Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Glasses Shopping Challenges

       Three months ago I had my annual eye check up at my optometrist. He told me that there was a change in my prescription and that I should get new lens. So okay, I'll look after that later.

       This week I finally had time to shop for lens and my trusty shopping advisor came with me or rather , closer to the truth, I went with my shopping advisor.

        We had very specific things we wanted in a lens and asked for a list of each specification. We wanted brand X , trifocals, plastic, UV coating and a specific brand of coating. The day was a challenge to say the least.

       The first place we went to did not deal in trifocals.

        The second place would only give a complete estimate and would not break anything down. When we pressed to be sure we were being quoted the specs we wanted he became somewhat rude and left us. He also answered two phone calls while talking to us.

       The third place really weaseled around the brand X lens and we finally pinned them down and they were quoting another brand.

       The fourth and fifth places were much more direct and broke their quotes down without any prompting.

       The sixth and seventh places danced around coatings and would not directly say what coating was being used.

     The last place would not quote brand X as they did not deal with the brand but wanted us to think what they had was equivalent.

    So after a day of shopping we were much less than satisfied. In coatings alone the quote was from $79.. to $179.00. One has to think that there was some fudging on what coatings were actually going to be used. We found that several places were claiming to give us brand X but what they were really doing is sending their lens out for the brand X coating.

    We were quite disgusted as all places were trying so hard to compete that they were making the whole process hard to understand. Some of them were just outright dishonest. I was left very disappointed to find that a very necessary product had become so complicated from a sales point of view that the poor little old consumer was left out of the equation.

     We picked the best of the bunch to buy from and went in on a Wednesday as they had a sale on. My shopping manager decided to ask if the change in my prescription really warranted a change of lens. The licensed optician was very direct and said , "No, this lens need not be changed." She said that a change that small if tested over at different times would probably move back and forth. So after a long frustrating day of shopping I found out that I really didn't need to change the lens. I was also left really wondering how honest the dealers were in the optical business.


  1. Fortunate for you that you have such a dedicated shopping partner, Red. And I would NEVER have done such a thorough job, would probably have taken the cheapest. And after all that, you didn't even NEED the change. Interesting.

  2. Ordinarily I'm not a skeptical person. After that experience I'm not sure these people are that trustworthy. They are extremely inconsistant in what they offer as far as information is concerned.

  3. How frustrating for you and your wife. I purchased new reading/ painting glasses this past spring; good news is I was able to give up my bifocals as my distance vision had improved, Yay! but the price is staggering for a chunk of plastic and rounded glass. I went with Gerald as he has dealt with the same company for years who give excellent customer service, treat everyone with respect, always smile and take time with everyone, but you pay more for it.
    I hope you and your wife will be able to make it to the show opening on June 9th. I just put the finishing touches on a Merlin painting. Hugs!

  4. I'm going to miss it as I thought it was the 24th? Well, I will have to have a good look at your work and try and catch you when you take it down. I just looked at this after 5 when I came in.

  5. Hi Red

    Just dropping in from Brisbane, Australia. Actually Brisbane will soon get a new name - "QUACKSVILLE" it just doesn't seem to want to stop raining here!
    I noted that you place comments of Linda's blog - Alberta Prairies!

    I guess the red is a nickname re: red hair! In Australia, you'd be called "Bluey"!!!!

    Interesting blog that you have.
    Colin (HB)

  6. Colin: Thanks for dropping in to visit Hiawatha House. I put an asterisk on the wall for all first time commenters! Nothing like pressure!
    I really appreciate Linda's blog. Her style of writing is original and she gives a very realistic picture of what goes on. She has great photagraphy.I was raised on a farm and still like farm stuff.
    The Red comes from when I needed a name for an email account and my name Keith was not accepted so I quickly thought Red from the Red in Red Deer which is the city I live in.
    Do you have a blog?