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Online Services and Eyecare

woman sitting with tablet in Blacksburg VAIs there anything more convenient than the internet? If you're the average human-being with internet access, you know the answer to that. Because of this, I'm going to talk a little about the rising popularity of a few things related to our field: Ordering glasses online, and...*gasp!* eye exams performed online!

Thanks to websites like Warby Parker, ordering frames online isn't so unheard of anymore. We'll get to that later. First, let's go over what are called “online eye exams”. The few companies offering this are coming under fire, and I believe, rightly so. Many states are looking at what an eye exam is, and deciding that these aren’t. One of the companies requires that before beginning the "exam", the user must use their shoes to determine how far they need to stand from their computer. Boy, if that doesn't raise a red flag...

Aside from your shoe size determining your prescription, there is no possible way for these online tests to check your overall eye health or alert you if something is wrong. Your eyesight is a vital sense, and any test should include checking the eye health. Anything less is neglectful. In a nutshell, this is an obvious issue.

Now, ordering glasses online isn't nearly as risky, but remember that accountability is key. Just be sure whoever you order from has an outstanding return policy.  We have had multiple people come into the office complaining that something isn't right about the lenses from their online order. We had two separate cases in December alone. We measure the lenses on the lensometer and compare those numbers to what the doctor finalized for them. And yes, their online lenses may be incorrect. Sometimes significantly.  This can be a particular issue with higher powers and multifocals.  When confronted by the unhappy customer, the company seems to be playing on the buyer's lack of optical knowledge.

Should you purchase a frame online, we are happy to order and install your prescription lenses into the frame. This is a much safer option than ordering prescription lenses online.  All we need is a current prescription from wherever it was obtained. We will examine the frame to make sure there are no defects, and ask that you sign a what's called a "Frame Release", an agreement that you're allowing us to work with a frame that did not come from the office.  But, be aware of long term frame quality. You can’t purchase Dollar Store shoes and expect the lifespan or comfort to rival that of, let’s say, Nike.  The same principle applies here.

In closing, these negative outcomes are avoidable. We offer frames and lenses of many varieties and price options, and we back our products 100%. Your satisfaction is a priority here, and we don't stop until you're happy. If something goes wrong, we will fix it- it's as simple as that. We invite you to stop in anytime, no appointment necessary. You can browse our inventory, ask questions, and discuss lenses that will work best for you until you're confident with a decision. We're always happy to have you!