Effingham. Ill. (St. Louis, MO) – Buying glasses and contact lenses can be complicated because consumers must find a happy medium between their medical needs and fashion sense.
Selecting glasses and contact lenses has become even more challenging to understand now, with the advent of online contact lens and glasses retailers, which consumers can purchase without ever making an in-person visit.
Common complaints to Better Business Bureau (BBB) about online glasses and contacts retailers involve failure to receive products, rebates or refunds in a timely manner, receiving incorrect orders or defective products.
BBB advises consumers to do their homework before purchasing glasses and contact lenses from online retailers.
Be sure to read guarantees and return polices carefully.
Because glasses and contacts are custom-order products, refund policies at optical retailers can be different from other retailers.
Some companies offer contact lens subscription services.
Consumers should be especially careful with subscription services, and they should fully understand the terms of the subscription.
Consumers should check if products have to be defective to make a return, or if they can be returned just because of fashion preference.
Consumers should also know the return period, and if there are extra shipping or restocking fees.
Insurance plans may cover glasses and contact lenses.
If planning to use insurance when buying glasses or contacts, consumers should speak to both the insurance provider and the retailer about specific needs before making any commitments.
Here are more tips to consider when buying glasses and contacts online:
• Know the advertiser. Some of the best deals might only be available online, but be careful. It’s easy for a fake site to mimic a famous retailer’s website, so make sure you are shopping with a legitimate site. Check out retailers at bbb.org before you shop.
• Be a savvy shopper. When shopping online, be sure to take your time, and read the fine print before submitting your order. Look for the return policy; although many online orders can be returned for a full refund, others have restocking fees. Some items cannot be returned; know before you buy.
• Think before your click. Be especially cautious about email solicitations and online ads on social media sites. Many sketchy retailers advertise great deals or trendy products that don’t measure up to the promotional hype.
• Beware of too-good-to-be-true deals. Offers on websites and in unsolicited emails may offer free or very low prices on hard-to-find items. There may be hidden costs or your purchase may sign you up for a monthly charge.
• Shop with a credit card. Credit card purchases provide consumers the additional protection of being able to challenge the charges. Debit cards, prepaid cards or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card.
• Keep documentation of your order. Save a copy of the confirmation page or email confirmation until you receive the item and are satisfied. Be sure to know and understand the return policy and keep this documented with your purchase records.
• Use BBB Scam Tracker. BBB Scam Tracker is a great place to research and report scams. For more advice on or to find BBB Business Profiles of businesses or charities, call 888-996-3887 or go online to bbb.org.
Courtesy of Better Business Bureau