Michael Trimble's Audious hearing aid doesn't work, so he returns it. The company will not refund his money. What's going on?
Q: I purchased two hearing aid sets online from Audious. The company promised a full refund if I wasn't pleased with them.
I returned them for a refund within the allotted time. I received an email confirming the receipt of the returned items. But I never received my money.
I have emailed Audious at the only two email addresses I could find. I do not think Audious intends to return my money. Can you help me get my refund? -- Michael Trimble, Hayward, Calif.
A: A quick online search reveals a huge number of complaints about Audious hearing aids. But at the time you contacted me, it was what I didn't find -- rather than what I found -- that was the most troubling. The company didn't have a working website, and the top search result online was for a podcasting app by the same name. I wasn't sure if Audious, the hearing aid company, was still in business.
Let's go back to those reviews. Before you make a purchase, you have to do your research. And if you had, I'm sure you would have never paid $354 for your over-the-counter hearing aid. The reviews are brutal. The company doesn't even respond to inquiries from the BBB.
I reviewed the correspondence between you and Audious. The company warns that there is typically a three-week transition for your ears to adjust to its devices. It can take that long for the aid to calibrate properly to your specific hearing loss. "So don't panic if you experience whistling or discomfort for a bit," it adds. "The more you wear it, the better it will work for you."
But you tried the device for a few weeks, and it did not work for you. Since you were within your 90-day return period, you sent the hearing aids back for a full refund. Audious verified that it received them but did not return your money. You waited four months before contacting me for help.
You had all the tools you needed to fix this problem yourself. You had evidence that you had returned the hearing aid and an email from the company promising you a refund. You had also waited patiently for your money back.
Fortunately, you made this purchase with a credit card. I advised you to file a credit card dispute under the Fair Credit Billing Act. I have advice on how to file a credit card dispute on my consumer advocacy site.
If that had not worked, my advocacy team would have happily helped you. Fortunately, it did. A few weeks later, your credit card company contacted you with good news: It had returned the $354 you spent on the hearing aids.
Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or get help with any consumer problem by contacting him at http://www.elliott.org/help
© 2022 Christopher Elliott.