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Glasses at high street opticians are too expensive

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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


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hazzer12

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!
9th Aug 14 11:08

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0

Peter

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.
22nd Jan 14 04:01

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1

Time We Closed The Scam Opticians Down

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.
20th Dec 13 01:12

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3

Stop the Scam

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
25th Nov 13 02:11

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2

grosvenormusic

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.
25th Oct 13 02:10

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1

ron

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?
19th Nov 12 05:11

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1

Stop the Scam

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.
27th Oct 12 01:10

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-1

Freddie

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!
19th Jul 12 08:07

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-5

Bmx

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
17th Jul 12 10:07

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3

realist

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..
21st Feb 12 12:02

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-7

Freddie

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.
20th Jan 12 03:01

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0

funtimefrankie

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:
rent
other staff
equipment
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.
20th Jan 12 02:01

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-1

Bryster

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!
22nd Jul 11 11:07

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10

ronaldo

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 !!
10th Jun 11 09:06

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5

Boblet

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.
9th Jun 11 06:06

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2

ronaldo

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.
regards.
9th Jun 11 05:06

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1

opticalassasin

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
5th Apr 11 11:04

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6

joco

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.
2nd Apr 11 02:04

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0

Fucking, Unbelieveably Annoyed

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.
31st Mar 11 06:03

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2

freespirit

Also, FYI, you'll find boots opticians are now the cheapest optician on the high street, by a long shot.
24th Mar 11 11:03

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3

FQE32

The main thing you have to consider, is that the company who sell the glasses online don't need to pay for an optometrist... You simply go into one of these stores and then use that prescription online. For that £99 (or whatever the price is) you pay for the optometrist, frame styling, frame materials, the forming of the lens, frame fitting... and I guess you effectively pay towards the shop's overheads as well. I agree, it's not ideal, but why should an online faceless company be more trusted to do your glasses than a high street shop? So many things can go wrong, which a high street shop would cover.

Although it might be tempting to buy online... sure, it's cheaper... at least you know what you're getting on the high street. If you do buy on the high street, buy from Boots or D+A, or even a private optician. Specsavers sell you so-called 'Pentax' lenses... which... really is just a company they bought out, and outsourced to some godawful Asian factory... At least Boots/D+A/Private opticians have some integrity.

Hope this helped.
24th Mar 11 11:03

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9

spacey

An online store has none of the overheads of a high st store. You would be hard pressed to get your eyes tested online too so the high st stores are here for good unless they turn into a type of surgery, then everyone can pay for a prescription and buy online the actual glasses.
15th Mar 11 08:03

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-34

as1mov

Can't get in to 'www.nuglasses.co.uk' without a password?
1st Jan 11 12:01

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-14

Raheel H

I use this company (The Home Optician) for my grandmothers spex as she is housebound. They also test other family members for a small cost, bloody good service.
18th Dec 10 04:12

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1

opt

high street opticians work and train very hard to give good service and proffesional knowledgable advice! all the equipment needed to test a person eyesight costs a fortune and is essential! health probems can be picked up in a sight test, such as diabeties, AMD, brain tumors etc! the NHS do not pay an optoms or DO's wage, and the only way of paying a salary is by charging for glasses! how much do you think it would cost to pay privatly for medical costs? why dont people just think about things???? its not difficult!
13th Dec 10 12:12

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5

irritated

If you feel you've been ripped off at the opticians, name and shame them. A bit of bad publicity goes a long way. Don't brand all opticians the same as they are not. To do so reveals a closeted point of view and any comments further are a waste of time
26th Nov 10 03:11

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2

grumpyoldwoman

Another advantage of going to a high street optician is surely the free fitting when you pick up your glasses. Most of us have one ear a bit higher than the other or a slightly wonky nose, or the arms are a bit too long before the curved bit that goes behind your ears. The optician warms the frames and bends them around until you get a good fit.

Obviously if you buy from the internet you don't get this service; I for one would find that they didn't fit at all well if they weren't adjusted.
26th Nov 10 03:11

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-5

J Doe

Freespirt, your comment is ridiculous. Specsavers probably tested your eyes with state of the art equipment and charged a small fee (£15?) to do so. If everybody took your attitude, high street opticians would be bankrupt and where would you get your eyes tested then? on the internet?? I think you would find a qualified optician would perform eye tests only and would need to make enough from the fee to pay for "expensive equipment" ,premises ,electricity, business rates, staff etc all before even earning a salary for themselves. Your eye test would then cost about £90-100 per visit. Our profession used to mean that a qualified optician had to dispense your glasses, now these internet Yahoo's don't even need to understand their product.I can only guess you are an unski11ed worker (if at all) as anyone who has studied and trained for a career would want to protect it. By the way, it would be an idea to make sure you are comparing like for like items as varifocals is a generic term. if you compare the price of a Varilux Physio across different companies that would be fair. If you compare a premium lens to a budget unbranded varifocal on the web you will get an unfair comparision and a poor interpretation of the marketplace. Most people in life realise quality costs money and is very rarely found in bucket shops
26th Nov 10 10:11

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11

freespirit

Please dont give me all your crap about having to pay for all that "expensive equipment" and "taking money out of the hands of health care professionals." That really is the biggest load of rubbish I have heard. How do you justify me paying for my eye test in Specsavers and then being charged £279 for varifocal glasses that I later brought from glasses direct for £99 ?.....and I got a SECOND PAIR FREE. The fact is comments from people like the one below this, just don't like the competition and to say that glasses direct are just a bunch of unregulated yahoos, is again just total crap. High Street opticians have ripped us off for too long. Sorry - we are fighting back !!!
24th Nov 10 12:11

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2

ASK

Its neither the plush shop or the advertising campaign you are paying for. Its the Optical equiptment and expertise and training. Opticians train for 4 years and are not paid a salary from the NHS and the equiptment in the practice is not supplied by the NHS either, they have to pay for it. (FYI the little light they shine in your eyes to look at the back is £800, that weird frame on your face is £150 and the thing you stick your chin on is upwards of £10000 and thats not even close to the equiptment equiptment needed to do an eyetest or make a pair of specs)

In some high street practices they can take as little £13 for a test, you think thats going to cover all the costs of your sight test? Hardly, glasses costs are where the optician can recoup their costs and gain a salary (not an extravagent one either). Glasses direct have no qualified staff and do not carry out your eye test so they dont have to worry about costs like these, they also don't know about the health of your eyes or care what your vision is like.

