Can online eyeglass retailers handle tough prescriptions? - KMSP-TV

FOX 5 I-Team investigates

Can online eyeglass retailers handle tough prescriptions?

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Buying eyeglasses online can save you hundreds of dollars over buying them at a traditional storefront. The online price is right, but is the prescription correct? The I-Team tested easy-to-fill, single vision eyeglasses online with mixed results, but many people have tough prescriptions to fill. Can these online retailers handle it?

When it comes to eyeglasses, we want the prescription to be right. We also want great looking frames, a great low price and a great fit. So how did they do with the I-Team's Dana Fowle?

"With your level of astigmatism, coupled with the need for reading glasses now," Dr. Brian Kahn said the I-Team's Dana Fowle had a challenging eyeglass prescription.

Dr Kahn said Fowle had several prescriptions in one, and that is what the progressive lens provides.

When the I-Team shopped with online with FOX 5 viewer Anna Kelly the results were mixed
. A lab tested them and found the prescription was dead-on right, but the fit was wrong. The center of the left lens on all three glasses they bought was too low.  

Just like Kelly, Fowle bought trendy, low-cost eyeglasses from online retailers. Progressive lenses can get very expensive.

Fowle entered her prescription into each site. She definitely get a price break. At Zenni Optical, the eyeglasses were $42.85. Another pair, very similar to Fowle's current glasses, were $63.95 on the Eye Buy Direct site.  Finally, at Coastal.com, a big leap in price at $196. It was still hundreds less than her current pair she got from a local optometrist.

But it's not a great deal if you can't see out of them.  

Fowle asked an expert to look at them. Dr. Jamie Reid teaches at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry and says all three prescriptions passed the first test. They were accurate. But how about test two?

"Where that prescription fits on your face is very important for you to have optimal vision," said Reid.

The fit failed. Just like Kelly's glasses, they didn't sit on Fowle's face properly. It seemed she had one ear that sits higher than the other one.  And on the glasses from Coastal.com, her peripheral vision was distorted.

Reid says there's a new way of doing progressive prescriptions that doesn't distort your peripheral vision.

Coastal.com says they use up to date technology and recommended what all of the online retailers did: return them and order another pair until they get it right.   

The good news is that you can return the glasses. But if returning them over and possibly over again doesn't appeal to you, you might want to use a discounted service like this so that you can have a back-up pair of glasses, or a pair of prescription sunglasses.

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Credit Cards v Charge Cards

    Credit Cards v Charge Cards

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-07-23 11:48:23 GMT
    You always hear that it's a great idea to get rid of your credit cards, but sometimes it really is the best way to pay. So here's another option: charge cards.
    You always hear that it's a great idea to get rid of your credit cards, but sometimes it really is the best way to pay. So here's another option: charge cards.
  • FOX 5 I-Team Investigates

    Child traumatically injured in beach house elevator

    Child traumatically injured in beach house elevator

    Monday, July 21 2014 8:09 AM EDT2014-07-21 12:09:54 GMT
    Another child has been seriously injured in a residential elevator accident. This is a warning for any family renting a beach house.
    Another child has been seriously injured in a residential elevator accident. This is a warning for any family renting a beach house.
  • Governor reacts to Ethics allegations

    Governor reacts to Ethics allegations

    Friday, July 18 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-07-18 22:40:07 GMT
    The Governor sat down with Senior Fox 5 I-Team Reporter Dale Russell for his first television interview following allegations of strong-arming by a member of his staff.
    The Governor sat down with Senior Fox 5 I-Team Reporter Dale Russell for his first television interview following allegations of strong-arming by a member of his staff.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Man bikes 900 miles to help Georgia girl

    Man bikes 900 miles to help Georgia girl

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:22 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:22:37 GMT
    Ten time Ironman, Dave Nazaroff recently rode 900 miles on his bicycle...from Nyack, New York...to Georgia. He didn't do it to get in shape, or to win a competition; he did it to raise money for a 11 year old Callie Truelove in Gainesville, Georgia.
    Ten time Ironman, Dave Nazaroff recently rode 900 miles on his bicycle...from Nyack, New York...to Georgia. He didn't do it to get in shape, or to win a competition; he did it to raise money for a 11 year old Callie Truelove in Gainesville, Georgia.
  • 2014 Southern Living inspired home open for tours

    2014 Southern Living inspired home open for tours

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:37 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:37:06 GMT
    It's the first of its kind -- and if you're goal is to live a "perfectly Southern" lifestyle, it might be the home for you. The 2014 Southern Living Inspired Home is now open in Toccoa,
    It's the first of its kind -- and if you're goal is to live a "perfectly Southern" lifestyle, it might be the home for you. The 2014 Southern Living Inspired Home is now open in Toccoa, GA at Currahee Club.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices