Sunday, June 9, 2013


We have two special offers. One is for get two pairs of single vision glasses for $78 including lenses, while the other is get your first pair of glasses free. I decided to try them both and this is the outcome of my actual experience.

How often have you seen $99 for two single vision glasses or something like that? I’ve been wearing glasses forever and I fall for this every time.  Trust me; I went to six different places in my effort to find the elusive eyeglass bargain. This is my experience.   
I am at the store where I explain I want the advertised special. There is a small collection of truly ugly frames. The fitting specialist tries to steers me to the $200 frames, which are not a part of the special. She tells me other stylish women preferred these frames. Read: do I really want to look awful by buying the cheap frames.
I am strong. I go with the cheap frames. I have two cheap frames clutched in my hands.  Once I sit down to try on my glasses, I discover that my insurance will not cover the cheap glasses. I will admit my insurance isn’t that much, but it is worth almost $200 against the total bill. If I decided not to use it, I will supposedly pay $78 plus tax on my own. I am almost convinced.
 There are a few caveats, though. The offer only applies to single vision glasses and the doctor has prescribed bifocals for me. I told the doctor going in I do not wear bifocals. I only wear glasses to drive, watch movies and to spy on birds at the bird feeder. For the last ten years, optometrists have been prescribing me a clear bottom half of the lenses so I can look down and read. This invalidates any special offers and ups the price majorly.
Nope. I do not want bifocals. If the day comes, when I need reading glasses I will get them, not bifocals. Okay, that was the first attack on the special offer.  Oh no, the doctor wants a special lenses for my prescription that are so much lighter. Guess what…this is not part of the special offer and cost 3x as much as a regular lenses. Then suddenly, I have astigmatism. What, I haven’t had one before in the last thirty years of wearing glasses. Glasses for astigmatism are not part of the offer either.
I still have my $78 frames and my $200 worth of insurance. I refused all the special add-ons and my glasses still cost $187 out of pocket. This is for only glasses only, not the vision exam, which was covered by my insurance. I went to the cut-rate place, not the place that looks like an upscale spa.
Later  that day, I asked my daughter to show me how to order glasses from Coastal. Their advertisement is your first pair of eyeglasses is free. Using my latest prescription, we filled out the online form, did the pupil measurement. Within a week, I received a stylish pair of lenses for postage and handling. The frames alone would be over $200 at the first store because they look good.
I am tempted to order a backup pair because I do have a tendency to lose glasses. As for seeing, the clarity and focus is great with the Coastal glasses. I used the same prescription on both glasses.  This is my real person experience.
In retrospect, I have never received one of those advertised offers for the actual stated price. The offer just got me into the door, which was what it was supposed to do.

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