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    • Ambers1
    • By Ambers1 27th Jul 18, 12:11 PM
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    Ambers1
    Eye test without being forced to buy glasses
    • #1
    • 27th Jul 18, 12:11 PM
    Eye test without being forced to buy glasses 27th Jul 18 at 12:11 PM
    Does anyone know a place where I can do just an eye test without being forced to buy glasses and I can get full precription with PD measurement included? Preferably west London Area, Surrey or Berkshire. I can't find any optician who does eye tests only and not selling glasses, every optical place has strict rules of not giving pd measurement on final prescription. I'm willing to pay for the eye test, but even if I want to pay they won't give me pd measurement, I've asked so mamy places like costco, specsavers, leightons and others. I know that I can measure my pupil distance myself but I prefer to be done bu specialist and I want to buy my glasses online,because hight street shops are ripping off people
Page 2
    • Ames
    • By Ames 12th Aug 18, 11:12 AM
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    Ames
    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.
    • C_Mababejive
    • By C_Mababejive 12th Aug 18, 11:15 AM
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    C_Mababejive
    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..
    • fibonarchie
    • By fibonarchie 12th Aug 18, 11:21 AM
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    fibonarchie
    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.
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    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".
    Signature Removed by Forum Team ..thanks to somebody reporting a witty and decades-old Kenny Everett quote as 'offensive'!!
    • C_Mababejive
    • By C_Mababejive 12th Aug 18, 11:40 AM
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    C_Mababejive
    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..
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 12th Aug 18, 11:47 AM
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    Undervalued
    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.
    Originally posted by Ames
    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).
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 12th Aug 18, 4:09 PM
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    Undervalued
    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".
    Originally posted by fibonarchie
    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!
    • fibonarchie
    • By fibonarchie 12th Aug 18, 4:24 PM
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    fibonarchie
    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.
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    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.
    Signature Removed by Forum Team ..thanks to somebody reporting a witty and decades-old Kenny Everett quote as 'offensive'!!
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 12th Aug 18, 7:36 PM
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    GlasweJen
    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.
    Originally posted by Ames
    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.
    Bounts, Quidco, Shop and Scan, Receipt Hog, Costco Cashback, Debit card cashback

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    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 13th Aug 18, 8:39 AM
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    peachyprice
    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.
    Originally posted by fibonarchie
    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.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • roddydogs
    • By roddydogs 13th Aug 18, 8:58 AM
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    roddydogs
    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.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 13th Aug 18, 10:18 AM
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    Undervalued
    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.
    Originally posted by C_Mababejive
    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.
    • tidus
    • By tidus 13th Aug 18, 1:29 PM
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    tidus
    Running costs for a high street optician vary, but I once calculated the break even cost of running my premises at about 150 an hour. Assuming no profit made from selling glasses that works out at about 70 per sight test. That's break even, mind, no profit.

    Consider that the NHS only pay just over 21 per examination for those entitled (about 65% for my patients) and private sight tests are about the same.

    Therefore you could argue that glasses are around 50 per pair more than they should be. But the NHS won't pay us any more, and if I put my private sight tests up to 70, i'd loose most of them to local competitors still charging 20.

    As increasing numbers purchase online (with variable results) the examination price will eventually go up, and we'll see more Opticians going fully "private". There's simply no other future.

    In the mean time, if you purchase online after taking advantage of an artificially cheap examination, be aware that we don't want to see you, you cost us money. I'll stop sending you reminder letters, make it difficult for you to book in, and rush your examinations! I've even refused to see repeat offenders before, you can waste somebody else's time.

    A fed up Optometrist
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 13th Aug 18, 1:54 PM
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    Undervalued
    Running costs for a high street optician vary, but I once calculated the break even cost of running my premises at about 150 an hour. Assuming no profit made from selling glasses that works out at about 70 per sight test. That's break even, mind, no profit.

    Consider that the NHS only pay just over 21 per examination for those entitled (about 65% for my patients) and private sight tests are about the same.

    Therefore you could argue that glasses are around 50 per pair more than they should be. But the NHS won't pay us any more, and if I put my private sight tests up to 70, i'd loose most of them to local competitors still charging 20.

    As increasing numbers purchase online (with variable results) the examination price will eventually go up, and we'll see more Opticians going fully "private". There's simply no other future.

    In the mean time, if you purchase online after taking advantage of an artificially cheap examination, be aware that we don't want to see you, you cost us money. I'll stop sending you reminder letters, make it difficult for you to book in, and rush your examinations! I've even refused to see repeat offenders before, you can waste somebody else's time.

    A fed up Optometrist
    Originally posted by tidus
    Now that is not professional

    Yes, I sympathise to a large degree but this is the hole your profession is digging itself into with the lost leader business model.

    The 150 per hour running cost doesn't surprise me at all. If fact it is probably quite modest and most dentists budget their surgery costs at more. Although they do probably have higher running costs and more expensive equipment.
    • tidus
    • By tidus 13th Aug 18, 2:22 PM
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    tidus
    "Rush" probably isn't the right word admittedly... more like essentials only, don't expect me to be having a nice chat about the weather!

