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Critiqued Senior-Focused Manufacturer Responds

Amplicom's TCL 200 alarm clock

Yesterday we told you about a post that appeared on the New York Times’ Gadgetwise blog about a particular manufacturer that made products for the hard of hearing that were targeted at, among others, the senior population.

To make a long story short, the blogger said the line of cordless phones and alarm clocks was good, but that the supplemental instruction manuals were difficult to follow. He surmised that a device aimed at making things easier on the ears shouldn’t make things harder on the brain, in the form of confusing and difficult to follow instructions.

We agreed with the blogger. We also noted that it pointed out a larger trend we’ve unfortunately seen a lot of lately: manufacturers creating useful products for seniors, but packaging them with impossible-to-follow instructions, thereby rendering the product useless.

The company that caught the flak for this trend was Amplicom, and apparently our commentary was not lost on it. We received an email this morning from the president of Amplicom USA LLC, the American arm of this Germany-based company.

He reached out to us to acknowledge and clear up some of the confusion surrounding the company’s products. Below is his response:

In response to your recent post regarding our product review from the New York Times – Gadgetwise, we appreciate the constructive criticism regarding the instruction manuals. We are taking action immediately to provide our consumers with simpler and easier setup instructions. We are also in the process of providing more resources for product setup on our website, http://www.amplicomusa.com. In the meantime, if anyone has any questions or needs help setting up their product they can call our customer care line at 1-866-267-5426, Monday-Friday 9:30am-6:00pm EST.

We commend Michael Abramowitz for contacting us and attempting to provide a temporary solution to this problem. We also implore you to take him up on his offer if you have purchased a product from the Amplicom line.

In turn, we hope Mr. Abramowitz will notify us when revised versions of these instruction manuals are made available, so that we can pass this information onto you. In the meantime, however, we’d like to thank Amplicom for its contributions to the hard-of-hearing marketplace – which includes many seniors – and for acknowledging its shortcomings.

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