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.