A couple of years ago I bought two pairs of prescription glasses from Tesco that both fell apart PDQ. I noticed after just a week that I was wandering around the house with just one lens in place in one pair. I thought I'd get profuse apologies when I went back to the store but no. I was told that they'd have to ascertain if it was my fault that they'd broken. They were, in fact, mended free of charge but promptly came to pieces again. It was at a time in my life when things were stressful and I had so much on my plate that I gave up. All that expense for nothing. But I vowed that, in my tiny way, I'd get my own back on Tesco. I think I've only shopped in one of their stores once since then. A bit more payback was the order of the day when I took advantage of their free eye test without having any intention of buying specs from them again. I have to say though that the ophthalmologist in their Ivybridge store was lovely. Let's not tar everyone with the same brush and give credit where it's due.
Now spectacle buying is a thrifty girl's nightmare. Those 2 for 1 deals on frames look enticing but once you've added in all the extra bits and pieces what looked initially like a bargain ceases to be so. I toyed with the idea of one of the online providers but hit a snag. I didn't have a vital measurement needed for the prescription and the Tesco helpline told me to use their online tool to measure my pupillary distance. GlassesDirect, quite reasonably, refused to accept a measurement that I'd taken myself and refunded my order. To be honest I really wanted to choose glasses from an instore selection. Sometimes e-commerce doesn't cut the mustard.
In the end I took my prescription to Asda. I have to say that I was slightly wary of using another supermarket optician but their deals were really good. They display the price for the entire pair of glasses, including scratch resistant and anti-reflective coatings, tints if you want them and yes, varifocal lenses. There's normally a big add-on cost for those. The downside is that the nearest store with the service was in Taunton is a 100 mile round trip from home but the savings warranted it. The staff were attentive and lovely too and took real care with the measurements that they needed. I chose these two frames from the midprice range for £99 for the two pairs. The funkier ones at the top from the Andie MacDowell range that have cream arms are my favourites. I'll be wearing these regularly. My second pair, with their bigger lenses and thinner frames were chosen with crafting in mind. And in the unlikely event that someone now makes a pass, at least I'll be able to spot them doing it!