Despite an 11% increase in unit sales during the 2019/20 period, it is pleasing to report that the number of complaints is very similar to the previous year: 29 were conciliated last year compared to 28 this year.
As we would expect, the largest number of complaints concerned refunds. Of these 21 cases, BSHAA only had to recommend a refund in one case. Of the remaining 20 cases, nine received a refund without a full BSHAA investigation. BSHAA encourages businesses to settle the complaint before a full review is undertaken by BSHAA. Two companies gave goodwill refunds, even though BSHAA did not consider there to be any case for a refund. After reviewing the client records, client correspondence and other documentation, BSHAA did not recommend a refund in nine cases. Case summaries are in the annual report.
For the first time, BSHAA received two complaints regarding wax removal. After a full investigation, BSHAA concluded that neither case had merit. One complainant complained to the HCPC but, after BSHAA’s investigation and a submission from the audiologist, the HCPC decided not to take the matter any further.
Those audiologists and companies that have used the scheme have often talked through issues with the Customer Care Scheme team before a formal complaint is submitted. These members know they will receive a non-judgemental, honest opinion and often a practical solution to resolve the issue. We have also been used for a second opinion in cases where the audiologist wants to make sure they are approaching the complaint correctly.
A complaint handled well is often positive publicity for the business. One client who had numerous problems with their aids took the trouble to write a letter advising that, after their complaint had been resolved, they now had an excellent hearing system and confidence going forward that they would receive many years of good hearing and aftercare.