I think it is very unfortunate that ConsumerReports.org focus so much on price rather than value. The most recent report on prescription eyewear continues to perpetuate the myth that eyeglasses are expensive and consumers should shop for the cheapest pair! I think the report is accurate as far as just the price for a pair of eyeglasses but there is very little discussion about the service, choice or products and education. This puts the bias on the ultimate price rather than the ultimate value. I would like it to put more emphasis on this aspect as I think it would be fairer and better information for the consumer. An uncomfortable and/or poorly fitting pair of eyeglasses is bad no matter how little they cost! Not having the opportunity to learn about several different lens options and how frame choices affect the overall performance of eyewear is not good value!
The “How to Choose” guide is good as it puts lenses first and warns about cheap, poor quality frames. However, it does not point out that some of the optical chains they are referencing also stock a lot of these cheap frames! I am surprised that the report suggests buying frames online, they could end up being an expensive mistake if the frames cannot accommodate the consumer’s prescription or they are just not the best fit for the patients face.
These reports are mainly based on readers’ experience so I wonder if the consumer basing their purchasing decision on where to go for eyewear realizes that they are not getting the whole story. Most importantly, they are not capturing the value of what the eye care professional adds to the whole process of buying eyewear.