I wish optometry wasn’t a business, but it is and needs money to keep going.  We are very price competitive, and in order to be so, we have to watch our costs.  If you could see all the glasses sitting in boxes but not picked up or contacts not picked up, you would realize that a few rules must be in place.

Examination Fees or Copays are expected to be paid on the day of the exam.

We need half down on glasses orders.  Because we can make single vision glasses in the same day, naturally we need all of it.  Sadly, people order glasses at my expense and then not pick them up.  This can get very expensive.

We need all contacts evaluation fees paid up front.  (Why? Because people will come in get evaluated, not pay for their evaluation then ask for their contact lens prescription to go somewhere else.)  You can get your contact lens prescription from us no problem, but you must your eval to do so.

We need you to pay for contacts that we need to order.  Why?  There is very little mark up on contacts.  We have people who will order contacts but not pick them up for 6 months.  The problem is my distributor wants their invoice paid next month. If not I am cut off.  So over time, we have an increasing number of contacts sitting in boxes, representing hundreds of dollars.   My distributor doesn’t care if I get paid for the contacts ordered.  

We are told by patients that they can’t pay anything because they are seeing their dentist or something.  Essentially they are asking for a loan so that they can pay someone else.  Ah…  no.

If you have a vision plan (VSP EyeMed Superior etc), you need to pay your add ons before we order.  This sounds harsh.  Why?  Because if someone orders all the bells and whistles and not pick up the glasses, we actually lose money and by that I don’t mean make less, I mean lose.  For example, if someone has to pay an additional fee to get, say, transitions and say progressives or anti-reflection coatings, the insurance company thinks we got paid for all that; as a result they will immediately SUBTRACT those amounts from our reimbursement.  It can happen that if the patient doesn’t pick up their glasses, then WE CAN OWE THE INSURANCE COMPANY instead of getting any reimbursement because the add ons add up to more than the exam fee.

The way it should work is:

Patient pays us.  The vision plan subracts that from our reimbursement, then the plan pays the lab.   

What can happen is:

Patient doesn’t pick up glasses; we are not paid.  The vision plan pays their lab and subracts that amount from our reimbursement. We are screwed.


If your frame breaks within a year, you get a new frame, and unlike some establishments, there are no “deductibles”.  The only stipulation is “it has to look like a frame.”  If you put your frame in a fire or run it over with a law mover, then no.  That’s not fair.  Otherwise, new frame.

We carry 2 year scratch warranties on lenses.  Scratch your lenses with these coatings (there are several), then new lenses, no questions asked. It doesn’t matter if it’s your fault (because it will be), you get a 2 year warranty, one time, no questions asked replacement.  This includes, by the way, all the add ons: Transition? Yes? High index? Yes.  The same progressive (no line) lenses?  Yes.

Are we the cheapest? Almost.  Do we have the most value?  Yes.

© Richard Randolph 2012