Choosing an optician

robjh

Legendary Member
After some years of using cheap reading glasses I've realised it's finally time for an eye test and something a bit more serious.

There are local opticians' shops near me, as well as the big chains like Specsavers and Boots not far away. Is there much to choose between an independent and something like Specsavers, either in terms of price or quality? Or other reasons for choosing a particular optician?
 

nickyboy

Norven Mankey
After some years of using cheap reading glasses I've realised it's finally time for an eye test and something a bit more serious.

There are local opticians' shops near me, as well as the big chains like Specsavers and Boots not far away. Is there much to choose between an independent and something like Specsavers, either in terms of price or quality? Or other reasons for choosing a particular optician?
I've just gone through this exact process. I decided on Specsavers in the end. The eye test is performed by a qualified optician and involves an impressive array of complicated machines. I can't imagine an independent optician would do more than this. Pricing of glasses is incomparable. I got two pairs for £99....a pair of normal readers and a pair of sunglasses to my reading prescription. They were ready in about a week. If you buy glasses, they throw in the eye test for free (I think it was priced at £22)

Anecdotally, independent opticians are much more expensive
 

Heltor Chasca

Out-Riding the Black Dog
Tried our indie optician. Fraught with ‘what suits us, not the customer’ type service and vintage, steam punk machinery. Ran away after 3 months.

Went online for contacts as I knew my prescription, and they come with a free, every 6 month visit to Vision Express. They had amazing equipment and service.
 

Salty seadog

Space Cadet...(3rd Class...)
After some years of using cheap reading glasses I've realised it's finally time for an eye test and something a bit more serious.

There are local opticians' shops near me, as well as the big chains like Specsavers and Boots not far away. Is there much to choose between an independent and something like Specsavers, either in terms of price or quality? Or other reasons for choosing a particular optician?
This year I got my first pair of glasses In April from Specsavers. And recently a second pair from Boots. Specsavers exam was all hi tech looking into machines and Boots was using the old style adjustable glasses frames into which the optician slots different lenses and you read projections on the wall. However my Mum said that her Specsavers test was the same process as Boots. I've since learned they are franchises so that explains the difference.

Both sets of glasses came out fine.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Specsavers for v competitive pricing and a wide range of frames. Different branches can have different frames so try a couple of shops if needed.

I am considering varifocals but not everyone gets on with them. Specsavers will swap to a single vision lens FOC if not happy after a month. Don’t know if an Indy or another chain would do likewise
 

byegad

Legendary Member
Location
NE England
I've been wearing a complex prescription for 40yrs. Astigmatism, Varifocal with transitions. Vision Express and particularly Specsavers beat the independents hands down.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
You can always get the eye test done and then shop around for specs

If you work with computers, you should be able to get your employer to pay for any test cost (I usually get a free test voucher from specsavers tho)
 

vickster

Legendary Member
That’s fine if you’re able to be a member (and benefit from the membership by bulk buying) and have a branch close. I think I have 6 Specsavers branches within 5 miles
 

PK99

Guru
Location
SW19
Specsavers = Halfords

Independent = LBS

I'm always puzzled when people buy health related stuff by price and then designer clothes or bikes...

Interesting article here:

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/high-street-opticians-giving-shocking-eye-tests-and-incorrect-prescriptions-report-reveals_uk_59e5ccf5e4b02a215b32b068


EDIT:
Ahh, it looks like the source of the huff post piece is here:
https://www.which.co.uk/news/2017/10/two-out-of-five-eye-tests-not-up-to-scratch-according-to-which-probe/
 
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nickyboy

Norven Mankey
Specsavers = Halfords

Independent = LBS

I'm always puzzled when people buy health related stuff by price and then designer clothes or bikes...

Interesting article here:

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/high-street-opticians-giving-shocking-eye-tests-and-incorrect-prescriptions-report-reveals_uk_59e5ccf5e4b02a215b32b068


EDIT:
Ahh, it looks like the source of the huff post piece is here:
https://www.which.co.uk/news/2017/10/two-out-of-five-eye-tests-not-up-to-scratch-according-to-which-probe/
Not sure that 3-4 visits are in any way statistically significant, despite the articles seeming to draw conclusions based on a tiny sample. Using your analogy, we all know absolutely useless (and great) LBS, same for branches of Halfords

Maybe the answer, if that' your concern, is to get the eye test done at an independent, then buy glasses elsewhere
 
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Rooster1

I was right about that saddle
I recommend Vision Express..

All opticians who do an eye test have to be qualified to do so and the kit they use all does the same thing.

I was impressed by a local independent optician recently who had some extra kit to check my eye for problems - it blasted my eye with pressured air which was rather odd.
 
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