In my 22 years of experience I have seen many misleading advertisements and unethical practices.   I feel this type of advertising really hurts my profession.  Many of my competitors won't be happy with me after revealing their tactics.  For your benefit, here are a few of the more commonly used.   You may notice the similarity to used car ads.

"The Bait and Switch"

The way this works is an ad is placed showing a very inexpensive hearing aid,  this is the bait, a cheap hearing aid.  The patient makes an appointment and is given a test.  Then the tester informs you your hearing is too severe or your ear is too small or large or whatever reason you cant wear the low cost aid.  Then you are shown the $2,000.00 to $4,000.00 aid that is Best For You.  This is the switch. The dispenser takes the cheap hearing aid off a shelf, puts it in your ear to show you how bad it works, most-likely this aid would not work for anyone, thus showing you why you need the expensive one. 
"The two for one deal"

This ad claims you get two hearing aids for the price of one.  This is pretty simple, you are either going to pay double for cheap aids or they just mark up one aid 100%.  You know the old saying, "there's no such thing as a free lunch", well there is no such thing as a free hearing aid.  If you are ever tempted by this kind of offer ask the name, make, size, and model of the aid and call around to see if the deal is legitimate or a scam.

"Great Brand At An Unbelievable Price"

This is another low price scam.  The advertiser places an ad for a Simemens, Widex, Oticon, Resound ect... at a very low price.  But what the ad does not say is the model.  All manufactures make low budget aids, they all make Volkswagens and Mercedes quality products.  Just because it has Brand X stamped on it does not mean its the best that brand has to offer.  Most often its the lowest model the manufacture has to offer.

"Buying back or Trading in Your Old Hearing Aid"

This one is pretty bad.  All in the ear hearing aids are fit to the patients ear by taking an impression.  Your in the ear hearing aid will only fit your ear.  They are of no use to anyone but the patient they were made for.  It would be like trying to wear another persons dentures.  It just won't fit.  Often they will just increase the price of the new aids equal to the buy back or trade in offer.  Another reason some dispensers do this it to get your old hearing aid out of your hands.  If the new one does not work or you are unhappy you can't go back to the old one and you can't get it back because you sold it to the dispenser.  Thus you are stuck with what they sold you or nothing. 

"Free Batteries For Life"

Sounds good but if you math it may not be such a good deal.  Batteries cost most dispensers less than .50 each.  One battery last a week, and a hearing aid last about 5 years.  Total cost to the dispenser for fee batteries for life is about $120.00.  If you find that same hearing aid for $120.00 less than the other person is selling it for than it's a better deal.  Also some dispensers use this to force you to come back to their office year after year to pick up your batteries.  Some will try to sell you a new aid by putting the hard sell on you every time you come in to get your free batteries.

"30%,40% or 50% off MSRP"

The MSRP (manufactures suggested retail price) is often 50% more than most dispensers I have seen sell the aids for anyway.   So saying your are getting 50% off MSRP may not save you anything.

  “ Be a part of a study” 
This scam is just another way to get you in the door. The way it works: you get a mailer,  flyer, or respond to an ad stating they need study participants to evaluate a “new hearing aid”.  Once you are fit with the aid(s) you are asked to sign a contract stating that if you lose or damage the aid during the “study” you will be required to pay for it. Usually the amount is very high, nine, ten, fifteen or more thousand dollars. The object is to get your old hearing aids out of your ears and get you to try newer technology. They hope you will be impressed enough to want them. That is when they offer you “because you were part of the study” a 40 or +50% discount over the contract you signed. Sounds like a good deal right? Well usually the discount amount is what they sell for anyway.  Often there is no study at all, its just a sales technique. If you want to determine if it is an actual study or a sales scam ask them how much you are going to be paid for your time and where the study will be published.  Most authentic medical studies I have  seen the participants are paid for their time and not with discounts off the cost of products. The persons conducting the study are Doctors or other medical professionals,  not salesmen