Buying cheap glasses online may feeling like beating the system but all your doing is taking money out of the hands of trained health professionals who can make sure that your glasses give you the best vision possible and giving it to unqualified unregulated yahoo's who can't and don't care.
23rd Nov 10 01:11

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-3

optician

You may want to check out prices in the high street as glasses direct lens prices are NOT necessarily cheaper. A lot of their lens treatments and upgrades are more expensive than specsavers and the reason why they don't have specsavers prices on their high street price comparison list
16th Nov 10 09:11

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8

Usee

Got a free eye test at specsavers using a coupon from the local newspaper last year. I then took advantage of a free home trial at glasses direct to figure out which glasses I liked and which fitted best... then waited patiently. Finally a Groupon deal came up with glasses direct and I got to pairs of the glasses I liked (one prescription sunglasses) for £30. See, you can get cheap glasses out there if you have a little patience.
12th Nov 10 09:11

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1

J Doe

Well said S. Kon. Too many peolple with champagne tastes on lemonade budgets. There are many places to buy spectacles and everyone has a CHOICE of where to spend their money. If you think something is too highly priced say NO and look somewhere else. Go buy your internet specs, where do you go if you have a problem? Pop into your local high street optician and ask them what's wrong with your specs, expect a free diagnosis or answer. Then ask yourself ,Do I work for free?
8th Nov 10 12:11

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0

smithers

So Verdam....What is your occupation? would you work for nothing?
4th Nov 10 01:11

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0

S. Kon

I speak for any optical retailer when I say: SUCK IT UP!
When did we become a society that continually expects something for nothing?!
People complain that their eyewear is junky or can not see if spend little money at a "box" retailer. As with everything in this world YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! I work for a high-end retailer eyeglass retailer and I can say with confidence that our customers are 100% satisfied. We are certified opticians that carry only the best quality frame and lenses. Our price is a little higher than the chain or box retailers but the value is insurmountable. At the average chain retailer the mark up averages 600%. Our mark up is 200%.
Gripers, you have to remember that the person selling your eyewear, making lens recommendations, measuring your glasses for your prescription, and fitting the glasses properly to your face are not out to "steal your money"! They are qualified people doing a job that is vital to your day to day function. With out modern technology and the people to dispense it to the public you would NOT BE ABLE TO SEE!

Don't be so cheap with your eyes! You only get two and as far as I know there is no such thing as an eye transplant. Be good to your eyes.
29th Oct 10 04:10

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john

I work in high st opticians, the reason that specs cost more is the sight test is subsidised by the spec sale,the true cost of a test is around £70.00,but most customers have been used to paying a lot less than this.
27th Jul 10 11:07

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0

Rip Off Britain

Have you ever -

- been ripped off?
- been a victim of unfair or sharp practice?
- paid for something that you feel was a total waste of money?

The BBC Rip Off Britain team are planning the new series and want to hear YOUR stories. Email ripoffbritain@bbc.co.uk with details, or post your grievances to:

Rip Off Britain, PO BOX 4360, Manchester, M61 0DY.

We want to expose the issues that matter most to you, the British public, and expose the rip off merchants.
8th Jul 10 02:07

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-1

optomstudent

We have to undergo four years of training, I have already spent £1,500 on optical equipment and that was just in the first year, buy the time i'm finished I will have around £27000 student debt and some of you have the nerve to say optometrists are 'grossly overpaid,' how pathetic and ignorant, next time you see floaters/ flashes or blurriness, don't bother going to an optician, why don't you just google it, the results would be just as accurate right? pfft
30th Jun 10 12:06

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1

FGH

jdb,

"1.6 lenses on the high street at least £200" - absolute nonsense. You can certainly buy low quality 1.6 lenses on high street for less than £100. These are the same as what you buy on the internet. When you pay a lot of money for 1.6 lenses hopefully you are paying for a good quality coating (hoya, zeiss, rodenstock etc), and YES it does make a difference - adherence, longevity, reduction of reflection and dispersion. You are paying for the surfacing of the lens when neccessary (alligned to prescription, pupillary distance and size and shape of frame).
Myopes do not require surfaced lenses, however the result of unsurfaced lenses for hyperopes (long sighted) can be horrific and you will certainly see where your money went. Please do your homework more carefully before spouting nonsense online. If your local optician quoted you £200, did you not think to seek a competitr to do it for a better price - they certainly exist!!!! Its easy to search lots of outlets online and find the cheapets deal but this does not amount to research. One thing that I promise you is that £130 - £150 single vision coated lenses you buy on the high street are NOT of the same quality as you get online. If you happen to be long sighted and have bought for £40 I am confident you have bought something that is considerably inferior to what you were offered on the high street.
cheers FGH
26th Apr 10 04:04

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1

trust.me

Beleive what you see on Tv. Believe what you read on the internet . Send this and you will be rich./ B.S./ Do not trust your health with an unknown on the internet . They are only making you fearfull of the professionals you trust.
25th Apr 10 07:04

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1

me

Sorry I'm tired of purchasing unregulated purchases off of people selling their crap on the internet. So if you decide to purchase product on the internet remember . They have no name and no face, no guilt and no remorse . Be carefull to whom you rely for health. He may only have his profit in mind.
25th Apr 10 06:04

