The world has achieved another first. A new plateau on our superlative modern technologically advanced society has been reached. As an Adaptive Curmudgeon, I couldn’t be happier!
Here’s the background: A couple years ago I wrote How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Obamacare. My theory was that Obamacare, by mangling market incentives, would push us toward the standard of customer service associated with cold war Soviet Russia and the Department of Motor Vehicles. No news there…lots of people (myself included) still have the same concern.
However, I envisioned a silver lining. My theory was that Obamacare flushing all Americans down the crapper would spur a countervailing incentive for providers of good and relatively cheap medicine on a “cash for service” basis for those who were willing and able to pay.
I cited three medical systems that currently ignored by most health insurance. They all provide ever better service for those who are willing and able to pay. The cost may be steep but its not growing at the stratospheric rate seen in the rest of medicine and service is excellent. My three examples were boobs, eyes, and teeth.
“Breast augmentation is pretty much covered by no insurance. Therefore, according to certain ways of thinking, it shouldn’t exist. Yet I checked and apparently the procedure is widely available and displayed proudly on some of my favorite Internet venues.”
“Where insurance fears to tread a competitive market exists.”
I also specifically mentioned optical care:
“…’glasses in an hour’ is not a punchline.”
Which brings me to today’s victory. My glasses “wore out”. It costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $250-$300 to replace them (frames & lenses). I pay cash for this…no insurance involved. Was there a cheaper alternative?
As an “experiment” I ordered prescription glasses on-line. I hoped the cheap on-line glasses would “tide me over” until I could afford a “real” replacement later this year. I expected out of prescription and scratched lenses mounted on flimsy bent frames to arrive six weeks late and broken.
Instead everything worked flawlessly. I ordered on-line at my convenience and after business hours. They came a week later. The new glasses appear to be exactly the same quality as the glasses I usually buy. Win!
Here’s the punchline; they cost 1/3 what I usually pay.
- I didn’t have to drive to a store.
- I didn’t have to talk to a human being.
- The product came to my house in a timely manner.
- The quality looks good (I’ll know for sure after I wear them a few weeks).
- The price was 2/3 less.
I am delighted. Cash is king!
I did the same thing a year ago. I was impressed as well. I bought some BCG’s (birth control glasses) out off the web, sent them in to get lenses, and keep them in my laptop – bugout bag. Amazing what is available on the blackmarket…. Just beware gluteous outrageicus enhancement services in seedy NYC motels…. Caveat Emptor.
My kids prefer the cheap online glasses to their more expensive pairs purchased from the optometrists office… go figure. Works out for me too because I can get them each a cheap pair every year and then when they inevitably destroy them, I only have to give the lecture on responsibility instead of taking a second job to afford the replacement pair. My wife loves her cheap online prescription sunglasses as well.
Yeah, capitalism sucks and stuff…
BTW, is that Bigfoot (Sasquatch, Skunk Ape, whatever) in your header? He looks like he’s trying to hide behind your woodpile – better get the shotgun…
YOU’RE THE FIRST VIEWER TO NOTICE!
Oh, hell. That’s bigfoot? I figured it was you. Or, considering what you’ve written about them, a previous owner of the homestead.
I’ve no idea why, but this post brought a thought to mind. Government controlled healthcare might reintroduce natural selection back into the equation. Thinning the herd so to speak. Those that are capable survive. Those that are not perish in the byzantine halls of obamacare.
In a totally different direction (but the one that immediately sprung to my mind when I saw your post title), I recently bought no-line bifocals. They are kind of weird in that you need to look directly at something for it to be in focus (as in turn your head). Thus my peripheral vision has gone to hell, and that really cuts down on my cleavage peeking activities… or at least cuts down on my getting away with it.
I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to mention “boobs” in a post title and not show any. Shame shame!
Like the idea of ordering glasses online. The part that has stopped me from doing so is not knowing what size to buy to fit my size head and not knowing whether a particular frame design looks nice on me without being able to try it on before buying. How did you resolve these issues? Or do curmudgeons care little about correct fit and appearance? (Oops, that sounds rude, but I don’t intend it that way.)
Size: I tried to order glasses that were approximately the same size as the ones I already own (there’s a set of secret code numbers on one of the limbs). An optometrist explained it to me. I missed one measurement by a few (the units are millimeters) but there’s a little “wiggle room”. It’s your face and not a valve clearance so don’t get too worried about a mm.
Looks: Short answer; Who gives a shit! Long answer; I picked an array of frames that we’re slightly better than the birth control glasses (the cheapest glasses are hideous) and then let Mrs. Curmudgeon pick from the culled herd. Usually I agonize for hours over glasses frames but this time I “winged it” with Mrs. Curmudgeon to protect against the truly strange. Surprisingly the results were just as good (if not better) than if I’d tried every frame in a store. Go figure!
One other note, some prescriptions suggest that you get different lens materials. The order form warned me about this. I believe this protects against six pound “coke bottle” glasses and I would defer to it. It seems to work.
Also…and this is key…accept risk following risk/reward logical reasoning. If you spend 1/3 on the glasses you accept risk that the glasses aren’t pure awesomeness. If the first set you order is fine (my experience) it’s pure win. If the first set (and second) set you order are shit…so long as the THIRD is good…you’ve broken even. (And you’ve got spare glasses for “emergencies”.) YMMV.
Incidentally risk/reward applies in many “purchasing the unknown” situations. In the past I used risk/reward logic on a series of shitty used cars. Some were crap but in the long run most were ok. I got many hundreds of thousands of miles on the cheap. Mrs. Curmudgeon tends to remember the shit cars. I tend to remember the great cars. Either way the long term average was good. Cash for clunkers in 2008 put a bullet in that economics but the logic remains.
Thank you for such a long and informative answer. I looked at my current glasses for the little numbers you mentioned, and I should be able to use them as a guide to online ordering; that is a great tip. I now feel much more confident about buying glasses online.
I always enjoy reading your blog, and I appreciate your advice.
As always; your mileage may vary and void where prohibited.
While back I decided I wanted a pair of dedicated ‘reading glasses’ for close-up work, and a friend recommended this place
They’ve got information on fitting, modifying your prescription for different uses, and you can contact them at the time of order to make sure you did it right. the set I got are optically great, work perfectly and cost $20 plus shipping with the options I chose.