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Vision at 40+

I got my eyes checked on Friday and I walked out of there over $400 lighter in the wallet, and I’m covered under two vision insurance policies.  What did I get?

  1. An eye exam for contact lenses
  2. Some sample cleaner solution
  3. A commitment for them to buy 6 months worth of contacts once we determine the pair they prescribed are fitted correctly.
  4. $350 worth of contact “fitting”.

That last one is a difficult one for me to rationalize.  Last year my contact fitting fee was about $100.  Because I am over 40, and my eyes don’t focus as well, I am trying these so-called multifocal lenses.  My eye doctor described them like looking through a screen door…If you look through the screen door and focus on what is on the other side you won’t notice the door.  So if  I focus far or close these lenses will support that endeavor, though I suppose not as well as someone under 40 can see.  The doctor offered up the option of the single focal contact with a pair of reading glasses but my vanity didn’t allow proper consideration of that option.

One thing that really bothers me is that  they dilated my eyes as part of the scam, I mean exam.  When it came time to put up money I was a little off my game because everything within a couple of feet of me was blurry.  I couldn’t read the contract I signed, especially the bold print at the bottom stating “No refunds on fitting costs”.  I think I should have asked for my prescriptions and told them I’d be back when I could focus.

I called the Dr.’s office on Saturday to ask about another charge and told the person on the phone that this fitting fee was a difficult pill to swallow.  She giggled and told me that at least I wouldn’t have to pay it next year.  Really?!?!?!? They told me the same thing last year.  I plan on getting the single focus contact my next visit, at which point I think they wouldn’t need to charge me such a huge fee for fitting since I have already been fitted for single vision the last two years.  We’ll see if they agree.

I have tried to understand why the fee would be so insane.  I have tried to do some mental math on how many people work there and their time, the other costs of their operations, and the fact that they are in the business to make money.  In the end I’m not able to feel that “wheels of commerce”  gratification.

In my world of Thermal/Airflow Design Consulting Services it would be like me binding my customer to a contract which charges them for work that may not be necessary, before they can receive other bids, while they are blindfolded.  It may not be exactly like that, but it sure feels that way.


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About John Wilson

John WilsonJohn Wilson joined Mentor Graphics Corporation, Mechanical Analysis Division (formerly Flomerics Ltd) in 1999. John has worked on or managed more than 100 thermal and airflow design projects. His modeling and design knowledge range from Electronics Cooling IC packaging level to Data Centers and Clean Rooms. He has extensive experience in IC package level test and analysis correlation through his work at Mentor Graphics' San Jose based Thermal Test Facility. He is currently the Consulting Engineering Manager, WRO in the Mechanical Analysis Division. Visit John R Wilson's Blog

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