return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

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camillus
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return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by camillus » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:08 am

Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice and wisdom here. I'm well aware that I could have done some due diligence and avoided appearing foolish with this. All the same, I'd appreciate your input. Thank you!

The situation: My wonderful 3 1/2 year old son was just prescribed glasses by the best pediatric ophthalmologist in town. A few days later I took that prescription to the glasses shop that is connected to his practice. I assumed that there would be some advanced "fitting" or measurements that would take place, but there was not. We simply tried on glasses until he found one that seemed comfortable. The glasses rung up to $400, which I paid with my HSA card. The lenses had no special "add-ons" like polarization, etc. A week later, they were ready for pick up. Again, I was expecting some sort of advanced fitting or something to make the "glasses shop experience" worth the premium of not buying online. The optician simply eyeballed the glasses as they sat on my boy, took them in hand and with some machines and made some minor adjustments and that was that. The glasses now ride a little low on my boy's nose. He often looks over the glasses.

A few days later, I peaked at zennioptical.com and my mind was blown. I purchased 4 pair, averaging $16, with express shipping for $100. For the original $400 at the shop, I could purchase something like 20 pairs online. The upside of buying at the shop is "free adjustments."

So normally I would blow something like this off, but the disparity of offerings seems kind of outrageous. Additionally, the fit of the $400 glasses is only so-so.

What would you do? Should I regard this as a somewhat expensive life lesson? Should I take a firm tack in a conversation with the manager of the shop? Would this spoil my relationship with the pediatric ophthalmologist?

I really appreciate your help. Thanks!
Last edited by camillus on Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:17 am

You seem to have summed it up in your second sentence.

Live and learn. In the grand scheme of things, it is a cheap lesson considering that you will be buying your son glasses for years to come. As someone who began wearing glasses at about age 10 and was very rough on them, that could be a bunch of spectacles.

It certainly isn't the optician's fault that you didn't shop around before purchasing a custom-made item. I would swallow it, and be more forward-looking in the future.

mouses
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by mouses » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:34 am

I would go back and require that they fit properly and comfortably. If they can't make that happen, I would ask for a refund. Otherwise, you're out of luck, this is a life lesson on how eyeglasses are sold.

HIinvestor
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by HIinvestor » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:12 am

If you want more options in the future, Costco has provided us with glasses for years, including fitting our kids for regular and sports glasses for the past two decades at least— free fitting, afjustments, eyepads replaced and a kids’ discount lenses price as well.

Other folks have enjoyed other providers.

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eye.surgeon
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by eye.surgeon » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:23 am

As someone who owns 5 optical stores I can tell you the quality of online glasses is poor. Like worse than Medicaid glasses that at least here in California are made by inmates in state penitentiaries and are pretty terrible. If you want to save money I have no problem with Costco or walmart glasses, they're decent albeit very low budget. The difference in the quality of the cheapest and most expensive lens materials available for your child's glasses is substantial.

As an aside, there is a likely reason why your 3 yr old is often looking over the glasses, it's something you may want to talk to your pediatric ophthalmologist about. I won't go into details because dispensing medical advice violates forum policy.
Last edited by eye.surgeon on Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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LiveSimple
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by LiveSimple » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:33 am

Come on, let it go.
Since you paid more, what exactly Ra fitting do you expect.
I am sure the optician did the correct fitting.

What you are missing is the time spend by the optician and the comfy feeling, like look here look three, walk and see, etc, etc.

As eye.surgen said there may be materialistic difference, which we cannot feel.

On a some analogy, you cannnot compare a cheap take out, with a fine dining, on a same item, such as a burger or fried rice.

Except it and move on, until your son says something, then walk in for extra fitting or correction.

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nisiprius
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:24 am

Just personally: if I purchased something foolishly, but committed to the purchase in good faith, and if it is not grotesquely defective, and if the amount of money involved in relation to my income isn't going to affect what groceries I can buy, then I let it go.

Much depends on the actual return policy, though.

In situations like buying shoes (takes you a week to discover that they don't actually fit) or eyeglasses, then to me the unstated bargain is that, yes, you have the right to return them even if they don't actually have any way to resell them to another customer, and even if the reason for return is basically "they don't fit as well as they should" or "I just don't like them," but I feel I'm required to take the time and trouble to give the seller the opportunity to "make good" on the whole deal by trying something else, or refitting, or making adjustments, or whatever.

If the situation is "I can't really point to anything specific I actually want done to make my purchase 'right.' I'm just ticked off because I now feel I paid too much and could have gotten something just as good much cheaper," then personally I treat that as a "now-that-I-know" situation and move on.

