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  Reply # 1039207 8-May-2014 16:01
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dejadeadnz: 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.


Interestingly, this wasn't my experience as all - I took advantage of a free check through the AA deal a couple of years back and found it was one of the more thorough (and long) tests I'd had in a long time; I had no issue with the professionalism, and certainly got no sense that corners were being cut.

As it happens, reading this thread reminded me it's time for a check-up so I've booked in - again with Specsavers for a free check. Sure, if it's not up to a standard I'm happy with I'll get it done elsewhere, but it's easier to do this through the AA deal than go through the hassle of a claim through work...

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  Reply # 1039210 8-May-2014 16:08
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dejadeadnz: 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.




I was actually reasonably impressed with my specsavers optometrist (I did the free AA thing). 

He definitely took more than 20 minutes.   

Did everything that my previous optometrist would do and seemed to have very good knowledge. 

Did extra things like checking the blood vessels, peripheral/ binocular convergence etc. I guess you don't need to do those things for a straight prescription. 

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1039223 8-May-2014 16:25
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gzt:
Edit: Interesting that the most competitive NZ bricks and mortar operation identified here (Visique) in general does not use those kinds of locations.


I'd broadly divide the practices I have interacted with into 4 categories:

1. OPSM

Pretty good service and very patient and helpful staff in terms of helping your choose the right frames. The eye testing side of things was very good. The frames prices are absolutely ridiculous and the lenses prices are on the high side (but still not as high as some of the idiotic independent below). They also have a collective obsession with polycarbonate lenses despite their well-known optical disadvantages. In certain situations I can still see some sense in buying from them. You're absolutely assured of authentic brand name stuff and good lenses.


2. Specsavers


Classic up-selling outfit IMO. When you are wanting things in the premium (but by no means the absolute premium range) their prices really are not that much cheaper and only a very small segment of their frames impress me. I wasn't impressed with their eye testing.


3. Idiotic Independents


I would group these guys into two categories. The first are those independents that are based in posh areas and malls and who tend to stock less mainstream so called high end designer brands. In my experience, their shop assistants pretty much just find the most expensive frames imaginable and invited me to try them on and gushed over how great they looked, despite how many of these frames did not fit with my stated desires and their looking objectively horrible on me. After I finally found my frames and wanted lenses only, most of these places were also by far and away the most expensive.


The second lot are those that constantly do Grabone/daily deal site deals. Many (speaking as a lawyer who knows the Fair Trading Act well) had trade practices that were less than desirable to outright deceptive and/or basically had staff who have no ability to listen or understand people's needs. Seriously, if I wear Oakley frames it's likely that I care a bit about comfort and style and wouldn't want thick, bog-standard plastics on my frames.


4. The Visique outlets and non-idiotic independents


All of the Visique outlets outright guaranteed (without prompting) that they use high quality lenses and transparently advised the costs differences between normal and transition lenses (they were always far less than the $150 that almost all of the above stores charged). Albany Optometrists was also very nice and honest.



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  Reply # 1040362 8-May-2014 21:23
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I went to Visique in Kapiti a few years ago... Probably got 2 pairs of glasses  and a years worth of contacts through them. 
But then I broke some glasses at work and needed them urgently to drive. They told me it'd be a week but they wouldn't even order them until I paid in full. 
I obviously never went back.
I went to Grylls Keleher & Mathews and had them the next day.

Now in Oz, I have health insurance and they have their own opto & dental. My prescription Bolle sunnies cost me $110. Bargain!

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  Reply # 1040569 9-May-2014 09:22
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Going to jump in here just to agree with the Chromatic Aberration comment of the lens material...

Google ABBE VALUE and you'll get a chart showing the values of different lens material. Basically the higher the number, the less the material doe the prism thing of separating the light into it's constituent colours.
Of note is that plane old glass is good, as is the basic Cr-39 material.  The newer slimmer, lighter, fancier types are all pretty poor for this.

Now if you've got a mean prescription then you'll want to consider the thickness and weight of the lens more, but for me it drove me insane with the 'rainbows' and edge purple fringing for anything not dead staight aheead of me.
Eventually tracked it down to the lens material and wont go for anything fancy now.  I do get the reflection reduction tint applied but this may be a have, but regardless that doesn't affect the purple fringing.

eg this sort of link

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  Reply # 1040590 9-May-2014 09:29
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Demeter: +1 for Clearly. Their designer frames are super affordable compared to what local optometrists charge. I also get my contacts through them and have never had issues.

