In recent years a trend has developed in the eyecare world to consider buying eyeglasses from online stores rather than the traditional method of ordering through your trusted eye care professional. These sites may claim that they offer “not-to-be-beat” prices and convenient to-your-door delivery, but the disadvantages of ordering online are much more significant than any apparent advantage they claim to provide. The truth is that there are many aspects of customer service and accurate filling of prescriptions in which your local optician is far superior to any online service. Below are outlined some of the major advantages of purchasing from your trusted eye care professional.
The Myth of Online Savings
Many online retailers boast of low prices and great deals that you are supposedly unable to get when ordering from your optician. The truth is that most of the time while the price on some online sites initially appear to save you money, they often will cost you more money than if you order from your eye doctor’s office. Many eye doctors maintain special relationships with eyeglasses manufacturers that allow them special deals and savings which they are then able to pass on to their patients. These often take the form of special rebates for patients, which eye doctors are often happy to send in on their patient’s behalf, allowing the doctor to cut costs for their patients at the bottom-line. Online services are often unaware of these rebates or require you to redeem them on your own in order to save money on your eyeglasses.
Personal Relationships and Expertise
To an online store, you are a faceless consumer. To your trusted eye care professional, you are a patient in their care. The aim of the online store is to sell you a product. The aim of your eye doctor is to help you look and see your best, and safeguard your long term eye health and visual comfort. Part of fulfilling this role is maintaining a personal relationship with each and every patient. The same cannot be said about online retailers.
Your optician goes to great lengths not only to measure your exact prescription, but also to take into consideration things such as your face shape, the way your lenses will look and feel with certain frames, and what size and type of frame will be most comfortable and provide you with the best vision.
Your optician will also consider where each type of frame will sit on your face, which influences what part of the lens your eyes will be looking through. This is especially important with bifocals, in which an improper positioning of the lens in front of the eye can make proper viewing through the different vision zones especially difficult or impossible.
A professional, trained and educated optician with whom you have a personal relationship is more likely to fill the prescription correctly the first time, and fix it if there is a mistake than an online retailer whose training is customer service or sales-oriented, and with whom you share no personal connection beyond their desire to sell you their products.