Glasses at high street opticians are too expensive

I'm fed up with the attempts of some high street opticians to overcharge me.  They want to charge me 99 for the same pair of glasses that I can buy online for 25.

Recently I wanted another pair of glasses as I was down to one pair having accidentally broken my spare pare.  I decided that I would have look in Specsavers first of all and I asked for a quote on a pair that I liked.

I then went home, did a Google search for 'prescription glasses and about five minutes later I was browsing through a nice selection of glasses on www.nuglasses.co.uk.  I found a similar pair and could even try them on (virtually) to see what I would look like wearing them.

They seemed to be very good value for money so I took the plunge and ordered them.  Three days later they arrived and I was one very happy rabbit - they were great and I had saved myself 74!

I found cheap glasses online, high street opticians are a rip off! But why do the large high street chains have to charge such silly prices?  Is it their plush shops or are we expected to pay for the large advertising campaigns I keep seeing on the telly and in the press. Personally, and I suspect a lot of people feel the same; I would rather not pay for a large advertising campaigns or a plush shop.  I would prefer instead to pay considerably less money for my glasses.

When are the large retail organisations going to realise that and do something about it?

By: Verdam

Share on Google Plus

Comments from visitors

Post a comment


Comments have been temporarily disabled whilst The Weekly Gripe website is being moved to a new platform. This process may take a few days and you will need to register on the new site to post comments. Look forward to seeing you back again soon!

Best Regards
Kenny (Site Admin)

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Boots opticians though have a great range with plenty of designers are so expensive. £200+ that the retailers of the brand stores aren't even selling at such a price. I saved £140 going online after I found a pair I liked, and they don't even do the second pair for free, it's just half price!


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

hazzer12 - 9-Aug-14 23:29

Optitions buy frames for 50p similar with contact lenses. Not a bad profit. Don't be fooled by sales talk. Trust me I know have friend in the business.


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

Peter - 22-Jan-14 16:18

Indeed the high street opticians/optmetrists in this country run a scam. They make far too much money for what is bit a very limited profession. When they measure your eyes, it's the NHS who is paying the bill (out of your taxes). They ought to state exactly how much they are charging the NHS for their service. It's your right to know.

When they give you your eye test results, you must not be pushed by any kind of sales person into buying glasses. There must be a cooling off period.

When they give you the results, they must be fully comprehensive with no factors left out, no illegible scrawl on the form.

Important matters like Pupillary Distance must be accuerately measured and stated on the results form.

They must give you your results for reading, computer and distance [and driving].

They MUST give you your data (your exact prescription) for
Sphere (SPH), Cylinder (CYL) Axis? and Near Addition (ADD)

Many high street opticians skimp on this service. Don't let them do this.

My last set of glasses cost me online £24. They are more than perfect.


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

Time We Closed The Scam Opticians Down - 20-Dec-13 13:02

I went to an optician in this country and again to another in another country a few weeks later. The prescriptions I was given by each was wildly different, by as much as +2 for each eye.

Why do they advertise "free eye tests" when in fact it is the NHS which is paying for them? I pay for the NHS in my taxes, therefore the eye tests are NOT FREE for me


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

Stop the Scam - 25-Nov-13 14:24

I was quoted £160 for frames only and £150 for average quality vari focal lenses at a high street optomist recently.....A week before I had purchased a new 18 gear good quality hybrid bicycle for about the same price of £300.....I am not going to be convinced by anyone that spectacles are complex and expensive objects to make and dispense. Its just another example of a profession that has ripped off the public for years.


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

grosvenormusic - 25-Oct-13 14:33

stop the scam,
+/- 1.00 wont make a difference? - what on earth are you basing that on? -1.00 difference in a prescription is enormous. ie -1.00 will have approx 6/18 vsion (could be better - but not much - could be worse). -1.00 prescription would certainly exclude you from driving. +1.00 difference would mean a serious difference in the ability to read close up. You are talking drivel. You say you have studied for four years, what in? I'm sure I know nothing on your particular subject and would never attempt to pretend to be an authority on it, Half as much as an optometrist then please tell me how much they earn - I know the answer - do you?


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

ron - 19-Nov-12 17:37

Optometrists are overpaid, grossly overpaid. In time their profession will suffer, as automatic means of measuring eyes are developed and one eventually is independently able to order one's glasses online. I undertook 4 years college education, including postgraduate, and I don't earn half as much as they do.

In our high street there are 4 opticians. Who needs that many?

Does it really matter how accurately they measure your optical prescription? Not really. plus/minus 1 on the scale won't make any real difference. I bet if you went to two separate optometrists each would measure your eyes at completely different values.