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1

JDB

OK, I'll agree that the cost of optical equipment and expertise for eye testing has to be covered by the cost of glasses but....................come on the mark up on glasses is HUGE!!!!! Opticians make a BIG profit on glasses. Yes, as professionals they deserve to be paid as such and the price of specs has to cover overheads but the profit margin on glasses is much more than that. That is why so many people are buying on line. I'm sure if opticians prices were more reasonable people would prefer to buy from their opticians. For instance in my case, I wear contacts that are suitable for all day,every day use. I only need glasses for emergency back up but my prescription is so high that normal lenses are the "coke bottle" variety - look awful and really heavy and uncomfortable to wear. High index lenses are really expensive at opticians so I just get my old glasses reglazed by a top quality on line company specialising in reglazing. It would cost AT LEAST £200 to get this done at an opticians. I really hate the fact that the worse your eyesight is the more you get ripped off. I got my glasses reglazed in 1.6 index for £40 and they are great, the lenses still on the thick side but nothing like they would be in normal lenses and just fine as a back up pair. When the alternative is either an ugly frame with very thick lenses or spending an absolute minimum of £200 for high index there's no way I'd buy glasses at an opticians.
11th Apr 10 06:04

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-1

an OPTICIAN

sorry optigirl, I can see that these problems keep you awake at night!!! You have got your wires crossed somewhere!
Cheapest lens (cr39) has the "best" abbe value as it is the highest. Your assertion that the cheapest lens is the worst performance is completely wrong (it is the other way round!!!)
glass or cr39 abbe value 58.
1.7 (plastic) abbe number 36 produces much more chromatic aberration than cr39 or glass (1.523) 1.70 (plastic)is much thinner and much more expensive.
Using the phrase "no distortion" in association with any lens is misleading, distortion is dependent on a variety of factors, lens design, size of finished lens and very importantly prescription. An amount of distortion is always present whether detectable or not. To suggest that trivex is distortion free or performs better than another material is not correct at all!

Wondering if you are thinking of distortion and abberation as similar problems when they are completely different one is caused by form of lens (distortion) the other is caused by material of lens (aberration) these are not associated. Both of these problems are affected by the size of prescription.
Sorry to pull your comment apart but I am worried that people will actually think it is correct and spend their money accordingly. Most people will realise you are not an authority on lenses when you are unable to spell lens (singular) lenses (plural) never "lense". Pray to god that you don't work in an opticians but I have the sneaking suspicion you may be employed by one of the large chains. Please tell me I am wrong!!!!
13th Mar 10 03:03

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3

optigirl

lense material cost different amounts. polycarb is cheap ,scratches easy and there is distortion around the edges. polycarb can crackle in a year or two and the lenses must be replaced because one will not be able to see thru them. plastic is more expensive , a little heavier and a little thicker.
trivex is a mid index lense that is light, thin, and no distortion and more expensive than plastic . hi index is even thinner and lighter and more expensive than mid index.
there is an abbe value to lense and the cheaper the lense, the lower the abbe value, the lower the abbe value , the more distortion and abberations in lense. I could go on on thats the tip of the iceberg
12th Mar 10 02:03

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-1

notrippedoff

rippedoff,
you can get specs for £10. How are you ripped off? I pay £400 + for my specs they are fantastic, comfortable and well fitted. I have worn glasses since three years old and have tried cheap rubbish and they do not work for me. My opticians spends time and effort ensuring my specs are the best fit possible for my rather large prescription. I'm sure my optician does sleep well at nigth comfortable in the knowledge he has done a good job. Is this not how a market works we choose what suits us and we should rejoice the fact that we can purchase from £10 to a thousand. Its our choice I could own a £10,000 car - I don't mine cost £300 - it suits me. So my question is, whats your point?
10th Mar 10 08:03

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windy

dobino,

where did you get that from? Doctors cannot provide you with a prescription! They can providea basic eye and field of vision test to decide whether you need to see a qualified optometrist. But lets just pretend for a while you are correct, your local gp surgery will be clogged with people wishing to have their eyes tested. How will that help anything and who will pay for it? Since a doctor gets paid more than an optometrist how does it make economical sense. Have you thought this through, or did you just make it up?.
8th Mar 10 05:03

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an optician

0.0 = money.
What on earth are you talking about?
Opticians paid more than £200,000. Who? Where? Did you pull this figure from thin air, make it up or did a mate tell you?
What minimal training are you talking about ? 3 years university plus one years work placement + continual compuslory yearly training throughout career.
average salary of ophthalmic opticians is 45-50,000 per annum though younger less experienced earn considerably less. Locums earn between £200 - £300 befreo tax but they are self employed.

Doctors can perform a basic eye test but they do not have the equipment to perform a thorough eye examination or carry out a diabetic test or glaucoma or pretty much any clinical test that you receive as part of your eye test. They cannot provide you with a presecription!!!

Glasses are expensive on the high street because the price of a sight test does not cover the cost. The equipment alone - snellen chart, tanometer, field screener, phoropter, refractor heads, trial lens sets etc etc add up to close to £100,000 (I've based this on fact - I know 'cos I had to buy them!) . Internet companys can sell cheap because they do not have to pay for qualified medical proffessionals to sit in a room full of thousands of pounds worth of equipment to provide people with an up to date prescription.
Sad truth is so little value is put on that prescription, those not in the optical industry believe its about two pieces of glass and some wire to hold them together. Its not. Its about providing an excellant eye exam and providing advice and good quality spectacles that suit the purpose for which they are required

optiicans earning £200,000 ++ ha, what utter tosh.
8th Mar 10 01:03

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SimonT2

Don't use Boots Opticians - especially the one in Windsor - had two goes at making lenses for me and twice they got it wrong - I just lost faith in the end and asked for a refund?
26th Feb 10 04:02

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Dobino

Apparently any doctor is allowed to conduct eye-tests. High street stores will soon be history.
17th Feb 10 02:02

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grumpyoldwoman

Very good point speccy, some people are short sighted in more ways than one!
25th Jan 10 08:01

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speccy

When all the high street opticians have been forced out of business by online discounters, how will one get ones eyes tested? The online retailers are totally dependant on Specsavers, Vision Express et al, as how do you buy without prescription?
24th Jan 10 08:01

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rippedoff

Why do glasses cost so much - simple, just plain old human greed by the owners of the companies. They just know that there will always be somebody who needs improved vision, and they can sleep at night.
19th Jan 10 04:01

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eyesa

street optician are putting prices very high.i have bought my kid some glasses two months back and have not receive spects.i wonder if I have been cheated or wat.people have recieved their within days.want to claim my money back and order online.is that possible.i was using a medical aid .it that possible.
9th Jan 10 09:01

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0-0 = money

Optometrists are grossly overpaid for the level of skill they represent. Minimal training for maximum profit, there's no such things as a poor optometrist.

