfaction with our products and we do not support anything that jeopardises this patient experience. We are therefore concerned when we see practices that could threaten this experience or the role of our customers in the market, including direct retail of hearing devices to customers without adequate assessment of needs and expert fitting.
We are aware of instances where UK based dispensers have been selling hearing aids from a range of manufacturers via eBay. From a regulatory perspective, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the provider of guidance and regulation on how hearing instruments can be prescribed and fitted and we would urge you to contact the HCPC if you are dissatisfied with any practice.
For the avoidance of doubt, we would like to clarify that we do not provide or sell any programming devices which would enable the care to be taken out of the hands of the hearing healthcare professional and nor would we enable anyone to make illegal copies of our fitting software. We have been in contact with the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists (BSHAA), the Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals (AIHHP) and Hearbuy to clarify industry positions on these subjects, and are also keen engage in an ongoing discussion about how the evolution of retail can benefit those who need support with their hearing.
On another note, we are excited about the future of ReSound’s product innovation – we strongly believe that in the near future, we will demonstrably be able to bring you new tools that will continue to strengthen your ability to offer an superior experience to your customers.
We have an experienced and knowledgeable team to continue to support you to deliver this value to your customers, including working with you to help you develop your business. We want to continue to be at the centre of a thriving and growing independent market of audiologists.
Finally, if you have any further queries then please feel free to drop myself or the team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Director, GN ReSound Ltd.