Nov 20, 2015 2:23 PM by News Staff
A hearing aid provider who has offices in Chico and Paradise is coming under scrutiny by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
You may have seen an infomercial, TV spot or newspaper ad for McDonald Hearing Aid Center. The company has 19 locations in northern California.
A complaint alleging the company pressured elderly patients into buying hearing aids that were more expensive than what they actually needed was filed by the California Department of Consumer Affairs earlier this month.
Joe Bartlett, CEO of Bartlett’s Hearing Aid Centers tells Action News Now the hearing health care providers in the North State have been hearing rumors about McDondald Hearing Aid Center, but now it seems as though there is some evidence to back the accusations.
The consumer affairs investigation claims that the McDonald Hearing Center would alter the results of hearing tests, and then use those tests results to manipulate patients into buying hearing aids they didn’t really need.
Bartlett says the McDonald Hearing Center would advertise hearing aids for $750 to get customers in the door, but would then sell them a more expensive device.
McDonald Hearing Aid Center is also accused of stringing out Hearing Aid fittings to get around the Song/Beverley Act. The act required hearing aid providers to give a 30 day money back guarantee.
Bartlett says the alleged practices of the McDonald Hearing Aid Center put a black eye on the entire industry. “There’s people who sought to put their trust in the pros, because they were finally ready to get hearing help. Those people will never go back to a hearing aid office because they had a terrible experience,” Bartlett said.
Mark Moore, CEO of McDonald Hearing Aid Center did not reply to Action News Now’s requests for comment.