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Lacks Vision On Insurance

, , , , | Right | December 31, 2020

I find a note on my desk after lunch that has a patient’s name and contact info on it. It states that she wants to know about vision coverage for her glasses. So, I brace myself, because you just never know how conversations on vision coverage are going to go, and I call her.

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] from [Optical Store]; I got a note that you have some questions about your vision coverage?”

Customer: “Yes, thank you for calling back. I just want an estimate on how much insurance will pay on my glasses.”

Me: “Okay, what is the name of your vision insurance?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t have any yet. I’m trying to decide whether it’s worth paying for.”

Me: “Oh… Well, unfortunately, there are quite a few companies offering vision coverage and each company has multiple plans that can vary greatly, so I’m not able to give a ballpark figure on how much they will pay. I can, however, give you a ballpark price on glasses.”

Customer: “But I don’t want to know how much the glasses will cost. I want to know how much the insurance will pay.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m not able to come up with that number because there isn’t a flat rate that all vision plans pay. It varies greatly. Once you have coverage, I’ll be happy to look into those benefits and explain them to you.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous! How am I supposed to figure out whether it is worth paying for or not if you can’t tell me how much it pays?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to help with any coverage amounts until I have more information to work with. Like any other type of insurance, the coverage depends on the company and plan that’s chosen. Again, once you have vision coverage—”

Customer: “Fine, whatever…” *Hangs up*

Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 13

, , , , , | Right | October 10, 2020

I’m an optician working in a large warehouse store. Since glasses and contacts are medical devices, some insurance companies will cover the cost of them, but we don’t have contracts with every provider for direct billing.

Customer: “I just have a quick question.”

Me: “Yes, sir?”

Customer: “Do you take my insurance here?”

Me: “Who’s your vision care provider, sir?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Okay, how about your medical provider?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Okay, is the insurance through your employer or your wife’s employer perhaps?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

A beat or two passes between us.

Me: “Okay… with respect, sir, if you don’t know, how am I supposed to know?”

Customer: “Maybe I should go call my wife.”

Me: “Yes, please, sir. I need at least something to go off of.”

The man never came back with any more info or questions. My coworkers were all baffled, but sadly, we’ve all had exchanges like that.

Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 12
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 11
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 10
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 9
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 8

That’s… Not How Deposits Work

, , , , | Right | September 18, 2020

I am an optician. We have a patient come into the office stating he has lost his glasses. He says he would like to order the exact same pair. I search his information in our computer system, give him the total price, and ask for a deposit of half as per office policy.

The patient gives a deposit of half and I tell him we should be calling him later in the week after his eyeglasses are ready for pickup. Later that week, his eyeglasses are ready to go, a phone call is placed to the number on file, and a voicemail is left.

A few days later, the patient calls to inform us, “I have found my glasses and would like my deposit back.” I explain to him that the eyeglasses were completed and we cannot return his deposit. The best we can do is keep the deposit to cover our costs and time and remove the rest of the balance from his account if he doesn’t want to spend the rest of the money to complete the purchase. I explain that had he called me within twenty-four hours of placing the order, we could have given the deposit back. 

We go back and forth a bit; I throw in that this is what deposits are for, etc. He finally concedes and eventually picks up his glasses a few weeks later.

They’re Blind To Real-World Pricing

, , , , | Right | September 9, 2020

We advertise lower prices for glasses, including a deal where the exam and two basic pairs of single-vision glasses are less than $100. We do, of course, also carry designer frames and lens add-ons that are more expensive.

A man comes in for his exam and picks out two Ray-Ban frames priced at $160 each. I show him our lens options and he wants them both progressive lenses with anti-glare, and one a polarized sunglass. I go over material options and what I recommend for his prescription, as well as progressive styles.

Me: “So, if we did both pairs in [high-end progressive style], in that thinner, more durable material, with the anti-reflective coating, it would be $750 for everything.”

Customer: “That’s too much.”

Me: “Okay, no problem. If we kept the anti-glare coating and polarization but did them in plastic and moved you down one progressive tier, that will bring the cost down a bit. That would be $620 for both pairs.”

Customer: “That’s still too much. I thought I would get a good deal here since you have that [offer for less than $100].”

Me: “Yes, that offer is for two pairs of single-vision plastic glasses without any coatings with frames in the introductory price point. You want designer frames and lens options that are going to be additional. You can certainly pick less expensive frames and we can go over the lens options again.”

Customer: “I was looking to spend around $300. I think I’ll shop around.”

Me: “…”

So, he picked two $160 frames, and then apparently was allotting -$10 for his lenses?! He was currently in a lens similar to what I quoted him originally, so he was not new to the world of glasses and knew that progressives cost more. I have no idea what kind of logic he was using.

If Only He Could See His Own Face

, , , , , , | Right | August 26, 2020

My best friend and I work in a large supermarket just outside of town. Inside, there is a pavilion of other shops — shoe store, hairdresser, and optician’s. I am the cashier at the self-service, just by the exit. My best friend is working at the optician’s.

One day, we are parking in the employee car park, WAY on the other side of the building. We are sat together in the car, chatting before our respective shifts. The car is parked, not running, when all of a sudden a loud crunching sound makes up jump. The car goes forward into a bollard and my friend and I get out.

A middle-aged male customer is shouting and screaming.

Customer: “God! Are you b****es blind or something?!”

Friend: “Sir, you are the one that drove into my car.”

Customer: “You need to take your test again, little lady. I can’t believe that some a**hole let you on the road when you can’t even park!”

He goes off about this for a while, repeating that my friend needs to retake her test. Meanwhile, it’s his car in the middle of the road whilst hers is still parked up. It’s very clear who is in the wrong.

Customer: “And for all this to happen in the VIP parking?! I’m going to make a complaint! You’re going to pay for my car, little lady!”

Friend: “You’re the one that hit me! Give me your details and we’ll have our insurance sort it out. Stop threatening me.”

Me: “This isn’t VIP parking; this is the employee lot.”

The guy ignores us both and continues ranting. We both figure that he must have followed another employee through the barrier as you have to swipe a card to enter.

Friend: “This guy is insane. Come on, we’re late for work.”

We both go into the supermarket to start our shifts. An hour later, my friend rushes up to the self-serve and gestures for my attention.

Friend: “You know that insane guy that hit us in the car park?”

Me: “Um, yeah?”

Friend: “He just came into the optician’s!”

Me: “Oh, my God. Why?”

Friend: “He’s been banned from driving because he is blind in one eye. He has no depth perception at all and his vision in his remaining eye isn’t great. He isn’t wearing glasses and he refuses contacts for some reason, so he’s basically blind. He needs an optician to sign off that he is safe to drive again. Apparently, him hitting my car isn’t the first accident he’s caused.”

Me: “He’s banned from driving? But he drove here?”

Friend: “I know! I refused to sign his form. He didn’t recognise me at all. Figures, because he’s almost completely blind.”

Me: “At least you have his details for the insurance claim now.”

Friend: “I’ll do you one better. I phoned the police and let them know. They’re going to be waiting by his car when he finishes shopping.”

I kept an eye on the guy, but he didn’t come to my register. He spent over ten minutes shouting at a young girl on her first day for asking if he had a loyalty card.

I later found out from the security guy that when the guy finally did leave and saw the police, he got in his car and tried to drive away, only to slam into the barrier causing enough damage to the barrier and his car that the supermarket decided to take him to court for the costs. He was arrested for reckless driving, and driving without due care and attention, and driving whilst banned.

My friend, very luckily, had an uninsured driver clause in her policy which paid for the damages, as the guy’s insurance was invalid due to the fact he was banned from driving.