Some of these guys are on £200,000 per year, paid more than GPs and IT specialists.
31st Dec 09 04:12

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Anonymous

I quite agree that it's important for opticians to be paid appropriately for their professional services and you shouldn't skimp costs to your eyesight BUT.....................the mark up on glasses in MASSIVE. Opticians could vastly reduce the mark up and still make a tidy profit. A friend of a friend is an optician and he is raking it in!!!
I wear contacts and pay £28 a month for lenses, solutions and 2 check ups a year. I'm happy to pay that because I loathe wearing glasses and am willing to pay this so my eyes are healthy and I don't have to!!
To get costs down to a bare mimimum for "emergency" glasses, I got a free eye test voucher from work - as a regular VDU user they have to provide this. I'd already got an old pair of glasses I'd bought at an opticians a few years ago (for £300!!), so I got these reglazed (new lenses) with an on line company called Ciliaryblue for £40. This is with 1.6 index thinner lenses; if your eyesight isn't as awful as mine it's only about £20 for a reglaze with normal lenses. They are perfect and excellent value!! If you already have a pair of glasses that are in decent nick do this to save money. The company is owned by an optician - check out their website. I've worked out that most opticians would have charged about £200 for a reglaze with thinner lenses so this is a great saving!
31st Dec 09 03:12

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Anon

I have worked for Specsavers and know it is ther epolicy to have converstion rates e.g tests to sales and some opticians run at over 90% this is complete over selling and ripping off.There is plenty of profit but greed seems to be all there after
9th Oct 09 02:10

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bod

On this page I see lots of ads for cheap specs and even laser eye surgery. Theres so such choice and you bemoan it! This is a sucessful profession that being well regulated ( by members of the public ) is acting in the public benefit. Most would like to see all those people who need glasses to see able to afford the devices. That is happening. Convieanace with the internet is there and even low price. You have to admit its rather like food, if you can afford to wear Optometrists prescribed well adjusted fashionable glasses then I certainly think theres alot worse ways of spending your money...this is your eyesight..and you absolutely can tell the difference. Apart from the obvious gripes about absolute difference in retail cost....errr cherry picking. I know when I buy a cheap monitor its not as good as a samsung. I wear Drivewear lenses and my optician is a professional at what he does. Glassesdirect is quite expensive now I think you can get specs for about £8.50 which is fantastic....( I dont wont them though! )
22nd Aug 09 12:08

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4eyes

go to glassesdirect.com (this is not an advert) they are fantastic, I was like everyone here fed up with over the top pricing - I have seen the light
19th Jul 09 08:07

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annoyed101

You're subsiding the cost of the trained staff, the optometrist and rents and rates. Otherwise stick to your internet shopping and buy you're glasses from a vending machine. Any problems with the glasses? Talk to the vending machine! People like you are the sort that are never satisfied and expect everything for nothing and never look at reasons beyond your own pocket! Eventually opticians WILL listen to you and put the prices down. but as a result of this there will be no staff to help in ANY opticians (as they cannot afford them) and then you will have to wait years in advance for an eye test, not the fast (and amazing value) service you know and love at the moment for the service of a professional. I hope opticians do what they SHOULD do and charge £100 per eye test and you can have you internet prices for glasses!!!
29th Apr 09 02:04

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Garth

I have been looking for a pair of contacts for about 2 years now. Interestingly I used to have contacts for my prescription that I bought from the UK in 1999 which cost £90 each, they where Hydron zero 6T's. Now however decisions have been made in the industry for the UK market not to have lenses for my presciption, however I can find (a lot) of lenses abroad that are. The high street retailers whenever I say "Hydrosoft lenses" they make no mention of them and offer me some sort of lenses for over £200 each. The Hydrosofts I found I could get for about £50 off the internet. I have absolutely no problem with going to an opticians, getting eye check and buying stuff from them but not if the UK Market is selectively restricted by manufactureres for profit margins and high street retailers ask for about £500 just for the lenses as opposed to £180 in 1999. The problem with optometry is that seeing as it is scientific and more complicated than your average purchase, the retailers can pretty much convince the laymen of whatever they want, you couldn't for example hike the price of a Biscuit and give a scientific explanation without the cutomer being suspicious.

1 word: Scum
23rd Jan 09 03:01

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Anonymous

My husband went for a routine eye test and was told his prescription had changed and needed new specs and so arrived home having paid £150.00 in the Opticians (Specsavers) BOGOF scheme. I asked my husband what his new frames were like and he said "oh they're just the same as my old ones because they're comfortable and I like them". I wondered why the optician hadn't just put new lenses in his old frames and rang the optician to find out why. I was flabbergasted to find that to fit the new lenses in his old frames it would have cost £208.00!!! but for new frames and new lenses its only £150.00. How does the economics of that stack up? All the optician would say to me was "Yes, isn't it a good deal madam". I know as well as anyone that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The opticians are forcing us, in these times of recycling, to have new frames. I have also discovered that his prescription has changed by 0.50 in one eye only which I would not have thought would make that much difference?
29th Dec 08 12:12

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A. Wright-Charlie

I've just been charged £25 in a book shop for the same book that is £12.49 on the same company's website and they state wholesale prices and overheads as the reasons for trying to fleece me - repayment for my loyalty cars status with them.
9th Dec 08 03:12

