Consumer Complaints and Reviews
Costco Phonak Brio 2 - Purchased 11-16-2016. Seventy-eight year-old male with moderate to severe hearing loss from unattenuated exposure to jet aircraft. I had not looked into hearing aids until I started having difficulty distinguishing individual words in a movie theater with all the volume they customarily use. Went to local Costco on the recommendation of a fellow pilot and was highly impressed with the personal attention and, what I perceived as, the expertise of the audiologist working at the Costco kiosk. The combination of the extended 180 day trial period, the two-year extended warranty and the recommendation of the friend prompted me to take the plunge and buy the Brio 2. Which brings up the subject of documentation. Apparently, the Brio allows custom functions which are programmed by Costco, and there is no place to find written instructions for some basic operations. The Phonak website is notably deficient.
I was specifically impressed with the several automatic pre-programmed environmental modes for music, driving, restaurants, etc. During the fitting, these modes and operation of the aids were explained...mostly. I missed the explanation of how the volume of the aids was controlled with the volume buttons on the top of the aids and searching the included instructions and available online help was no help. How they worked was explained on the first follow-up visit. As many as Costco sells, there is no reason for not having better instructions and documentation.
The iPhone Bluetooth capability was also a selling point. I didn't realize that this option requires the use of the goofy ComPilot Air II to work at all. It does work, but my impression was that no "streamer" was necessary. I know there is a lot of technology crammed into these little buds, but having to have the ComPilot fastened to your collar makes this feature marginally useful. All-in-all, I am happy with the improved level of hearing I have now.
Received my Phonak in March 2016. After 10 days my canal was so sore. I returned it for remake. Since that time it has been returned to Phonak for more times because of pain. Previously I have had 3 previous HAs, other brands, without any painful fits. My audiologist has made impressions three times four Phonak. In addition my audiologist has made minor fit adjustments in his office four times. Phonak has quality control problems. Blue Shield Claim ** 3/16/2016.
I've been a hearing aid wearer for 12 years now. I was replacing a Phonak Audeo V50 hearing aid that was 4 years old because my insurance plan will cover it. My coverage allows me to buy very good hearing aids every 3 years. It seems that depending on the hearing aid place you go to they peddle only one brand and in each case this time around the experience was horrible. I was not happy with what I was hearing from the Oticon and Starkey brands. Sounds were too sharp at the high ends and yet overall sound quality seemed muffled and feedback was intolerable. Those hearing aids carried a price of around $4500 to $4800/pair.
I went to Costco and got their Phonak Brio 50 hearing aids. I was not expecting success but I was pleasantly surprised. In one visit, the world sounds good again and it doesn't hurt that the price is affordable and fully covered by my insurance. Losses and damages are 100% covered in the first 2 years. I think that Costco is making a good buck on them and I can't help but feel that people are getting fleeced going to the other guys now.
I have had my set of Phonak hearing aids for 3 years now, and they've been nothing but trouble. My hearing loss is moderate due to a childhood illness. I can't rely on my hearing aids at all. They have had to be repaired 4 times now. They either just flat quit working or the volume starts cutting in and out and then just quits altogether. I'm very disappointed. I have no choice but to get them repaired as my insurance paid for them and won't pay for new ones for another 2 years. I would never recommend them to anyone. Good luck in getting any kind of response from Phonak.
I bought a pair of Phonak hearing aids from Costco. Costco's customer service was first rate and I chose the aids I thought best at the time. I have now had four months to review my purchase and I am thoroughly disappointed. My hearing loss is not severe but I do miss syllables such that I have to ask people to repeat themselves. I have a hard time understanding children. The hearing aids amplify all the sounds I do not want to hear, e.g. fans, mowers, leaf blowers, vacuum cleaners, muzak, announcements and other audio pollution, but they do nothing to help with conversation or my understanding of children. I am going to return them to Costco but first I wanted to hear what Phonak had to say. They don't even answer their bloody phone!
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I have had two experiences with Phonak that were very good. But the last CIC aid purchased in 2014 has been nothing but trouble. I have returned to the Connect Hearing center multiple times and often it has to be returned to the company for repair. Once it simply stopped working. On multiple occasions the volume starts fading over a period of days or weeks. This level of unreliability is unacceptable. The audiologist who works with me is very pleasant and cooperative but offers no insight into why this keeps happening.
