Lenscrafters limits amount of contacts you can purchase

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

Postby Hempers » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:19 am

Been using lens crafters for a few years. I'm very good about going every year. The problem is they now limit the amount of contacts you can purchase. If I want to change my lenses more often who are they to tell me that I can't. I plan to report them to consumer affairs for monopolizing my prescription. I paid for a prescription and exam not for them to restrict my lens usage.

Postby george » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:18 am

I'm not familiar with Lenscrafters' policy on contact lenses as I wear glasses. That does seem odd to me that the will not let you buy more contacts. You can always take your prescription (which they should give you when you had your eye exam - at least my Lenscrafters has always given me a paper copy of my prescription for my glasses) and order contacts somewhere else. There are many places online that sell contacts at very good prices. I haven't bothered to review them yet as I don't wear contacts. Perhaps it's time for me to put that information on this website as well?
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Postby george » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:47 pm

I just did a quick search and I found where Lenscrafters offers buying contacts online. The site is indeed registered to the Lenscrafters' parent company (I never realized they were owned by the United States Shoe Corporation before!). Anyway - on their site they do have a section of Frequently Asked Questions and one of them is about reasons your optometrist may limit your prescription of contacts:

Q: Can my eye care doctor decline my request for replacement contact lenses?

There are some circumstances when your eye care doctor may decline or alter your contact lens order request. For example:
If your contact lens prescription is expired, the doctor will decline your request for lenses.
If you are requesting a type or brand of lens that was not originally prescribed for you, the doctor will decline to release the prescription.
If you are requesting an excessive amount of lenses that will likely last you an extended period of time past the prescription expiration date, your doctor may decline to release the prescription
Some states do not require the eye care doctor to release a patient’s prescription to a third party, even with the patient’s permission. If a doctor in one of these states does not wish to participate in the program, it is possible that he/she may decline the order.
In all of the above circumstances, you will be notified of the status of your order.

I assume when it says they will decline to release your prescription that they mean they won't release the contact lenses, not the actual measurements of your prescription. I would think you can always just order more lenses somewhere else though. It seems their concern is that you will order lenses that will expire before you can actually use them.
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Postby Katerina » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:32 am

It's not that they want to make sure that the contacts won't expire before you use them, it's that they don't want the prescription itself to expire before you run out of contacts. Your prescription has an expiration date to force you to come back and pay for a new exam every year. I suspect that an annual eye exam isn't medically necessary, given that my insurance (I have a Blue Cross BlueSheild PPO which is exceedingly good) only covers eye exams every 24 months. That's just my $0.02.

Postby george » Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:20 am


I'm surprised your insurance doesn't cover annual eye exams if you wear contacts. I spent a lot of time researching the issue of how often you should get eye exams and while there are many areas that I could not find a consensus, one area that seemed very consistent was in regards to contact lens users. You definitely should get an eye exam each year.

From the University of Georgia's Health Center Vision Clinic web site, they clearly explain the reason for needing annual eye exams for contact lens wearers:

The state of Georgia requires that every contact lens wearer have a yearly eye examination in order to purchase additional contacts because many problems that occur from contact lens wear cannot be detected by the wearer until the condition has reached a level of urgency that could result in loss of sight or discontinuation of contact lens wear. We monitor contact lens wear yearly to prevent problems that may arise and may recommend newer and more advanced lens technology for our patients.

I would discuss this with your insurance company and see if they really only cover exams every other year. I know my insurance covers exams yearly. It doesn't seem to be some money making scheme of Lenscrafters.
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Postby mouse » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:24 pm

Federal law sets a one year expiration on contact lens prescriptions. It also mandates release of your prescription. Actually, the law says you should be given a copy upon completion of your exam, so nobody should ever refuse to give it to you or they're breaking the law. You don't even need a HIPAA release, because it's covered under information used for further treatment.

Postby OverEd » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:21 pm

Actually mouse you are partially correct.

The FTC Contact Lens Rule (Rule) Title 16 sec. 315 (link attached) explains it. The Doctor can set the expiration date of the RX but it can be NO LESS than 1 year, depending on state law, except that if there is a valid medical reason for an expiration of less then 1 year they may do so. However, they must indicate in the record,in detail, the reason for the shorter time frame.
As you pointed out the Doctor MUST give you a copy of your RX, even if you don't ask. And, you're correct that you don't need a HIPAA release, but it has nothing to do with information used for further treatment.

Link to FTC: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus62 ... nd-sellers

I spent 20 years as a Board Licensed Optician before going to law school after which I now specialize in Health Care matters.

Postby PSU » Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:08 pm

Make sure your optometrist asks you which brand you would like to use as its written on your prescription. LensCrafters didn't give me that choice and I got stuck with LensCrafters brand lenses. This means your prescription is only good for their LensCrafters brand.

If you want to buy lenses online or from another retailer you will have to get a new eye exam regardless of when you had your original eye exam from LensCrafters. In other words you are stuck using their brand of contact lenses unless you pay for a new exam.

This is very predatory behavior from LensCrafters and I will not give them my business and make sure everyone else knows it.

Last bumped by Anonymous on Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:08 pm.

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