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  Reply # 1038990 8-May-2014 13:21

In my case I have only ever seen smaller private stores. I am glad I no longer need glasses, contacts are king. Being neg 15.75 in both eyes makes my glasses like bottle caps.



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  Reply # 1038998 8-May-2014 13:35
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One thing I'll give Specsavers: they are the only practice that transparently include a list of prices for lens/coating etc upgrades on their website. From talking with various people, it also appears that those practices that do Grabone/[insert other daily deal sites' names] deals are also best avoided.



 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1039011 8-May-2014 13:49
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dejadeadnz: 
To be fair to OPSM, I did get my eye tests from them (it was free too as a Southern Cross member) and the optometrist was great. She took thorough notes, asked lots of questions, and really took her time. She also happily supplied my script so I can shop elsewhere if need be. In theory, this is my entitlement both under the Privacy Act and other codes but you'd be amazed by how difficult some places make this.


I'm actually surprised that any place makes it difficult.  When I went into my optometrist to pick up a new couple of boxes of lenses (Acuvue Oasys, $55 each) I just said "I've come in to pick up my prescription" (which if you went to a pharmacy they'd take to mean you want to pick up your meds) and she cheerfully handed me a printout of my actual prescription, no questions asked.  Is this unusual?



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  Reply # 1039021 8-May-2014 14:09
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Kyanar:
dejadeadnz: 
To be fair to OPSM, I did get my eye tests from them (it was free too as a Southern Cross member) and the optometrist was great. She took thorough notes, asked lots of questions, and really took her time. She also happily supplied my script so I can shop elsewhere if need be. In theory, this is my entitlement both under the Privacy Act and other codes but you'd be amazed by how difficult some places make this.


I'm actually surprised that any place makes it difficult.  When I went into my optometrist to pick up a new couple of boxes of lenses (Acuvue Oasys, $55 each) I just said "I've come in to pick up my prescription" (which if you went to a pharmacy they'd take to mean you want to pick up your meds) and she cheerfully handed me a printout of my actual prescription, no questions asked.  Is this unusual?


I've never heard of any practice not handing over the script to another professional when they make the request. But I've experienced a bit of guilt-tripping and "Oh what's wrong with our frames. Can't you find one you like from our vast collection?" type sentiments when I have asked personally.



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  Reply # 1039042 8-May-2014 14:21
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I've used clearly, but I find the frames quality and fit aren't always good. I've gotten 4 pairs of glasses from them and returned 3, and I may return the fourth. Their lenses are ok, but not even close to the quality of locally purchased Zeiss lenses. Their one year money back guarantee makes it a no brainer to try though. 39dollarglasses are cheap and relatively nasty.

For me the key to a good frame is sprung hinges, nose pads that move/pivot (rayban don't), not a temple grip, and of course the size. I don't like plastic frames with built in nose pads (eg 39dollarglasses). You have to have them fitted by a local optometrist otherwise they just won't fit right. I've been going to the same optometrist for years so they do that for me, at my cost. The frames they sell are all $400 - $700.

I recently got some frames in Bangkok, $150 for Ray Ban - I didn't realise at the time they had rubbish nose pad mounting systems, so they don't feel quite right now. I got replacement nose pads which have helped. The lenses cost $220, and they're great quality. I could've gotten lenses for $80 in Bangkok but I didn't trust the quality.




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  Reply # 1039099 8-May-2014 14:33
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I have a quite nice existing frame but thought it would be handy to have 2 more . One for  the car, and another in the media lounge. 

Went to specsavers , paid about $200 and got an eye test+ 2 pairs . 

The frames are a bit ugly but do the job. My prescription is pretty basic, -1 in the right eye I think. I don't even legally need them to drive but is nice to read distant signs in unfamiliar places. 

I declined the anti-reflective coating -- $70 per pair??? Why that high???   I bet they make tons of profit on that.

Anyway, I'm happy.

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  Reply # 1039128 8-May-2014 14:47
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surfisup1000: I have a quite nice existing frame but thought it would be handy to have 2 more . One for  the car, and another in the media lounge. 

Went to specsavers , paid about $200 and got an eye test+ 2 pairs . 

The frames are a bit ugly but do the job. My prescription is pretty basic, -1 in the right eye I think. I don't even legally need them to drive but is nice to read distant signs in unfamiliar places. 

I declined the anti-reflective coating -- $70 per pair??? Why that high???   I bet they make tons of profit on that.

Anyway, I'm happy.


Got to love the upselling companies aka ' would you like fries with that'. But it applies with many companies, as soon as you upspec something, then the costs go up considerably.

gzt

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  Reply # 1039130 8-May-2014 14:49
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Optometrists are close enough to medical professionals and deserve what they are paid for the commitment and service required.

