What is the favorite four-letter word of people who are hard of hearing? Correct.

Over the past year or so I started asking this question more and more often. I was missing out on conversations but pretending I understood what was being said. Finally, I had my hearing checked. The doctor said I was a border line case for a hearing aid. He gave me a list of a few companies that sell hearing aids – no recommendations.

I went to the one in the same building. Another hearing test and a recommendation for one that will fix my problem. It came with a 30-day money back guarantee for $4,500.00. After 28 days I returned it. Everything was louder but no clearer.

As I searched ads for hearing aids I concluded that I need to spend more to get a good hearing aid (the “You Get What You Pay For” syndrome). So, I signed up for the $7,500.00 solution to my hearing problem. More hearing tests and hearing aids tailor- made for my hearing problem.

For big bucks you get the added benefit of hearing aids that are less visible so fewer people know that you are less than perfect. The problem is that I still couldn’t understand conversations, but I looked better while faking it. Several appointments for adjustments and assurances that they will eventually work did nothing but put me beyond the get-your-money-back date. Too bad.

Then I lost one. They offered to sell me another one for $950.00. I countered with an offer to sell my other one back to them for $950.00 and I’d throw in the charger for free. No deal.

(BTW, Uncle Joe pays $2,500.00 towards the cost of these devices if you have Medicaid. Want to bet that they are $2,500 less if you don’t have insurance coverage?)

Since $7,500 is top-of- the-line but did nothing for me I figured that I was destined to start feeling left out, depressed and end up strapped to a chair, drooling on myself, like all the hearing aid ads warned would happen if I didn’t buy one right away.

In one last desperate attempt to avoid total isolation I bought a pair of hearing aids for $175.00. Guess what? You guessed it. They work just as well as the high-priced spread. They are not perfect, but they are good enough to keep me in the conversation. And so far, no one has asked about those potatoes growing out of my ears.

Paul Saulnier


  1. Kathie Patterson on December 2, 2023 at 6:52 am

    I cannot stop giggling as I am reading this to my husband!! He has had the exact same experiences. Now he doesn’t wear one! 🤷‍♀️

  2. Paul Saulnier on December 3, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Robert Cialdini wrote a book that helped us mere mortals in defending ourselves against salesman. Unfortunately a large percentage of the purchases were by salesman. Point taken.

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