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When my previous pair of glasses broke, and I got sick of trying to stuff contact lenses in my eyes, I decided to try Vision Express for my new pair of glasses, as my mum had excellent customer service and satisfaction with them.
I used the Gateshead branch, which is located in the Metro Centre. My first impressions were very good, as the shop is furnished in a minimalist, clean lines style, and is very brightly illuminated. The shop itself is very clean and well laid out, with the lab in the middle so you can actually watch your glasses being made!
I went to counter to book myself in for an eye test, and I took along my chosen pair of frames from the display section. The staff were very helpful and apologetic, as they said they could not fit me in until two hours later with a definite appointment. So they booked me in, and they were kind enough to put my chosen pair of frames to one side, so I would definitely get my choice.
We went shopping for two hours and came back for my eye test. Again the staff were very friendly. They told us to take a seat and made us a cup of coffee while me and my parents waited for my appointment.
Firstly I went for a pre-check before my real eye test. They scanned my eyes and then blew air into them to check the fluid levels. Boy what a shock that was!!
I have no complaints over the optician's manner. He was very polite and he was very reassuring as I always get slightly nervous about these sort of tests. He asked friendly questions and always explained what he was going to do. He then handed me the results and made sure another assistant came round to fit my glasses before going off.
The assistant showed me all the options in a very concise and clear way. He told me about the discount I was entitled to as I'm in full time education. He always made sure I was happy with the choices and he never pressured us into any options! The total bill is as follows:
Frames: £69 Lenses: £54 Scratch Protect Coating: £15 Peace of mind Warranty: £15 My NHS discount: -£30.50 Total: £122.50
He told us that my glasses would be ready in an hour without fail. We went and had a cup of coffee in BHS and then came back and found the glasses were ready, in my choice of case and with a free polishing solution.
The peace of mind warranty is insurance in case your glasses get broken. It covers damage to your glasses whether it's your fault or not. It lasts for a year but it does not cover loss or theft.
The glasses themselves are of very high quality and they are very light weight. They were adjusted so they fit my head perfectly and the assistant made sure that they were comfortable when I was wearing them. In other words, they have a very high attention to detail.
Vision Express are the best opticians I have ever visited and they produce products to the highest standard. My only niggle is the quite high price, but this is reflected in the quality and service that thye provide.