Purchased the Phonak Brio R at Costco for $2600 June 1. It is now August 20 and I have had two pair fail. Res Ipsa Loquitur.
I am very upset by the type of Customer Service being given to us at of your Phonak Hearing Aids Agents in Hamra, Beirut, Lebanon. I came with my father and my mother who's already 76 y/o for programming the Hearing Aids I have purchased from one of your Agents in Qatar. However, when Beirut staff learned that the Hearing Aids was purchased in Qatar, they treated us really bad. We have waited for more than 2 1/2 hrs, w/c as of this moment, they have not rendered any immediate response in particular in our appointment with them. To think that, my mother is already 76 y/o, an old patient, which requires immediate attention. These totally unbelievable response to your patients.
Received a set (both ears) of Phonak hearing aids through the VA. After one month one kept beeping as through the battery needed to be replaced, even after new batteries were installed. I lived with that for around two weeks, and then called the VA hospital that issued them. I then had to mail one back. About 3 weeks later it was returned, and a statement was sent referring the aid was gone over and fixed.
Two months later it started again in the same aid. I again lived with that beeping and replacing the batteries for about two weeks, then both aids started beeping. This started to drive me crazy. I called the VA again and was told to contact the manufacturer. This was done and I was advised to mail both aids to them. They returned new aids, they worked great for about 4 months, then the same side aid that was the first to beep started beeping again. I now just use one aid, fortunately the one not beeping is for the ear that has the most hearing loss. I believe this firm is dumping its lesser than 100% quality checked aid to veterans through the VA.
Purchased brand new Phonak hearing aids approximately 10 months ago and have had to have them repaired on four occasions. The Wire is very sensitive to both moisture and wax which of course most ears have. And have to be constantly repaired. Had I known how poor the quality was of this hearing aid I never would have purchased it to begin with. Unfortunately I have gone beyond my trial. And I am unable to return them. So there they sit on my desk never to be used again. What a wasted $4,000 I spent. Beware of Phonak hearing aids.
Phonak customer service? They don't have any. Call them & you get an answering machine & it tells you they will call you back within 2 business days. Do this 3-4 times then they might call you back. Then they leave a message or tell you to go to your local service provider. Everything seems to be a big secret with them.
I have spent ten thousand dollars on 2 sets of Phonak hearing aids. One behind the ear and the other in the ear. Both of them were their top of the line. I have the remote for both sets ($250 each) and a TV link. At 3 years the in the ear one broke. While removing it, the case split. I went to my provider and was told I was 20 days out of warranty and it would be $650 to repair the one!
I sent an e-mail to the company and they called me back in a few days and stated any repairs would be up to my provider, the company could do nothing. I returned to my provider and they stood fast on the cost. I sent a long email to the company with the complete story of my purchases and how I've told friends and family how great they were. I also mailed a letter with the same info to their corp office. I've never heard from them for 20 days. They have lost me as a customer forever, and I do not recommend this company or brand to anyone. I will post my feelings on every review site to warn people not to expect much from Phonak.
Do not buy Phonak hearing aids or the accessories, I've had mine for a year and have to send them back for repair 3 times. The ComPilot II is junk, was replaced once, will not stay paired with TV deck, does not work good with cell phone. I also have the Roger Pen. This seems to work ok and is quite useful, I don't use it too much so it hasn't broke yet. I have worked hearing aids since 1994 and with the plan I have with the dept. of veterans affairs I get replacement every 4 years. Will definitely not get any Phonak hearing aids again.
I have had the hearing aids for two yrs. They have been sent in for repairs 4 times. Took four weeks to have them repaired each time. All four times it was the same problem. They would just turn themselves off. Their customer support is no help if you ever get thru to them on a phone call.
I am using a "loaner." A Phonak Naida S III SP. This hearing aid was loaned to me by my audiologist who has my permanent one in repair. This is the SECOND loaner that I've used that failed me. The same problem I encountered with my own is happening with the loaner. I can hear the tune when it comes on but no outside sound can be heard. When it DOES work, the sounds are very diminished and I still struggle to hear with it. Overall, bad hearing aid. I wouldn't recommend using this especially for small children. It's frustrating to deal with the same technical issue within different aids.
I've had my Phonak's for about two years. The sound quality has deteriorated making the AIDS useless. During my two years of ownership they have been returned 4 times for repair. Three times the receivers have had to be replaced. Spoke with another hearing aid provider who said Phonak two years ago moved their manufacturing to China. There has been significant repairs issues since then. "We try to discourage our customers from choosing Phonak due to repair issues."
