APR 15, 2021

Attorney General Alan Wilson cautions consumers about misleading sales tactics used by some over-the-counter hearing aid companies

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 15, 2021 - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is warning consumers to be aware that some over-the-counter hearing aid companies use misleading sales tactics.

Nearly 50 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, including nearly 15% of South Carolinians.

“Until the FDA finalizes their regulations on over-the-counter hearing aids, South Carolina consumers, especially seniors and military veterans, need to be mindful of unlawful and misleading products on the market,” Attorney General Wilson states. “We are seeing more and more companies attempt to sell hearing aids over-the-counter that use the FDA logo or claim to be ‘FDA-registered,’ even though this new category of hearing aids has not been approved by the FDA.”

With Better Hearing Month just around the corner, Attorney General Wilson advises consumers to remember these five tips before buying hearing aids:

  1. Remember, the FDA has not approved any over-the-counter hearing aids. Over-the-counter, direct-to-consumer, hearing aids are not regulated and may be of poor quality and may not work properly for those with hearing loss.
  2. Research the seller with the Better Business Bureau before you purchase the product. Be skeptical of online reviews and endorsements.
  3. Know your cancellation and refund rights. Pay attention to the timeframes and conditions for returns and refunds.
  4. Prioritize getting a hearing screening and opinion from a hearing professional who can tell you what type of hearing device will work for you.
  5. Finally, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

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For media inquiries please contact Robert Kittle, rkittle@scag.gov or 803-734-3670

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