I feel your pain, OP. As someone with an odd prescription requiring a few non-standard addons, I've become rather used to paying the equivalent of the annual national deficit of a small African country for a pair of glasses.


I agree. We are being massively ripped off here. The cost for glasses is astronomical and unjust. The mark up is phenomenal.

I have purchased frames previously on  clearly contacts for my teenage son who is between +8.00 and +7.00. His glasses and slightly thinner less jam jar bottom looking lenses cost me a whopping $900.

My own standard glasses cost me $700. Nothing flash but ridiculous. Contacts for master grump teen have to be specially ordered in and cost between $250-$300 for a few months supply. Hardly worth it imo.




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  Reply # 1040632 9-May-2014 09:55
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Jaxson: Going to jump in here just to agree with the Chromatic Aberration comment of the lens material...

Google ABBE VALUE and you'll get a chart showing the values of different lens material. Basically the higher the number, the less the material doe the prism thing of separating the light into it's constituent colours.
Of note is that plane old glass is good, as is the basic Cr-39 material.  The newer slimmer, lighter, fancier types are all pretty poor for this.

Now if you've got a mean prescription then you'll want to consider the thickness and weight of the lens more, but for me it drove me insane with the 'rainbows' and edge purple fringing for anything not dead staight aheead of me.
Eventually tracked it down to the lens material and wont go for anything fancy now.  I do get the reflection reduction tint applied but this may be a have, but regardless that doesn't affect the purple fringing.

eg this sort of link


Exactly. I'll however add one small caveat -- the newer hi-index plastic lenses do tend to have higher abbe value than what your link indicates but you are absolutely correct that there is still a trade off to be had, when it comes to using the thinner lenses. The fringing effects is massively mitigated by a good AR coating but it had better be a good one, since crappy coatings introduce their own issues with scratches. A sane, well-informed optometrists should be prepared to lay out all these issues for a client to consider. Yet in my experience few do.



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  Reply # 1040742 9-May-2014 11:44
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Tinshed: I have used Zenni Optical  with great success.  Like everyone else I paid 100's of dollars for my glasses but using Zenni I have obtained ones for as little as $30 in country. Of course they aren't the same quality but now I have choices as to which glasses I wear.  I have a pair just for mowing the lawns.  Once you have your prescription, ordering is a breeze.


I was interested enough after reading this to check out their site; I've created an account, found some interesting frames and then... haven't been able to upload a photo to 'try them on'. I've tried via Chrome, Firefox and IE on my laptop - on all browsers the link from the first page to add one's photo (https://www.zennioptical.com/myAccount/myAccountFrameFit?_requestid=3784125) is blank other than its logo and a black bar across the top of the screen. I've tried on Safari on the iPad - got to the point of uploading a photo, but it won't go past the point where one is supposed to move the crosshairs to line up with the pupils (can't move the crosshairs, nor accept the computer-set location of them).

Has anyone else had the same problems, and does anyone who has successfully navigated the site got any tips? (I emailed the site yesterday to ask for help but expect any response, if any arrives, will take some time from such a siite).

Alternatively, what other mail-order sites offering similar "value for money" but ok quality glasesses have other users ordered from? My sisters used one Chinese-based site that was apparently ok, but I can't recall its name... Given the possible low cost these sites offer, it'll be useful to get spare pairs of both glasses and prescrition sunnies based on a current script (eg, so I can leave a pair of sunglasses in the car).

Cheers
Jonathan

(Edited for grammar and spelling)

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  Reply # 1040743 9-May-2014 11:45
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If the eyeglass business can be an example of apparent price-gouging, then the hearing aid / audiologist business is on another level. 
My son has a state-funded hearing device (not a conventional aid), for which funding expires when he turns 21.  For what it is, the price is eye-watering.  Realistically, he'll need to put aside $50/week to cover ongoing cost for the rest of his life and/or hope that prices will eventually be driven down.

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  Reply # 1040753 9-May-2014 12:05
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Fred99: If the eyeglass business can be an example of apparent price-gouging, then the hearing aid / audiologist business is on another level. 
My son has a state-funded hearing device (not a conventional aid), for which funding expires when he turns 21.  For what it is, the price is eye-watering.  Realistically, he'll need to put aside $50/week to cover ongoing cost for the rest of his life and/or hope that prices will eventually be driven down.


Have a look at Blamey & Saunders in Melbourne.