The weirdness of the situation, in which one company, Luxottica, has somehow been allowed to become a near-monopoly* and the price of eyeglasses through "normal" retail channels has been jacked up over the years by a factor of maybe as much as 5X, really sucks. So does the problem that, yes, you really need the services of an optician who knows how to bend temples just the right amount, and has the hot-sand-thing so that they bend without breaking and don't look bent... but it sucks that, to all intents and purposes, the only way to buy, let's say, $50 "worth" of professional fitting services is to buy them as a package deal along with a $300-overpriced pair of glasses.

*Masked by a gazillion seemingly different "brand names" that are actually all owned by Luxottica
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student
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by student » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:33 am

nisiprius wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:24 am
The weirdness of the situation, in which one company, Luxottica, has somehow been allowed to become a near-monopoly* and the price of eyeglasses through "normal" retail channels has been jacked up over the years by a factor of maybe as much as 5X, really sucks.
Yes. This is true. They own Lenscrafters and Sunglass Hut.

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mrc
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by mrc » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:45 am

60 Minutes reported on Luxottica's vertical integration a while back. They make frames (even designer) for $3 each, they own many optical shops (including LensCrafters Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Sunglass Hut, Oakley), and they are EyeMed insurance!

That's why my progressive lens glasses at LensCrafters were $480 AFTER insurance, and $120 at Costco without insurance.
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downshiftme
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by downshiftme » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:27 am

If you really believe that the fit from the optics shop is poor, then by all means bring them back to try to get a correct fit.

I don't think you are entitled to a refund because you were unaware of the wide range of prices for prescription glasses.

For my kids, I am a big fan of Zenni glasses. I never found any quality issues that optics shop owners are hinting exist. But I did find I can buy plenty of spare pairs for reasonable prices so when the inevitable happens and glasses get lost or broken it is not a big problem to pull a spare pair out of the drawer or glove compartment. As a child, I wore glasses as early as I can remember (maybe 3-4 years old to start) and cumulatively spent many months with broken glasses, patched with tape, or partly glued back together while we waited for replacements from the doctor's optical dept. I was aware that glasses were expensive and took care as best I could to protect them and still had lots of breakage. Sports especially were problematic. When my kids played soccer, a spare pair in the gym bag solved all these problems and kept them in the game and not playing extra tentatively in hopes of protecting their glasses.

As an adult, I like Zenni because I can keep a spare pair handy and it's inexpensive enough I can get a pair of single vision glasses just for computer use and not hassle with bifocals and the screen.

beardsworth
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by beardsworth » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:54 am

I was initially somewhat alarmed upon seeing the thread title, which asks about returning the eye glasses of an expensive 3-year-old. Then I read the opening post and realized that it was actually about returning a 3-year-old's expensive eyeglasses. Syntax can be important. :)

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camillus
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by camillus » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:27 am

beardsworth wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:54 am
an expensive 3-year-old

He is proving to be, yes. Thanks all for helping me think through this. So far I have done my own manual adjustments on the $400 glasses instead of putting my kid in the carseat and driving across town so that the optician can bend the temples of the upcharged "$3" glasses. They fit a little better. I'll probably let the $400 be a donation to retail industry that will surely cease to exist in a few years.

Billionaire
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by Billionaire » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:54 am

I've been wearing glasses for about 55 years. Not to deviate too much from the OP's question, but years ago my co-workers were buying glasses on-line. To me, all the frames look like they came out of a Cracker Jacks box. Maybe things have improved. A couple of years ago I started using a new optician. The person who helped me select and fit the glasses on my face did such a fantastic job, I didn't mind paying the price. She was able to help me select glasses that were compatible for the shape of my face. It's better than fending for yourself in many of the other methods of selecting glasses for yourself.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:17 am

I would expect at a minimum for any brick and mortar lens/optician place to have one of those computers that you look into that measures and adjusts lenses for your face. I saw my wife fitted for her complex prescription glasses using that and it looked like a good tool. If I were paying retail brick and mortar prices for generic internet service, I would not be pleased.

Lonestarz
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by Lonestarz » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:19 am

My last optomoligist glasses coat $400 and we’re very nice. I just bought a pair of Zenni glasses for $57. I’m sure the Zenni glasses are not as durable as the previous pair and I had less choices but neither will hold up to my kid stepping on them (or at least I don’t believe the Zenni will hold up, I know the expensive pair didn’t)

I can buy 7 pairs of Zenni vs one fancy set (transition lenses and coated) and with a low prescription I haven’t notice any difference in lense quality. Maybe if you are up in the 4-5 prescription range you need to be more careful.

The Zenni glasses look just fine (SO approves) and I couldn’t find anything that looked good at Costco (they stock the glasses you would expect a middle age engineer with pocket protector to wear.

