Posted by: Heidi
March 27, 2013
Your Eyes Are Important! Where you Buy Glasses & Contacts Should Be Too.
A number of years ago there was an increase in the popularity of websites that were selling glasses online. Did we have a problem with it? Sure, we did. Why? Well, perhaps not for the reasons you think. Not because we were being “under cut”, because we believed that we were offering a completely different product. Not because we were “losing customers”, because we still had customers. The problem we had was that we didn’t view these items as trivially as they were being marketed.
We don’t believe glasses are a mere fashion accessory although they do have an element of fashion. Rather they are a medical device that enable people to restore the functionality of their most valued sense: sight. Part of providing a medical device requires ensuring that it works as well as co-operating with all necessary individuals within the medical community to optimize its functionality. That, in our opinion, takes communication with the patient and sometimes other medical professionals, hands on craftsmanship, and professional training and experience. The online modality does not have a means of achieving this and their solution to glasses that “don’t work” is to give a refund. The problem with a refund is that although you may have money back in your hands, unfortunately, time is lost and your eyes still can’t see.
It was only 20 short years ago that there was no regulation of the optical industry and you could have a pizzeria one day and decide to sell glasses and contacts the next. Things have changed. Although someone can sell glasses online or in a store with no training or knowledge of optics, YOU, as a consumer, now have a choice. You can decide who is going to make your glasses. You can decide to have your glasses made by a knowledgeable, regulated, Licensed Optician or not.
We are Licensed Opticians and as such we take responsibility for the work we do in making your glasses. We have the optical knowledge base to look at your prescription and understand how that is going to be applied into a working lens and we take those numbers, as well as your individual lifestyle and personal needs, into consideration in every aspect of filling your prescription. On top of all that, we can troubleshoot issues should they arise once the glasses are constructed and we can fine-tune the fit of these devices that open a whole new world to those of us who rely on them.
I hazard a guess that for many it is taken for granted the fact that their glasses work, not realizing the thought and craftsmanship that was done behind the scenes to make that happen. The new technology of the manufacturing, the new coatings, the accuracy of the measurements, these and more are all elements that can play a significant role in optimizing the quality of your vision. We are a population of people who are eager, no matter the cost, to get our hands on the latest and the greatest gadget or toy because technology has improved and version 2 is so much better than version 1. In light of this fact I have a question for you: if you are willing to move heaven and earth to do that for your toys, do you have the same priority to maximize your vision?
We aren’t saying well made, good quality glasses have to be expensive but we do believe that you get what you pay for. This was eloquently articulated by Benjamin Franklin when he said..
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
...the most thoughtful and ingenious problem-solvers that a picky myope could hope for! I deeply appreciate everything you've done, and everything United Optical has achieved from me in over 30 years of tricky prescriptions.