America's Best - Real Costs of Eyeglasses and Eye Exam

Getting the best value for your money when it comes to eyeglasses, sunglasses, eye exams, and contact lenses.

Postby Jay Tee » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:04 am

Just picked up 2 pair of glasses for $69 including eye exam from Americas Best.... Couldn't be more pleased. :D

<admin: Post moved from the Costco Optical thread>
Jay Tee
 

Postby george » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:03 pm

It was brought up in the thread about eye care at Costco that someone mentioned being very satisfied with America's Best deal of two pairs of glasses and an eye exam for only $69. I was not familiar with this offer so I looked into it. If anyone has feedback or comments on America's Best - this is the thread to add it.

First off, the basic offer looks like a fantastic deal. For $69 you get an eye exam plus 2 pairs of prescription glasses. Since eye exams generally cost at least $45 at most places, that means the glasses are only about $12 each. This price would put them in line with the cheapest glasses available, even online from places like Zenni.

So, is the deal all it appears to be?

My conclusion is that it may be for some people. If the glasses you need are pretty basic, then this may be an okay deal. Based on what I can find out, the frames included in the package are mostly ugly, especially the choices for women. Perhaps there are different choices at different branches, but you will have a very limited selection of frames. I will be adding more information soon witih additional details on the prices to upgrade the frames. The lenses are standard plastic single vision lenses. My first pair of glasses I got at Lenscrafters had plastic lenses and that was adequate for me, but that we before I learned a lot more about various options with eyeglasses.

It turns out that most people who wear glasses will not be satisfied with plain plastic lenses. They can be thick, especially if you have a strong prescription. I am guessing that for most people they will try to upsell more expensive options. Based on user feedback, that appears to be the case. I plan to update this thread on the costs of the various upgrades. Since the upgrades wind up being for two pairs of glasses, this seems to quickly add up. Many people said it was around $200 for them when all was said and done, and some people wound up paying around $500. I'm guessing an upgrade to polycarbonate lenses (somewhat slimmer, lighter, and stronger) is what gets people into the $200 range. I'm not sure yet if that includes any sort of anti-reflective coating, which I personally have found I like. The $500 options would like be for someone who needed high index lenses (much thinner) due to a strong prescription.

Based on what I could find out so far, it seems many people are not happy with their experiences at America's Best. I'm guessing part of that could vary significantly based on the particular staff at a particular store. I also think many people are unhappy when they go in expecting to get everything that want for $69, but wind up needing to spend a lot more to get what they want.

I look forward to hearing other people's feedback.
george
 
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Postby george » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:05 pm

Jay Tee,

I would love it if you could post more details of your experience in this thread.

Based on what I could find, most people are not as happy as you are with their service.
george
 
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:23 pm

Postby george » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:18 pm

I wanted to find out more about the prices and products that America's Best offers, so I called a local branch and asked some questions. First off, when I called, a nice woman answered right away. I told her I wanted to know the prices for some of their products. She asked me to hold. I sat on hold about 5 minutes, and then I got cut off.

While I was on hold, though, I got to listen to a bunch of their ads. Their ads do suggest adding a sales associate about their lighter and thinner lenses that are 30% thinner than standard (more on this later). They also mention you can get two pairs of lined bifocals with a free exam for $99, which seems like a very good deal. Finally, I heard them mention that for $99 you can get contact lens exams for three years. This also seems like a good deal.

I looked around on their website, which mentions "verithin" and "verilite" lenses which must be their polycarbonate and their high index lenses. I'm not sure which is which and I couldn't find anything online with details about the lenses they use. I'll keep looking and see what I can find. I also saw comments from people online about their 3 years of eye exams. Several people commented that the eye doctor would not easily give them their prescription to take elsewhere. I'm guessing they give the cheap price on eye exams with the expectation that you will then order your contact lenses from them. The bifocals probably have the same issue that their single vision lenses have - which is that they will strongly try to upgrade you to a more expensive lens.

