Specsavers - high prices, and is there any real difference between the different varifocal options?

Specsavers used to represent good value. Clear pricing, and good quality sold at fair prices.

Things have changed. Despite the clear pricing claims its impossible to find clear prices for the various lens options online, the prices are high, and all the sales staff want to do is extract as much as possible from you.

That cheap pair of glasses can easily cost £400+.

The basic varifocals cost around £40, as I recall, but although they’re supposed to do the job, all the staff want to do is upsell the ones costing around £200.

Does anyone have any knowledge of the lenses they sell, and what the real differences are, because the prices differences are huge.
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Comments

  • PterionPterion
    PterionPterion Posts: 67 Forumite
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    edited 1 May 2021 at 4:17PM
    Specsavers and Asda Opticians still represent the best value from the chain opticians. 

    Specsavers have 4 main varifocal options. 
    Standard, premium, elite and tailor made. 

    The main difference between them is the design, quality and manufacturing process. In real terms there is a noticeable difference in the field of clear view you get. 
    For example in a standard varifocal you may find there is more peripheral distortion and you need to move your head more to see things in the periphery whereas one of the better lenses would require less head movement and a wider field of view. 

    Depending on what your daily activities and requirements are you may find the standard acceptable or you may find it limiting. 


    Do you currently wear varifocal  changing lens type can cause an even more noticeable difference. 

    As far as I am aware there isn't a great deal of difference between the top two categories but there is a marked difference between the bottom two 
  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,267 Forumite
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    Thanks for the input. I’ve been using the standard Specsavers varifocals for years, but I’ve not been too happy with the last pair.

    Not wanting to spend a fortune, but these don’t seem too good to me, and the way they hide the prices doesn’t impress.
  • Torry_Quine
    Torry_Quine Posts: 18,830 Forumite
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    I always get the elite varifocal lenses. It does make a difference.
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  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,267 Forumite
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    I always get the elite varifocal lenses. It does make a difference.
    Thanks, that’s interesting. Have you been able to compare them with the other varifocals?
  • Torry_Quine
    Torry_Quine Posts: 18,830 Forumite
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    Yes when I first got varifocal lenses I tried the cheaper ones but soon changed and it was definitely better
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,092 Forumite
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    I have the second top varifocals. My specs cost £200.

    The same quality varificals rom an independent optician two years before were £400 
  • Doc_N said:
    Thanks for the input. I’ve been using the standard Specsavers varifocals for years, but I’ve not been too happy with the last pair.

    Not wanting to spend a fortune, but these don’t seem too good to me, and the way they hide the prices doesn’t impress.
    If you've had a standard varifocal for years without problems it could be a number of factors causing the issues with the current pair. 
    Markings have to be highly accurate, frame shape, size of lens etc 

    Additionally the categories are not limited to a single lens. For example each of the categories (Standard, premium, elite, tailor-made) have multiple lens availabilities within them- the dispenser usually decides based on tasks, frame and prescription. 

    For example some lenses within the premium range are actually closer to the elite category than others within the category. 

    Also they have a 100 day No quibble No fuss policy so if you don't like them you can take them back!

  • MoneyWorry
    MoneyWorry Posts: 231 Forumite
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    Specsavers are ok. I have quite a complex varifocal prescription. The first pair they dispensed were no good, so I went back and got a different pair with no trouble at all. As I recall, they were around the £380 mark. Same pair in Vision Express would have been over £600 so for a bit of hassle, it was still worth it. 
  • kirtondm
    kirtondm Posts: 436 Forumite
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    Some people cope with the basic lenses others not. A really key consideration is the fitting. The best lens will be no good at all unless well fitted. The top end lenses have far better coatings and wear better. A good lens will last 4 years+ before the coating breakdown. Cheaper lenses tend to fail at the 2 year mark. A Lot depends on how stable youir prescription is and how long you want them to last.
  • anjyeah
    anjyeah Posts: 240 Forumite
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    I must say, I do feel initially rip off after an appointment and change of glasses, but I eventually realise that it was just more to do with falling for their marketing tactics and not the products themselves. 
    However, I can't fault the price and quality of my lenses and the actual frame so far. I just have to be smarter the next time I'm due. My last pair of glasses lasted me more than 3 years, so I think that's a justifiable cost per wear. 
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