Eye test without being forced to buy glasses

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
53 replies 15.9K views
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  • TallaghtTallaght Forumite
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    A lot of opticians are franchises and use high pressure sales tactics to get you to buy after you have had an eye test.Also frames priced £100-£150 for example cost the optician £2 - £3 a pair from overseas.
  • DenandoDenando Forumite
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    Tallaght wrote: »
    A lot of opticians are franchises and use high pressure sales tactics to get you to buy after you have had an eye test.

    You're telling me! I just had my 2-yearly check-up at Specsavers and it was similar to sitting through a timeshare presentation. It took 75 minutes for them to tell me my eyesight had not changed, yet they recommended new glasses on my prescription. Most of the time I was there was allocated to 'just go and browse the frames' even though I had told them up front I would not be buying new frames. I even had to sit through their app showing me the frames I should choose … and it picked pretty much identical ones to those I was wearing. They still asked if I'd like to try them on.
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    Denando wrote: »
    You're telling me! I just had my 2-yearly check-up at Specsavers and it was similar to sitting through a timeshare presentation. It took 75 minutes for them to tell me my eyesight had not changed, yet they recommended new glasses on my prescription. Most of the time I was there was allocated to 'just go and browse the frames' even though I had told them up front I would not be buying new frames. I even had to sit through their app showing me the frames I should choose … and it picked pretty much identical ones to those I was wearing. They still asked if I'd like to try them on.

    Well you could have just left! You have a legal right to a copy of the prescription (but not any PD measurement) so ultimately they can't refuse that or make it condition on listening to their sales patter.
  • DenandoDenando Forumite
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    Well you could have just left! You have a legal right to a copy of the prescription (but not any PD measurement) so ultimately they can't refuse that or make it condition on listening to their sales patter.

    I could have, but I wanted my eyes tested and they didn't start that until well into the hour+ I was there. Once I'd had the test and got the prescription, the last 'sales' guy realised pretty quick that I wasn't going to buy and very visibly 'switched off' and stated "OK, you can go". I was probably out of there 5 minutes after the test was done, and that included settling the bill.
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    Just one further thought, back on the original topic.....

    Presumably once they have recorded the PD the patient could force disclosure using a Subject Access Request under the GDPR? That would force them to release all records about the patient, not just the prescription.

    Obviously if you are a new patient then they might choose not to record the PD until you have ordered glasses from them but it would have been measured in order to carry out the sight test properly.

    Interesting one?
  • LorianLorian Forumite
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    Just one further thought, back on the original topic.....

    Presumably once they have recorded the PD the patient could force disclosure using a Subject Access Request under the GDPR? That would force them to release all records about the patient, not just the prescription.

    Obviously if you are a new patient then they might choose not to record the PD until you have ordered glasses from them but it would have been measured in order to carry out the sight test properly.

    Interesting one?

    In my experience typically the dispenser measures and records the PD directly after you've finished with the Optician. A quick upside down read saves asking for it and being denied it. It's not difficult to measure your own with a ruler and mirror.

    I should add I never buy glasses in the opticians, even when I have a free test voucher, but I'm quite good at walking away. I like to be MSE.
  • 50Twuncle wrote: »
    I did this - 4 years ago - when I first needed glasses - I paid £35 for an eye test and avoided paying £100+ by using the prescription with Glasses direct - who were offering (as far as I could make out) 2 pairs of IDENTICAL glasses for £30 including lenses !
    They fitted perfectly and are still going strong

    How to Measure Your PD?
    1. Stand 8 in. away from a mirror.
    2. Hold a ruler against your brow.
    3. Close your right eye then align the ruler's 0 mm with the center of your left pupil.
    4. Look straight then close your left eye and open your right eye.
    5. The mm line that lines up to the center of your right pupil is your PD.

    But presumably Glasses Direct aren't having to bear the cost of running the shop, buying the equipment, hiring and paying the opticians and support staff, and so on.

    It seems wrong to me that the optician does all the work, and then these online companies cream off the profit by getting people who want 'something for nothing' to buy the actual glasses from them instead.
    Signature Removed by Forum Team ..thanks to somebody reporting a witty and decades-old Kenny Everett quote as 'offensive'!!
  • edited 12 August 2018 at 10:17AM
    UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    edited 12 August 2018 at 10:17AM
    But presumably Glasses Direct aren't having to bear the cost of running the shop, buying the equipment, hiring and paying the opticians and support staff, and so on.

    It seems wrong to me that the optician does all the work, and then these online companies cream off the profit by getting people who want 'something for nothing' to buy the actual glasses from them instead.

    What is wrong, in my opinion, is the optician's business model which seems to be based around a cheap or free eye test subsidised by excessive prices for glasses often extracted by a "hard sell".

    Not only is it thoroughly unprofessional it also raises the suspicion that new glasses are recommended when they are not necessary.

    A professional approach would be to charge a realistic fee for the time, expertise and equipment needed to test sight properly and separate the process from the competitive, fashion related high street sales operation.

    The fact that the online companies like SelectSpecs and Glasses Direct can supply quality products promptly and efficiently, at a fraction of high street optician's prices, shows what a total racket it has become.

    So no, I don't blame any patient / customer insisting on their rights and buying their glasses where they choose.

    Interestingly, there are now quite a few spectacle manufacturing businesses around who will deal direct providing you have a valid prescription. In the past they would only deal with opticians but many are now quite happy to have individual walk in trade.
  • GlasweJenGlasweJen Forumite
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    No, I don't record PD during an eye test, why would I? The PD only really matters when dispensing. When I set up a trial frame or refractor head I'll make sure it's centred but I wouldn't then write down what it's centered to.

    I suppose pre-reg will write it down but if you're not tested by the pre-reg then it probably won't be recorded during the test.

    I only recorded children because chances were the dispensing optician would be busy and I'd end up doing the dispense anyway and legally one of the other of us had to measure a child's PD. I'd note if someone was huge or tiny because I'd need to make big adjustments to my equipment.
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  • AmesAmes Forumite
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    I've always just ticked the 'average' PD when I buy online. It's something like 50 or 60 I think and I've never had a problem with the glasses.

    I've just bought new glasses from Specsavers and asked what mine is and they said it's 28. I'm not sure if that's even physically possible, so either they're using a different scale or didn't understand what I was asking about and gave me some other random measurement.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
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