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catamongst

An optician does not get paid by the nhs for every sight test performed,and you only get nhs help if you are entitled to it, if you are not entitled you must pay for a private test. The cost of running a clinic is between £50 and £60 pounds per test . The average private sight test costs the client £25, and the nhs will only pay £19.32 for the same test ,so your average, highly qualified optician makes a loss on a daily basis in respect of clinical fees. The cost of the eye examination has always been subsidised by the sale of spectacles and always will be until Joe Public is happy paying £80 for their eye test. Do you blink when a plumber charges £60 just to turn up at your house?
The online "spec shops" cannot operate without the presence of the high street optician. If the high street is undermined to the extent that practices close down then all you speccy four eyes out there are going to end up paying more than you can imagine for quality eyecare!!
24th Nov 08 05:11

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MikeP

The prices of designer frames with fancy names are a rip off, so are designer clothes (ever noticed they have the same labels?). Nobody forces you to buy them. Also over the last few years whenever my lens prescription has changed I make them put new lenses in the old frames, and often keep the same frames for three or four years, even though my medical aid covers the cost of new ones annually, but I do not believe in fuelling inflation and greed.

Complaining doesn't help, finding a solution does help.
24th Oct 08 06:10

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Visions

Looks like this was posted quite some time ago, but I thought I'd throw something in there anyway. I've got to get my eyes checked up soon and no doubt, although my eyes coming right is the most important thing, I want to look as decent as I can. However, when looking at designer frames, I'm disgusted to see prices up to £300 and more. Unbelievable! It doesn't take much thinking to know that's a rip off. Tests aside, no way did these frames cost that much to make. They're not made out of gold and I think if you have that kind of money to spend on designer prescription glasses, you might as well just save up a bit more and just look into laser eye surgery instead. I don't know if it works or not but it's supposed to be able to. I just don't see the point in spending £300 on a pair of frames made out of a bit of metal. It is a rip off and anyone who disagree's is either rich or a sucker. I don't care about opposing opinions here, it just doesn't cost them £300 to make a pair of thin frames.
24th Oct 08 02:10

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Freddie

"An optician earns just over £38 per hour from the NHS for testing eyes."
Not much really is it? But once you add the £35 that the member of the public pays, and the fact that you can do two eye tests in an hour, suddenly you're up to £108. Not bad for an hours work is it?
I appreciate that every hour of the day is not filled with eye tests but none the less, it does show how figures can be presented to support the argument of anyone. What is the average amount of eye tests you do a week? Whats the average amount of frames you sell a week? Whats the average mark-up per frame? Not bad money at all when you take that into consideration.
Or am I wrong. I don't claim to be an expert in this but I know I save a fortune by having my eye tests during my holiday. I also have to be honest and say that the service abroad is so much better.
15th Oct 08 01:10

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Gus

An optician earns just over £38 per hour from the NHS for testing eyes. This doesn't even get close to covering overheads and wages on the high street. Solicitors and Accountants get more like about £100 per hour fees and without prime high street positions. Therefore the sight test is subsidised by the sale of spectacles. Some people don't need spectacles or don't need a change, therefore each pair is typically subsidising 2 sight tests -- hence the high price.
Answer -- get the Government to pay opticians more for the sight test -- problem is they wont!!
And charge more for private sight test -- problem then is many people wont come in to get their eyes tested if the charge is £50 - £60. Next thing that happens -- incidence of missed eye problems increases with an increase in potential blindness, internet businesses go bust because they reply on high street opticians feeding them with prescription and the higfh street opticians find it not worthwhile trading and go and do something else more profitable. Competition is now reduced which puts prices up for everyone.
So you tell me -- are internet spectacle sellers a good or bad thing in the long run???!!!
15th Oct 08 12:10

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Freddie

I get my eyes tested every year in Cyprus. The eye exam is more comprehensive than any I have ever had in the UK and it is free of charge. My frames are Jean Paul Gaultiere (genuine, not fake) and they were £136.00 less than the same frame in the UK. My optician is British trained and as qualified as they come. He is excellent. The saff in the shop also take time to help you select your frames. Unlike the UK they give you an honest opinion based on how they look and not what the price tag says. They will happily tell you a £400 set don't suit you and then get you to try a £150 set that they think will suit you. They are so genuine it is really refreshing. I would recommend that to anyone.
15th Oct 08 11:10

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Mitch from SW4

You have to be very very careful purchasing glasses online. They will often say .co.uk or have a 'customer service address' in the UK. But in fact are a Chinese company that has set-up a UK domain name and registered in UK, but customers have no come back if they have a complaint. I am still waiting for my glasses from glassescrafter.co.uk, now for more than 6 weeks. They still have the £84 I paid them and they won't provide a contact at their 'UK' address. Chinese companies also have no concept of customer service as they are happy to take your money and keep you waiting. Make sure when you do buy online, there is a UK hotline as well as address and ring to check them out. So you have comeback.
15th Oct 08 11:10

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angry of tunbridge wells

Oh dear oh dear - shows your lack of business acumen old boy. Wonder were you got the prescription to buy them ??? online?? of course not - what did you pay for the eye exam?? £20?? Online businesses have NO overheads that compare to that of the high street - first they are not qualified - they do not have to pay salaries of the optometrist,dispensing optician etc,- overheads of running a high street shop - you cant try them on - they are NOT the quality of specs bought on the high street - you cannot be measured for them - lucky therefore if they fit - how did you measure your PD ?? a guess or did you dot the mirror?? get this wrong matey and you induce prism that will affect your vision ? I bet if you couldnt see out if them you'd be back at the poor old optician who tested your eyes blaming them ? they then have to spend professional UNPAID time checking them for you? Icould go on and on but you get what you pay for. Who wil adjust them for you if they dont fit? IF you keep buying your glasses on line then there soon wont be any opticians on the high street to test your eyes to let you buy them. what will you do then guess the prescription.
4th Oct 08 11:10