I called back and reached the same nice woman. She apologized for my being disconnected and said she is on another call and she will call me back when she is done. She took my phone number and called me back in about 10 minutes. I asked her about the costs for polycarbonate lenses and anti-reflective coatings. She said that the prices were just approximations as it would depend on my specific prescription and needs, but she said the polycarbonate lenses would be an extra $135 for two pairs of lenses and the anti-reflective coating would be an extra $60 for two pairs of lenses. So after all is said and done, you would pay the $69 for the eye exam and two basic frames (those that they list for $49 - it isn't clear how much additional you pay for their more expensive frames), $135 for polycarbonate lens upgrades, and $60 for anti-glare coatings bringing the total to $264 for the two pairs of glasses plus eye exam. That is still cheaper than places like Lenscrafters, but I don't know how the quality compares and it seems like most people weren't able to get their glasses the same day.

Based on what I've been hearing from others, most people who go in looking for the $69 offer are not happy as they get pushed into the more expensive options.

There were also a few reports of people having a hard time getting a copy of their prescription from the special $99 for 3 year eye contact lens exams. By law, they do have to give you the prescription, but apparently they don't make it easy as they probably assume they will make up the cheaper cost of eye exam by having you purchase your contact lenses from them.

My recommendation is the $45 eye exam is a decent price but close to the same as everywhere else but the glasses are a lot more expensive than what you can order online from places like Zenni Optical. If you prefer getting glasses from a brick and mortar store, then Costco still seems to be the best deal for good quality glasses.

I'm still interested in hearing reports from more people.
george
 
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:23 pm

Postby Anon » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:03 am

I went there this weekend all the frames where decent looking if not good looking women had a huge selection as the store I went to compared to men how ever. I got two designer frames or 59.89, while I did pay more for the deal it was for personal reasons I could have gotten basic lenses, but I upgraded on the dr's suggestion, due to my stigmatizes. I am currently waiting for my glasses now but I must say I am very please for what I got polycarbonate with verilite package and anti reflective coating. At any other store I would have payed what I payed for both pairs just for one $302. Unlike most stores they did not charge me $115 per lens it was about 60 for the first set of lenses and cheaper for the second. All in all I am very pleased. I think the problem is with people the seem to have complaints is they don't read the whole ad, or they think the DR's suggestion on lens type is required. The girl I sat down with went though each feature I could add and told me the price differences between them.
Anon
 

Postby scam » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:13 am

:lol:
Jay Tee wrote:Just picked up 2 pair of glasses for $69 including eye exam from Americas Best.... Couldn't be more pleased. :D

<admin: Post moved from the Costco Optical thread>

I don't know who this guy is, definitely a set up. Nobody walks out with two glasses for $69. Me and my girlfriend sprint hours there with customer after customer complaining and wondering why there're glasses and prescriptions were so much. They don't tell you how much the glasses are until after you have your eye exam and they tell you how you don't want a cheap glasses because they won't work for you, Have a stigmatism, you don't want to wear super thick glass lenses, you don't want to cheap plastic ugliest glass frames you've ever seen, you're going to want antiglare which is close to the 60 something dollars they were talking about alone. This advertisement wastes for peoples flying that don't have the money or resources to afford glasses and are unfortunately or wasting their time money and gas. At the end if you say I can't afford it and they'll tell you you still have to pay sixtysomething dollars for the exam. When nothing was told to you prior to the exam. Don't fall into this trap it is very dishonest this company should be ashamed of your business practices they know right from the beginning. There sales technique is to fool you. You can take glasses for $69 but you have to realize these would be the worst glasses you've ever seen very uncomfortable to wear it look ridiculous. I'm only writing this because they need to stop this horrible business practice. If you're great company tell the truth don't mislead people. Again don't mislead people you know that's what you're doing. Signs America's worst company practices!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
scam
 

Postby Lucygoosy » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:55 am

I have been using Americas Best for about 7 years now . I have always found glasses that I liked within the sale price they advertise. I have a basic prescription, no eye issues so there's nothing more price wise to add for me. Their glasses hold up with proper care. The only complaint I have is the quality of the eye dr. Some years I have felt the eye dr rushed through the exam other years it was just fine. They advertise a package and if you find what you want (willing to settle in some cases) then it works. It's like getting mad at a car dealership because you decide to buy a car for a certain agreed price then say it's false advertising because you have to pay extra for tinted windows, air conditioning, monster mats, etc.


Last bumped by Anonymous on Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:55 am.
Lucygoosy
 




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