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Top tips when buying glasses and using opticians

Keep sight of eye care in National Eye Health Week


This week marks National Eye Health Week and Which? is offering consumers tips on how to avoid being blindsided when buying glasses and dealing with opticians. 

Unhappy with your optician

If a service you receive from an optician is not delivered to a reasonable standard, then your optician is responsible for providing a solution. 

If you enter into a contract for a service, such as an eye test, then under the Supply of Goods and Services Act this service must be supplied with reasonable care and skill.

If it isn’t, or you’re unhappy with the service, then make sure you complain to your optician in the first instance giving them a chance to put the matter right. 

You can use our step-by-step guide to complain about your optician, if you’re unhappy with their service. 

Faulty glasses

Under the Sale of Goods Act, if you buy glasses they must be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. So if your glasses develop a fault, or are made to the wrong prescription, they’ve failed to meet this criteria. 

If you notice this fault within the first month, then you’re entitled to a refund. If the fault develops within the first six months, then you’re entitled to a free repair or replacement pair of glasses from your optician. 


As you can only reject faulty goods and get a refund within a reasonable period of time – usually three to four weeks – the answer to the above question is false. But you can ask for a free repair or a replacement.  

It’s also worth checking whether your glasses came with a manufacturer’s guarantee. If this is the case, you can contact the manufacturer for a resolution. 

Wrong prescriptions online

Few, if any, checks are made when you buy prescription glasses online. 

So if your prescription is +/- 5 or above, you may want to think again about buying online, unless you can subsequently get the glasses checked by an optometrist.

For more information read our guide to protecting yourself when buying glasses

Fake glasses and sunglasses

In 2012, Which? tested 21 pairs of sunglasses from seven high street shops and found that 15 failed key lab tests, breaching the British Standard.

If you’re buying sunglasses, check for the CE Mark and the British Standard BS EN 1836:2005 for adequate protection against the sun’s rays.

If you’re buying designer glasses online, remember that if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is!

For more information on buying glasses, see our tips on how to spot fake glasses.

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