When the Savings Aren't Worth It, Part 2: Getting Glasses Made by Costco

Though I primarily wear contacts, I recently decided to get new glasses. I'd been wearing the same pair for four years and, while they are a fairly classic style, I felt unattractive wearing them. I also didn't think the prescription was good enough for me to wear them while driving at night if need be, and I was having trouble reading in them.

Finding glasses frames that look good is always a painful ordeal. I went to Costco first for their low prices and didn't find anything after trying on about 75 frames. Then I went to a glasses store and found that all their frames were about twice as expensive and still none of them looked right. I returned to Costco with the decision to replace the lenses in my existing frames, but they charge you $15 to use your existing frames, and, more importantly, it was going to be two weeks until my glasses came back. With my vision, there was no way I was going for two weeks with no glasses. This time, I got lucky found new frames that I liked and I was on my way. I was going to get new glasses and new frames for a mere $130, less than the price of the most frames at the glasses store.

Two weeks later, my glasses came back, and I couldn't see straight out of them. I had to go back to the eyedoctor, get a different prescription, and send the glasses off again. Two weeks later, the new prescription turned out to be wrong, too. Two more visits to the eyedoctor to make sure my new prescription was right and more turnaround time for the glasses and I finally have new glasses I can see very well out of. The whole process took almost four months though, since I live 11 miles away from Costco and have been on several vacations which prevented me from picking the new glasses up as soon as they were ready.

Moral of the story? Next time, I'll go to a place that makes glasses in an hour, even if it costs more. (I might pick up some frames at Costco first, though.) Not only was the process of getting my glasses made at Costco very time consuming, it was also very frustrating. Every trip to Costco took at least an hour because they are so understaffed and slow, and the crowds are always maddening. One of their eyedoctors was incompetent. And while it's great that they redo your glasses for free if the prescription is wrong, it sucks that there is no way to speed up the two week process if you have to get your glasses remade. Costco's eyedoctors are considered independent from Costco's labs, so if the eyedoctor makes a mistake, they won't put a rush on your glasses order. They'll only do a rush order if the lab makes a mistake.


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