This month, Which? Magazine, the experts in testing, reviews and consumer advice turned their attention to online spectacle purchases. As an independent opticians who specialise in customer care and have very high self-imposed standards when it comes to the spectacles we produce and supply to our patients, of course we were very interested in their findings.
Not surprisingly their results confirmed our fears. People were generally receiving low quality and potentially unsafe spectacles with 1 in 4 orders being totally wrong. The main areas for concern were poor quality and badly constructed products being supplied, even when the original purchase price was taken into account AND most worryingly spectacles being made with inaccurate measurements or even just “average” facial measurements.
If you need varifocal lenses (which include correction for distance and reading vision) you will need to set the exact positions of horizontal and vertical eye alignment. Online retailers ask you to provide these measurements yourself. If incorrectly placed within the frame you are at risk of simply not being able to see correctly, causing eyestrain and headaches, causing yourself to trip or fall when walking and most worryingly for you and those around you, having incorrect vision when driving.
Some online retailers will let you skip supplying these vital measurements and input average ones in their place. How average are you? There is a reason clothes and shoes come in multiple sizes and I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess at “off the shelf” dentures!
At the end of the day, as qualified medical professionals, the team at Edmonds & Slatter simply find this frustrating because we care! We chose to enter a medical profession with the aim of providing the best possible visual advice, assistance and solutions to our patients. The internet services out there cannot competently provide this.
It seems ordering online feels like a game of Russian roulette, why take the gamble?