Bait and Switch

Today I had to make yet another concession to advanced age – I’m getting reading glasses. Actually, the optometrist came up with the same prescription that he came up with last time, but last time he basically said “You can take them or leave them”, and this time he gave a harder sell. Of course, having just spent half an hour playing Toucan on my Palm Tungsten in his waiting room, my eyes were a little stressed, so it wasn’t that hard to sell me.

The bait and switch came when they started fitting me for glasses. The woman working there said “Oh, your insurance company covers $60 – I’m sure we could get you in under that” and dragged out the “budget” frames that were away in a closet somewhere instead of on display. “Yes”, she said, “with standard lenses these should be just under $60”. We picked out a pair, and then the optometrist came back to fit me for the lenses. And without discussing alternatives or anything, he checked off “polycarbonate lenses” and “anti-reflection coating” on his little pad, and told me the total would be $89. Not $89 minus $60, but $89 over and above the $60 from insurance.

Oh well, I guess I’ve been putting this off for decades, I might as well spend it.

4 thoughts on “Bait and Switch”

  1. Sounds all too familiar.

    My optician showed me the frames I wear now, and told me they would cost £110. I didn’t want to spend more than £100 on a pair of glasses, but they were light and even relatively stylish (although probably not on me).

    The actual bill was around £230. And I didn’t even get polycarbonate lenses…

  2. Glasses! You’ll be very distinguished, I’m sure.

    And $60? For glasses? Maybe for the kind you buy in the drugstore. Not for real ones. Or did you think I was being wildly extravegant when I pay $300+ for my own bifocals and for glasses for my progeny?

    Oh, and you could have told Sudha that you didn’t want the anti-reflection coating, I always do. You do want the polycarbonate lenses. Much lighter.

  3. Y’know, if you’re only going to use the glasses for reading, and don’t need astigmatic correction, the glasses from the drugstore work just fine. $9.99 is about the price.

    I used to have prescription bifocals, but I sat on them too often. If I sit on my current pair, little harm done.

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