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  Reply # 1040762 9-May-2014 12:28
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Well, the laughs continue. I just remembered that my manager very nicely gifted me one of those daily deal vouchers where I could get an eye test plus a frame up to $200 worth with "standard" lens (whatever that means - probably 1.50 index but the shop owner won't say), with options for upgrades. I visited that shop and the range of frames available didn't appeal the slightest bit to me and I found out that if I wanted to use my own frames there would be a surcharge and with my desired lenses upgrades etc, that place was no bargain.

This shop has been constantly doing these daily deals over the last year. Let's break down the realities involved in one of these deals:

For $99 today you get an eye test along with frames worth up to $299 with the standard lense. If your prescription is extremely bog standard (say -2 and barely any cylinder) and you don't want a semi-rimless, quite conceivably this is an instance where you can just walk in and walk out with a pair of glasses. The eye test is almost certainly done by the owner-optometrist and let's say this is worth $40 to him, it suggests that the rest of the money ($59) buys you potentially frames worth $300 plus a set of lens that retail for about $100 to 120. Also don't forget the shop won't get all of the voucher money.

Why these people won't just (as a matter of standard pricing) discount their normal pricing by, say, 30 to 40% instead is beyond me. So if you are silly enough to walk in without a voucher, you're basically a highway robbery victim.



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  Reply # 1040763 9-May-2014 12:30
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mclean:
Fred99: If the eyeglass business can be an example of apparent price-gouging, then the hearing aid / audiologist business is on another level. 
My son has a state-funded hearing device (not a conventional aid), for which funding expires when he turns 21.  For what it is, the price is eye-watering.  Realistically, he'll need to put aside $50/week to cover ongoing cost for the rest of his life and/or hope that prices will eventually be driven down.


Have a look at Blamey & Saunders in Melbourne.


Yeah thanks.  It's a baha - not a conventional aid - so not so easy to buy at discount prices.  (bone-anchored hearing aid which attaches to a surgically implanted abutment to overcome some conductive hearing loss conditions)



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  Reply # 1040785 9-May-2014 12:40
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Fred99:
mclean:
Fred99: If the eyeglass business can be an example of apparent price-gouging, then the hearing aid / audiologist business is on another level. 
My son has a state-funded hearing device (not a conventional aid), for which funding expires when he turns 21.  For what it is, the price is eye-watering.  Realistically, he'll need to put aside $50/week to cover ongoing cost for the rest of his life and/or hope that prices will eventually be driven down.


Have a look at Blamey & Saunders in Melbourne.


Yeah thanks.  It's a baha - not a conventional aid - so not so easy to buy at discount prices.  (bone-anchored hearing aid which attaches to a surgically implanted abutment to overcome some conductive hearing loss conditions)


Yikes, I sympathise. I have a friend whose sister needs something similar and, yeah, the prices aren't pretty.



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  Reply # 1040789 9-May-2014 12:46
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A couple of years ago I got sick of paying huge prices for frames and lenses from NZ optomitrist (my first pair in the late 80's were almost $600, and that was for cheaper frames!) so have shopped with several of the online retailers since.

Firstly, NZ optimitrists can be reluctant to hand over your prescription - have heard of some people who have had to demand that they hand it over. But it is something they cannot hold from you.

I've purchased glasses from Clearly Contacts and have had great experience with them. The first time the frames were out of stock and I had a huge wait on them, and then had to return them as the frame were unsuitible for me (the return process was very smooth). The replacement pair of glasses were brilliant (I had to involve their phone support when placing the order due to the credit from the first pair of glasses and making sure that first time customer discounts got applied again). This time the glasses arrived promptly.

What I really like about Clearly Contacts is the range, brilliant prices, frequent discounts (first time customers can get their glasses for free, or heavily discounted if you've got a stronger prescription), and cheap price for the lense coatings. And they can be faster turn around than some Optomitrists!!

I've also used 39dollarglasses to get cheap sunnies - when buying my first pair I found an online code for a discount and the total cost to me for the sunnies (including delivery) was only $NZ35!! Not bad. I have several pairs and leave one in the car and they other is in my bag. They are what you pay for - cheap, no spring frames, etc. But they work.

I'd use both companies again.

Remember to always go looking online for discount vouchers/codes before you order as there are always savings to be had from both of these companies.

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  Reply # 1040812 9-May-2014 13:16
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Clearly Contacts lenses are ok, not as clear or crisp as Zeiss locally but good enough for reading glasses. If I wore glasses 24/7 I would probably want better lenses. I bought "Thin Air" lenses with the "coating value bundle".




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