Optometrists just moved another step down on my list.
Recently I went to order contacts online to find that Ciba has quit manufacturing the contact I’ve used since I started wearing contacts. So, I was going to need a new prescription and contact trial fitting with an optometrist and then the company would be able to find a new contact that would work for me. Not quite as easy as it sounds though due to living a ways from civilization and finding an optometrist that doesn’t have a cow when you say that you want to take care of ordering your own contacts.
The closest Wal-Mart doesn’t have an optometrist come in so the associate gave me a couple numbers of optometrists in town there. Both were booked for two to three weeks and the one charged $110 for a regular appt. I thought $88 was bad enough! I pulled out the phone book and called another optometrist who was booked for a couple weeks but had a cancellation the following afternoon and could fit me in.
I’m usually not thrilled to go to optometrists due to past experience. Back in AB the office we grew up getting eye appointments at and buying our glasses and then contacts through turned miserable to deal with when we started ordering our contacts online. They were difficult to get information from and more or less told us how they’d help if we were getting the contacts through them. By ordering contacts online we were paying half the price that we were through their office! It seemed a lot of other folks were figuring that out too and so I think the optometrists were feeling the pinch and trying to intimidate their customers from ordering contacts online.
So, anyways, I went to my appointment and, while the assistants were friendly, I could already tell I didn’t care for the optometrist herself. She was a bit high strung and the type that thinks the care of your God-given eyes belongs to them. The appt went okay and then we were discussing eye health, contacts, trial fittings and all that kind of exciting info. I brought up the unacceptable question of ordering contacts online because it would be cheaper. That was more than she could handle and proceeded to tell me that “It made no difference to order them online and that I should just order them through her.” I told her that I could order the exact same contact for half the price of her charge. She came out and said that, “she was FRUSTRATED with me!” I felt like saying, “Hey, lady, the feeling is mutual” but I remained cool, calm, and collected almost somewhat enjoying it. Haha. She was perturbed and acted like I was saying there was no difference between an optometrist and the internet, of which she continued throughout the rest of the conversation to draw an outline of a computer whenever ordering online came up.
I asked her if I could get a fitting without ordering contacts and she said “No, and then quoted me $400 for the fitting and contacts for a year which would also include “having her on contract for a year.” Whoop-dee-doo, I guess that was supposed to seal the deal but, seriously, I don’t need someone to hold my hand through this “process.” Yes, I can read the prescription just as well as her to the contact company and save myself $200. Thank you very much!
Then she also recommended that I might want to update my glasses like she was enlightening me that they were out of style. Don’t you love when people point out the obvious?! I know they are but I rarely wear them and I’ve been easy on my glasses so that the only time I’ve needed a new pair was when I outgrew them. Anyhow, I probably will be getting a new pair since my prescription has changed and I will be wearing them a little more to give my eyes a little more of a break from contacts.
So, I’ll be going back to AB, getting a $15 fitting at Walmart so I can order my contacts online, and then heading over to Xenon’s who has given great service over the years to look for a new, more stylish frame plus save myself the PST. :D A money saving venture in every aspect. :D
I’m not anti-optometrist and they certainly have their place but you won’t see me looking for a “Have you hugged your optometrist today?” bumper sticker any time soon.
Now I'm curious what your experience has been with optometrists and contacts? Please share.