My hearing has been deteriorating for quite some time now and, on the recommendation of a friend, I arranged to visit Boots Hearingcare. After several cancelled appointments (by them) I eventually got a pair of Phonak Virto aids to try out, paying a total of £3,100.
For various reasons I found them difficult to adjust to and, because of staffing issues at my local Hitchin branch, which is temporarily closed, had a lot of problems trying to get help. Staff at the Boots in Solihull were able to assist and suggested returning the aids under the 60-day money-back guarantee.
Unfortunately, a few days before I was due to return them, I lost one of them. To my horror, Boots wants to charge me £2,415 for the missing aid, refunding only £685 rather than half of the £3,100 I paid. It would seem their marketing strategy is to quote a very high price for an individual unit, with a big discount if you buy two. This feels rather unfair – what do you think?
Over the past few years, hearing aids have gone seriously hi-tech, and become seriously expensive.
I can understand your horror when you lost one. Ultimately, this case comes down to whether it is fair for Boots to deduct such a high amount for the first, lost aid. It told me that its pricing is very clearly set out and, upon the return of only one, the full cost of a single unit is exercised.
A quick web search suggests that many other retailers don’t charge in the same way as Boots – for example, you might pay £1,795 for one or £3,195 for a pair – suggesting you may have a point.
I asked Boots to take a second look and, after a bit of negotiation, it has now agreed to charge you £775 for the lost aid – a much fairer outcome.
You are also much happier with the replacement aids it suggested, although you may want to think about how you insure them.
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