My wife and I decided to try a different optometrist this year, and quickly found out that decision was a huge mistake. We really liked the provider we used last year, but their location was a bit inconvenient, so we thought we’d try an optometrist in a nearby shopping mall.
From the moment we walked in, we knew we had made a mistake. It was in a nationally known, well regarded department store, so we had high expectations. However the vision center was located in the back corner, right across from the stock room entrance and break room. We could hear employees on break using foul language, and the vision center was outdated and dirty. After our eye exams, my wife started looking at frames. They didn’t have much of a selection. We took our paperwork and left, vowing never to return.
We went back to the vision center we visited last year to buy my wife’s glasses.
Unfortunately, we ran into a problem. When they looked up our insurance information, it showed that my wife was not eligible for new frames or lenses until 2017. A bit more digging turned up that the run-down optometrist had a hold on her vision insurance benefits for this year.
We called to have the insurance hold voided, which they did, after a few days.
A few lessons we’ve learned from this experience regarding switching Optometrists and using your vision insurance coverage:
- Pre-Visit : Before making any kind of an appointment, visit the location. This will allow you to see what kind of selection they have for frames, how the employees interact with customers, and a general feel for if you’re comfortable with how they operate. Had we done this, we would have never, ever gone to the new vision center.
- Get Your Prescription Information : You don’t have to buy your eye wear from the same place you have your exam. If a business doesn’t have any frames you like, or if you find yourself unsatisfied in any way, ask for your prescription information and walk out the door. Even if you do buy your eye wear from the same place as your exam was done, get your prescription information.
- Have Insurance Hold Released : If you do decide to shop around for your eye wear, explicitly ask that the hold on your insurance benefits be removed. Some may do it automatically, some do not. We were told that this was a fairly common occurrence. By taking care of it immediately, you simplify things where ever you do buy your eye wear.
Many people feel that once they have an eye exam they’re obligated or required to buy their eye wear from that vision center. This is not true. By doing a pre-visit, you can help prevent going somewhere that you are completely uncomfortable. But even if the vision exam turns out OK, don’t be afraid to take your prescription elsewhere and shop around for the very best product and price!
How about you, Clever Friends, have you ever purchased your glasses at a vision center other than where you had your exam done?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock