May 25, 2006

The Division of Professional Licensure and the Board of Registration of Hearing Instrument Specialists ("Board") issued a Final Decision and Order, suspending the license of Michael Mandella of Lunenburg for at least two years, effective December 5, 2005.

While employed at Consumer Hearing Consultants and working at Miracle Ear Centers between 1999 and 2002, Mandella provided consumers with purchase agreements that were incomplete, inaccurate and inadequate to satisfy requirements of Massachusetts laws and regulations. He also failed to attach proof of complete testing to consumers. In 2001 and 2002, Mandella sold hearing aids to two clients, claiming that the hearing aids were new when they were actually used. In 2003, while employed at Bob's Better Hearing, he sold hearing aids to a client and misrepresented who manufactured the product.

Mandella will not be permitted to participate in or perform any act, provide any service or engage in any practice in Massachusetts constituting the selling or dispensing of hearing aids. After two years, Mandella may petition the Board for licensure reinstatement. In order to be eligible for reinstatement, he must produce adequate documentation that the following conditions have been met during his period of suspension: he must pass the national competency exam, he must make restitution to his customers, he must complete at least ten hours of continuing education in ethics, and he must not have engaged in the business of selling or dispensing hearing aids.

The Board of Registration of Hearing Instrument Specialists licenses approximately 180 hearing instrument specialists throughout the Commonwealth. In Fiscal Year 2005, the Board received eight complaints and resolved six complaints from this and previous fiscal years. The Board entered into one consent agreement.

Consumers are urged to visit the Division of Professional Licensure's website at http://www.mass.gov/dpl and select the "check a license" option to determine whether a professional they are considering doing business with is licensed and in good standing.

The Division of Professional Licensure ("DPL") is a regulatory agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. The agency is responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of the licensing process for approximately 330,000 licensees across 43 trades and professions under the jurisdiction of 29 boards of registration.