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

Stop the Scam - 27-Oct-12 13:20

Back from my holidays with two lovely new pairs of glasses. One pair retails in the UK for £500, the other for £200. I bought two as I am a bit forgetful from time to time and I need to keep a pair in my briefcase for work.
The total price for this was €370 and they were ready after two days. Not only this but the optician, not a shop assistant, helped me choose the frames which suited me best. He rejected some more expensive ones as they did not suit me so it is clear that service is considered more than turnover and profit. How refreshing!


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

Freddie - 19-Jul-12 08:52

Yes not only are you being overchaged also opticians work on conversion rates so you get glasses even with no or a very tiny change in prescription also opticians offer discounted eye tests yet charge the nhs over twenty ponds for an eye test,I beleive whatever the discounted rate is that is the amount that should be claimed.As for the first reply wow as many staff in opticians are now very under trained and most are unregulated spectacles should be cheaper


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

Bmx - 17-Jul-12 22:54

The high street opticians are not overchargeing you - it turns out infact that you are just a ignorant uneducated one tracked person, who cant see the bigger picture. How do you think the opticians would survive if they gave u a free eye test and glasses for about £20.. they have to pay the salary of the optometrist who studied the eyes for 4 years before qualifying - He or she should recieve a salary worth there qualification. then there are the other staff to pay, the rent the rates the other bills, the expensive equipment.. Before complaining and shooting off at the mouth why dont u think for a minute.. Ur like those people is which magazine who know didly squat... goodluck..


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

realist - 21-Feb-12 00:01

Or you could get your eyes tested when abroad and buy the frames there too. I do this. As I visit Cyprus regularly I go to an optician out there. The test is free, the frames are half the price of the UK and the finished product is ready in 48 hrs. My optician is UK trained and the eye test is every bit as good as the UK. In fact, I'd say it is better.
So, if you have holidays booked and need an opticians apointment, I would suggest you try and kill two birds with one stone. I have an eye test due in June and already have my apointment for the first morning of the holiday.


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

Freddie - 20-Jan-12 15:58

In the UK, the price paid for an eye test, whether it's you who pays or the NHS who pays, nowhere near covers the amount it costs to provide that eye test. What I mean is that if you have an eye test and pay say £20, it will have cost somewhere between £45 and £75 to provide that eye test for you, depending on rent levels and equipment used. Generally speaking, the test fees will pay a bit more than the opticians salary, leaving hardly anything left to pay for:
other staff
fixtures and fittings
utilities (light, heat etc).

For this reason, the price of glasses in the UK has always been set at a level that subsidises the provision of eye tests. That is, you pay more for your glasses, because the eye tests are so cheap.

In the USA, you will generally pay more for an eye test and less for glasses.

OK, I hear you say, why doesn't some enterprising soul set up an opticians in the UK charging £60 for an eye test (instead of £20) and selling glasses £40 cheaper?

Well, think about that for a minute. Such an establishment would sell lots of glasses, but do hardly any eye tests, because people would get their eye test for £20 from somewhere else. The optician would be sat around getting paid for doing not very much, and all that expensive eye testing equipment would still have to be paid for, but you wouldn't be charging enough for the glasses to pay for it, and you wouldn't be getting enough eye test fees to pay for it either.

So, the only way it would work is if EVERY optician agreed to charge a lot more for an eye test and a lot less for glasses, and they all did it at the same time. What do you think are the chances?

In any case, the customer who got his eyes tested and bought glasses at the same optical store wouldn't see any overall price reduction for a visit which included one eye test and one pair of glasses. Only if he returned after six months and bought more glasses without an eye test would he save any money.

At the end of the day, whatever shop you go to, and whatever you buy, it's you, the customer who is paying for everything that it costs to provide you with those goods, ie the wages, equipment, fittings, goods, etc, even down to the carpet tiles and the paint on the walls. Where else would the money come from to pay for all that?

Internet suppliers don't supply eye tests at far less than cost, as they don't supply them at all. So, they don't have to recover those professional staff and equipment costs when they sell glasses. Nor do they have to provide staff to adjust the glasses they sell you, or fit a screw or nose pad or do any kind of running repairs for you.

So the reason you can buy glasses cheap on the internet is not because high street opticians are all ripping you off, it's simply that they have far higher costs to pay than internet suppliers. It's the same with HMV versus Amazon when it comes to buying CDs and DVDs.

Having said all that, you will find big differences in prices between different opticians, partly due to the different buying power they have when dealing with suppliers, so as with anything, it pays to shop around on the high street.


