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  • FIRST POST
    • JamesN
    • By JamesN 13th Jun 19, 4:40 PM
    • 595Posts
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    JamesN
    Opticians independent vs national
    • #1
    • 13th Jun 19, 4:40 PM
    Opticians independent vs national 13th Jun 19 at 4:40 PM
    Hi

    Need to book myself an appointment for an eye test but have not had great experiences with national companies in the past.

    Iím tempted to go to a local optometrist but their size worries me. I understand the latest tech is going to be expensive so my main concern is that they wonít be able to check as much as the national chains will.

    That said, for some reason I think the local optometrist will be less likely to do the hard sell on glasses.

    Any advice/thoughts?

    Thanks
Page 1
    • BananaRepublic
    • By BananaRepublic 13th Jun 19, 6:29 PM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 1,000 Thanks
    BananaRepublic
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 19, 6:29 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 19, 6:29 PM
    My local optometrist did a more thorough eye exam than several branches of SpecSavers. They pride themselves on being thorough, and have won awards. It included a retinal exam and I found for the first time that I had retinal scarring in one eye. The one I went to last time was not so thorough. But a survey by Which suggests that independents usually do a better exam anyway.

    As for pushing glasses, Iíve never been pushed by SpecSavers or my locals (Mathesons and another small chain). My locals have a much bigger range of glasses, and less branded ones oddly enough.
    • JamesN
    • By JamesN 13th Jun 19, 9:15 PM
    • 595 Posts
    • 154 Thanks
    JamesN
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:15 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 19, 9:15 PM
    My local optometrist did a more thorough eye exam than several branches of SpecSavers. They pride themselves on being thorough, and have won awards. It included a retinal exam and I found for the first time that I had retinal scarring in one eye. The one I went to last time was not so thorough. But a survey by Which suggests that independents usually do a better exam anyway.

    As for pushing glasses, Iíve never been pushed by SpecSavers or my locals (Mathesons and another small chain). My locals have a much bigger range of glasses, and less branded ones oddly enough.
    Originally posted by BananaRepublic
    Thanks. The first time I went they said I needed glasses. When I went to a different one they said I didnít really and was very borderline. So I lost a bit of trust.

    I wondered if they were less able to be thorough due to the cost of having the latest technology whereas a chain was more likely to have a regular update of equipment.
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 14th Jun 19, 2:20 PM
    • 4,268 Posts
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    Hermia
    • #4
    • 14th Jun 19, 2:20 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Jun 19, 2:20 PM
    I go to Boots and they have always given me very thorough eye exams. I am not sure whether some branches are better than others. I did use to go to an indie place. One thing that was off-putting was that they really pushed you to buy their glasses. The thing is there were never the deals that the chains offer. The selection they offered was also really small.
    • alba7
    • By alba7 14th Jun 19, 2:50 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 245 Thanks
    alba7
    • #5
    • 14th Jun 19, 2:50 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Jun 19, 2:50 PM
    I did use to go to an indie place. One thing that was off-putting was that they really pushed you to buy their glasses. The thing is there were never the deals that the chains offer. The selection they offered was also really small.
    Originally posted by Hermia
    I have used an independent optician for the last 6 years but theyíre incredibly pushy about persuading me to buy the most expensive glasses - to the point of only offering the most expensive range of frames and lenses. When I said no last time, I was met with hostility and a very aggressive response. Iím not going back there.
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 14th Jun 19, 3:11 PM
    • 11,772 Posts
    • 22,785 Thanks
    Pennywise
    • #6
    • 14th Jun 19, 3:11 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Jun 19, 3:11 PM
    I've been going to Specsavers for a few years. Never any problems. Yes, they try to sell you stuff, but I've not found them pushy at all - always happy to accept me when I say no. Last year they persuaded me to try varifocals at a cost of a few hundred. I couldn't do with them and took them back for a refund - no problem at all, no arguments, etc.

    My OH has gone to the same independent for about 20 years - no problems at all. Yes, they're very expensive, but it's a complicated prescription. Service has been brilliant - once they were left on the car dashboard and bent out of shape with the sun/heat - they happily swapped them for new frames free of charge, just because being a loyal customer.

