I have a history of problems getting my prescription lenses correctly made. My eyes are very sensitive and I notice if anything is slightly amiss.
It is difficult to find an optometrist who is willing to take the time to correctly assess my eyes to work out what correction I need. Just like doctors, they now seem to be on a tight schedule churning clients through as fast as possible. Even though I warn them when making my appointment, needing to take ‘extra’ time seems to frustrate them.
Unfortunately, the optometrist has complete control, and calls a halt to the appointment when they think that they have it right, justifying their prescription. Medicare will only fund one optometrist appointment a year, as far as I know, so I can’t then go to another optometrist for a second opinion, or even find another who might do a better job in that year.
Next, the dispensers have to accurately measure up the lens (whether in a new frame or old) for optic centre, how to transition the progressive lens, etc. Then, the lens has to be manufactured right.
When I finally get my new lens back, almost invariably there is something wrong. So the dispenser checks the set-up, the optometrist rechecks my eyes (and generally finds at least one eye is different to the prescription prepared a couple of weeks ago).
And then we try again. If still unhappy appeal to the business again. There does not seem any oversight body/authority (pardon the pun).
I expect that most people don’t have nearly as much trouble with their prescription glasses, but I would really like Choice review at least the major optical chains like OPSM, Optical Superstore, Specsavers, etc. to see what the quality of their service is and if at all possible, test the products they provide.
Other questions are:
- are we getting what we pay for? Do we actually get high index, or aspheric, etc lenses that we pay extra for, or are we just getting basic plastic lenses? Would the average punter know the difference?
- Are the mark-ups in the frames excessive? (I just bought titanium spectacle frames from China for $10 these same sort of frames would cost in excess of $300 from a dispenser here.)