    You're correct the business model is the profession's own fault. Problem is it worked fine before the internet as nobody cared particularly where the income came from as very few people shopped around. Also the professionals aren't really in control any more, it's big business.

    In order to re balance and reduce the high street price for glasses you would need almost all Opticians to pretty much simultaneously

    1) Increase the private sight test fee
    2) Refuse to renew our NHS contracts without a better fee

    It's not impossible but would require the likes of Specsavers, Vision Express and Boots in particular to act as a team when they are competing businesses.
    • C_Mababejive
    • By C_Mababejive 13th Aug 18, 6:08 PM
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    C_Mababejive
    I totally sympathize with the plight of Optometrists.

    I could go on to tell you about my optical issues but i shan't bore you unless you want me to,save for saying that when i'm in the chair,i suspect i am a complex case.

    I used to use CLs a lot but now not so much for reasons i wont bore you with but i always bought my CLs via my independent high street optom mostly because it seemed the right and fair thing to do and his prices were very very keen. He had realised that if he offered his own website ordering service and charged the same or close to the other websites, he would capture all his customers without any hassle. I'm sure he wasn't selling at a loss so thats another income stream.

    I also paid for a CL check up when i go and he would do an eye test on a green form as well.

    I'll admit i had to buy my specs from Asda but this was simply because he didnt have a model for selling specs that i needed at a reasonable rate and they were just horrendously expensive.

    He also had the usual fundus cam plus an OCT scanner which i gather a lot of optoms dont have. I'd recommend you have a go on an OCT scanner every few years as it can pick up problems before they develop.

    One thing i always noticed is that for an independent optom, he seemed to have, IMHO, too many staff hanging round the shop not doing very much a lot of the time.

    Staff costs are a big drain.

    And so i would say, support your local independent optom because very often, IMHO thats were you will get the best eye care.
    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..
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 14th Aug 18, 7:23 AM
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    theGrinch
    In the last 10 years. No optician has forced me after a sight test. They seem a modern breed and know you can shop around.
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • kirtondm
    • By kirtondm 14th Aug 18, 10:42 AM
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    kirtondm
    too many staff hanging round the shop not doing very much a lot of the time.

    Trouble is it is a very fluctuating business. You need to have a certain level of staff for the busy times but very hard to predict when they will be.

    It is a very hard business to staff efficently especially with a smaller practice.

    I would welcome a business model that seperated eyecare and spectacles the trouble is the british public is not used to paying properly for healthcare and the NHS will not fund it.

    I can see a lot of practices going private in the future.
    • fibonarchie
    • By fibonarchie 14th Aug 18, 2:58 PM
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    fibonarchie
    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.
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    You do understand they're 70 online because they're sitting in some warehouse and just need to be put together and posted.

    I've never bought frames for anything like that amount of money, personally, but it's market forces. If people weren't prepared to pay 230 they wouldn't be priced at that amount. Think about it.

    If you want 230 glasses frames for 70, you're wanting champagne at lemonade prices, which pretty much sums up what a lot of people are like now.
    Signature Removed by Forum Team ..thanks to somebody reporting a witty and decades-old Kenny Everett quote as 'offensive'!!
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 14th Aug 18, 3:10 PM
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    Undervalued
    You do understand they're 70 online because they're sitting in some warehouse and just need to be put together and posted.

    I've never bought frames for anything like that amount of money, personally, but it's market forces. If people weren't prepared to pay 230 they wouldn't be priced at that amount. Think about it.

    If you want 230 glasses frames for 70, you're wanting champagne at lemonade prices, which pretty much sums up what a lot of people are like now.
    Originally posted by fibonarchie
    Which is exactly how the majority of small opticians source their glasses, no doubt paying less still with their trade discount!

    The work is done in an out of town industrial estate then posted or van delivered each day to the opticians shop. Some larger opticians "manufacture" on the premises, either because they feel there is an extra profit to be made compared with shipping the work out, or because they feel they can get extra business by offering a same day service.

    One such out of town spectacle manufacturer / lab about ten miles from me now advertises extensively for "walk in" customers, just bring your prescription! Quite what the local optician's think, I don't know, but they still seem to use their services.

    To be honest the vast majority of "trade only" suppliers in most fields will deal direct these days. So it is no different.
    Last edited by Undervalued; 14-08-2018 at 3:12 PM.
    • fibonarchie
    • By fibonarchie 14th Aug 18, 3:20 PM
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    fibonarchie
    Which is exactly how the majority of small opticians source their glasses, no doubt paying less still with their trade discount!
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    That's not been my experience. I use an independent local optician and he makes the glasses up on the premises.
    Signature Removed by Forum Team ..thanks to somebody reporting a witty and decades-old Kenny Everett quote as 'offensive'!!
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