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On top of it, there's the poor sight headaches. 
12th-Feb-2009 02:53 pm
pissed off
I need new glasses.

I have needed new glasses for a while. These are four years old and my eyes have been deteriorating slowly but steadily over that time. And now I need new ones, for I hear the world it pretty when it's in sharp focus.

Now, I've had my eye-test, I have a prescription and it's all good. I even tried on glasses in the opticians and found a pair I like. These will cost me £162.00 for lenses and frames. Which is about average for glasses, and it's not a big deal, I can use my birthday present for them.

Except now I've seen the alternative. I went on to Glasses Direct and found an approximately similar pair that I liked, for £25. Which is - well, it's £25. Even if they don't look perfect it's still worth a try, right?

I have an astigmatism and require prisms in my glasses. And for Glasses Direct to put the prisms in, they need my pupillary distance, and they need it exact. And this is where the problem is:

My Opticians (Walker and Campbell) refuse to give me the pupillary distance. They say it's because they measure it for each pair of glasses, but that's rubbish; I can tell from their well-practised line: we don't give out pupillary distances. Not 'don't measure/record', don't give out. They are deliberately retaining information about my body from me, and that makes me angry. Especially angry when the 'we measure it for each pair' is likely not true, as GD say that they can measure it if I send them a pair of old glasses, so it's not exactly unique for each pair. So the only reason W&C have to keep the information is to ensure I don't go anywhere else.

Well, fuck that. That kind of shit is just making me more likely to go to the cheap online place (who, incidentally, have excellent customer service). Usually I'm all about supporting my local business - this is, after all, why I go to my home village to find a local opticians to support - but when there's over £100 at stake, and they're deliberately withholding information from me about my own body - fuck that shit. If I can't find a spare pair of glasses, I'm going to Specsavers just to spite them.
12th-Feb-2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
I went online for my current specs thanks to outstanding displays of rudeness and incompetence by two branches of D&A. At least they gave me all my measurements, though. Grr.
12th-Feb-2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
I just hope I have a spare pair of glasses. Having this one measurment taken elsewhere would cost more money, and even if I was going to go back because I like the glasses, I'm certainly not going to now.
12th-Feb-2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
That's so obnoxious and stupid. Please keep us posted on how you conquer the opticians and find your pupillary distance.
12th-Feb-2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
How is the distance between your pupils going to change when you wear a different pair of glasses?

Do you have short sight as well as astigmatism? If you do you have complex lenses and iirc get free eye tests. (My eyes are bad enough without the astigmatism that I get free tests anyway- so I'm not sure if its the crapness or crapness squared thats doing it).
12th-Feb-2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, but I don't have free tests, my eyesight isn't that bad.

And I DON'T KNOW. I think they're lying to get me to stay. It's possible to measure PD on one's own with a mirror, so I'm tempted.
12th-Feb-2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
Then it is the crapness, not the multiple levels thereof that gets me free tests. The contribution the govt pay because of this is pitiful- especially when lenses cost about £60+ each- I'm pessimistic that GD will be able to help that much either- even with the "ultra-thin" glass mine look like milk-bottles.
12th-Feb-2009 03:26 pm (UTC)
Worth a try, I think?
12th-Feb-2009 03:38 pm (UTC)
I'm not due an eye appointment for a while, and I haven't a clue where my current prescription is. Maybe next time though- although I actually like the glasses I have right now, so I may just get them reglazed.
12th-Feb-2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's possible - although I recommend getting a friend to do it for you. I got a little dizzy trying to measure and check the measurement at the same time ;)

If it helps? Mine came from cheapspecs.co.uk - because there's no mirrors (ofc), they have pica of people with set facial shapes wearing the glasses. Very happy with mine :)

Important Edit: They also walk you through the "measure your PD" steps.

Edited at 2009-02-12 20:45 (UTC)
12th-Feb-2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
If they're witholding information that they possess about you then does that fall under the jurisdiction of the Data Protection Act?
(Deleted comment)
12th-Feb-2009 03:34 pm (UTC)
Well, certain spectacle sites are claiming they can refues to tell you, or at least pull this 'we don't have it rly' crap.
12th-Feb-2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
Yes, but this would seem to be a situation where the principle is of more import(ance).
(Deleted comment)
12th-Feb-2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
Time for them to process and return it to you, by post, is likely to be about £10 if it's done by a junior functionary, more if they have to take it to a higher level manager first.

One of the best ways to cost companies money is to hit them with DPA requests, it virtually always costs them more in staff time than you have to pay them.
12th-Feb-2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
Holy shit, that's just ridiculous. *stabs them*
(Deleted comment)
12th-Feb-2009 05:06 pm (UTC)

Um, I dunno how the rules work on UK, but here in the US no health care providers are allowed to withhold your personal information about your body from you. They may charge you for it, but they are NOT allowed to withhold it from you, that is YOUR information.

They are refusing to give you the information so that you "have" to buy from them.

Absolute rubbish.

Kick up a fuss, find out more, kick up more of a fuss. *IMs*
(Deleted comment)
12th-Feb-2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
With the cost of the eye test, I would have hit £200 on this visit.
12th-Feb-2009 07:42 pm (UTC)
A very good friend of mine (and ex UNL rocksoc) is manager of the Russell Square branch of Specsavers. I can have a word with her and see if they can do this for you if that would help?
12th-Feb-2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
That would be awesome, thank you!
12th-Feb-2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
You have stumbled upon my newest internet obsession. I'm actually wearing a $15 pair of glasses I purchased online as I type this!

From what I've read (and this may only be true on my side of the pond), your optician can't withhold your PD. I already had my prescription, but I felt guilty about going back in to get the free PD test so that I could spend money somewhere else, so I just went to Lenscrafters (basically a chain store -- I don't know if Specsavers is the British equivalent). I walked in; they measured me with the weird binocular things. No charge; no fuss.

I also tried measuring it myself, but I was 3mm off from the Lenscrafters measurement. I think I might have been better off hassling your lady to help me or taking a photo of myself with a ruler.

For more info, I recommend the following:
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