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

funtimefrankie - 20-Jan-12 14:48

I was going to write a serious comment until I read Ronaldo's last post and I can't stop laughing...Brilliant!
You cheered me up fella...and keep up the footy!


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

Bryster - 22-Jul-11 23:40

I appreciate the comments of Boblet, and others, my GRIPE, re-glasses rip off, is that, if I, as we say "SHOP AROUND" then, the chances are that I will be dead, long before I find a fair,
price. how the blazes can you find a fair deal, its ridiculous. capitalism and market forces, for me, just makes life more bloody complicated. I mean, a pair of glasses, surely, is a pair of bloody glasses. with which, to see, and bloody read.. morning vicar !!


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

ronaldo - 10-Jun-11 21:06

If you are not fussy about fashion Ronaldo most opticians have a box of new frame oddments, ask to see them. I choose my frames out of those oddments. Hey presto, top of 2008/9 range of glasses at no charge.


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

Boblet - 9-Jun-11 18:00

I wish to ask if any of you like me, have found "vision express" glasses expensive ? even after reductions, being over 65, I find their prices quite steep,
And, do you know of any opticians who may be somewhat cheaper. without forfeiting
quality. I would appreciate a response.


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

ronaldo - 9-Jun-11 17:33

Ripped off Britain indeed? My gripe is aimed at those people who always feel ripped off and their ill informed rants and badly researched opinions about how they are being ripped off. Let me be clear, if you receive poor service, shoddy products or encounter dishonesty there is a clear reason to be upset and a good reason to shame the responsible and debate the issue.

What I find objectionable are those people in Britain who simply decide they are paying too much. You can see these comments on these pages for a diverse range of products and services such as sandwiches, pizzas, opticians, trendy bars and garages etc. They seem to believe that they are being "ripped off" because the prices of the items do not meet their own highly questionable economic criteria.

Do people not understand that if all these places sell a large sandwich for £3-£3.50, it is not because they have met up and agreed to rip off the great British public, it is because the item sold has a cost, and a profit should be made (controversial I know - but hey, you can say what you like on these pages).

If there are many sandwich shops (just as an example, but you can follow it through with anything) the competition increases, as does the diversity of what is on offer and the price will be kept at reasonable level. It’s a pretty easy to understand formula really.

I question those who deem themselves "ripped off", specifically on how they make their living? I guess they are on a salary and only have to justify themselves to their boss once a year at pay review. I doubt very much that they run their own business and if they ever had and, used their odd economic rules I seriously doubt their business lasted very long.

It would be interesting though to turn the spotlight on these kinds of people; to justify their own salary against the products and services their particular company offers and decide if they too are part of the conspiracy which is known as "ripped off" Britain


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

opticalassasin - 5-Apr-11 11:17

I've just experienced an extraordinary ripoff practised by Boots opticians, and that may well be perpetrated by other opticians too.
Having had an eye test (which is always very competently carried out at Boots) I then discussed the price of new varifocal lenses for my two existing frames. They wanted £750 to reglaze these, but told me that I would get two new pairs of glasses (frames and lenses) for about £400! What an outrageous example of the widespread business greed that is everywhere these days.
How can it possibly cost almost twice the price of two new pairs of glasses to fit two new sets of lenses in my present frames. It's just another case of the consumer being expected to buy what the business wants to sell. We are all prey for the avaricious, amoral, besuited parasites who seem to run everything now.


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

joco - 2-Apr-11 14:49

Verdam, you, like many others who hold similar views about
high street opticians being a rip-off, have a very short-sighted (excuse the pun) view of reality.

Yes, it's a fact that there are far higher overheads that an optician operating from the high street has in comparison to an internet retailer.

If high street opticians didn't charge the prices they do, they would be out of business in a very short time. Then, where will all of you 'cheap-skates', who probably waste incredible amounts of your sad, narrow-minded lives trekking from one place to the next for every item you ever buy to get the cheapest possible deal everytime, have your eyes tested?

I have seen many examples of people who have unfortunately, for them, purchased glasses from the web and ended up with the most ill-fitting spectacles imagineable.

WAKE UP!! Appreciate the professionals who you rely on for your eye examination and don't begrudge paying a realistic price to help those people that actually care about your eye health continue to offer YOU a valueable service.


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

Fucking, Unbelieveably Annoyed - 31-Mar-11 18:41

Also, FYI, you'll find boots opticians are now the cheapest optician on the high street, by a long shot.


 Vote for this commentVote against this commentClick to rate Report This Report

freespirit - 24-Mar-11 23:39

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6


Enter email to receive updates:RSS Feed