Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ordering glasses online part 2: getting the glasses

About a month ago I reported that my SO and I had ordered some glasses from Optical4Less, an online retailer. As the glasses have now arrived, I wanted to post an update.

Our glasses arrived in the mail about a week and a half after we placed the order. The glasses were wrapped in a cloth and bubble wrap, placed in a hard case, and then shipped in a cardboard box. My glasses (a metal and plastic semi-rimless pair) arrived in perfect condition; all I had to do was adjust the nosepieces (which bent easily with my fingers) and they fit perfectly. I've been wearing them every day since, and haven't had any problems. While I can't verify that the prescription is completely correct, I'm seeing more clearly than I have in years 1.

My SO's glasses arrived in apparently perfect condition, but upon close inspection we discovered that the lenses had several patches of minute scratches that caused blurred vision in a few spots. Our best guess is that the anti-reflective coating had been damaged during the lens shaping/installation, though we don't know exactly what happened.

Optical4Less responded to our e-mail about the problem within a day, and requested pictures of the lenses. Getting a good picture of the scratches proved challenging (as they were small and nearly transparent), but we eventually got a few good pictures and submitted them. Optical4Less got back to us the next business day and told us to mail the glasses back so they could be remade; this cost us about $4. Upon receipt of the glasses, Optical4Less gave us an $8 gift certificate good towards our next purchase.

A few days ago (about two weeks after returning the glasses), we got the replacement pair in the mail, and my SO reports that they're perfect.

Thanks to our success with Optical4Less we've already ordered more pairs (my favorite is a $35 pair of prescription sunglasses from Zenni Optical). So far we've ordered seven pairs of glasses from various retailers, and we've still spent less than it would have cost to buy one pair of glasses at our local optician. We'll never buy from our local store again.

1 It had been more than five years since my last pair of glasses was made (in part due to the price of new ones), so the change was fairly major.

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