We seem to have really bad luck in purchasing eye glasses.
After the last place, which I am sure I posted about, kept making mistakes in my DH's glasses that resulted in it taking over 6 weeks from when he ordered the glasses to getting the glasses; plus a number of other things they did, we switched and used the optical shop that is associated with the group that our medical doctor's are part of. The visit went okay, but wasn't great and I wasn't sure how I felt but figured we'd give them another chance. But their billing pretty much destroyed that.
1) I told them to not bill my insurance for my contacts exam so that the insurance would cover the new eyeglasses I needed - and they messed that up and by the time I found out, it was too late to do anything, so I had to pay out-of-pocket for my glasses and my contacts.
2) They billed all of our eye exams under our medical insurance and not our optical insurance, which meant I got billed for things that should have been covered in full. I was able to get that resolved, but it involved multiple calls.
3) The final straw was yesterday though. When I found out I owed them for my glasses, listed in point #1, I was frustrated, but paid the bill immediately (this was the beginning of July) using my on-line bill pay through my bank. Yesterday, I received in the mail a second bill threatening me with collections. I called them immediately and the optical department sent me to billing - who informed me that I had been sent to the wrong department since optical handles their own billing; then when I spoke to the woman again in the optical department, I told her multiple times that I paid via the on-line bill pay through my bank, so the money had been sent to them electronically (and my bank had already sent me, at my request, the documentation to show they'd submitted the payment). She told me she'd call me back. To be fair, she did call me back but to ask me for my check number...um, I'd already told you it was done via my bank, and once again gave her the same information I'd already given her. So, she tells me she'll call me back. They found my payment, but they'd posted it to a totally different account!
And with that, 3 strikes, your out. If I'd felt the exams had been really good, I might have put up with the billing issues (which is why I stay with my dentist), but it was just iffy and I'm not fighting over getting the billing done correctly for iffy optical care.
So, now I have asked around, checked our insurance and we are going to try Optical place #3 for our next exams.
I've been going to the same optical place, which I will call High-Pressure Optical, since I got my first glasses in sixth grade. (They're strictly local, so there's no point in naming them.) I haven't been too impressed with the last few visits, since they've gone high-end/designer in their frame selection, they don't tell you that you can opt out of certain tests (one of which has not yet been demonstrated to be of any value, as far as my research shows), and they're very pushy about you ordering your lenses and frames from them right here right now. They're also always booked way in advance.
So, last fall my husband and I had to get our eyes checked and new glasses in a very short time frame - we had three weeks before we were leaving the country. There's an optician's place about ten blocks from my house (High-Pressure Optical is the next suburb over), so I checked to see if they had openings in good time. They did? Yay!
Not so yay. I arrived fifteen minutes early, as requested, to get the new-patient paperwork done before the appointment for Dr. Unpleasant and Associates. And then I waited. I sat in the waiting room for two hours past my appointment time. When I finally got to see Dr. Unpleasant, he rushed through the eye test. He then told me (rather abruptly) that he was prescribing a prism correction for me in addition to my usual myopia & astigmatism. I was willing to give it a try, although I was a bit skeptical. I was also a bit surprised that my prescription was handwritten and not computerized or entered into a program anywhere that I could see.
I went to order my glasses, which was... neither here nor there. Not overly expensive, not wildly cheap. I was somewhat taken aback when the assistant who was filling out the order said "Look over my shoulder at the wall" and then held up a ruler to my face to measure my pupil distance. Every other place I've been to (High-Pressure optical and an assortment of dispensaries) have used a specialized measuring device.
When I got the glasses, I couldn't adjust to them. Headaches, queasiness... I lasted a week, then went for a re-check. I was told to come in at noon. I did so, and said "I have to be back at work at one - if I can't be seen by 12:45, I'll come back at 3." The receptionist looked at me, at the counter, back at me, and said "We'll see you at 3, then."
I came back at three, and waited an hour past that to see Dr. Unpleasant. I said I couldn't adjust to the prism correction. His response: "Some people can't. You're what we call a non-adapter." I asked on what basis he prescribed the prism correction for me. Him: "On the basis of 40 years' experience." It came across as dismissive, how-dare-you-question-my-authority. I was looking for something about observable indicators for prism, the results from his testing of my eyes, or even the percentage of people who benefit from it. (Snarkydaen wonders if there are any observable indicators, and if this doctor prescribes prism because it sounds impressive, especially since one of the assistants told us that "Dr. Unpleasant does a lot of prism corrections" and not all labs "know how to handle prism corrections properly.")
Then Dr. Unpleasant retested my eyes and wrote another prescription for me without the prism correction. I compared them afterwards. There are three numbers for each lens, so six total, not including the prism numbers. Five of the six were different from the first prescription to the second.
My husband had his eyes checked at the same time. Same issue with waiting, same issue with not adjusting to the prism correction. He had Dr. NewGuy, a different optometrist at the practice retest his eyes, and the receptionist asked him not to let the Dr. Unpleasant know this - she wanted to "break it to Dr. Unpleasant gently." Apparently there are some issues with Dr. Unpleasant feeling threatened by Dr. NewGuy.
Anyway, there was an error with my husband's second set of lenses, and they had to be mailed out to us after we left the country. When we finally got them, there were still issues - the focal center of the lenses is out by a milimeter - technically acceptable, but still causing eyestrain. He can use them for distance, but still uses the old glasses for everyday office use.
When we go back home, we will probably return to High-Pressure Optical. They may be pushy, but they're accurate.
And if I don't, I will sooner drive ninety miles to the next city to get my eyes checked than visit Dr. Unpleasant and Associates ever again.