Friday, May 09, 2008

Free prescriptions!!!

Enlace a entrada en español

As I wrote in my last post, in Spain, the optician’s shops that belong to the big optical chains and also many little optician’s shops, nowadays, do not still charge when they perform an eye refraction examination. These professionals of vision do not value their services, but what service are they going to charge? Would they charge a refraction test executed in 5 minutes? Would they charge for something that anyone who might have not studied the Optometry degree and who might learn easily because it can be done monotonously or can do it mechanically? That has no value. That is not testing the vision.

The worst of all is that with that, we ourselves have been spoiling to the patient for many years. Optician’s shops that do not already offer this limited service, suffer the consequences.

So when people come into the optician’s shop, they believe they have all the rights for asking for and demanding many “complements” when they buy just some glasses, many times they are on offer.

When they pick the glasses up, after:
  • having tested the patient’s eye vision (better or worse, let me skip that for now),
  • having been advised about what glasses fit them better,
  • having recommended one or another lens according the patient’s need,
  • having requested their lenses to the manufacturer,
  • having fitted and fixed the glasses,
the customer might pay just 55 euros or might have a 50 percent discount in some of the glasses and by all the time and work that involves that sale, that is, all of those services that are done free. But that is not all, the customer, believes that has all right to demand “added values”: a hard case, a soft dustcloth, a cord, a lenses cleaner, and absolutely, the prescription.

Within an optician’s shop many opticians do not charge for their services but just for the products they sell. When we study the degree, teachers do not teach us how to sell, but how to be Optometrists. However, many people complain because the glasses are very expensive.

Now that in many optician’s, the opticians are beginning to charge the prescriptions, many people are complaining about that, and they are surprised because “this was not done before”. Maybe the service and the knowledge has improved. When the people visit a medical doctor, they pay for that, don’t they? And even worse, don’t people pay whatever is required to go to the ophthalmologist office that might actually test their vision the same fast an ineffcient way that the optician’s that I talked about above? If you pay for this service, why should not you pay for the one offered by an optician, or optometrist one, whose work is more qualified and that is going to offer you much more quality time?

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