Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A New Pair of Glasses

I don't buy too much anymore. When I do buy things, I tend to go to Amazon. That said, there comes a time, when everyone has to go to a store. My day was yesterday. I needed a new pair of glasses.

What happened to my old pair of glasses? One word: puppies.

I am not sure which dog is the culprit, but the pair of glasses I used to own is now so scratched and chewed it looks like it went through a concrete mixer with a load of gravel. Ah well. There are bigger problems. Or there would be if that were not my last pair!

I took my old prescription to the place that normally makes my glasses, picked out a new set of cheap frames, and ordered two sets for $99.

A very good deal, but I need glasses by Friday morning as I am flying to California to see Yosemite, Muir Woods, and Big Sur.

Since I need glasses to see distances, getting a pair of specs immediately was essential. My regular place could not fill the bill, so I needed to find one of these outfits that says it can make your glasses "in about an hour".

I went to the first place making this claim and, after waiting for a pretty long time for someone to talk to, and picking out a pair of frames, I was told it would be 7 to 10 days.

Not an hour? "Oh no, we're the one store that doesn't actually have a lab on the premises." 

Great.  Just my luck.

I set off across town and across the river. The first place I went to would make me a pair of glasses but not from my four-year old prescription – – they said it was against the law. What the hell?  When did that start?

I went to the ophthalmologist next-door, and they said they could give me a vision check for $75, but of course they couldn't fit me in. It seems, it's the end of the year and everyone has these "use it or lose it" benefits. Who knew? They suggested I go to a competing outfit at the other end of the mall, and try my luck there. Which I did.

At the next place a vision check was $35, and you could get "two pairs of glasses" for the price of one. Of course, that turned out to be a lie. You got two pairs of frames for the price of one. The lenses were another matter altogether, and were full price for each one.

The up-selling at this store was pretty intense. They suggested more expensive frames, then they suggested that I get pictures of the insides of my eyes for some reason. They then quoted me a price for very expensive lenses, which I rejected. They then tried to sell me plastic lenses with scratch-proof coatings. It took a full-court press on my part to get the cheapest lenses in the cheapest frames, and even then it cost me a hundred dollars for a pair of glasses I could have gotten for $50 at my regular store.

I recount this story only to say that the very same kind of up-selling we see in the veterinary field is going on all the time, from Best Buy to the local bike store, from the auto sales floor, to the optometrist. 

As always, caveat emptor!

1 comment:

5string said...

Yes I learned about Luxottica last time I searched for cheap specs online. Nobody rants about them quite like you and the AVMA or AKC but that wouldn't be a bad thing if someone did!