I am 69, a cancer survivor twice and my Phonak tv head phone device battery needs replacing. It keeps telling me low battery every ten mins. My provider has no batteries. Phonak service is not concerned and I have referred four family members to Phonak. Am I sorry or what? As a new unit is 300 bucks I seem to have used up my bank account fighting for my life. Now I can hear the tv. Also thanks Phonak. Now it's understandable why you don't belong to bbb. Check with them and consumer affairs before laying out ten cents with them.
My audiologist who introduced me to the LYRIC brand of IIC invisible-in-canal product was forced to stop providing my service as Phonak required an annual sale commitment to continue distribution and service. I was forced to then continue service 40 miles further away... The LYRIC concept is that it is completely self-contained with a marketed battery life of 3 months. Users are forced to go to the audiologist and receive a replacement unit. The longest battery life run for me has been 2 months and that was with Series-1. Not in town when it dies or on a Friday night... too bad for your luck until you find an open office. Compile the inconvenience with faulty quality assurance of the Series 3 "innovation" and you have a 3-year customer (me) now seeking other ICC solutions with a vengeance.
My last experience... my last replacement lasted 7 hours. I delayed vacation travel plans to replace the unit with a 80-mile round-trip drive to the "approved" audiologist that lasted 4-hours and died while I was driving to my 9-hour vacation destination. I "wasted" a morning of my vacation getting in to see a local LYRIC distributor for a replacement. I am seeking a self-service battery model with integrity for distribution and quality practices. Likely a Beltone Micro Invisa or a Siemens Insio... Never a Phonak/LYRIC again.
Have been wearing Audeo V50-10 that is what I was recommended and to be honest it's not that great. Cannot hear clearly when an individual speaks in a noisy environment or in a meeting room if an individual sits 6 feet away from you. Would not recommend.
I was so excited to finally be getting a hearing aid. Had no choice about the type as the audiologist recommended this Phonak Audéo V was the one. Went to my fitting appt and she had it all programmed up and put it in my ear. She asked if I could hear her. NOPE. She ramped up the power and again NOPE. She tried a third time and was looking at me as if I was crazy as "it was all working." She took the hearing aid out and put it on some diagnostics testing computer and it was NOT working! So disappointed! I had gotten up early to shovel over a foot of snow to make it to the appt, and went home with nothing. To my co-workers - keep hollering! Hope it goes better the next round.
The Bluetooth components have very short range at considerable inconvenience. The aids do not process sound as advertised. Useless in loud environment. Failure to process voices clearly. Com pilots battery lasts about an hour when transmitting from TV to the aids. Generally very poor voice quality into the earpiece. Not an audiologist problem there is just nothing more that can be done.
I have worn Phonak hearing aids since 1995 and they have been problem free. I just purchased a new set of Phonak's last week. The new chips make a huge difference in my ability to hear and understand voices. Sound is clear and I can hear people speak in noisy environments now. I would recommend them to anyone.
I was fitted with Phonak V 70 hearing aids 10 days ago. So far so good. I have not had to change the batteries yet. My hearing has improved at least 70%. I can now hear a conversation in a noisy environment, hear my students in the back of the room, and hear my friends, who I thought were mumbling in the kitchen. I have to go back to UPMC Hamot Audiology for some minor tweaking changes. I read some reviews that were negative about the brand. I went in with an open mind. Also a 30-day free trial. OVR, Occupational Vocational Rehabilitation, from the State of Pennsylvania paid for the aids. If you are working and need help paying for hearing aides to keep your job... OVR can help. Our Human Resources staff told me about the service available. Im an Emergency Medical Services Instructor.
I've been wearing their products for about 4 years now and if it weren't for the exorbitant cost (over $4000) I would be on to another supplier. The only good things I can say are that they do have good customer service (along with my audiologist) and the devices generally work for normal, unextreme situations such as watching television, quiet conversations, and so on (and the push button volume controls are really helpful).
But beyond that they in no way deliver what they promised. They do not reduce background noise in restaurants. They do not mitigate wind noise. They do not dampen sudden, loud noises. Maintenance is a nuisance with them turning off suddenly when the "wax guards" get stuffed up (which can happen within a day or three of completely cleaning the ears). Over time they degrade from 10 days on a battery to under 10 hours; fortunately my audiologist can fix this but I don't know what will happen when the warranty expires next year. And they come with NO documentation. No user manual, no maintenance information, nothing. That's unacceptable. Bottom line is I think a pair of $500 OTC aids would do just as well and that's where I'll go when these things die or get too expensive to fix.
