Independent opticians top Which? poll of where to buy glasses

It was fantastic to read, as we’d always suspected, that Which? has found that the best place to buy glasses is an independent optician. We have a mass get together at the annual independents’ conference next week and are sure to be celebrating these results.

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Independent opticians were the only opticians to score top marks for product quality, timekeeping and the all important, customer service. We also shone when it came to staff skills. I know at Cameron Optometry we often talk about the expertise of our optometrists so it is encouraging that this is as important to clients as it is to us.

It is great to see that clients aren’t being swayed by flashy advertising campaigns from big brands and they still value the expertise, quality, care and attention they get from their independent eye care provider.
Here is the full press release from Which? rather aptly entitled, Should have gone to…an independent optician

New Which? research reveals the best and worst places to buy glasses, with local independent opticians coming top and some of the well-known brands falling down.
We surveyed more than 5,000 Which? members about using an opticians and found:
• Local independent stores came top with a customer score of 88%.
• Members-only store Costco came a very close second with a score of 86%, performing highly on timekeeping, product quality, price and value for money.
• Optical Express came in last place with just 59%, falling down on special offers, price and value for money.
• Vision Express also scored poorly for special offers with around four in 10 (43%) having spent more than they bargained for, and three in 10 (28%) saying there were so many offers they found it confusing.
• Independent opticians were the only stores to achieve top ratings for customer service, staff skill and communication.
• Popular high street brand, Specsavers, came near the middle of the table with a customer score of 72%.
• Tesco Opticians lagged behind all others in the survey for its customer service.
• Independents were more likely to fix a problem with glasses at no extra cost (54% of those who complained, compared to 47% of stores overall).
Editor of Which?, Richard Headland, said:
“Not all optician stores are the same and we found big differences between them. We were surprised to see that some of the big high street chains didn’t fare as well as other retailers, like Costco, who aren’t famous for selling glasses.”
Notes to editors:
We surveyed 5,409 Which? Connect members online in March 2014 about using an opticians to have eye tests and buy glasses and/or contact lenses in the past three years. The overall customer scores are based on customers’ satisfaction with the store on their last visit and the likelihood of recommending it to a friend.

Store Customer score
Local independent optician 88%
Costco 86%
Asda Opticians 77%
Rayner Opticians 74%
Specsavers 72%
Boots Opticians 69%
D&A/Dollond & Aitchinson 69%
Vision Express 68%
Tesco Opticians 65%
Scrivens Opticians 61%
Optical Express 59%

As well as rating the store they used overall (customer score), customers also rated them on areas such as price and customer service, on a scale of one to five: 1 – very poor, 2 – poor, 3 – fair, 4 – good, 5 – excellent. These results were then used to create star ratings.

Another frame we’ll never stock

Hot on the heels of the bizarre looking A-Frame comes the Ron Arad ‘Corbs’.

Apparently taking inspiration from a vertebrates spine, the sunglasses are designed without hinges to give a snugger fit that should never come loose.

Again appealing to a very small market, the idea is certainly novel and another example of how eventually we discover that mother nature had it right all along.

Online specs ‘dangerous’

Surprise surprise, online spectacles are pretty rubbish. So rubbish that  much of the time they don’t even meet the basic British Standards and are potentially dangerous for your eyes says consumer watchdog Which.

36 pairs of glasses were purchased from 13 online retailers. 15 pairs were below par and 10 failed to meet the British Standards all glasses must conform to.

Read the report here

Certain things can be bought online but specialist custom made appliances for correcting vision are best bought from a specialist where careful measurements and correct fitting ensures the health and well being of your entire visual system.

If you’re not happy with your glasses from online or elsewhere, come and see us. Vast experience, expertise and a cast-iron no-quibble guarantee means the best possible glasses for you.

 

New glasses to help stroke victims

Israeli-developed spectacles costing around £1,600 per pair are being used to help stroke victims walk again.

They work by projecting an image of a tiled black and white floor into the corner of each eyepiece – the images appear to move towards the patient as their body advances prompting the brain to send signals to nerves in the legs and feet.

Virtual reality glasses could help MS sufferers

Scientists in Israel have developed a pair of high-tech spectacles that can
help sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinsons walk again.

An electronic device fitted to the patient’s belt transmits an image of a tiled
floor to a projector fitted to a pair of glasses. This floor appears to
move, prompting the brain to overcome frozen limb syndrome and make it
possible for the patient to walk again.

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