Costco is beloved by many folks. Whether it’s stocking up on toilet paper, buying more cake than can be humanly consumed, or walking away with a token hot dog, Costco certainly has its niche.

You may also know that Costco “sells” hearing aids. In fact, they are the biggest provider of hearing aids in the US, introducing their hearing aid sales in 1989 across their 540+ stores. As you might imagine, they regularly come up in conversations with patients who are exploring their hearing healthcare options.

That’s why we’ve created this in-depth breakdown, to share some key differences between choosing expert hearing healthcare from a locally owned/operated group of dedicated, highly trained hearing healthcare professionals like Berkeley Hearing Center versus just buying a product from Costco.

It’s critical to understand that this is NOT an ‘apples to apples’ comparison. Berkeley Hearing Center’s audiologists are second to none with decades of experience caring for individuals with hearing loss.

Costco’s business model is based on selling a product (hearing aids), whereas Berkeley Hearing Center’s model is built on delivering the best possible hearing healthcare. Hearing aids are an essential part of hearing healthcare, but they are a tool. How well they work, both now and in the future, is directly correlated to the provider’s knowledge, training, and expertise.

And no less important is the provider’s care and availability when things go wrong. So just because you purchase a hearing aid that’s ostensibly ‘set’ for your hearing, doesn’t mean you’ve received the best (or even good) hearing healthcare!

I’ll give you an example of something I’m dealing with right now. We’re planning on renovating our home, adding a second story. We could hire a handyman and get it ‘done’ cheaper, or we can work with a highly trained, reputable contractor to get it done right the first time. Needless to say, we’re going with the contractor!

With that said, here are the key side-by-side comparisons.

 

 

Take a look at Online Reviews.

Based on the reputable review site consumeraffairs.com (as of September 2020) – Costco Hearing Aid Center has a rating of 2.9 out of 5 for their customer experience.

Whereas Berkeley Hearing Center has a rating of 5 out of 5 based across reviews on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. But more importantly, let’s look at the level of service that you receive.

With our staff, you will not find more knowledgeable, dedicated, or caring hearing healthcare professionals. Licensed Audiologists with unparalleled experience (industry, medical, private practice) With Costco…well, you may not even see the same hearing aid dispenser on each visit.

By partnering with Costco, you will receive three years Repair Warranty, with two years of Loss & Damage Warranty. This is the hearing aid coverage you’ll receive if your devices need necessary repairs, are lost, or catastrophically damaged. However, with Berkeley Hearing Center, you receive five years on both, ensuring that you’re covered for a much longer period of time.

You will also benefit from 5 years of All-Inclusive Supplies and Same/Next Day Cleanings/Repairs, ensuring you can get the help that you need promptly rather than having to schedule well into the future and being without your devices if repairs are required, even simple ones.

The one thing that attracts patients to Costco is the member-only prices. Although we have access to all levels AND all manufacturers of hearing devices, including many affordable/comparable packages, we are not able to offer both technology and our high level of audiological care for the same low fees.

Like so many things in life, you get what you pay for. However, for budget-focused individuals, we do have some unique options available. We’re able to help patients utilize their insurance benefits, and we have payment plans available – these two combined will result in your out-of-pocket expense being as low as possible.

Another reason that many patients choose Berkeley Hearing Center is for the high levels of convenience we offer, including access to “TeleAudiology” services, allowing you to receive support and adjustments from anywhere in the world without having to travel to us, a very convenient location near downtown Berkeley with our own parking lot and loaner devices when needed.

Final Thoughts

The most critical next step is that you address your hearing challenges, regardless of where you decide to go. But we passionately believe in the proven methodical, experienced, and compassionate care that has helped thousands of Alameda County residents (and beyond) achieve the best hearing health possible.

We know that if you prioritize your hearing health, Berkeley Hearing Center is the wisest investment you can make and, hands down, the best value for your money. If you have any questions or would like anything clarified, then call our friendly team at 510-841-0681.

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Jonathan Lipschutz Audiologist, M.S., F-AAA, Owner

Jonathan Lipschutz Audiologist, M.S., F-AAA, Owner

Jonathan is the owner of Berkeley Hearing Center. He received his bachelor of science in hearing and speech science and a master of science in audiology from Purdue University. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and the California Academy of Audiology. Jonathan has over 20 years of audiology and hearing aid experience in both the non-profit and corporate sectors.