But the sticking point is combining that with a retail product business imho. Combining a medical service with a retail product business might not be good for consumers. My guess is some of the pricing issue come from a regulatory requirement for registration of dispensing? but that's just a guess. If so then maybe it is not possible to operate a dispensing business without an optometrist present even if you will supply only according to prescriptions, or will fill only one prescription lens type for example. For a pharmaceuticals I can fully understand this, for an optometrist I am not so sure if there might be room for improvement in the market.



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  Reply # 1039143 8-May-2014 15:00
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timmmay: I've used clearly, but I find the frames quality and fit aren't always good. I've gotten 4 pairs of glasses from them and returned 3, and I may return the fourth. Their lenses are ok, but not even close to the quality of locally purchased Zeiss lenses. Their one year money back guarantee makes it a no brainer to try though. 39dollarglasses are cheap and relatively nasty.

For me the key to a good frame is sprung hinges, nose pads that move/pivot (rayban don't), not a temple grip, and of course the size. I don't like plastic frames with built in nose pads (eg 39dollarglasses). You have to have them fitted by a local optometrist otherwise they just won't fit right. I've been going to the same optometrist for years so they do that for me, at my cost. The frames they sell are all $400 - $700.

I recently got some frames in Bangkok, $150 for Ray Ban - I didn't realise at the time they had rubbish nose pad mounting systems, so they don't feel quite right now. I got replacement nose pads which have helped. The lenses cost $220, and they're great quality. I could've gotten lenses for $80 in Bangkok but I didn't trust the quality.


Pretty much agree with every bit of this post. It appears that much of the extravagant costs have come about as a result of the eye-gouging costs of lenses. I have now rung up in total around 15 different optometrists in relation to fitting lenses onto my Oakley frames based on the prescription described here. Of the 15 or so, about 5 have been instantly disqualified as a result of having unqualified staff who were obviously talking nonsense and/or obfuscating when it comes to whether they use actual Transitions coatings and which generation they use.

Out of the 10 or so that quoted me prices for 1.61 hi-index lenses with Transitions coating, the highest was an eye-gouging $850 by some independent boutique in Remuera. A few independents that peddle themselves as being cost effective and so forth were quoting around $600+. The shining lights of sanity have been various stores operating under the Visique banner (they are each independently owned and operated). Every single one guaranteed that they would use lenses by the likes of Hoya, Essilor etc with genuine Transitions coatings. Milford Optometrists quoted $350, another quoted a polycarbonate lense (but indicated that the optometrist will likely allow the use of 1.61 hi-index plastic for my script for an extra $40 or so) for $280 and another quoted around $380.

None of the Visique stores demanded obscene "fitting fees" (charged for having the temerity of not buying the frame from them - most shops don't stock Oakleys anyway in NZ) of between $25 to $50 that almost all the others in the 10 demanded. Two of the Visique stores were also happy to custom shape (i.e. cut off a few mms of the depth of the lens) my lens, where quite a few others basically told me to take a hike.



  

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  Reply # 1039148 8-May-2014 15:05
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gzt: Optometrists are close enough to medical professionals and deserve what they are paid for the commitment and service required.

But the sticking point is combining that with a retail product business imho. Combining a medical service with a retail product business might not be good for consumers. My guess is some of the pricing issue come from a regulatory requirement for registration of dispensing? but that's just a guess. If so then maybe it is not possible to operate a dispensing business without an optometrist present even if you will supply only according to prescriptions, or will fill only one prescription lens type for example. For a pharmaceuticals I can fully understand this, for an optometrist I am not so sure if there might be room for improvement in the market.


But are there consultation prices (which is essentially just human labour) being subsidized by making large margins on frames and lenses. If they didn't sell frames and lenses, would their hourly rate need to be significantly higher to offset this? 

gzt

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  Reply # 1039157 8-May-2014 15:18
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mattwnz:
gzt: Optometrists are close enough to medical professionals and deserve what they are paid for the commitment and service required.

But the sticking point is combining that with a retail product business imho. Combining a medical service with a retail product business might not be good for consumers. My guess is some of the pricing issue come from a regulatory requirement for registration of dispensing? but that's just a guess. If so then maybe it is not possible to operate a dispensing business without an optometrist present even if you will supply only according to prescriptions, or will fill only one prescription lens type for example. For a pharmaceuticals I can fully understand this, for an optometrist I am not so sure if there might be room for improvement in the market.


