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opticalassistant158 karma

Oh god. If people knew exactly how much profit is made on designer glasses there'd be riots.

The one that's easiest to get away with though is people not knowing the offers available to them. For example, Specsavers offers 25% off for students or over 65s, and it works out cheaper for people who are getting a more advanced lens (e.g. thinning, varifocals). For example, I'm a student and wear glasses that cost £125 with a 1.74 lens that costs £90. Total is £215, so £161ish with the discount - but I'm more likely to be sold a free thinning offer that I have to pay to top up to level of thinning I need, so £50 on top of the £125 price.

People don't look up the offers that are on though, despite there being massive signs around the store, so don't whip out their student ID and go for an offer that works out more expensive. As well as that, most places offer free sight tests if you look on their websites and print a voucher from it, so you can easily save £25 that way.

My advice to anyone is to look up the optician's offers in advance, check which ones are applicable to you. As you walk around the store, total up whatever you want on your phone with discounts you apply for. If they try and tell you a different price, challenge them.

Also, thinning can be a scam if you're not careful. All too often you get people going for the top level of lens thinning when their prescription isn't high enough to warrant it. It doesn't cost the practice that much difference, maybe £2 a lens, but it costs the customer an extra £30 to go up to the next level of thinning even if it makes absolutely no difference. Ask for examples of the lens you want in the thickness you want, or how thin it'll be.

opticalassistant140 karma

The area where we adjust the glasses is around the corner from the desk we sit you at. I was adjusting one woman's glasses and a colleague came over and said we needed to move all the other customers because the lady I was with had done a shit all over the seat. It was the liquidiest shit in the world and it stank, and I had to just pretend nothing happened when I went back to give her the glasses back. My boss' son came to deal with it.

Another thing is that we're not allowed to wear gloves when dealing with glasses. We asked repeatedly, said we'd wear them for every pair we deal with so nobody realises we think they're gross, but we were told nope. You'd be amazed how many people's glasses are covered in shit.

In those hoarders houses there's the used adult diapers, just like on hoarders. Piles of them.

Also we used to let people use our staff bathroom. We don't do that anymore after a customer pooped so it was entirely on the seat, curled around like a little cushion.

opticalassistant125 karma

The shit is both literal and figurative - here in the UK kids, the poorest, the ill and the elderly all get sight tests free and help towards the costs of their glasses, so we see them the most often.

Because I'm young and female I got assigned to help pick glasses for kids, repair glasses for kids, generally a lot of stuff with kids. Kids are remarkably honest if you ask how they broke their glasses when you're fixing them up, even if it means them telling you "Daddy slammed me into a wall" or "Mummy pushed me down the stairs". So I've had to report a few cases of suspected child abuse by getting in touch with the child's GP through our system.

I've done home visits to for people who can't get out to us and there's been cases where it's like stepping into an episode of hoarders. No dead cats though thankfully! I've called adult safeguarding in on some of those cases.

Also there's been a few cases of people shitting in the chair when I'm adjusting their glasses for them. More common than you'd think.

opticalassistant80 karma


If you want thinning though, I'd massively recommend Asda since they do it for free.

Contact lenses, I'd recommend signing up to a scheme for one month (since you get the fitting for free then) and cancelling it. The workers get their bonus, you get a free contact lens assessment and some lenses to play with until your ordered ones arrive.

opticalassistant43 karma

Okay Bausch and Lomb.