Consumer Alert: Shopping for glasses

(National-Consumer Reports) November 14, 2006 - Picking out a new pair of glasses can be an ordeal. There are so many choices from the style to the type of lenses to coatings that are added on.

Consumer Reports' national research center just published a survey of 92,000 subscribers who had recently shopped for eyeglasses. Customer service, frame selection, and prices were all included in the survey.

Donato Vaccaro, who oversaw the survey and did some comparison shopping too, says when it comes to customer service, and the quality of glasses, most people were satisfied. But many were decidedly unhappy about the cost of the glasses. "We found that 46 percent were not very satisfied with the price they paid for their eyeglasses. And this was especially true when they made purchases at a specialty optical shop or at a doctor's office."

Consumer Reports found when it comes to cost, wholesale clubs, like Sam's Club, offer much better prices. But the clear standout was Costco, according to the survey. Vaccaro says, "We found a pair of eyeglasses at LensCrafters and found a very similar pair at Costco for over 200 dollars less."

And it turns out you don't have to sacrifice customer service. Consumer reports says Costco got high marks there, too.

If you're in a rush to get your glasses, you'll have to go the expensive route. Consumer Reports says that only LensCrafters, Eyemart Express, and some independent shops can have your glasses ready in under an hour.

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Posted 10:13pm by Chantelle Janelle

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