Eye test without being forced to buy glasses

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  • C_MababejiveC_Mababejive Forumite
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    You can easily measure PD yourself using a ruler , a mirror and two cable ties. Fasten said cable ties to ruler. look in mirror dead ahead with left eye only. Close other eye. Slide cable tie along ruler until it is dead centre of pupil. Repeat for other side ,take ruler away and check the distance between ties. Thats your PD. Repeat a couple of times for accuracy.
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
  • 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.

    No it doesn't, as per my post it just shows that they don't have to cover the overhead costs of actually running an opticians.

    We are living in an era of "me, me, me, I know my rights" but it would be helpful if people would think a bit from time to time. If something is stupidly cheap, someone somewhere is paying for it. I suppose people's attitude to that is: "I don't care as long as it's not me". :(
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  • C_MababejiveC_Mababejive Forumite
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    Im not sure that optometry has become a "total racket". As #23 suggests, the eye test fee is regulated and quite cheap for the amount of chair time some people have to have.

    The Optom has to run a business, pay staff, pay himself/herself etc etc.

    Meanwhile people expect good specs for £50 a pair or buy them on line .

    Its horses for courses. If you have a very simple low grade prescription, those routes might be more you. For more complex matters you may need the full services of a good optom.

    There is a balance to be struck.
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    Ames wrote: »
    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.

    It can also be expressed as the distance from the centre of your nose to one eye, hence the 28. It would then allow for people with an off centre nose or an eye in a funny place!

    So, assuming you are reasonably normal your PD would be 56 (28 x 2).
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    No it doesn't, as per my post it just shows that they don't have to cover the overhead costs of actually running an opticians.

    We are living in an era of "me, me, me, I know my rights" but it would be helpful if people would think a bit from time to time. If something is stupidly cheap, someone somewhere is paying for it. I suppose people's attitude to that is: "I don't care as long as it's not me". :(

    By quoting only half of my post you are deliberately distorting the point I was making.

    Obviously opticians have overheads but what is quite wrong, in my view, is the business model of providing a sight test at an uneconomic fee (or even free) then "hard selling" the glasses at excessive prices to make the money.

    As a professional medical related service they devalue themselves by behaving in this way. It also raises the suspicion (sometime quite rightly) that the sale is more important than proper eye care.

    Few small opticians manufacturer the glasses in house so they are simply buying in a service which increasingly a patient / customer can access direct. When it becomes apparent that they are marking up the prices, sometimes by several hundred percent, it leads to a feeling of being ripped off or, as one poster described, as if they were at a time share sales pitch.

    So I suspect many of those you decry for standing on their right have actually thought about it quite a lot!
  • Obviously opticians have overheads but what is quite wrong, in my view, is the business model of providing a sight test at an uneconomic fee (or even free) then "hard selling" the glasses at excessive prices to make the money.

    It might not be the way you'd prefer to do things if it were you, but it would make sense if they're going to attract customers with a free sight test, that they'd need to make their money back on the glasses.

    I do agree it would be better to charge for the sight test, but then you'd just get the 'want something for nothing' brigade going elsewhere for their sight test, so they're damned if they do and damned if they don't, really.
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  • GlasweJenGlasweJen Forumite
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    Ames wrote: »
    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.

    OMG please order glasses online and tell them your PD is 28, that's the sort of mistake I used to get from an idiot man I had to train despite being on less money than him when I was just an OA and I eventually just left his mistakes to go to lab. 28 would give you a mono PD of 14 so you'll get a huge prismatic error and won't see a thing unless you want to walk about looking at your nose all day. It's almost like there's more to this optometry racket than scribbling numbers on a napkin.
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  • peachypricepeachyprice Forumite
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    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.

    No, what is wrong is a shop selling frames for £230 that are £70 online. Just frames, not including the lenses.

    That sort of mark-up isn't profit, it's extortion.
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  • roddydogsroddydogs Forumite
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    So where were you "forced"to buy glasses? Not giving pd is not forcing you to do anything. If there an ASDA opticians near try them, much cheaper.
  • UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    Im not sure that optometry has become a "total racket". As #23 suggests, the eye test fee is regulated and quite cheap for the amount of chair time some people have to have.

    The Optom has to run a business, pay staff, pay himself/herself etc etc.

    Meanwhile people expect good specs for £50 a pair or buy them on line .

    Its horses for courses. If you have a very simple low grade prescription, those routes might be more you. For more complex matters you may need the full services of a good optom.

    There is a balance to be struck.

    That is precisely the problem.

    An optometrist is a highly trained medical professional who, in addition to prescribing glasses, can also spot many more serious medical conditions not just relating to your eyes.

    Obviously a fee of c. £20 (or less) doesn't go anywhere near the cost of providing that service. What it does is to encourage the cutting of corners and virtually requiring high pressure selling of heavily marked up products. As I said, it totally devalues the profession.

    Like any "lost leader" business model there will always be people who will dig their heels in and just take the cheap / free bit. In this particular case they are aided by the legal requirement to provide a copy of the prescription. Blaming people for doing so is rather like criticising those who only use the corner shop for an (expensive) pint of milk and get everything else from a big supermarket.

    As we know from the regular dentists on this forum, they clearly feel the NHS model makes it impossible to provide a proper dental service. So they have opted for a fully private largely insurance based business model. That, in turn, reduces the availability of NHS dentists who are restricted to doing the minimum necessary for oral health.

    I'm afraid I don't think a lost leader followed by a hard sell of heavily marked up products is the proper way for a "profession" to behave.
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