    Difference is my prescription is simple/easy so I don't need specialists, but OH has had problems with complicated prescription and went through the major chains 20-30 years ago and not happy with any of them, hence going to an independent.

    Horses for courses.
    • JamesN
    • By JamesN 14th Jun 19, 11:31 PM
    • 595 Posts
    • 154 Thanks
    JamesN
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 19, 11:31 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Jun 19, 11:31 PM
    I go to Boots and they have always given me very thorough eye exams. I am not sure whether some branches are better than others. I did use to go to an indie place. One thing that was off-putting was that they really pushed you to buy their glasses. The thing is there were never the deals that the chains offer. The selection they offered was also really small.
    Originally posted by Hermia
    I’ve not tried boots but certainly tempted to. I know someone that works at HQ so will see if I can get a discount. Thanks

    Update: seems there is a voucher on their website for a free eye test so will check them out.
    Last edited by JamesN; 14-06-2019 at 11:36 PM.
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 15th Jun 19, 6:09 PM
    • 4,268 Posts
    • 12,459 Thanks
    Hermia
    • #8
    • 15th Jun 19, 6:09 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Jun 19, 6:09 PM
    I've been going to Specsavers for a few years. Never any problems. Yes, they try to sell you stuff, but I've not found them pushy at all - always happy to accept me when I say no. Last year they persuaded me to try varifocals at a cost of a few hundred. I couldn't do with them and took them back for a refund - no problem at all, no arguments, etc.

    My OH has gone to the same independent for about 20 years - no problems at all. Yes, they're very expensive, but it's a complicated prescription. Service has been brilliant - once they were left on the car dashboard and bent out of shape with the sun/heat - they happily swapped them for new frames free of charge, just because being a loyal customer.

    Difference is my prescription is simple/easy so I don't need specialists, but OH has had problems with complicated prescription and went through the major chains 20-30 years ago and not happy with any of them, hence going to an independent.

    Horses for courses.
    Originally posted by Pennywise
    I have a complicated prescription and multiple eye issues and Boots have been amazing. One time they even got the more senior optician from the other branch in town to pop over because they wanted a second opinion about referring me to hospital. From talking to friends it really does seem to be that some branches are much better than others with all the chains.
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 15th Jun 19, 8:59 PM
    • 4,847 Posts
    • 39,635 Thanks
    Katiehound
    • #9
    • 15th Jun 19, 8:59 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Jun 19, 8:59 PM
    Just to point out that Specsavers is a franchise so you can expect that treatment may well be different at different branches. Mine has always been excellent especially for follow up things like nose pieces breaking off or breaking arms- all repaired/replaced for free!(even years later)
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks

    2018 Wombling : Entrant 8 ..6470cc+3045mm (£3.04.5) + RK £8.03
    • Tallaght
    • By Tallaght 16th Jun 19, 11:50 AM
    • 1,065 Posts
    • 879 Thanks
    Tallaght
    I had an eye test at Specsavers and immediately after the test i was subject to what i call high pressure sales tactics to buy 2 new pairs.
    • BananaRepublic
    • By BananaRepublic 17th Jun 19, 11:07 AM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 1,000 Thanks
    BananaRepublic
    I had an eye test at Specsavers and immediately after the test i was subject to what i call high pressure sales tactics to buy 2 new pairs.
    Originally posted by Tallaght
    i think it depends on the optician. I got soft contacts from a local SpecSavers, hated them, asked to get hard contacts, and I really had to argue strongly to get him to order some in. They are much better than soft. I suspect profit is higher on disposables. I used to go through 6 or more trying to get two in, and the correction was not great. However, other opticians and staff were not at all pushy when I was buying glasses. And this chap made some objectionable sexists remarks. Iím male, but that doesnít mean I like sexism.
    • JamesN
    • By JamesN 12th Jul 19, 11:53 PM
    • 595 Posts
    • 154 Thanks
    JamesN
    So just to follow up on this. Went to boots in Stratford on Avon. They were really good. I could tell they wanted me to buy some glasses but there wasn’t the pressure sell there. Though that could be because I’m going for the contact lens trial. Not sure they are for me but interested to give them a go. If they don’t work out I’ll probably get some glasses from them.
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