Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Getting the shakedown at the eye doctor

I wear contacts...I started wearing glasses starting around age 12....about a year after I got my first computer.

After about 4 years of glasses I swtiched to monthly contacts. I started wearing daily contacts last year. Daily contacts are much easier to travel with and wear than monthly disposables. By some silly law eye doctors can only prescribe contacts for one year at a time. This is annoying. My prescription hasn't changed in these yearly visits are a waste of my money. I need them, so I go.

The doctor I used the last two years has moved on. She was really nice and I liked the way she treated me. I still went to the same office, First Eye Care of Bedford. Every time I go there they have some new gizmo. This year it's a big fancy computer that can diagnose eye problems not visible to the naked eye. In the past the doctor would dialate a patients eyes and then look inside. With this big fancy computer....that's no longer needed. Of course if you want to use the big fancy computer it cost an extra $39!

I arrived early as always and was taken back for the normal test. During the test I was pushed up to this big fancy new computer and photos of the back of my eye are taken. Hmmm...interesting as I was never asked if I wantedt this test.

The rest of the exam is normal. My eyes haven't changed...the left one actually improved slightly. At the end of the exam I get the sales pitch. To make sure I don't go blind I could either:

A:) Get my eye's dialated and the Doctor would do her best to see if I have any eye problems (glaucoma and such). There could be parts of the eye not visible to her. Additionally I would have to leave the office with those big sunglasses on to protect my eyes.

B:) Not have my eyes dialated and the Doctor would examine the photos of the back parts of my eyes that give a much clearer picture and deeper picture than can be seen with dialation.

I chose B. Here is peak of the shakedown. The photos had been sitting on the monitor sitting next to me the entire time. She just double clicked on them to englarge them. She then gave a 2 minutes speel on each eye saying they were healthy. All that for $39.  Scam.

On the way out I asked how much a years worth of contacts would cost. Total $340-$70 rebate so $270. I asked if I could have the rebate form seperately and was told "it's only good if you buy from us". I have my doubts. The last two years I bought my contacts online and was given the rebate form without a problem. I don't think I will go back to this office.


  1. Yea, that sounds like a scam... I always get my contacts from 1-800 contacts... I get my exam done at Wal-Mart, same tools, half the cost!

  2. I used to use 1800contacts. I used today. With the discount codes I found the normal $320 for a year supply was only $250 shipped. Not too shabby.