Because Common Sense

I paid 700+ dollars out of pocket to get my eyes checked and have a new prescription put in my back-up pair and a new pair of glasses (so i can still drive while i’m waiting for the second pair to arrive). They told me to stare at a picture of a hot air balloon, photographed my eyeball, and said they knew my prescription. We were done. I wondered why we had skipped the part where they inevitably ask you is 1 or 2 clearer…# 1 or # 2? I decided it was 2022…maybe they could tell your prescription just by taking a picture of your eyeball now…who was i to tell them they’d forgotten something.

I tried to wear the glasses for a month before i gave up and had to admit that i was squinting so much i was giving myself headaches and my eyes were watering. I couldnt see the trees. I couldnt see the street signs. I was near sighted. So when they asked me if everything in the shop was in focus the answer was yes. It was stuff far away that i couldnt see, like street signs and intersections. I called the shop without giving my name and asked if they still did the “1 or 2” test during eye exams. The receptionist told me they did this during every exam and when i said i hadnt gotten that assessment she was alarmed and said okay come in right now and we’ll get you assessed with that. So i came in an hour before work and waited half an hour to be seen. When they could finally fit me in they did not take me to the clinic to get my eye exam done properly. Instead, they had written down that i was there for “frames tweaking” and they brought me to a desk in the lobby where someone tried to suggest different frames might make my vision a bit less blurry. I was confused and fed up because i needed the “1 or 2 clearer” test and i was told to come in to take that test, the test that they’d either skipped or forgotten to do, and here they were trying to convince me that i called and booked an appointment for “frames tweaking.” I did no such thing. So now they wanted to know why i thought i was here if not for frames tweaking. The employee in training wanted to know who i had seen during round one. I stared at her, a little amused, “you.” She quickly went to grab another employee. Both of them sat and interviewed me together on why i thought my prescription was incorrect. Whatever on earth gave me that idea? Well, i could see but not real clearly so i got an updated prescription and now i can see even less. My vision got worse. That’s what gave me the inkling of an idea my prescription might be wrong. I told the two women that i was told by the eye doctor who saw me that my prescription had gotten better but i wasn’t sure that was true based upon my current ability to read street signs. The trainee piped up now with a blustery amount of indignance, “No your vision did get better, because we took a picture of your eyeball and that machine is where we get your prescription and the machine said your eyes got better. I asked, “the machine is what gives the prescription because when i sat down you echoed what the receptionist said on the phone and expressed that the machine gives you a starting point for the prescription and then further assessment hones in on the exact prescription needed?” The trainee left to pull frames for me. I was frustrated at this point. What are frames going to do? I have frames. I dont need more frames. I need different lenses. The trainee said, “Sometimes the different shape of frames are better for some people than others so we should just pull you a few and see if any if them make it better.” Off she went despite my protesting. When she came back i was pretty done with this fiasco and asked to have what i came there for, the “is #1 clearer or #2?” Test. They first decided there was no way the eye doctor didnt give me this and grilled me for a while about whether i was sure i didnt have it. I didnt even sit in the chair…how would i have had it? I think i would remember having an owl looking device placed on my face and then being asked, “#1 or #2?” Then they decided that they couldnt just give me this test willy nilly because the doctor that had seen me was at home that day and they had to make contact with her and see why she hadnt given me the test because there must be some reason she saw that i didn’t need it if she didn’t give it to me. Miss trainee told me not everyone needs the “#1or #2” test and that for some the machine taking a picture of their eyeball is all the accuracy that is needed to produce the right prescription. At this point she left to see when the eye doctor who had seen me was on schedule next and a male employee arrived at the counter to tell the woman who was helping the trainee that she had to assign the trainee another patient or get up and leave me at the table to wait for the trainee to return because “we have customers and you can’t just be seeing people that arent on schedule.” I felt like they had my money already. I had a $700 product that didnt work and they didnt care to make it work because they had already gotten paid. I ceased being a customer once my card cleared. At this point miss Trainee returned to tell me she wasnt sure when they would next get ahold of the eye doctor who had seen me and updated my prescription but lets pull 7 or 8 different frames and see if any of them work better to make my vision clearer. The remaining woman was deciding whether to take me and reassign the trainee or leave me with the trainee and get another customer. Also, get this, the trainee had wanted to poke my eyeball with a hand held device that measures pressure upon impact but i had declined because i didnt trust her level of expertise with deciding distance from face due to the fact that both times she demonstrated what she was going to do the amount of space she was measuring between her fingers was different. Also i didnt fancy germ laden things touching my eyeball.