I got Pronak Virto Q90 HS hearing aids through the VA in Apr 2015. They have been fantastic for me. Never had a problem with them. I have to change my batteries about every 3-5 days. I wear them all day. I now can hear my wife and don't have to listen to her screaming at me. I would recommend these hearing aids to anyone that wants a great sounding hearing aid.
Bought the Phonak Q90's in July 2013. Since that time, they (one or the other) have been sent back to Phonak 6 times for various failures. This ranged from complete failure to volume control not working, programming button not working, receivers not working and using a battery a day. The audiologist and her office were great, but the Phonak product is a device I would advise that no one even consider. At $3,500 each, you would expect a working and reliable product. Choose another brand!
Bought these hearing aids 10 months ago. They are brutal on batteries. Have to change batteries every 2 days. Yes I do check and replace the little white pin. Today the hearing aid fell out from the ear while I was sitting at the table. Good thing I was not outside. The wire deteriorated and broke. The little cups around the receiver cracked after a month. Terrible quality. If I have to replace them then I will go to a different brand.
Bought Phonak hearing aids via Conlons opticians just over 2 years ago costing £2200. Received exemplary service from Conlons. Unfortunately Phonak transferred their contract to Hidden Hearing. Shortly after this transfer the aids began to stop working. Hidden Hearing sent them off for repair however on being returned they stopped working again after a few days. This has now happened 5 more times. After the fourth time of being returned Hidden Hearing required me to take out one of their warranties at a cost of £95. I subsequently discovered that I had a 3 year warranty on the aids and after some discussions with Hidden Hearing was refunded this amount.
Needless to say I received my aids back from repair for the fifth time and hey presto they again stopped working after eight days. I still have six months warranty left on the aids but consider it to be a total waste of time sending them back again. Definitely do not consider purchasing aids from Phonak as they are not worth the money and are not fit for purpose.
I have used the Phonak aide for nearly 20 years with no problems. I upgraded to the newer model last year and have had nothing but trouble with it. I have taken it in 5 times for repairs. Four months ago they gave me a new one instead of a refurbished and am still having problems. I agree with the gentleman who wrote about having a longer warranty or perhaps some compensation. I have an appointment with my hearing aide tech for a loaner while something is done with this one. Very unhappy with this extremely expensive product. I just want to know why the quality of the product changed.
Purchased Phonak hearing aids from a reputable audiology clinic in Clyde N.C. in March of 2014. These were a top of the line model costing me $6500.00. I thought I was buying quality but have had nothing but problems. They have been repaired 4 Times and have been replaced once. Phonak has had them longer than I have. I have a three year warranty but what then. Each time they were repaired it was a different problem. My audiologist has been trying to set up a meeting with Phonak but is always too busy. I want some kind of compensation for my trouble. Maybe a warranty extension??? I HAVE NO PROBLEMS WITH MY AUDIOLOGIST - JUST PHONAK!!! BUYERS BEWARE!!!
Shelley WebbSenior Products Contributing Editor
Shelley Webb is a registered nurse, geriatric care manager and freelance writer who concentrates on the subjects of eldercare and health.
More about Shelley→
Phonak is an international hearing aid company with locations and sales partners in more than 100 countries. Founded In 1947, Phonak has been considered one of the leaders in hearing aid technology for decades.
- Convenience: The company has outposts internationally, so it’s not hard to find a place to buy a product or get help from professionals.
- Technology: Phonak is at the forefront of technology. They have developed multiple new hearing aid technologies, including the Quest platform, which uses unique binaural VoiceStream technology.
- Kid-friendly: Phonak is friendly to listeners of all ages and they have even developed an iPad app to teach children with hearing difficulties and the people around them how to get comfortable with hearing aids.
- Fragility: Phonak hearing aids might be a bit fragile as many wearers report having broken a pair or two.
- Tinnitus help: For those with tinnitus, Phonak has developed an app to help reduce its annoyance.
- Best for Aging listeners, people with progressive hearing loss and children born with hearing difficulties.
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Phonak Hearing Aids Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Phonak Hearing Aids
- 4520 Weaver Parkway
- Postal Code:
- United States