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Boots Opticians

(69 Posts)
Supernan Mon 04-Feb-13 15:40:05

I had my eyes tested at local Boots Opticians. I was not given the prescription (I know I should have asked). I clearly stated I needed the glasses for driving. I was advised to have varifocals, although I cannot use them for computer work, & tints that darken in sunlight. I went along with this thinking it was all necessary. The sun has been out recently (hallelujah). I drove - I cannot see properly. I went back to Boots & complained. He said "we could take the tint off". I asked if my prescription had changed. I was told not for distance, but a slight difference for reading. My response was that I wanted glasses for driving. Without the tint I am no better off than the glasses I had last year. In fact I have spent £330 on something I don't need!!
Sorry if this is a rant but I am so ** off.

Anne58 Mon 04-Feb-13 16:06:07

I think you have every right to be Supernan. Perhaps a complaint a little higher up the foodchain?

janeainsworth Mon 04-Feb-13 16:08:14

Supernan I think the issue is that you were sold varifocals which are not necessary for driving, when you had explicitly said you wanted driving glasses.
In other words you have been misled into buying something unnecessarily expensive, as well as being unnecessary, since your prescription hadn't changed.sad
I would go back and tell them this.
Optometrists are professional people who are regulated, and they will be anxious to avoid accusations of mis-selling.

MrsJamJam Mon 04-Feb-13 16:12:14

I do so agree. Most of us get 'persuaded' into more expensive glasses that we do not really need. But I find I have to be really insistent in order to get what I want - which isn't necessaarily the cheapest.

One difficulty I have found is that I need 'in between' glasses for screen work. My prescription gives a distance number and a reading number. When you take it to a different optician, they say they must prescribe to the distance prescription, even though I know that this will be useless for screen work, cooking etc.

At present, I have found a very good chap who 'dilutes' my prescription to what I want for everyday. Its perfectly safe for driving, but allows me to do other things as well. When he retires, I expect I will be back to fighting my corner again.

And I hate the way so many of the young women who work in high street opticians treat me as if I am some poor old dear who doesn't understand anything! Grrr!

j07 Mon 04-Feb-13 16:16:08

I don't understand why you accepted varifocals for driving. How could that work? You're not going to be reading while you are driving. And surely they would have told you that your distance prescription hasn't changed. They always let you know how your sight is doing.

If they are selling coated glasses for driving which can't be seen properly through, then you should go back and complain loudly.

I'm pretty sure that it's the law that they have to give you a copy of your prescription now.

Ana Mon 04-Feb-13 16:18:36

They do give you your prescription if you want to go away and think about it, or go to a different optician - but if you're persuaded to get new specs there and then they wouldn't, of course.

petallus Mon 04-Feb-13 16:18:36

Lasty year after an eye test I was told my prescription had changed a bit and so I decided to have new spectacles.

There is a slight improvement in reading (I can now read very small print on labels more easily). However, the new specs are no good at all for use on the computer or reading the newspaper down on the kitchen table. Have to hold reading material a small distance away from my nose.

Added to that, it took me some time to adjust to the new specs and stop feeling disoriented with them on.

I think Opticians should stop concentrating so much on perfect reading vision.

I wish I'd stuck with the previous prescription.

Movedalot Mon 04-Feb-13 16:20:42

With varifocals you should be able to both drive and see your screen. If you can't there is something wrong. I need them for driving so that I can see ahead and also see the dials in the car.

Several people I know have had problems when buying from the chains and i wonder if commission is involved? Some years ago I went to a private one in Guildford and got great treatment and the actual glasses were cheaper than in one of the chains. I went back to them every time for my eye test and never needed new glasses. Since we moved I have again gone to a private optician and been told my prescription is fine. I think it possible they may be more ethical and care about their reputation.

janeainsworth Mon 04-Feb-13 16:29:23

Agree with you Moved.
I've always gone to the same independent optician and never been tempted by offers from the chains.
I know and trust my optician - he knows all about my past eye problems and I think having an ongoing relationship with the same person is invaluable.

Supernan Mon 04-Feb-13 16:41:03

I'm glad it's not just me then. I think it is the law that they have to give you your prescription, but only if you ask for it. But they certainly didn't tell me my long distance vision hadn't changed. My old varifocals let me drive & see dials, I can see perfectly. It's just with this coating on the new ones when the suns bright it's like driving into a black hole. The distance prescription is exactly the same: so I DID NOT NEED THEM. I think you're right Movedalot it's down to commission, & I've been done! I wonder if your optician is still going in Guildford.

Lilygran Mon 04-Feb-13 16:41:11

I wear varifocals. When you're driving you sometimes need to be able to see dashboard displays or satnav and distance lenses make them blurry. In my experience.