At this point i stood up and walked out. I said calmly in an indoor voice, nearly in tears with frustration, “you know what, im gonna go, im just gonna go because clearly this is not a priority and im just gonna go.” The woman pleaded, “why? Where are you going? Why?” I said, “because i spent over 700 dollars that i didnt have on two pairs of glasses here that i cant see out of and i dont think that i should have that problem after spending 700+ dollars out of my pocket. I make 10 dollars an hour. My prescription is going to get worse over time. I might as well start out being able to see, for that money.” She said, “we’re gonna make this right. She’s pulling frames right now. We’re gonna make it right.” I was thinking, “are you?” Because the only thing that could make it right was that test in the clinic that i had been denied where they ask you, “is one or two clearer” to hone in on your exact prescription. I said, “nope, im good. Im good.” I left with a room full of speechless customers watching me go with great interest. I drove to work. Sitting in the parking lot i received a call from the eye doctor at home asking me to make an appointment to come in so they could address whatever issues there were with the glasses that was making it difficult for me to see. I told her i’d been in already and i was appalled at the customer service i had received and couldn’t believe they treated customers in that way. I recounted the whole experience to her. She apologized for the man’s comments and tried to make me an appointment for 11 but that was when i had to be at work. We settled on an appointment for 3:40 pm the following afternoon. The only thing i wanted to know was could i have that test where somebody asked me, “is option 1 or option 2 clearer?” She said she would write down in the documentation that they were to give me that test for sure before i left.

When i arrived i heard the frames specialist ask the receptionist what i was there for. The frames specialist stated, “i think she’s here for frames troubleshooting…right Lauren? Are you here for frames trouble shooting?” My face…the receptionist quickly took the clipboard from her and said, “you know what, i dont know but i will find out. Let me go find out.” She disappeared behind the clinic door and the frames specialist walked away. The receptionist came back and announced i was there to see the clinic and that they would be with me in just a moment.

One of their senior most eye doctors came to get me and handled me with great care as if i’d lawyered up and threatened to sue them. She said, “now i understand that you have some concerns that you may not be receiving the best care here and the most accurate prescription for your eyes and i want you to know i’ve read your whole file and even the information on your old prescription and i am here to help you and im going to take good care of you.” I thanked her. I felt like it should be a no brainer that i needed the “1 or 2” test and i thought the kid gloves thing was just as crazy a response as the gas lighting but i would rather have this response than the other so i went with it. She gave me the test. I answered honestly each time about which lense was clearer. She finished the test and then calm as a cucumber announced that my prescription was actually a bit worse than the old one had been, not better, and that this would have to be remedied by ordering new lenses for both pairs of glasses, free of charge to me, and then switching the current lenses out for the more accurate ones. Nobody ever said “you were right” or “what do you know, you weren’t crazy” or “our bad…maybe we should have done this test after-all.” I could tell she was just as surprised as all the others that the outcome wasnt “crazy patient is being high maintenance and crazy.” But, the fact that she admitted they had gotten my prescription wrong was enough. I knew i needed that test with the owl looking device on my face and now i had proof of this.

I’m still waiting for the first of two pairs of replacement lenses to be delivered to them. One has been ordered, the other has not. So the nightmare is not over.

Ladies and gentlemen you should have two take-aways from this story. One, do not get dentistry or eye assessments done in a small town. Drive to the city. Two, do not let them tell you they have a device that’s going to take a picture of your eyeball one time and then the computer will know your prescription. This type of technology does not exist. It gives them a ball park idea of where to start. It is not a substitute for the actual eye exam with all the lenses. Don’t ever drop 700 dollars if they refuse or forget to actually deduce your prescription manually. Technology is not everything. I refer you to the episode of the office where the auto gps says turn right 20 feet before it should and michael drives into a retention pond, sinking the rental car. Use your brains folks. If you cant see, the prescription is incorrect. I dont care what the computer says. It could tell me the sky is purple. I don’t know or care what short-circuiting malfunction it is in the middle of but if i look outside the window and confirm its still blue, im going with blue.

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