Contact lenses over the Internet – Shall I dare?

I ran out of contact lenses this week.  From whom do I order my next batch?

Although I do work as an optometrist regularly, I do not own or run my own practice.  So over the past few years, unless I have been in a regular job with an organised discount scheme, I have found myself paying full price for all of my spectacles and contact lenses.  Occasionally I have had offers from friends and colleagues in the business but I don’t always feel comfortable about doing this and thus never ask and certainly never assume.   In fact apart from the occasional starter pack, I have pretty much always paid the going rate for most optical products. My husband also pays full price and it looks as though we will soon be doing the same for my youngest who has been afflicted with the family myopic curse.  Fair enough I hear you say, my choice. But given the position I am in, do I just make an order over the internet and save myself a few quid or walk into one of my local practices and join the rest of the queue for an aftercare on a Saturday morning? Somehow neither situation makes me comfortable.

My last pair of specs I managed to order during a training session at a local practice. I had been visiting a couple of trainees when we took a break for lunch. Whist they disappeared for a sandwich, one of their colleagues kindly slotted me in for an eye exam, updated my prescription, handed me over to a frame consultant who then helped me make a choice, who then handed me over to the dispenser.  By the time the training session was over, I collected my freshly glazed designer specs on my way out the door.

(I will say, I take my hat off to the optometrist who dared test me in the first place. Personally, if the person who examined me in my College Contact Lens exam walked into my practice asking for an eye examination, I would have ran a mile!)

My brother in law buys all his contact lenses online.  In fact he also orders lenses for my mother in law and more recently for my husband too.  Until now I have declined his offer.   I feel I would be actively supporting something I do not agree with.

So whilst I am sitting here suffering from an attack of double standards, do I make the order?

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