I have been wearing glasses most of my life now. I got my first pair at around 13 and as I have gotten older, there has been a steady decline in my vision to the point where I am now fully reliant on my glass to be able to see. But despite regular checkups, I’ve not been without drama where my eyes are concerned.
Ever since Olivia started wearing her glasses at age 5, we changed our opticians and have happily been with them ever since. But recently I was asked to pop along to my local Vision Express and get my eyes checked over, to see how my sight is and also my eye health. Could a nationwide chain give me the same personal experience as my local independent opticians? I would soon find out. They too would also get to give my eyes, and all their dramas, a once-over. Could they tell me anything I didn’t already know or would I end up a bit of a teaching case?
My local Vision Express is based in The Pyramids Shopping Centre, Birkenhead.
Booking the Appointment.
If like me, talking on the phone is something you avoid at all costs, you’ll be pleased to know appointments are available to book online. This is how I booked mine. And I received a call back pretty quickly to arrange a time and confirm my booking. So far so good and all pretty easy.
A few days later as I was on my way it turned out that the optician I was due to see was unable to make it. I received a call to rearrange. For me, this wasn’t an issue and the gentleman I spoke to over the phone was really apologetic and polite and helped me rebook for a week later. So home I came. I wanted to mention it as pretty much on the phone I got a feel for their customer service (which is a major thing for me). Whilst having to cancel so close to my appointment isn’t ideal, they were really helpful going above and beyond to get it sorted and rearranged, so I had high hopes for my time in the store for my new appointment.
The second appointment came without issue and I arrived in good time (phew!). I informed a member of staff of my appointment and she directed me upstairs. There wasn’t a long wait for my pre-test and was quickly sat in the chair ready for the images to be taken of my eye. I wonder what they will make of it when they see it!
Then it was back to the waiting area before my appointment. I still hadn’t mentioned I was here for a review yet. But the kind and courteous manner in which I experienced over the phone, was still just as apparent in person.
After taking a seat in the chair, we discussed my reasons for the appointment and got down to the test. I knew my scaring on the back of my retina would be apparent and a point of discussion so we had a little chat about that and my history etc before checking my overall health and vision.
Everything was fully explained to me and unexpectedly I felt at ease and very comfortable as we ran through all the different checks required. Does anyone else feel like they are holding their breath and can’t/don’t want to breathe as your eyes are being checked? Just me?
After what was a really thorough test and discussion of my left eye, I was more than happy to be a guinea pig for one of the students to see something they hadn’t actually seen before and discuss it with us. Always happy to help.
Choosing my Glasses.
This is always so much harder than it looks isn’t it! In my usual opticians, the price on the frames is all inclusive however Vision Express is different here. Clearly explained in person and via posters in the store, the price on the frames is in addition to the lenses. The lenses are different prices depending on what or any coatings you have on them.
During my appointment, I mentioned I would like to go away with some sunglasses for driving. However, they suggested that an anti-glare coating and blue light filter would be better for me. This would also help with the blue light from my laptop and the glare of headlights when driving in the dark. So I decided to take the advice and choose a normal pair of glasses with the recommended coating.
Same or Different?
Do I opt for the same style I have now? Or go completely different? Choices choices? Plus I chose to wear my hair different today so that wasn’t going to help matters, was it! But again nothing was too much trouble and I was helped out as we narrowed down my style of choice.
With the style narrowed down, I finally decided on the colour. A gorgeous deep midnight blue to match the shade I have my hair dyed in! The frame is also rounder than I usually go for too but I really liked the way they looked.
As a side note, payment is required upfront before any work is undertaken on your new frames and lenses. I know it always helps me to know in advance if I can leave a deposit or if I need to pay in full on the day.
My glasses were ready to collect 6 days later! I was quoted 7 – 10 days so to come in earlier was a bonus for me. Again care and attention was paid to making sure they felt right before I left the store. With a slight adjustment, I was ready to go, opting to keep them on. Wearing the frames, they felt lighter than my previous frames and very comfortable.
I am also pleased to say that pretty much straight away I noticed the impact of the anti-glare coating.
Vision Express, The Pyramids, Birkenhead.
This is an optician I have always walked past yet never even considered before. Whilst I am more than happy with my current optician, I really cannot fault the service and attention I received in store today. Whilst I felt like (and was) a really annoying customer, they hid it very well and were nothing but friendly, helpful and attentive. This was across the board too. Nothing was too much trouble and at every step of the way I felt comfortable and well informed at all times.
There are no hidden extras when purchasing. With their clear pricing system, you know what you are getting and what you are paying for upfront.
Honestly, I was really pleased with my visit. As I mentioned earlier it was only, later on, they knew I was there to review and not before I booked which I actually prefer as I know I’m not getting preferential treatment for a good review. I also witnessed them with other customers who too seemed really pleased with their appointment.
For more information and/or to book an eye test at your local Vision Express you can check them out online or head to your nearest store.