Friday, May 7, 2010

You get what you pay for

There are a number of ads I've seen on TV. It is for ultra low prices glasses and exams. This seems very inviting. Glasses can be a significant investment and for people looking to save money in a rocky economy are pulled by these offers. I want to address these ads and clarify what you are getting.

The adage goes that you get what you pay for and the same holds true in this case. Yes, you get glasses and free eye exam for $100 but that is all you are getting. You aren't told in these advertisements what you will not get.

First, these deals include standard plastic CR-39. This is a very cheap plastic that is good for a small range of prescriptions. The lens does not block UV and is subject to shattering. They are a very fragile lens and you run the risk of injury if the lenses shatter.

Second, it does not include premium treatments that can greatly enhance your vision and the functionality of the lenses. Crizal Avance with Scotchguard costs money but it makes the lenses super scratch resistant, easy to clean and reduces the glare that causes eye strain at the computer and while driving at night. Further, it improves the appearance of the glasses by allowing people to see your eyes instead of a reflection of the lens.

Third, the deal only include a very small range of prescriptions. If you have a moderate or high prescription you are not able to capitalize on this deal. Kids are another group that shouldn't be in CR-39 plastic for safety reasons.

Finally, I can't confirm this but have heard that staff is trained to up sell you. You come in expecting to spend $100 at your visit and end up spending much more by the time you leave. Surveys show that retail chains do not cost less than a private optometrist. The difference is only in perception, average retail price of equal lenses and technologies are on par with each other.

So, next time you see one of these commercials remember that you get what you pay for.

1 comment:

Fran Taylor said...

Agreed. I also have seen and heard ads like that. Some businesses know that a lot of people nowadays want to cut cost and are looking for what is affordable according to their purchasing power, so they think that majority of us will buy whatever they're selling in low prices and keep on offering such products or services.

Buying things and availing services for eye care that cost less is not always a good practice since functionality and safety is on the line. It is always advisable to look for reputable eye doctors to get the most out of what you're paying for.

If you're planning for an eye consultation, I ran across a website and you can visit these links of eye doctors (Indianapolis) and optometrist Indianapolis IN. You will find them helpful.