Sunday, March 31, 2013

Eyeglass Prescription Expired

My glasses broke. Well, the frame gave up. They were those rimless/hingeless titanium kind of glasses. Funny, the salesman said they were indestructible. Well, maybe she didn't use that exact word :P and hey, they were about 5 years old. It was about time.

Anyhow, so, now what? My latest prescription was about 2 years old and it was written on it that expires after 1 year! Yeah! What the hell! But no worries. I had a history on this... When I didn't know about this rule, I went to get my sunglasses with an expired prescription and the lady, after entering the order, looked at the date and said, "that is a 7, right?" instead of the 1 on the year of the prescription. I was going to reply to her, "no, blind women, that is obviously a 1" when I realized that she was talking about the expiration date. Amazing how your brain connects the dots in fractions of a second, and I replied, "yep, a 7". LOL! :)

Well, that was then and this is now. The prescription is from 2010 and the year is 2012. A 2 looking like a 0 is going to be tough to sell, even to a blind women, ha ha! But I realized that the date was on the edge of the prescription card, so, no issue! Cut the edge out of the card and write the new one inside. Yeah, at this point, some of you must be thinking "WOW, this guy is breaking the law AND posting it on-line". Well, as you know, all this is fiction!!!  But the post is actually about that (see below). I just couldn't avoid protest about this whole thing, and this was my only way... rebellion. Plus how about the rush of doing something that can land you 30 years in jail with no parole? :P. Yeah, you always wonder about the movies where the guy hacks in the computer system of a future oppressive government, impersonates the Nazi division general, or whatever (which could have huge consequences to his life) and here I was, about to join the ranks! LOL! But hey, all what I was trying was to make easier the job of the blind salesperson...  ;). Note: for those who know me, I try to stick to the highest standards of ethics, but for the same exact reason, I will fight non-ethical rules.

So, back to the story, I take the card there, got to the shop, and shoot! The store wasn't there anymore! Tried to find where it moved, but no luck. So, now what? Should I try with the card somewhere else? Note to my biographer: This is where my criminal career started. I take the card to a famous store which we will call W. After I selected the glasses, I am ready, and yeah, show the card to the W clerk! He looks at the card, few times... Enters the prescription... And then decides to call the number on the card! AHHHHH!! And here is, like in the movies, where the handsome agent gets his help from some supernatural power... (any resemblance with reality is pure coincidence). By luck, it was already late! I had gone first to the other shop, after work, and now it was way past the closing time of the optometrist that created the prescription, so, bum. No one picks up the phone. HA HA! Still, the guy, suspicious, talks to the other clerk, comes back, and is moving really slow... At that point, I ask them how long it will take, because "I am in a rush". The guy says that maybe about 15 minutes, so, I told them that I will just come back the next day, take the card and leave before the enemy troops arrive.

So, how the whole thing finished? I later read that I could have used some online shop (see links below), but anyhow, I found a young optometrist who just open the shop and was having a promotion, so, decided to support their business and get a prescription.
Now to the meat of the post... Nowhere I found any "breaking the law" for the costumer. I.e., nowhere I found that trying to get glasses with an expired prescription, or one where you even fake it (this probably would require more research), would make the costumer liable of anything in front of the law. Nevertheless, there seems (from opinions, have not seen the text) to be laws requiring the person selling the glasses to make a good effort to verify the prescription is valid, or so, they say.

The most clear answer is here:

FAQ on the law

Consumer Union:

And a bit of history:
This will help understand that it is mostly a protection of business. If you want to create a protectionist law to ensure your earnings, in healthcare is very easy... just claim to ensure quality. That is the problem with healthcare in US. The defenders of the current system claim that a free system with no government intervention is the way to go, but they do not realize this is far from a perfect marketplace! I fully agree with them, but then you should make sure competition flows everywhere. This market is completely imperfect, in economic terms. It needs the help from regulators to make sure it behaves as a free market. The same way that you have antitrust regulations.

Anyhow, just to close.... People advising about the whole BS:
There are there few comments with the exact thinking I got. I copy here a nice one that used some of the words I have used before:
"I just ran into this feeding frenzy by the vision industry. My former contacts supplier used to automatically send me more contacts every year on one prescription for three years. I always managed, all by my little self, to visit the optometrist when I felt I needed help with my vision.

I've been wearing contacts since I was 12 years old. Every time I visit an optometrist, they tell me my eyes look GREAT, very healthy. It's amazing I'm still alive after all this time without forcibly having an optometrist hold my hand (and give him cold hard cash to boot.)

I was just turned down by the contacts supplier because my optometrist said my 1 year prescription had expired. There's evidently been laws and regulations added so that suppliers can't sell them and optometrists can rake in more dough.

I have no health insurance and I am trying to start a home business. I bookmarked enough money to buy the contacts. Now I have to shell out more for the visit.

I don't think it's that Americans want to embrace socialized medicine. I think we're just reeling in the pocket book from the greed of these people who took the Hippocratic Oath.

When I last had health insurance is when I visited this optometrist. I was on a strict budget then and the whole thing, including glasses, was supposed to cost $30 because I had paid for vision insurance.

The nurse suggested this, and that, and this. I used to trust doctor's offices to give me what I really needed for my health. I now have a pair of supersonic, x-ray vision, fire-proof spectacles that would last through an atomic bomb. My bill, a surprise to me, ended up costing $177.

Two visits ago to a dentist's office, at least five employees in the office touting a 'special' gum toothpaste. They kept pushing it over and over. I did get an x-ray done between the Soupy Sales job and I definitely had to pay for that x-ray. But they missed the cavity that prompted my visit in the first place and reassured me there was nothing wrong.

After 6 months of more aggravation from this tooth, I went to another dentist and, tada, the cavity was obvious to him.

I haven't been to doctor's appointment lately where it didn't feel like I was actually at a used car lot.

We need something done with our health industry because frankly I don't think there are a lot of Americans that trust them anymore, or the pharmaceutical industry. I'm not concerned about 'being behind Europe.' I'm concerned about the shysters we have pretending to be doctors."


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