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Rick

Very interesting viewpoints from bothsides of the arguement, having recently brought a pair of glasses from oticalmailorder.co.uk I was amazed at the speed of delievery and quality of the specs. I believe if you are not fussy over the style of the glasses, the internet is the ideal place and you certainly save money. If you want to try on a large choice of frames and receive indiviual attention and fittings then your local optician is the best bet. You pay for their advise and time, which is fair enough. There is room for both in todays market.
15th Sep 08 12:09

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Anonymous

If you think glasses are expensive, would you be prepared to pay the true cost of an eye exam? All this free free free crap doesn't pay the salaries of the optician, the vast operational cost in terms of equipment, professional training, premises and support staffing.
9th Sep 08 05:09

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Charlie

Please may I remind you that High Street Opticians offer one service that cannot be obtained online! - An eye examination, carried out by somebody who has studied long and hard to become an expert in this field. They do have to have shops - plush or not - and they do have to provide equipment for these examinations to be carried out.
The machinery involved in carrying out an eye examination is very complex and needless to say expensive! More and more people now find it more economical to purchase spectacles from online retailers who have practically no overheads but can I just point out the more this happens the price of an eye examination will increase and before we realise it we will be paying hundreds of pounds for an eye examination; but don't worry we will all be able to buy spectacles at a fraction of the price!!!!!!!!!!!!
25th Jun 08 10:06

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Flossyraptor

I totally agree, however we must understand that the overheads for all high st opticians must be astronomical and therefore they need to charge a lot more to re-coup their costs.
I personally prefer to shop for my glasses on-line purely as I cant afford to pay these high prices. I recently bought my Bench glasses for £55 at:-

www.glassesforless.co.uk

and I received them in 3 days it was amazing that I could have designer glasses for what I would pay for standard glasses on the high street.
Some people may want the customer service but it doesn't bother me so its what the individual wants x
17th Jun 08 07:06

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kyc

Absolutely agree. I have to get my eyes tested in one such plush shop, but I order my contact lenses online to avoid paying over the odds for a pair direct from them. I also find the customer service infuriating in-store. What should be a short visit always ends up dragging out to 45 minutes to an hour since customers are marshalled through a 'step-by-step' meeting and greeting plan involving around 4 people and a stand up sit down routine involving being ferried around the store in stages. It's always at least 20-25 minuteds before you actual get to see the optician. No amount of newspapers on tables, piped jazz music or bright lights will make this a great customer experience I'm afraid!
25th May 08 10:05

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Dominic

Hi,just read your article about buying glasses .We are qualified opticians in Belfast who charge prices the same and often lower than the internet,unlike the big high street chains we do not have large rents and staff /advertising overheads.
We sell complete spectacles with prescription lenses from £20.00(about 30 different models)
Our web address is www.smart-spex.com
Not all opticians are rip off merchants.
3rd May 08 09:05

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Simon

Hello, I have been buying my glasses online for a few years now. Tried a few sites, but the one that really stands out from the crowd is www.thinlenses.co.uk. Really trendy frames with super thin and light lenses, at great prices. Bought 2 pairs from them so far and rec'd them within a week. Also have great customer service, immediate reply to emails & phone calls. Worth a try.
22nd Apr 08 10:04

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Diana

I get my glasses from the internet site, SelectSpecs. Very pleased with them. Previously to this I had a bad experience buying from Glasses Crafter.
Don't try this internet glasses provider. They make offers they do not keep. They are slow to answer emails. There is no proper customer support. Deliveries are from Shanghai.
I ordered three pairs of glasses on 26 October 2007.
By 17 December when the glasses had not arrived (they got lost and were returned to Shanghai) I was told they were being resent and I would be given a £20 refund.
The glasses eventually arrived 30 December and I never received the refund. During these nine weeks I had to email them 26 times.
Two pairs of glasses were ok except in one pair the screws continually come loose. The third pair were unwearable as they had the wrong prescription in the right lens. I returned these glasses to Shanghai.
At this point there seemed to be total confusion in their answers to my emails. It appears that nobody ever follows up and you start anew with each email.
Finally after sending another 15 emails I was offered a refund.
The amount they owed me was £97 which included their offer of a £20 refund but the amount they have refunded is £60 and they say this is 'according to their return policy to refund the full amount for the frame and half for the lenses'. There is no mention of the promised refund for all the wasted time they have caused me and no mention of the fact that their lens was faulty and they promise a 100% refund if the lenses are faulty. If you want a decent pair of glasses with the least aggravation then you should avoid this company.
27th Feb 08 03:02

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Wellydancer

Lol! All the comments have fair points and are quite amusing. However at the ripe old age of 50 I found that I needed glasses for close up work and went to Specsavers. I ordered varifocal lens and I'm sure the pair that I collected 2 weeks later were not the ones that I chose.
Being a novice at wearing glasses, I just wore them. I find that my line of vision is obscured by the top of the frame as they won't stay up high enough on my nose. If I push them to the top of my nose (where most other people wear them) I cannot blink as my eye lashes are squashed anainst the lens! And they're wonky!
So a novice going to Specsavers might end up with the same problems as I have.
Geeky wonky ill fitting glasses which I could have saved a fortune on by buying them on line!
: )
30th Jan 08 11:01

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spex2you

UK based suppliers of quality cheap glasses and cheap prescription spectacles and reading glasses online. Prescriptions are entered into the web site, glasses are chosen and then received by post.
20th Dec 07 04:12

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glasses2u

Glasses2you provides discount eyeglasses, reading glasses and discount prescription glasses online from just £15.00. Our discount eye wear collection contains quality prescription glasses, prescription spectacles and cheap reading glasses online.
20th Dec 07 04:12

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Marie

I always go to my local independent optician. He is a reall gentleman and remembers me by name whether I was there a year ago or yesterday. Its one of the few shops I can get a personal service and I would never trust my luck to buying glasses online. As someone said, the optician can diagnose disease better than a website or chemist can. Thats what he/she has trained for. I wont risk my eyesight.
24th Nov 07 02:11

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Chemi_jon

I have been attending the same optician for many years, and I am very happy with her. I know the spectacles/contact lenses I buy from them subsidise the excellent sight test I have every two years and any additional appointments I need. It doesn't take a genius to work that out. That is the unfortunate state of the optics industry in this country.