Since I opt for frameless I think any decent drop will warrant a replacement or dealing with defects/scratches no matter the cost of the original product. I suspect risk is catastrophic failure (last pair had one ear piece bent 45 deg up at he hinge)

randomguy
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by randomguy » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:21 am

eye.surgeon wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:23 am
As someone who owns 5 optical stores I can tell you the quality of online glasses is poor. Like worse than Medicaid glasses that at least here in California are made by inmates in state penitentiaries and are pretty terrible. If you want to save money I have no problem with Costco or walmart glasses, they're decent albeit very low budget. The difference in the quality of the cheapest and most expensive lens materials available for your child's glasses is substantial.

As an aside, there is a likely reason why your 3 yr old is often looking over the glasses, it's something you may want to talk to your pediatric ophthalmologist about. I won't go into details because dispensing medical advice violates forum policy.
There is a huge difference between the 16 dollar online glasses and the 100 dollar ones. The gap between a 100 dollar online glasses and a 400 dollar one in the store on the other hand is minimal. I buy the cheap ones for sunglasses I expect to abuse/lose (think the beach) and they serve there purpose. I wouldn't want to wear them 16 hours a day though.

I haven't shopped for 3 year old glasses but every store I have been to has reasonable priced kids glasses (i.e. your kid probably doesn't need high index lens, designer frames,....). They also have things for the people that want to spend a ton of money.

Katietsu
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by Katietsu » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:26 am

camillus wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:08 am
Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice and wisdom here. I'm well aware that I could have done some due diligence and avoided appearing foolish with this. All the same, I'd appreciate your input. Thank you!

The situation: My wonderful 3 1/2 year old son was just prescribed glasses by the best pediatric ophthalmologist in town. A few days later I took that prescription to the glasses shop that is connected to his practice. I assumed that there would be some advanced "fitting" or measurements that would take place, but there was not. We simply tried on glasses until he found one that seemed comfortable. The glasses rung up to $400, which I paid with my HSA card. The lenses had no special "add-ons" like polarization, etc. A week later, they were ready for pick up. Again, I was expecting some sort of advanced fitting or something to make the "glasses shop experience" worth the premium of not buying online. The optician simply eyeballed the glasses as they sat on my boy, took them in hand and with some machines and made some minor adjustments and that was that. The glasses now ride a little low on my boy's nose. He often looks over the glasses.

A few days later, I peaked at zennioptical.com and my mind was blown. I purchased 4 pair, averaging $16, with express shipping for $100. For the original $400 at the shop, I could purchase something like 20 pairs online. The upside of buying at the shop is "free adjustments."

So normally I would blow something like this off, but the disparity of offerings seems kind of outrageous. Additionally, the fit of the $400 glasses is only so-so.

What would you do? Should I regard this as a somewhat expensive life lesson? Should I take a firm tack in a conversation with the manager of the shop? Would this spoil my relationship with the pediatric ophthalmologist?

I really appreciate your help. Thanks!
1) I have used Zenni since before most people had heard of them and I have recommended them to others. I have about a 90% success rate. However, my next pair will be from brick and mortar because I have not been able to get the right fit for progressive lenses. There are times that online ordering fails.

2) With all my experience, I am not sure I would attempt ordering online for a 3 1/2 year old unless the child already had a pair of glasses that I could use as a starting point for size.

3) That process of trying on many pairs, of looking at your child’s face, of bending the glasses, may not be sophisticated, but does truly serve a purpose and can make a huge difference when done by the right person. So this does have value.

4) It is completely unreasonable to try to return them. However, another advantage of a optical shop at an ophthalmology office, is that most will let you exchange them if there is a problem with function. So, as far as the fit, ask them to adjust again. If they are still not properly stating seating, then ask if they will give you credit for them towards a new pair. They will usually also make new lenses if the prescription needs adjust immediately. Ask to see the ophthalmologist again if need be. If the situation continues with regard to the child looking over the glasses, you need to get back to the doctor. I think it may turn out to be OK that you used their optical shop this time.

5) Consider Walmart for your next pair. You will be able to try it on, the price will be much less than dr’s office though more than Zenni, and I think they have a cheap warranty for kids to get the glasses repaired or replaced in the event of breakage.

Shallowpockets
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by Shallowpockets » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:43 am

We use Costco. They will fit the glasses. They will look at what frames you have decided upon before the order.
Fitting a 3 year old by letting him make the decision is fraught with problems. He is 3 years old, never had glasses, has nothing to judge what a pair should feel like or do, cannot articulate concerns.
That said, the place you bought them should be able to adjust them. Sounds like the length of the side piece may be too long going back to the ear. This can be adjusted so that they ride closer to behind the ear and thus do not slip forward.
The place where the glasses ride in the nose could be involved also. But, I think if you get the side pieces correct there will be no sliding down the bridge of the nose, which is essentially the problem if the child is able to look over the glasses.
Take them back to where you bought them and discuss this.

