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Fair View?

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Fair View?

A couple of weeks ago I attended a routine eye test, where my regular optician "convinced" me I needed new prescription glasses. For some years now I have had my lenses made from ultra thin high-index plastic, which reduces them from the ends of beer mugs to something light weight and acceptable that can be fitted into a rimless type frame. This does not come cheap; the 3 level multi-focus lenses are £220 each plus the new frame brought the total cost to £525.
The new glasses were tried on today at the opticians and, they seemed to me to see through compared to my existing spec's...no different, I tried them at numerous distances and conditions and eventually concluded to the by now somewhat agitated optician that, I was not prepared to part with £525 for a pair of glasses that showed no advantage over the (also very expensive but 5 year old) existing pair.
At this time it has been left referred to the optician who prescribed the change (not the same as he fitting the new glasses) I wonder if one or two of our legally inclined members might know where I stand in this if, after a consultation with the prescribing optician (next week) I refuse to buy the glasses. I have this sneaky feeling that I might be obliged to buy them anyway or resort to a small claim in court?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
15 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,099
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Fair View?

The first thing to do is get a copy of your old prescription and a copy of your new one - which you are legally entitled to.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Fair View?

Thanks Anotherone. That was something I forgot to check in the very slightly heated consultation with the fitting optician, whether in fact the new specs had been made up using (perhaps accidentally) my "old" prescription so similar was the "seeing" through the new and existing pairs. It is I suppose a possibility. Certainly, at the eye test consultation using my existing specs and adding the supposed change in front of them (a bit unscientific that I felt) there was a quite small but useful improvement, this was of course under controlled lighting conditions in the test room.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
198kHz
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 3,217
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Registered: 30-07-2008

Re: Fair View?

After any eye test I've had, at various practitioners, I've been handed a copy of the prescription as a matter of course, so I've assumed this was normal practice.
I remember many years ago some question arose regarding the prescription of a pair of my glasses. The optician inserted them into some kind of gizmo and was able to determine the figures.
Hope you get it sorted Petlew.
Not young enough to know everything
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Fair View?

the optician did what 
Quote
Certainly, at the eye test consultation using my existing specs and adding the supposed change in front of them (a bit unscientific that I felt) there was a quite small but useful improvement,
and how pray did he check the spec of your old glasses.  Where did you get them tested, the corner chip shop?  In all the years I have been having mine tested, and with different opticians, they use a test frame and start from scratch, or lenses near to your original, but never the old glasses
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Fair View?

Not sure on the legal aspects of this, so I would suggest calling in to the local citizens advice buro...  If they can`t be of specific help, they will probably be able to point you in the right direction.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Fair View?

petlew, your experience is in complete contrast to mine.  not only did my optician find a lab that could replace my polaris lenses at half the price the original makers would charge, he also fitted me up with a second, different, pair at a fraction of the cost.  he also told me that the sight in one eye had improved and why.
where you stand legally is problematic and i would certainly seek legal advice as to whether you should have to pay such an exorbitant sum.  you have my sympathies.
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,820
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Fair View?

Having a think about it.....  Roll eyes
On the one hand, you go into a shop (opticians) and request technical assistance  (an eye test, etc.,) and the shopkeeper (optician) advises you according to his experience and training, that you need to buy a XXXXXXXX (new pair of glasses) with a certain level of specification (the prescription).......
at this point, no contract has been made....
however, you take his advice, and say "ok I`ll buy them"....
I think at this point in the proceedings you may have given a verbal contract to purchase the above mentioned article as "prescribed"...
Now. bringing in the sale of goods act.... If you consider the item to be substandard, or "not fit for purpose" then you may have some redress.
and I think that this then becomes a very tricky place to be, and definitely worth getting proper legal advice.
I am sure there must be some "flexibility" in the situation where the shopkeeper says " this is what you want" and you find it is just the same as what you had before, but I would not like to point you in any direction other than what has already been said
.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Fair View?

