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Monday, January 28, 2013

A non-stitchy post

I have a new optometrist, and he is awesome.

Over the last few years I have become more and more dissatisfied with my now-former optometrist. He had become very impatient with me, tried to force some lenses on me that just *didn't* work, and the last straw came last April with my annual appointment. I think I mentioned back in 2011 that I had begun wearing my then-computer glasses for driving, walking around, etc. I had continued to do that last year, and when I went in for my appointment, the optometrist swore that my prescription had changed a lot. Thing is, he did not listen to me. And he didn't spend a lot of time with me. And I ended up with a prescription that was almost identical to the one from 2009. It didn't work. And then I compared my prescriptions and realized what he had done. I paid nearly $300 for new lenses that were virtually identical to the ones that were in those frames in the first place! I was so upset when I discovered what they had done, but that wasn't the half of it.

When I called them to complain and to tell them I wanted my money back, they said that I could have my refund if I gave them back the lenses. I told them, fine - just put my original lenses back in the glasses. First they told me that they gave me back my original lenses. I told them they didn't return them to me. Then they told me that the lab didn't return the original lenses back to them, and they would contact the lab and see what happened to them. Then when I talked to them again, they said that the lab didn't have them and they specifically remembered giving them back to me (they did not). I got tired of the run-around by phone and went to see them in person. That didn't do much good except that I got my money back, and they got their new lenses back, but I still did not get my original lenses. They refused to admit their mistake (or the lab's mistake), and I could hear the optometrist yelling at his staff that he needed to get the lenses back so he could get *his* money back from the lab.

Needless to say, this left an extremely bad taste in my mouth. Yes, I got my money back, but I now had a pair of frames with NO lenses. Oh, and did I mention that when I said I would just continue to wear my computer glasses for driving / distance vision, they told me that was really "dangerous!" I had been doing it for over a year, and had no problems. The prescription was a little stronger than the one I had previously (that I no longer had the lenses for), but I felt that I actually could see better. My only problem with them has been that the temples of the frames are too wide and in a bad position so that they interfere with my peripheral vision. Honestly, I don't see how people wear even wider ones. It's like you have blinders on. But otherwise they've been just fine.

Fast-forward to today. A friend recommended her new optometrist because she had been through some similar experiences (with the same former optometrist). She said the new one was very patient and worked with her to figure out what worked for her. I got to experience that for myself. He listened and was patient. He took his time with the eye exam, making sure that I was comfortable, and that I had enough time to analyze which was better - 1 or 2, 3 or 4, 5 or 6, and so on.

And you know what he concluded? That the prescription that I've been wearing - my former computer glasses - is almost exactly what I should be wearing for distance. I'm going to get some new frames where the temples don't obscure my peripheral vision. They were not concerned with selling me "cool" or "hip" expensive frames. They were concerned with putting me in frames that actually do what I need them to do, let me see properly.

Oh, and everyone in the office was so nice. I don't carry vision insurance because I haven't gotten anything out of it (the former optometrist didn't accept the insurance my work offers). When I mentioned this to the staff, they asked me about my health insurance, and offered to check on something for me. It turns out that my health insurance offers these "perks" that reduced my exam payment and gave a pretty decent discount on glasses. They didn't have to do that, put forth the extra effort to find out - but it helped out a LOT. I am looking forward to getting my new glasses in a couple of weeks. And I am very grateful for people like the new eye doctor and his staff.

Thanks for listening - back to your regularly scheduled crafty-updates next time!

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