But are there consultation prices (which is essentially just human labour) being subsidized by making large margins on frames and lenses. If they didn't sell frames and lenses, would their hourly rate need to be significantly higher to offset this? 

No idea. But the high profile impulse retail locations used by some chains in malls probably don't help with that either. I'm guessing it allows those particular chains to capture the business but increases the operating cost significantly.

Edit: Interesting that the most competitive NZ bricks and mortar operation identified here (Visique) in general does not use those kinds of locations.



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  Reply # 1039179 8-May-2014 15:32
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gzt: Optometrists are close enough to medical professionals and deserve what they are paid for the commitment and service required.

But the sticking point is combining that with a retail product business imho. Combining a medical service with a retail product business might not be good for consumers. My guess is some of the pricing issue come from a regulatory requirement for registration of dispensing? but that's just a guess. If so then maybe it is not possible to operate a dispensing business without an optometrist present even if you will supply only according to prescriptions, or will fill only one prescription lens type for example. For a pharmaceuticals I can fully understand this, for an optometrist I am not so sure if there might be room for improvement in the market.


Insightful. Smart people should actually separate the eye-testing side of things from buying your glasses/contacts. If you like your optometrist but don't like the glasses he/she sells, separate these things and go to different places. The optometrist I stuck with for the longest began looking at my eyes since I was 10 and until I was about 20-odd when he retired. Even about 10 to 12 years ago he was charging around $70 for an eye test (many optometrists these days still charge less) but the man was ridiculously thorough. There is not a chance that you can leave his examination room inside 40 minutes (his receptionist constantly said that he would gladly spend up to an hour). Never was there one bit of pressure to get new glasses unless I needed them and he worked very long hours (didn't close at 5pm like most typical optometrists and also worked long Saturdays).

I ran into him about a year ago and he lamented  the way people see eye-tests as merely the means to ensure that you get the right script on your glasses. He and other optometrists I have talked to are particularly critical of the way Specsavers have cheapened the value of eye-tests through constant half-pricing, "free" eye-tests if you get glasses, or the "free" offer for AA members. Having made the stupid mistake of taking advantage of a free one courtesy of being an AA member a couple of years back, I won't make this mistake again. The optometrist did not do half the things that I typically experienced in an eye-test elsewhere and it was all over inside about 20 minutes. Let's just say I went and paid for a proper one the day after.

With the OPSM one, the financials behind them are at least a bit more sane. Pretty much all Southern Cross members have some degree of eye test coverage so OPSM will likely get, say, $40 back from SC. Members also often have extra coverage for diagnostic eye tests and there's a bit of money to be made there for OPSM as well. From my own and others' experiences, the eye tests at OPSM are quite thorough.

In NZ there are currently some companies that provide services where if you give them your script (they seem willing to just accept whatever you say it is), they will cut your lenses for you. these guys and http://www.eyesavers.co.nz/' target='_blank'>this lot are examples. But there's little mention of their qualifications and ability to professionally recommend the right lenses etc for your needs.





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  Reply # 1039193 8-May-2014 15:46
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I declined the anti-reflective coating -- $70 per pair??? Why that high???   I bet they make tons of profit on that.

Anyway, I'm happy.



A friend's father owns a lenses lab in Australia. My friend assured me that the coating costs about $5 to $7 AUD to apply, inclusive of labour.



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  Reply # 1039200 8-May-2014 15:53
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I can't agree more with everything op says


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  Reply # 1039204 8-May-2014 15:57
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gzt:
mattwnz:
gzt: Optometrists are close enough to medical professionals and deserve what they are paid for the commitment and service required.

But the sticking point is combining that with a retail product business imho. Combining a medical service with a retail product business might not be good for consumers. My guess is some of the pricing issue come from a regulatory requirement for registration of dispensing? but that's just a guess. If so then maybe it is not possible to operate a dispensing business without an optometrist present even if you will supply only according to prescriptions, or will fill only one prescription lens type for example. For a pharmaceuticals I can fully understand this, for an optometrist I am not so sure if there might be room for improvement in the market.


But are there consultation prices (which is essentially just human labour) being subsidized by making large margins on frames and lenses. If they didn't sell frames and lenses, would their hourly rate need to be significantly higher to offset this? 

No idea. But the high profile impulse retail locations used by some chains in malls probably don't help with that either. I'm guessing it allows those particular chains to capture the business but increases the operating cost significantly.

Edit: Interesting that the most competitive NZ bricks and mortar operation identified here (Visique) in general does not use those kinds of locations.


I believe some malls at least take a percentage of a store turnover, as well as rent. So not surprised they wouldn't want to be in a mall. It possibly means better prices for consumers as a result. 

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