I returned my Audious hearing aids, but the company never returned my money

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By Christopher Elliott

Michael Trimble’s hearing aid from Audious doesn’t work, so he returns it. The company will refund his money. What’s going on?

Question

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.

Answer

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. It looks like you waited four months before contacting me for help.

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How to get your money back from Audious

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. And 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. (Related: This PayPal invoice scam almost got me. Here’s how to spot it.)

About this story

Nothing is more infuriating to my advocacy team than a company that stops responding to a customer, especially after it makes a specific promise (like a refund). Fortunately, Trimble paid for his hearing aid with a credit card, and had some protection. For what it’s worth, we would have hunted them down to the ends of the earth if the credit card chargeback hadn’t worked. I’m grateful to our entire team for helping resolve this. Dwayne Coward and Mel Smith were on deck in the advocacy department; Andy Smith and his team handled editing, and Dustin Elliott did the illustration. I researched, wrote and fact-checked this completely AI-free article. Yeah, I know you were wondering about that. It’s OK. This site is still published by humans.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in São Paulo.

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