@ pierre. No not a chippy!! but a very well respected independent opticians in Hemel Hempstead, whom we have used for many years. Whether the cost is exorbitant depends a bit on your point of view. The lenses I favour are not generally stock items available through the cheaper high street opticians (Specialeyes etc.) or if they are, are no cheaper than using an established independent optician as they still have to be especially ordered. The frames however may be a little cheaper. High Street chains generally stock those lenses that are most likely to be encountered, unfortunately my prescription does not fall into these categories. Not only am I myopic (short sighted) I also have a pronounced astigmatism in my left eye apparently caused by childhood chickenpox or mumps I'm not sure which.
Of course I was tested using a very modern and complex testing frame. However at the time it was simply a case that I was mildly disputing that there was any change of prescription needed at the end of the test. My optician simply showed me the difference using a slightly unorthodox if actually quite effective way.
The question remains, are the new lenses the same as my existing or to the new prescription, something that will be found out next week. However the technical specs and cost are not the point of my post, but to gather opinions about where I might stand if it is established that my only option at the opticians is to be required to purchase the glasses in spite that they have no discernible improvement over the existing pair. As they were ordered for me in good faith.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Fair View?

My current optician, it is a combined test and dispense practice has a machine, like a microscope that they can read off the lens prescription, I dont know if your dispensing side would have such a machine, I would have thought so.  do they send your frames away to a workshop for making, or do they do it on site.  All variables that will affect the out come
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Fair View?

Once you have gathered all your facts if you want some decent advice you can contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.  They will inform you if you have a case against the optician.
For general advice their website is useful:  
http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/  
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Fair View?

Many thanks. Since there is as much (well founded and very welcome) concern over the cost of these specs as the tech spec, and my apparent lack of concern for it, doesn't mean I roll in cash -far from it- but almost the entire cost (90% actually) is covered by dual membership HSA. But that doesn't mean I'm prepared to cough up large amounts of money for no improvement in my vision, in what as it seems to me at this time a very very expensive spectacle frame.
As far as the quality of my eye test is concerned, I have no complaints. I have been the bane of my opticians life for more than 20 years as I am extremely, very extremely fussy about my test, making constant comparisons of different sections of the test and procedures. This is partly because I have a family history of Glaucoma. And have attended the optical department of St Albans hospital on my opticians recommendation, involving test procedures I've never seen before and an MRI since my optician was concerned about variable field test results that seem to indicate on one machine a sizable blind-spot, but not on another. Thankfully, all of this has so far proved negative, but I remain subject to routine annual checks at the hospital because of the history.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Fair View?

PS. pierre, my specs are made up at an outside lab, not on site.
I've never quite approved of a white coated tech disappearing behind a screen in a shop and returning 10 minutes later with freshly made lenses, that have largely been reshaped to fit a frame of choice from optically standard lenses. If you can get away with this approach, fine, lucky you. Sadly I can't.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Fair View?

Quote from: shutter
If you consider the item to be substandard, or "not fit for purpose" then you may have some redress.

tricky this one, it is a little more complicated because these are not 'off the shelf items', they are custom made for you, however it is the supplier making the specification, not you.
in discussion of this matter with the optician concentrate on the 'service they provide' not the 'glasses they sell you'.
the glasses are the by-product almost of the advice they give you.
you go into their shop/office and ask for a test with the implied statement "hey can you make my sight better than using the glasses I have", they do the test and tell you 'pay us £500 and your sight will be better in some ways than it is with your current glasses'. so if your sight is not better in the ways they had described, you really have nothing to pay. it is going to be clear from the prescription of your current lenses to the new ones in which way they are supposed to be 'better'.
if you decide you are not going to pay, you should do so in writing stating why you feel you owe them no money for their services.
it seemed odd they needed to convince you with the experiment which used your current glasses and some kind of overlay, seemed like they werent sure and needed to convince themselves too. Sad
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Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Fair View?

Thank you for that godsell4.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.