Product Type: Boots health products
Newest Review: ... though they were informed NHS does it to me every 6 months if required saying that was ok the NHS will pay!) they then told me I'd only nee... more
The Advantage Of Boots Opticians
Member Name: t4mof
Advantages: Earn Advantage Points; Good range of frames to choose from; Cheap monthly payment plan
Disadvantages: Limited time available for contact lense appointments
There are many Boots Opticians around the country varying in size from large, spacious premises based in cities to smaller locations in towns and suburbs. The Boots Opticians that I visit now is a smaller one but still has facilities to provide good quality eye care.
I registered at my current store back in 1998 and as I already wore contact lenses I wanted to be part of a scheme where I could pay monthly and be provided with all my contact lenses and eye tests without having to worry about the cost. I was put onto a Boots Vision Plan where for £10 a month, paid by Direct Debit, I received three months supply of contact lenses at a time and an annual after care appointment all included in the cost.
The after care appointment includes a thorough eye examination with all the usual tests - reading the letters, focusing on the red and green circles, saying which of the black circles are clearer all the time wearing thick Harry Potter glasses while the optician plays around with different lenses.
Then there are other tests that they carry out including looking at my contact lenses while they sit on my eye, getting me to blink and look in different directions so they can see how the contact lenses respond to every day actions. A light is shone into my eye while I move it around. I also get a puff of air blown on each eyeball which measures eye pressure and can tell the optician whether you have Glaucoma. They carry out visual field screening where I have to sit in a dark room with my head near a dark screen. Pin pricks of light are then flashed and I have to say how many I can see. On the first visit I also carried out a colour-blindness test but as you are unlikely to become colour blind - you either are or you aren't in most cases - this is the only time I have had this type of examination. On occasion the optician will also put orange dye into my eyes to highlight any potential problems with me wearing my contact lenses.
I always feel as if my eyes are being thoroughly examined and looked after by well trained professionals. At the beginning of each consultation the optician will ask questions mainly about my contact lense wearing, such as how long do I wear them each day, how long I have had them in on the day of the appointment, what date did I change them on and on the initial consultation there are also lifestyle questions so the optician can build up a good picture of your needs and requirements.
The after care appointments usually last between 20 minutes and half an hour and providing my prescription hasn't changed I am sent away with nothing to pay, which is always a nice feeling. They do, however, add on your Advantage Points for the money you have paid since your last visit. As I have to collect my contact lenses once every three months, this means on each visit I have 30 points added on to my card. As Boots Opticians is a service rather than a product, you do only get 1 point per pound you spend.
If your prescription has changed you have the choice of ordering new lenses straightaway with the new prescription or if it has only changed slightly, they can make sure that your next set of lenses will be the new strength so the maximum time to wait would be three months. As soon as your contact lenses are ready for collection they will phone you to advise. The staff also inform you when you are due an after care appointment too. I have never had any trouble finding an appointment slot to suit me although at my branch they only have contact lense appointments on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays so I do have to visit on one of these days.
Being on the Boots Vision Plan means that I am also entitled to cheaper glasses. Even though I wear contact lenses most of the time, I also have a pair of glasses that I wear around the house and as most people know glasses do not come cheap. You find a frame you like and it's not too expensive but by the time the cost of the lenses is added on plus all the little extras I have such as scratch resistance, glare resistance and thinned lenses, the cost mounts up and I very rarely get a pair of glasses for under £200. By paying monthly for my contact lenses I am entitled to £50 off frames over £125 and half price prescription sunglasses. Add to this that Boots often have buy one get one free on certain frames or other such offers and you can actually get quite a lot for your money.
I have always found the range of frames that Boots have available to be perfectly suitable for my needs. Prices for the Boots own range start at around £75 for adults with children's frames starting at £30. Their own range of styles keep with the trends of the designer frames with rimless frames, small, oval shaped frames and petite frames all available. But if it's designer you are looking for then Boots provide that too, stocking frames by Ben Sherman, Guess and Calvin Klein among others. The frames are always well laid out and easily accessible with plenty of mirrors around so you can try them on with ease. If you require help or advice when choosing frames a member of staff is usually available to help. I find this very useful as my eyesight is so bad that I can't see what I look like in the glasses anyway. After choosing the frames, the next stage is to go through the cost of everything. A member of staff will sit down with you and discuss the price of the added extras. All of it is broken down on a computer screen in front of you so you can see exactly what you are paying and what it is for. The staff have always been very knowledgeable about the products on offer but I have never felt any sales pressure.
Once you have chosen your frames and types of lenses they send off your prescription and frames for them to be fitted. This usually takes about a week, then you are asked back into the store to try them on. A member of staff will then make the necessary alterations to make sure your glasses fit well and are comfortable. This takes around 15 minutes.
I have always been impressed that in seven years of custom at Boots Opticians the original Vision Plan price of £10 per month has never increased. And recently I got some even better news. The Boots Vision Plan has recently been upgraded to also include home delivery of contact lenses which is going to make it even more convenient in the future. And this extra benefit still hasn't increased the cost. In fact they have reduced the monthly fee to just £6 a month.
I always know that if I have a problem with my contact lenses or glasses they will do their best to help out. One of the first types of contact lenses I received while at this particular branch didn't suit me at all. They seemed to stick to my eye and getting them out was a nightmare. On more than one occasion they snapped in two, leaving half the contact lense in my eye and half in between my fingers. A painful and unpleasant experience. A quick phone call to Boots and they changed my type of lenses and provided me with spare ones in place of the broken ones all at no extra cost - in fact spare lenses are also included in the miniscule £6 a month too just in case of any loss or damage.
I think my biggest recommendation has to be that in seven years of being a Boots customer, I have never felt the need to look to see what other opticians are offering. I've always felt well treated, valued as a customer and that I'm getting a good deal. For the time being I have no reason to change.
Summary: A personal, thorough service.
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