123
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by 123 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:08 am

In California (other states may be similar) there are regulations that basically provide that prescribed eyeglasses must "fit". If there's a problem I would go back to the eye doctor first and seek advice about getting the child more comfortable with the glasses. When one of our young children got glasses I learned that the eyes of a child are usually far more flexible (muscles) then an adult. Consequently for a child there may be no precise fitting involved as there usually is for an adult. The "fit" regulation basically provides additional exams (from the Dr) and remakes of glasses due to revised prescription are at no cost to the consumer for something like 60 days.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Watty
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by Watty » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:13 am

I would question using mail order eyeglasses for a 3 year old that might not be able tell you if there there is problem with them.

I have gotten glasses from brick and mortar suppliers where there was a problem with the lenses where the prescription was off and I had to have them redone. A three year old that is not used to wearing glasses might not complain about that.

I think a middle of the road supplier like Costco would be a better choice.

inbox788
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by inbox788 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:14 pm

camillus wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:08 am
The situation: My wonderful 3 1/2 year old son was just prescribed glasses by the best pediatric ophthalmologist in town.
How did you establish that? My town doesn't even have a pediatric ophthalmologist AFAIK, and many towns might only have one, so by definition they're the best and only.

Next time, if it's just for regular near sighted or farsighted glasses, skip the ophthalmologist and go to the best optometrists in town to get the prescription, but don't go next door unless that's also the best optician in town. Clearly, the best optician isn't next door to the best ophthalmologist in your town. And if you have medical eye problems, you can still see the ophthalmologist as needed.

https://aapos.org/terms/conditions/132

Zenni and other online eyeglass shops may be the best values, and great for some folks but not always good depending on your situation. YMMV with all these personal services.

BTW, did they break down the $400? How much for the frames and lenses each? What type of lens? Were the frames designer?
camillus wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:08 am
I assumed that there would be some advanced "fitting" or measurements that would take place, but there was not. We simply tried on glasses until he found one that seemed comfortable.
Actually, I've seen more advanced measurements on some web sites (including apps and photos, etc.), but they rely on that because you can't try things out. Would you prefer trying on a bunch of clothes until you find one that fits right, or measuring a bunch of numbers and ordering something from a web site and hoping it fits correctly?

123
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by 123 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:36 pm

Lonestarz wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:19 am
... I couldn’t find anything that looked good at Costco (they stock the glasses you would expect a middle age engineer with pocket protector to wear...
Excuse me for resembling that remark.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

Nutmeg
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Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

Post by Nutmeg » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:04 pm

camillus wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:08 am
Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice and wisdom here. I'm well aware that I could have done some due diligence and avoided appearing foolish with this. All the same, I'd appreciate your input. Thank you!

The situation: My wonderful 3 1/2 year old son was just prescribed glasses by the best pediatric ophthalmologist in town. A few days later I took that prescription to the glasses shop that is connected to his practice. I assumed that there would be some advanced "fitting" or measurements that would take place, but there was not. We simply tried on glasses until he found one that seemed comfortable. The glasses rung up to $400, which I paid with my HSA card. The lenses had no special "add-ons" like polarization, etc. A week later, they were ready for pick up. Again, I was expecting some sort of advanced fitting or something to make the "glasses shop experience" worth the premium of not buying online. The optician simply eyeballed the glasses as they sat on my boy, took them in hand and with some machines and made some minor adjustments and that was that. The glasses now ride a little low on my boy's nose. He often looks over the glasses.

A few days later, I peaked at zennioptical.com and my mind was blown. I purchased 4 pair, averaging $16, with express shipping for $100. For the original $400 at the shop, I could purchase something like 20 pairs online. The upside of buying at the shop is "free adjustments."

So normally I would blow something like this off, but the disparity of offerings seems kind of outrageous. Additionally, the fit of the $400 glasses is only so-so.

What would you do? Should I regard this as a somewhat expensive life lesson? Should I take a firm tack in a conversation with the manager of the shop? Would this spoil my relationship with the pediatric ophthalmologist?

I really appreciate your help. Thanks!
You paid $400 at the optical shop for the ability to return and have the glasses adjusted if they didn't fit well. They apparently don't fit well. Your remedy is to return and have the glasses adjusted, not to get a refund because you found a lower price online. I understand the frustration of having to make another trip across town. However, only by taking your son back can you get the adjustment for which you paid.

As a long-time glasses wearer, I can think of two reasons that the expensive glasses are worn low on the nose: either they aren't adjusted correctly (as readers have presumed) or the prescription isn't correct (so your son doesn't feel that they help him). Determining which is the case is something that can be done only in person.

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