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Buying Glasses & Contacts -- It's the Law
#1
I'm putting this here because most of the people who live in their vans, RVs and trailers often don't have enough money to pay $600 for a pair or glasses.

My sister went to an eye doctor for new glasses because it had been several years since her current pair was new, and she was having trouble reading street signs.  He did the exam, and told her she had a cataract in one eye.  He said it shouldn't be removed until it was worse (maybe a couple of years from now), but he also wouldn't order new glasses!  This sounded so weird that I started looking around online.

I never knew there was a FEDERAL LAW that said when an eye doctor (optometrist, opthalmologist, etc) did an eye exam, he MUST give you a prescription for what you need.  You can let him provide the glasses or contacts, or you can walk out with just the written prescription and shop around.

Everything below is from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) article at

Consumer.ftc.gov     This article was titled "Prescription Glasses and Contact Lenses". I just copied some pertinent bits, none of it is my personal opinion.

""The FTC enforces that Eyeglass Rule and Contact Lens Rule, which gives you the right to get a prescription from your eye doctor -- whether you ask for it or not -- at no extra charge. 

"Your eye doctor must give you your eyeglass prescription after your exam.  It's the law.

"The doctor can't require you to pay an extra fee, buy eyeglasses or contact lenses, or sign a waiver or form.

"You don't have to buy eyeglasses or contacts from your eye doctor.

"You can use the prescription to buy glasses or contacts wherever they are sold -- from an eye doctor, from a store, or online.

"Costs, quality and styles can vary froms to seller.

"What you should see on your prescription:
* Your name.
* Date of the exam.
* When the prescription was issued and when it expires.
* Name, address (street address & mail address), phone number, and fax number of the eye care professional."

Please read the article in its entirety.  I'm sorry I can't put the direct link, but I don't know how to do that on my phone.
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#2
I think I remember this law coming into effect many years ago....I think it was when I was a teenager maybe....anyway, a long time ago.

Your sister's situation may have some other details or reasons for the doctor's statement.
Wondering about Wandering.
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#3
I remember the eye doc holding my prescription hostage back in the day, just so I’d order his overpriced sunglasses. Very glad the law changed, my new doc does the exam and hands me a copy of my script. I buy from her because she’s reasonable, but I tuck that script into my spare glasses case when I travel, very handy if I break a pair out on the road.
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#4
The eye doctor I went to here made no mention of the possibility of taking the prescription elsewhere. As soon as you were done with the exam, the glasses person came in to take you for a fitting. They were clearly unhappy to give me the prescription when I declined their services. Went elsewhere.
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  • GotSmart (12-05-2019)
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#5
Walmart has one of the most expensive glasses services around. 

Always shop around.
Compared to parenting, Cat herding is less complicated
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#6
I recently saw a report by 60 minutes.

All glasses are really made by the same Italian company. They also own sunglasses hut, pearl vision, lens crafters, etc.

They set the price. They make all the glasses and own the stores. Any company that doesn’t play by their rules doesn’t get their products to sell, and cannot sell in their stores. They have driven the little guys out of business and then bought them up.

The cost of a pair of glasses is about $30 To manufacture........

This level of capitalism is just evil.



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#7
That’s why so many people buy from places like Zenni Optical. Chinese based online retailers who sell them at $20-$50 complete.
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  • BCGuy (12-05-2019)
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#8
(12-05-2019, 05:34 AM)RoamingKat Wrote: I recently saw a report by 60 minutes.

All glasses are really made by the same Italian company.  They also own sunglasses hut, pearl vision, lens crafters, etc.


RK, I believe I saw that same 60 minutes several years ago.  I believe the name of the worldwide corp was "Luxotica"  IIRC  All glasses manufacturers in the usa have priced me out of their System. e.g. Pearle, Walmart,independents.

For the last several prescriptions, I have ordered online at Zenni's.  The cheap frames are yep kinda cheap.  But I see better now than I have ever seen at ~$60.  It does take a couple of weeks most of the time.  But sure beats the hundreds locals want.
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  • BCGuy (12-05-2019)
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