1. socalstorm's Avatar
    Had a strange thing happen yesterday ... While showing some photos on my S2 to coworkers, the phone decided to reboot (not that unusual). However, after the reboot, the hearing aid compatibility feature no longer functioned.

    Now for some background ...

    I recently (about 2 weeks) upgraded from the S1, which I had since November 2008. My experience with that phone was very positive until a few months ago when I had a hardware failure (device memory failure). I have the insurance and extended warranty, so VZW sent me a refurb as a replacement. The refurb had many issues, and they replaced it with another refurb, which had different issues. This cycle continued until a couple weeks ago, I upgraded to a S2. I just couldn't bear getting another refurb!

    So, yesterday, I called VZW tech support about the hearing aid issue with my new S2. I wear hearing aids in both ears, so this feature is a "must have". I suspected it would be a hardware issue and not a software one because logically (for me), if it were a software feature, wouldn't every smart phone be compatible with every hearing aid? My hearing aids require M3.

    After talking to the support guy for about 45 minutes, he insisted we do a security wipe and he was "certain" that would fix it. About 20 minutes later, it was doing doing the wipe, he asked if he could call me back in 15 minutes on my landline phone. sure. Well, an hour later, still no return call, I went to the VZW store. As the subject implies, this is a pretty unique issue, and obviously something they had no experience with. The tech support said they had to observe the issue in order to replace the unit. I quickly demonstrated the problem by putting the phone up to my ear, he could hear the squealing feedback. I then did the same with one of their demo units, and nothing. Proof enough.

    The best they could do for me was to replace the unit with a refurb... NOT AGAIN!! I spoke to the manager, who then gave me 3 choices:

    1. Replace with a refurb
    2. Return the S2 and go back using the old S1, and pay $35 restocking fee
    3. Replace it with any other new phone, with a $35 restocking fee - Whichever phone selected under this option, I would not be able to return or replace if I found I really didn't like it.

    Based on my terrible memories with refurbs with the S1, option 1 is a non starter. I have some interest in the DROID, but do not know enough about it to make an intelligent decision. Therefore, no way could I paint myself into a corner like this. Plus the store manager scared me away from the DROID by telling me I would have to "point" all my email accounts to a gmail email account in order to receive those emails. I have 6 email accounts, including my work account, on my BB, so that is also a non-starter. Sounds odd that about the DROID, but like I said, I haven't really looked into this OS before, so have to take her word at face value.

    So, here I am back with my refurb S1. Although I am aware of the issues with this particular unit, it still frustrates me when it occurs. The only bright side is when I checked my vzw account online this morning, it shows I am once again qualified for the new every two program.
    Last edited by socalstorm; 05-08-10 at 01:08 PM.
    05-08-10 01:05 PM
  2. chuckh0308's Avatar
    If you have six email accounts you want to access on your phone and they're not all gmail, you will probably want to stick with BB.

    If they are offering you a refurb at the store at least you should be able to test it out before leaving, right? I also saw someone posted at one time that the refurbs that come from VZW are better than the ones that come from Assurion. You'd be getting a VZW refurb under warranty.
    05-08-10 11:03 PM
  3. socalstorm's Avatar
    So, then what she said about the DROID and email was true??

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    05-09-10 02:10 AM
  4. ArizonaGuy's Avatar
    What do you mean by hearing aid feature?

    I'm a hearing aid wearer and have been for almost 12 years. I currently have BTE style Phonak Naida V SP's, and have previously used Phonak Savia's which are my backup pair now.

    You indicate M3, so you mean microphone coupling. Can a person of normal hearing use your S2 and hear reasonably well on it?

    I'm finding your situation very confusing. All an M3/M4 rating means is that it should couple properly with a hearing aid microphone and the radio won't cause much / any interference (this has nothing to do with feedback / high-pitched squealing that can be heard by those around you). Before the FCC mandated rules for wireless phones and hearing aids, CDMA usually worked OK with hearing aids. It was GSM phones that were awful and unusable with hearing aids, whether via microphone or T-Coil.

    Do you get the feedback loop with both ears? And this does not happen with the S1? I really wish I could try your S2 out myself. I know you said the demo phone worked fine but like I said, the feedback isn't really result of a faulty M3/M4 rating. Could still very well be a hardware issue with either the speaker or the microphone though. It almost sounds like you should take the phone into your audiologist and have him/her try it out. Your audiologist can listen to your hearing aid via stethoscope and give the phone a try through that. If your aids are relatively modern, your audiologist can run the feedback cancellation program while you're using the phone and see if that can permanently resolve the issue.

    FYI - while I can use my S2 just fine as a "phone" - I often use it with headphone cables instead because I need to be able to type / work while on conference calls. Because I wear BTE style, I have DAI boots on the aids and I have a set of cables that plug directly into the bottom of them.

    I use these:
    The Hearing Loss Help Co.

    I can happily use it as a Media Player that way, and for phone calls the phone uses the built-in microphone. There's a catch to making this work but it's simple and I use it daily.

    I also have this:
    HearBuddy DAI Cellphone Accessory

    Single ear connector, in-line microphone, and a 2.5mm plug for cordless phones and older cell phones with that 2.5mm jack.
    Last edited by ArizonaGuy; 05-09-10 at 06:25 AM.
    05-09-10 06:17 AM
  5. xxcatcher16xx's Avatar
    I also saw someone posted at one time that the refurbs that come from VZW are better than the ones that come from Assurion. You'd be getting a VZW refurb under warranty.

    Not 100% true...I cracked my S2 screen and had to get an insurance replacement. It was a brand new Storm in OEM box, with charger, sim card, mem card, charger...the works
    05-09-10 01:29 PM
  6. z06mike's Avatar
    Just call customer support and tell them what is going on. There is no way you should have to pay a restocking fee for a problem like that (although I have no problems with getting a refurb).

    What OS is on your phone?
    05-09-10 06:44 PM
  7. socalstorm's Avatar
    Arizona Guy,

    Thanks, I really do appreciate your very informative response. I've been wearing hearing aids for only a few years ... hearing loss due to acoustic neuroma surgery. I'm still pretty much a rookie when it comes to the hearing aids. My units have 4 separate programs for different noise environments. I know that whenever I take a phone that is M3 rated and place it up to my ear, I hear 2 tones and it changes the program so I don't hear the loud squealing with the phone. This S2 unit worked fine with my hearing aids until the incident on Friday.

    I have Unitron ITE's. By the way, it may be worth noting that I had to replace one of them in February (which is about the time I started having problems with my S1 and now S2). Although the replacement hearing aid looks similar to the other one, they are not the same model, so not a perfect match. The original hearing aid was end of sale/end of life.

    My wife thinks the 2 different model hearing aids is the cause of my phone problems. Not sure, but worth looking into now.

    Thanks for the links. I noticed that VZW web page has an over the ear headset and similar accessories for use with hearing aids as well. Looks like it will let me use just about any smart phone with my hearing aids. That is awesome news because currently, only BB Tour and Storms, and 2 DROIDs are M3 compatible!

    Thanks again!!
    05-09-10 11:19 PM