We regularly price check our competitors. Today, we checked the current price at Boots for their latest Premium product – Phonak V-90 hearing aid.
The price was staggering! For one Phonak V90 hearing aid Boots will charge £2395. Our price for the exact same model is £1250.
The price for a pair of Phonak V90 hearing aids at Boots is £3355. Our price for the exact same pair is £2500. Similar price disparities can be found across their entire range.
For confirmation of this, you can call their customer services telephone number – 0345 485 1092. Our price for this product is listed on our Phonak page.
When clients discover this difference in price their first question is, ‘how can this be?’.
Part of the reason for the difference lies in the inflated costs that Boots and other high street hearing aid providers incur. Consider their marketing costs which include astronomical costs for TV advertising, National Newspaper adverts, etc. Boots’ rent will be as high as any retailer given their central High Street locations. Then there are the Audiologist’s salaries and large commissions paid for each sale. Add to this to their Head office Admin costs, support staff, training costs, equipment etc etc. On top of all of this, their shareholders demand a handsome profit.
These huge costs may go some way to explaining why they need to charge so much more.
However, the drawbacks of the Boots’ service model may not stop there. Boots are not an independent hearing aid provider. They are owned mostly by Phonak (51%). So, they nearly always recommended Phonak hearing aids. There are at least 8 global manufactures of hearing aids represented in the UK. If Boots do not carry the full brand range then you will not receive truly independent advice. Each brand offers innovative features that will be different and unique. These features may be more suited to your hearing loss and lifestyle. If Boots restrict the provision of some of these important brands, then this could adversely affect the potential hearing aid benefit for the user.