Customer Care Scheme annual report 2016-17

The BSHAA Customer Care Scheme annual report for 2016/17 contains some valuable tips for members that have been gleaned from the complaints received over the last 12 months.




It is very pleasing that of the 300,000 hearing aid units sold in the UK there were only 37 complaints to BSHAA. While we should not be complacent, it seems that members are effectively dealing with complaints themselves as BSHAA only gets involved when the company reaches stalemate with the client.

The successful introduction last year of enrolling all BSHAA members into the Customer Care Scheme means that clients of over 1,200 audiologists have access to a free-of-charge conciliation scheme, reinforcing the ‘buy with confidence’ ethos of BSHAA members.

It is encouraging that Citizens Advice, the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), the HCPC and Action on Hearing Loss are continuing to back our conciliation scheme. In fact, over the last 12 months cases have been referred to us by the CAB and TSI.

The annual report looks at the complaints dealt with and draws some lessons for professionals:

  • Manage expectations, especially when clients have very poor residual hearing and any gain will only be marginal;
  • Manage trial periods. If a client is having problems, either extend the trial period in writing, or remind them about the end date;
  • Make sure the T&Cs are in accordance with current legislation. There is a lot of information on the members’ section of our website with template T&Cs that have been vetted by Trading Standards;
  • Record, record, record! If clients insist on a certain model of aid but you feel that a different type of aid will give a better outcome, record this conversation in the client notes. It is prudent to follow this up with a confirmation to the client. This action avoids the client claiming that they were not advised when they were;
  • If aids need to be returned repeatedly to the manufacturer for service repairs due to wax/poor client hygiene, tell the client the reason for the repair and counsel them on how to clean them. It always looks professional to have a separate leaflet outlining how to clean the various types of aid. Record that you have had this conversation and if you have handed the client a leaflet.




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