Three tips for choosing a hearing provider:
1) Choose an audiologist. Audiologists are healthcare providers who diagnose and care for hearing loss and related issues, always in the patient's best interest and with expert skill. A doctoral degree in clinical audiology (8 years total education from accredited university programs) is the highest level of training for a non-physician hearing care provider. In contrast, non-audiologist hearing aid dispensers in North Carolina are not healthcare professionals but are legally classified as tradesmen, and are only required to have a high school diploma and one year of supervised training to dispense hearing aids.
2) Insist on having advanced tuning procedures done; most critically, one called real-ear-measures. This verifies that the amplification provided by the hearing aids is correctly tailored to your hearing loss, and is the only reliable way to deliver the best possible hearing.
3) Don't get trapped with "locked" hearing aids. Some national chains and even some audiologists "lock" hearing aids that are dispensed to you so that no one but themselves can adjust them. This is an unfair limitation of your ability to find a provider who's best for you if you are unhappy with your hearing.