Smoluski Mon 04-Feb-13 16:52:46

Worked for Boots opticians for 12 years before I had to give up work in 2004
The world of opticians is very competitive,particularly amongst those offering similar services,this does not appear to be the independant optician.
Our days revolved around taking us much money as possible and selling up more expensive lenses,we had targets to reach each day,and the managers mood could be gauged by how much money in the till at the end of the day,it is a very competitive industry,along with flogging hearing care,and laser clinics.,our optometrists where sometimes placed in the unenviable position of selling as opposed to examining eyes and testing vision,our resident optom was frequently taken to task for not converting sight tests to spectacles ,we where pushed to walk around the was a big main branch for the want of a better word soliciting our wares and promoting and almost dragging people from the street to get bums in consulting rooms,with hourly till readings and targets to meet,it remains the most awful job I ever had,I had to stay to pay the mortgage and it was a well paid job,I could say more re unqualified staff dispensing prescriptions etc...I don't see how you can equate health care with the making of money,I never felt comfortable selling and was always in trouble at my appraisals and reviews for not reaching my targets,as I say a miserable time and place to work.

Ana Mon 04-Feb-13 16:54:49

Well, that's an eye-opener nellie - no pun intended! The cutthroat world of high street opticians, who'd have thought it? confused

Mishap Mon 04-Feb-13 16:58:39

I agree - varifocals should be OK for driving - I tried distance only lenses for driving and could not read the dials.

Photochromic lenses that respond to sunlight by getting darker are no use in the car - there is one make that claims to be, but they are not very good at all. The UV light that they need to work is filtered out to some extent by the windscreen. I would recommend clip-on sunglasses that you can lift up when it goes duller. And they are very cheap!

I discussed this at length a while ago with my BIL who is an optician and that was what he said would be best.

You are legally entitled to have your prescription and take it wherever you wish - if you want to use an online store, then you have to ask them to specify your pupillary distance as they do not automatically add this to the prescription.

I have had very good service from one online store in particular. Can't advertise here, but happy to tell anyone who is interested which firm it is.

Smoluski Mon 04-Feb-13 17:17:34

I have worn varifocals for the last 20 years and as I have worn glasses all my life have never had a problem getting used to them and any mishaps in driving in them are entirely my own,it is a very competitive cutthroat high street business,we used to have to visit other opticians there where all the usual chains in one shopping precinct with out our uniforms to find out if they had more appointments free than us,we used to have to take it in turns to stand outside the store giving out goody bags and advertising our services .

Movedalot Mon 04-Feb-13 17:26:54

I've got the ones which darken in the sun and have no problem driving in them whether sunny or dark.

Yes they are still there at the top of the High Street. We were very happy with them

Ana Mon 04-Feb-13 17:28:14

I thought those reactor lenses didn't work through glass? confused

Supernan Mon 04-Feb-13 17:35:08

Thanks for that Movedalot. I will follow that up.

Nelliemoser Mon 04-Feb-13 17:44:19

Ana I don't think they react through glass either.

For the last dozen years or so I also have been going to the same local independent optician. He is well known in a small town. He has monitered changes indicative of early glaucoma and referred me when needed. Once when a new prescription gave me eye strain he happily retested my eyes three weeks running with different results each time, to get the best result. I felt it was me being a nuisance but he said had seen it happen before.

He is about my age so I am hoping he won't retire too soon.

harrigran Mon 04-Feb-13 18:19:23

I was talked into buying varifocals from Boots too and I really could not wear them, absolutely no good for computer work and I felt unsafe whilst walking. I went back to Boots and had the lens changed for single vision. They have a thirty day returns policy. I have never had a problem with obtaining prescription.

Galen Mon 04-Feb-13 18:35:16

I have variofocal photochromic glasses and I find them fine for every thing.
I also go to private ophthalmologist.

Lilygran Mon 04-Feb-13 18:40:56

I think you're right about using a computer and varifocals, harrigran. I had to have a pair of reading glasses when I was using a desktop all the time. Otherwise I got real problems with my neck.

wisewoman Mon 04-Feb-13 19:32:50

On my last visit to Boots Opticians I had to ask 3 times for my prescription and in the end had to be quite rude. They were not keen to give it to me. It used to be Dolland and Aitchison (now taken over by Boots) and they were not nearly so pushy.

HildaW Mon 04-Feb-13 19:40:57

Must admit that a couple of years ago I did not have a good experience with a Boots - in Shrewsbury. He changed my prescription slightly and after I had been wearing my new glasses a couple of days I was convinced it was wrong. They were varifocals and although reading was Ok my distance sight was definately off. I went back and the optician very huffily said he would re-test me. When we got to the last combination - you know the bit where they go 'is this better'. He was very brusque...along the line of 'you had better make your mind up' Needless to say the next time I went elsewhere.....Specsavers where I have never had a problem. In fact the latest visit to them was most professional and all the staff were very friendly and really took their time at all times.

mollie65 Tue 05-Feb-13 09:00:07

sounds very familiar. Went to local D and A (same as Boots) a few months ago for an eye test. Recommended varifocals but I refused as I need glasses for driving (possibly only at night and did not need them to be tinted for that) and a separate pair for reading (often I use cheap reading glasses strategically placed around the house for perusing small print grin)
end result have 2 pairs of glasses to 'lose' and saved money (about £60 altogether)
need your wits about you to say NO to these slippery sales people both in opticians and banks.