Does The Optometrist Respect You?

Respect.  Glasses.  A Jake post.  Oh-oh, you say. Don’t worry, this will be an entirely rant-free post.  We’re just going to take a bit of a look at what should be acceptable interaction with you […]

Feb 26,2017 · 5 min read

Respect.  Glasses.  A Jake post.  Oh-oh, you say.

Don’t worry, this will be an entirely rant-free post.  We’re just going to take a bit of a look at what should be acceptable interaction with you as customer, and what might be less so.

Let’s start here:  The optic shop is a business and you are a customer.

Curiously and what you may want to contemplate first, is the often notable disconnect between the outside of this sort of establishment, and the inside of it.  I’m going to point this out so you consciously follow the sales strategy inherent in a lot of these optic shops.

Outside of optometrist shop:

Eyecare Studio Singapore - I Wouldn't Go There.

A retail store.

Before you walk inside, you’ll likely see retail style promotions.

No different from any electronics store, grocery store, or used car dealership.  The pitch is almost always some monetary discount.  Again, this important to recognize consciously.  To get you into the store, they’re offering you discounts, just like a car dealer or an electronics store.

Now, once you’re inside, you still get a very retail experience.  Spotlights on shelves, brand names, you could be in an Apple store when it comes to some of these places.

That is until you get to the real sales part.  Which is here:


That’s right.  It’s like a doctor’s office.  

And again, you have to consciously think about this.  We’re all so used to it that we fail to see how the sales angle works here.  We’re not seeing the discord between the monetary incentive lure outside to get you in the store, and then how the script is flipped once you’re in there.

Because now you get authority.  The lab coat, the being told to sit and look at the letters, and like a little schoolboy (or girl) you’re trying to get it just right for the big doctor.

Psychology.  Sales.  Taking perceived control away from you.

You’re being kept in the dark (literally but also as far as all the numbers and results and meaning of all the things they’re evaluating about your eyesight).  This is all putting you in a position where you’re no longer feeling in control of the process.  It’s beyond even fancy used car sales tricks, the level of genius selling here.

Now you’re being told about “prescriptions”.  No more come in please, 50% off.  No sir.  You have to get these now.  You’re broken.  Your eyes are no good.  We’re the experts, you need to be medicated.  With Zeiss(tm) lenses and Luxottica(tm) frames.  Which do you want, fancy lenses or regular lenses?  Would you like lens coatings?  How about a second pair at 50% off?  Not do you want to buy anything, but which and how much.  

There’s no question whether to buy at this point.  It’s a “prescription”, after all.  And you’re already preset from the eye exam to be a good little boy/girl, to please the doctor.  

Sales.  Kittehs.  It’s all sales.

Let’s stop for a second and look at a post from our Facebook group:

This is where you might have an issue.

So here’s the problem.

If you think about all of the above, obvious (now) facts, does that seem a bit shady, a bit dodgy?  Do you expect to go to your doctor and see 50% off signs and fashion brand name things?  Do you drive by a hospital and see them advertising 2-for-1 insulin prescriptions outside?  A hard sell once you’re in the hospital?

Well you say, they might as well.   (you’re so cynical, seriously)

Does it seem justified to use the guise of medical trust, of “prescriptions”, to sell you lenses marked up several thousand percent?  I’m not saying here that it’s right or wrong.  I’m just pointing out that it is going on.  

And all that takes us right back to the post title.  Respect.

I don’t know what you might expect with a sales experience.  I expect respect, when I go to any retail establishment to buy a product or a service.  If I ask questions about the product, I expect answers (not condescension).  If I state that something about a product makes me a uncomfortable, I expect suggestions of better alternatives.  Imagine you’re in a shoe store, the shoe is too small.  Does the shoe sales guy say, oh no that’s how it is, this is a shoe prescription, you will have to wear it till you get used to it?

Sounds ridiculous.  But are we not in a retail store?  Is this a medical consult, or is it product sales?  To my simple, uneducated mind, that all seems quite dodgy, how things all seem to be mixed together.  

Yes sure, there is a professional component here.  The optometrist has schooling and you shouldn’t be able to walk in there and just buy whatever correction you want.  But if you don’t want hyperopic defocus and progressive lens-induced myopia, it seems like it might be a fair request to not have to wear a full minus distance correction for your close-up use.

Maybe.  I don’t know.  I’m not a retail expert, or an optometrist.  So I’ll just leave it to you contemplate to all of this.  ;)




    Formerly genetically defective. 🤓 Weaned off retail optometry lens subscriptions, now 20/20 eyesight. Also into BJJ, kitesurfing, paragliding, being stupid.

    Topic:  Questionable Therapy

    Questionable Therapy