The Eye Doctor

I don’t know what the deal is, but Brent and I choose the worst eye doctors and dentists. Yet, we haven’t done anything about it. We just keep going back to the same places. I guess it’s just easier, we aren’t new patients, no paperwork and such. But I am announcing today that I am officially done with my current optometrist’s office. First of all, the employees there are extremely rude and unhelpful. Second of all, I’ve been there three times and never seen the same doctor. Turnover must be high, which means employees must be unhappy. I’m not very consistent with my eye appointments. I’m actually a “rebel” when it comes to wearing contacts, wearing them a lot longer than suggested. Therefore, I make sure the contacts I have will last a year at the least and then make an appointment when I’m out. Today was the day. I had an appointment scheduled for 4:30. I arrived early, about 4:15 and I was taken back immediately for the eye exam. Usually not having to wait is a good thing…this time it was evidence of little expertise. I was welcomed into the room by a very nice mid 40’s lady that I’ve never seen before. I was shocked because I’ve never felt “welcome” at this office. After she got done asking me questions, ones that she should already know the answers to because I’m not a new patient, she began the exam. Not only have I never had the same eye doctor, I’ve never had the same routine done during an exam. This time, the routine was chaos. The doctor would start something, stop, and start something else as if she was running through a checklist in her head saying, “Oh wait, I’m supposed to do this first.” I wasn’t surprised when she told me my prescription hadn’t changed because I don’t think she thoroughly examined my eyes. The exam was the easy part, then it was to the front desk to pay my co-pay and order contacts. I expected the payment part to be difficult because it always is at this office. I always buy one box of contacts per eye and if I need more throughout the year, I call and order more. Simple. The secretary (who claimed she knew nothing about contacts because she always wears glasses and also proved that she shouldn’t be responsible for adding up customer’s total cost) tried to make me believe I needed 8 boxes of contacts and owed $150 and that’s after insurance covered their part! Well, of course I would need 8 boxes if I only wore each pair for 2 weeks and threw them out. But, I’m a contacts rebel. I don’t do that. So I asked her how much 4 boxes would cost. She told me it would be $57.05, including my copay and after insurance. Not a big deal, except I only needed 2 boxes, one per eye. So after she wrote down on the order form “4 boxes” without my permission, I asked her how much it would be to just order 1 box per eye. I opened a can of worms. Sassy Suzie with purple glasses and fried blonde hair that was pulled up in a huge banana clip, who was filing paperwork and is the insurance Nazi, decided she would butt in to our decision making process. I’ve delt with her before. She wants you to “get the most for your money.” For example, if insurance will pay up to $120, she frowns upon the customer allowing insurace to only pay $96 because the customer is losing $24. I had this issue with her when I was buying new lenses for my glasses over a year ago. I did NOT want frames. I like the ones I have and I didn’t want to pay extra for frames when insurance would cover all of the lenses. Makes sense, right? It does in my frugal mind. My situation today was this: 4 boxes of contacts = $57.05 out of pocket for me vs. 2 boxes of contacts = nothing but a copay. So after the calculator challenged secretary finished all her math, my decision was between 4 boxes for $57.05 or 2 boxes for free plus my copay. Sassy Suzie played the insurance card again, reminding me that I’d be losing something like $22 if I only bought 2 boxes. I was tired of her insurance opinions, so I looked her in the eye and said, “Yes, in the insurance world, I will be losing $22 but if I choose to buy 4 boxes I will be paying $57 out of my own pocket right now.”  So, the secretary asked if I wanted to divide my payments over the next few months. Umm, no. I don’t need to finance my eye doctor bill. Irritated, I gave in and just ordered 4 boxes. But maybe having more contacts than I need will keep me away from them longer…oh wait, I’m finding a new optometrist. The most important part though about this appointment was that it was scheduled for 4:30…at 4:30, I was leaving. I spent 2 minutes waiting for the doctor, 3 minutes with the doctor, 9 1/2 dealing with Sassy Suzie, and 30 seconds rolling my eyes as I quickly walked out the door.  A quick 15 minutes that normally would be convenient, but left me feeling like nothing was accomplished other than buying more contacts than I need.

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