Buying contacts? You should see a prescription first

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The FTC’s Contact Lens Rule makes it easier to comparison shop – which can help you save money. You see (no pun, intended), the Rule gives you the right to get your prescription from your eye doctor – whether you ask for it or not – at no extra charge. You can use the prescription to buy contacts wherever they are sold – from an eye doctor, from a store, or online. Cost and quality can vary a lot from seller to seller, so it pays to shop around for the best deal.

Your eye doctor must give you your contact lens prescription
after your fitting. It’s the law.

Timing is everything. The doctor must give you your contact lens prescription when your fitting is complete. A fitting may require more than one appointment. If the doctor is ready to sell you contacts, the fitting is complete. The doctor can’t require you to pay an extra fee, buy eyeglasses or contact lenses, or sign a waiver or form in exchange for your prescription.

If you suspect an eye doctor is violating the Contact Lens Rule, you can report that online at ftc.gov/complaint. FTC attorneys and investigators – and hundreds of other law enforcement agencies – use consumer complaints to bring cases against companies and people that violate the law.

In fact, the FTC recently sent letters warning contact lens prescribers and sellers about potential violations of the Contact Lens Rule. Violations of the Rule could result in legal action and financial penalties.

For a more in-depth look at your prescription rights for contacts – and glasses – read our newly updated article, Prescription Glasses and Contact Lenses. It includes a list of what you should see in your prescription.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness

Comments

MY optometrist charged me for eye glass fitting AND contact lenses fitting although I did it at the same time. Is that allowed?

An eye exam isn’t the same as a contact lens exam. Your optometrist may charge one fee for an eye exam and another fee for a contact lens fitting.

Yep . Because contacts are more work and different processes. I hate it to .

Walmart is bad about saying they will not sell you "thier " contacts because you did not see "thier" doctor who charges three times as much as the mall and as about the same in reverse in quality . I always ask for my prescription even in the 90s and went were I could get the best deal. Being poor sometimes gives you gumption . I did not know it was illegal or I would have been more force full . I have a small.face and have.tobuy childrens sizes I have had trouble with this in the past but has gotten better . Walmart does make good eye glasses and does not give trouble with outside prescriptions .

Ive wore corrective lenses sinces I was small . I know the difference . And yes I get charged for both . I only try to compare apples to apples . I guess I should have made it plain . Walmart refused to sell me their contacts because my contact exam was done at the mall and not with them with a valid prescription dated that day well within the year limit for contacts .

Can the Doctor charge you 8 times the amount of the average cost of the contact lenses?

You have a right to get your contact lense prescription from your eye doctor. You can use the prescription to buy contacts from an eye doctor, from a store or online. You can shop around for the best deal. If you think someone is charging a high price, you can buy your contacts from another seller.

I was told today that if I ding buy my contacts with this optometrist that did the exam, I will be charged $25 for a prescription verification for an online order from another company. Is this legal to charge?

The Contact Lens Rule gives you the right to get your prescription from your eye doctor – whether you ask for it or not – at no extra charge.

The doctor must give you your contact lens prescription when your fitting is complete. A fitting may require more than one appointment. If the doctor is ready to sell you contacts, the fitting is complete. The doctor can’t require you to pay an extra fee, buy eyeglasses or contact lenses, or sign a waiver or form in exchange for your prescription.

If you think an eye doctor is violating the Contact Lens Rule, please report it at ftc.gov/complaint.

Vision works wont give me my rx for the cotnacts until I complete a class INR (insert and Removal) they stated it was state law that I have to complete this class before I get the RX. They said that it is because this is the first time I have wore contacts. I did the fitting already this is something else. Can they do this?

Went to get new contacts. Liked the doctor and office staff. After last fitting I requested my prescription so I could shop around and the doctor gave it to me. Told me I was on my own if I bought the lenses elsewhere and that the lenses she ordered for me were "special order" lenses. I was unable to find the prescription on line. I went to another relailer and was informed that the prescription they gave me didn't exist. They called to have my prescription corrected and were told that the contacts were "special order" lenses. After that conversation, we confirmed with the manufacturer that they didn't make special order lenses. I was able to get the prescription corrected and the doctor called the next day to apologize. When I went to order my contacts at the retailer I was advised that another patient had the same issue about 15 minutes after me. I think they are trying to manipulate people to buy contacts from her.

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