Saturday, 7 June 2014

Mystery shopper visits opticians

I am thinking of getting new spectacles with the latest Transitions treatment.

The prices at my regular independent opticians are uber-expensive, so this time I'm shopping round.

First stop: supermarket opticians.

It was easy to phone up and get the appointment for the eye test.  The staff were helpful, the basic eye test was OK but not as thorough as my regular one.  The price was £15 compared with £35 at the independent.

They had a good selection of frames, including several rimless, so there were a couple that I would have been happy with.  Pricewise, they are the high myope's best friend as they let you have thin lenses at no extra cost depending on your prescription.  Higher degrees of myopia qualify you for higher index specs and with my prescription I could get the thinnest (1.74 index)  lenses.

The total price for varifocals with my choice of designer frames is £99 all in (or 2 for £157).

The main downside is that you can't pay extra to have transitions or to choose your lens size - I wanted both.  What a shame!

But all was not lost.

The dispensing optician showed me some cycling sunglasses with removable prescription inserts. You can choose darker sunglasses by getting the insert tinted as well. I decided to get two pairs with different tints which should correspond to Class 3 and Class 4 sunnies (£157 for the two). They are expected arrive in a fortnight.

Next Stop:  Internet Opticians

I still want a new pair of varifocals with transitions for indoors and less bright outdoor conditions.

I decided to buy an frame of the same make and model as my current one online and send it off together with an old pair of lenses to an online optician specialising in reglazing.  They claim to be able to get the critical measurements (eg Pupillary Distance etc) from your old specs.

At this stage it looks as the varifocals with transitions from the online optician plus the two pairs of varifocal cycling sunglasses plus eye test from the supermarket opticians will be around half the price of one pair varifocals plus eye test at my regular opticians.

But how will the quality and fit compare?

I will post an update when both sets of specs are received.

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