Hearing aid company closes while owing customers thousands

In Your Corner
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The owners of a hearing aid company owe customers thousands of dollars.

Data pix.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The state fair is an Oklahoma staple and a boon for business for Jeff Bragg Sr. and Jeff Bragg Jr. The two have spent years building a customer base for Bragg Family Hearing.

Robert Schoenecke first met the Braggs in 2016. He would purchase hearing aids, which malfunctioned last fall.

"He said, 'Okay, you've been a good customer, it's been three years,'" said Robert. "You're due for an upgrade."

With a price tag just north $4,000, insurance agreed to pay $2,500.

The parties agreed Robert would pay it all up front. Bragg would receive the insurance money, and those funds would be refunded.

But months passed, and no refund came. Robert's insurance though says their check was cashed. When reaching out for answers, he says he got the runaround.

"I get the explanation of benefits, saying it's been paid. So I call [Bragg Employee] again. [She says], 'Well, let me get with the guy that handles it, he'll get back to you,'" said Robert. "I'm not the only one, I'm sure."

Turns out he's not. Air Force veteran Alton Murray purchased his own hearing aids around this same time from Bragg, but returned them a week later under his warranty policy.

"Told us there was a 30 day money back guarantee," explained his daughter-in-law, Mandy Murray. "No fuss, no muss."

Alton used a VISA card, and despite Bragg's promise, the monthly payments kept coming. Mandy and Alton continued to look for answers, but never heard back.

"Left a message with no return phone call," added Mandy.

If the name Bragg rings a bell, let's jog your memory.

Jeff Bragg Sr., known as 'Sooner Man', made his debut on In Your Corner in 2007.

Customers reached out to News 4 after he closed his business Bragg's Better Hearing with no notice.

Years after Bragg's Better Hearing closed, Jeff and son Jr. opened up Bragg's Family Hearing.

But late last year, customer complaints returned.

Mandy Murray stopped by the business in January looking for info on her father-in-law's refund.

Following a tense interaction, Bragg Sr. had police called. Toward the tail end of the conversation, Bragg told Mandy the company had fallen on hard financial times.

Mandy recorded her encounter.

"That's why we're closing the office," exclaims Bragg in the recording. "We don't have any money!"

Bragg Family Hearing has now closed their business after falling behind on state taxes, county taxes and rent.

The company was led by Jeff Jr. We stopped by Jr.'s home to get his side, but he ran inside before we could speak.

We spoke with him on the phone instead.

"I’m aware of the issues you brought up. We are working on trying to get both of these patients made whole, and get everything  taken care of. We ran into a cash flow issue when our business was closing, it wasn’t intentional," explained Bragg. "I’ve tried to be in contact with these patients, but I have well over a thousand patients. We still intend to get them paid back, still intend to get them taken care of, but we just need a little more time to end up making them whole."

Jeff Jr. tells News 4 there is a deal in place for him to sell his patients to a national hearing chain, and that the money will be used to pay customer debts.

While Bragg promises the money will be returned, some customers have all but given up.

"I had a gut feeling when I went in there that this ain't good," said Alton Murray.

Some good news though for Alan. Tinker Federal Credit Union was able to work with VISA on his case, and his purchase was cancelled.

Customers who feel they were wronged can file a response through the Attorney General

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