If all of my opticians' patients bought from the internet after paying her £25 for a test, she would close within weeks, and there would be a lot of comically fitting specs in my town. You get what you pay for.

A self administered test from the chemist?? Have you ever had a real eye examination??? Most eye diseases diagnosed in this country are picked up opportunistically by opticians doing routine eye tests. So the people walking round with bad fitting specs will also be half blind from undiagnosed glaucoma.

If I have a minor eye problem, my GP doesn't know what to do, and doesn't have the equipment. An appointment with an Ophthalmologist can take months to come through for non urgent problems. My optician diagnoses and frequently treats it within days (cheaply!), and she is open 6 days a week and is within 1 mile of my house. I appreciate that, I like my eyes. I am not being ripped off for my specs.
16th Nov 07 01:11

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Yah Boo Sucks

I have never ever met a poor optometrist

I too studied many years, but can never match the pay levels of an optometrist

My advice to anyone wanting dental treatment or eye tests, go to Eastern Europe.

One day there will be self administered eye tests buyable from any chemist for the purchase of glasses via the Internet. If you really need a medical examination and not just optometry demand that your doctor send you to an opthalmologist.
12th Nov 07 08:11

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Jon Mc

As a qualified, registered Optometrist, (having completed a three year university BSc (Hons) degree in Optometry, and a year of supervised practice with continous assessment and four days of final exams), I would like to see things change. But its not going to anytime soon.

In the UK, sight tests are ridiculously undervalued. As well presented by "Will", almost every sight test carried out in the UK is done at a loss to the business. I reiterate his point of the equipment costs. The room I test in was recently completely refitted, with the final bill costing several times what my car cost! In addition, a diagnostic Volk lens, (neccessary to check the back of the eye for pathology), just one little lens, 15mm diameter, cost £200.

Charging the national average of between 15-20pounds (the NHS pays £19.52 for anyone entitled to a "free" test) will never ever cover the true cost of a sight test. If it was different, and we made some profit from it, Im sure there'd be plenty of practices that would do sight tests only, and wouldn't have to contend with the complexities of providing spectacles and properly carrying out the dispensing process. The last time I saw a dentist it cost £70 for just a check up. All I had to show for it was a reciept! Go for and eyetest in the USA and you'll pay at least $100 for a basic check, any extra tests ("glaucoma" test, internal photos etc) will be charged on top of this. So for £15-£20 in the UK you're getting a bargain in the first place!

Until the value of a sight test is fully appreciated, and priced accordingly, the cost will have to covered somehow, and thats why spectacle prices are the way they are.

And again Will, I have seen many people come back having had discount specs made up elsewhere. Poorly fitted, sliding down their nose, getting headaches etc. Makes you wonder, can clicking on the internet for your glasses really be a substitute for a qualified Dispensing Optician.
11th Nov 07 11:11

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Alan

An update on my earlier message. I decided to send one more enquiry to Spexmaniac and to my amazement I had a reply from both Mr and Mrs Guest advising me that my glasses were being sent by first class post - no reason for the delay or why they hadn't answered my several previous enquiries or returned a call from the messages I had left on their answer machine. When my glasses had still not arrived I sent a further e-mail and Mrs Guest replied to confirm that glasses were on their way but had been delayed by industrial action taken by the post office.Thankfully I did receive them yesterday but I don't think I will order from Spexsmaniac again following this experience.
19th Jul 07 01:07

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filram

I mostly wear contact lenses but have recently bought a pair of prescription glasses from www.goggles4u.com ( saved 5% with code; lookgreat45 ). Got a good pair of prescription glasses with a tint for under £14. I'm not going to wear them all the time and I'm still going to get my main glasses from my optician but for the price they are fantastic as a second or third pair or even a bit of a change.
19th Jun 07 04:06

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younastycheapskateyou

old uncle a bit jealous there.sad you didnt work your butt off for years to qualify as an opthamologist
1st Jun 07 07:06

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younastycheapskateyou

Specsavers is the biggest cowboy on the street .Having worked for them their moto is to hit as many targets as possible squeeze as much money out of the poor consumer,have the fewest trained staff and push out any independant opticians close by.

saying that I agree with the eye examination fee from the nhs. if you had to pay the true cost of an eye exam it would be nearer to £50.(and no an optometrist doesnt get paid that but the consulting room equipment,drugs rent rates etc do. Every eye test is run at a loss.

p.s I hope everybody who is getting their specs off the internet is enjoying the poor comfort, in accurate centres and the cheap materials used. Who is going to sort them out for you when it all goes wrong? not the internet
1st Jun 07 07:06

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will

mary,

A locum optical practitioner charges between 270 and 320 a day. A test room costs between £30,000 and £100,000 to kit out. On top of these figures you have to pay rent, a receptionist, business rates etc. etc.

maximum tests per day is generally recognised to be about 18, the govenment pay £18 for a sight test, so providing every appointment is full (and each person turns up), an unlikely scenario, the return is £324.

As stated before, the way practices make money is by including an element of cost of the sight test into the purchased spectacles. The VAT man agrees with this as an element of any pair of glasses bought in a testing opticians is vat free as it is apportioned to the opticians proffesional fee.

As I said before if the internet starts to provide the majority of spectacles that portion of the optoms fee will no longer be clawed back. To make up for this loss the inevitable result would be a sight test that is run at a profit rather than a loss and that figure would need to be in excess of £50.

This would still not make a sight test as expensive as half hour with an accountant, solicitor or indeed some plumbers and electricians.

