Attorney General Hardy Myers today filed settlement agreements with two Portland hearing aid specialists and a Portland hearing aid company for continuing to use a misleading term of credential after being warned by authorities to cease using it. Named in an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) filed today in Marion County Circuit Court are Dan King and his company Cascade Hearing & Audiology Centers, Inc., doing business as Cascade Hearing Centers and Cascade Hearing and Audioprosthology Centers. The company has stores in East Portland, Beaverton, Clackamas and Oregon City.
Named in a second Assurance is Cornell Saftencu of Portland, who is a partner with King in a fifth Cascade Hearing store in Lake Oswego. The AVCs admit no violation of law.
"Oregon consumers need to be able to trust the credentials used by professionals in their advertising," Myers said. "Although these individuals had received advanced training, it did not give them the right to use a title that is similar to another and carries the potential for confusion."
Investigators from the Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, which licenses audiologists, and the Oregon Department of Justice found that licensed hearing aid specialists King and Saftencu, after taking a 13-weekend class, began using the term "audioprosthologist" on the company's website, in newspaper and yellow page advertising, in an assumed business name and on certificates hung on their office walls. The two hearing aid specialists continued to use the title of "audioprosthologist" although the Oregon Department of Justice requested they stop.
The requirements to be an audiologist are much more rigorous than to be a hearing aid specialist though some persons hold both licenses. Under the agreements, King, Saftencu and the company must stop using the term "audioprosthologist" in all forms of media unless the laws of Oregon were to permit it. They cannot use any title similar to audiologist in the services they provide as hearing aid specialists.
In addition, King and his company Cascade Hearing paid $1,750 and Saftencu paid $500 to the Department of Justice Consumer Protection Account.
Brenda Felber, executive director of the Oregon Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, said, "The outcome of this case is consistent with the Board's goal of protecting Oregon consumers."
Consumers wanting information about consumer protection in Oregon may call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us. Information on the licensure of Oregon audiologists can be found at www.oregon.gov/BSPA or by calling (971) 673-0220.
Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) firstname.lastname@example.org