Before I rubbish somebodys response Mary, I like to check my facts, how about you?
29th May 07 04:05

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Mary

How on Earth does an eye test cost £50 plus? What utter rubbish, unless the optician is earning £50 an hour of course.
25th May 07 07:05

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Jockey

I bought my progressive bifocals from www.Goggles4U.com for under $59. Single vision glasses with all of the coatings are just $25.99. Free shipping worldwide and a 100% satisfaction guarantee...which I made them live up to. You can also save an additional 5% off of your entire purchase when you use the promo code "arcaro" at the checkout.
19th May 07 09:05

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nick

if the internet continues to increase its sales and the high streets diminish, it will put up the cost of an eyetest. To run an eyetest at a profit rather than a loss would push it to the 60-80 quid mark. You are quite right when you say that that the markup is huge but the cost of the glasses includes the loss made on the sight test. The internet companies do not have to worry about this.

My advice is this, enjoy it while it lasts, because it cannot last. Either the dispensing of spectacles will be re-regulated which means the sight test will remain at the same price and you will continue to feel ripped off by the high street opticians (unfairly in my opinion), or a sight test will only be affordable to a few.
17th May 07 05:05

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Patrick Monahan, Belfast

I think the online competition is absolutely fantastic news for the consumer. None of this paying through the nose for your glasses anymore. It seems everyone now knows that high-street optician chains only pay a five for most of the bog-standard frames they sell!

I just paid less than £20 for TWO pairs of prescription glasses from Fashion Specs Direct. One pair were the free sunglasses they currently have on offer!

Power to the consumers!!
17th May 07 03:05

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Belinda

It IS a fair gripe, though. Plenty of choice of online prescription sellers out there. Competition is keeping prices 'in our favour'.

Best way - grab a free prescription fromone of the high-street rip-off merchants (don't lean on the small-practice guys too hard - leave them out of it!) and straight onto the internet with it!

I bought a pair of prescription specs for £9.95 online from Fashion Specs Direct. They delivered the glasses direct to our home within three days & the quality and service was great. Better than a shop in fact. I was very impressed. It would have cost me about £100 more in the optician shop!
29th Apr 07 04:04

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An Optometrist

70% of eye exams in the uk are provided through the NHS. For carrying out an NHS eyetest Optometrists are paid less than £20 to cover all overheads. It has been calculated that on average the actual cost is in excess of £50. As such optometrists have to make this difference up by adding fees onto the cost of specs to subsidise the NHS. If a realistic fee was paid for performing eye exams most optometrists would be only too happy to dispense glasses at lower cost or even give up the supply of glasses completely to concentrate on providing the professional eyecare that they have spent a minimum of 4 years training for.
27th Mar 07 08:03

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Old Uncle

My nephew is an opthamologist. His wife is an opthamologist. They are both making a fortune, far more than we ever earned in our lifetime.
9th Mar 07 08:03

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mug

Honos, then you shall get what you deserve, poorly fitted glasses and eventually, a sight test that is so expensive that you will have good cause to moan. However I understand that in the short to medium term you are saving money and good luck to you.

Do you not think that if high street opticians could reduce their prices in the face of such competition that they would? I am an optician amd an owner of an independant practise, I cannot sell glasses for £15 because I have to service the cost of the sight test, which is much more than the 18 quid I currently receive. To be honest I'm sick of ill-informed people ranting about rip-offs when the people who are being ripped off are the opticians themselves.

Providing quality eyecare for a pawltry sum and then watching somebody else profit from that work. Thats a rip off.
7th Mar 07 05:03

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Honos

"How can eyetests be properly conducted online". I think you are a high street Optician. I'm sure you know that online opticians don't offer eye tests online.

You have your eyes tested at a high street Optician and then save lots of money by buying your glasses with prescription lenses over the Internet.

I, and I suspect a lot of other peolpe, are fed up with paying through the nose for glasses from high street opticans.
7th Mar 07 01:03

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EDFCZP

You old blind coot, go out and order a white stick. Tap your way along the road. Go and sense a few feelies. Get back in touch with reality. You'll never see eye-to-eye with anyone again. Eye for an eye old age is a bore, we all blindly end up there.
2nd Mar 07 07:03

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Roger Haffenden.

As an old age pensioner, the deterioation of my eyesight is moving on a pace!! So I'm finding that ever 2or3 yrs I need new glasses. The glasses I wear all my waking life are dual graduated
focus with Re-actolite, in a reasonably good frame. Last time I went to SpecSavers it cost me
nearly £200!!!!! As an OAP on a measly state pension and a small private pension, I find very
difficult to afford this again, honestly this government does not help us olduns at all!!! So what
do I do now? Go Blind or try and find somewhere where I can get graduated lenses at a
reasonable price???? To me it is very depressing being old!!!!!!

Roger Haffenden..
42. Reculver Drive,
Beltinge, Herne Bay
Kent. CT6 6QF.
2nd Mar 07 10:03

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alan

The reason high street opticians are expensive is nothing to do with plush shop fits or advertising campaigns. It is to do with servicing the cost of a sight test. The NHS provide £18 for a sight test whilst privately fees are between £15 and £30. Since the person you are seeing for 20 minutes is a qualified medical proffessional in a room equipped with anything up tp £100,000's worth of equipment (please compare this with what a plumber,electrician or indeed a doctor would charge), it is clear that money is lost to the practioner when conducting a sight test if no purchase is made. The extra cost is added in to the sale of spectacles or contact lenses.
This is how the internet companies make money but it would be nicer if they didn't voice their outrage when they know full well why they can charge so much less, a simple 'thankyou' to the undervalued optometrist would be far more gracious! If the internet opticians become too successful the inevetible result will be a sight test that is run at a profit rather than a loss and that will cost the average punter £60, resulting in people no longer being able to afford an eyetest, but they will be able to buy glasses at internet prices!
17th Feb 07 11:02

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Gandalfql

I get my prescription, and I tour the shops, and cut the best deal. Even better now that the firm pay for the test and contribute 50% to the cost.
Dont see how you can buy on line though, how are they fixed, at least with the high street, if they break you can take them back.
7th Feb 07 12:02

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Eye C Thru' U

This gripe has clearly been placed by an investor/beneficiary of the nuglasses company.

Pray tell me how an eyetest can be properly conducted online?
6th Feb 07 09:02

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