THE DIRECTORY OF OPTOMETRISTS & OPHTHALMOLOGISTS IN WASHINGTON DC
Arlington Eye Center
1635 N George Mason Dr Arlington, VA
This review is purely a comment on this practice's business and administrative procedures.
This specifically pertains to Arlington Eye Center and the Pediatric services provided by Melissa Kerns and her staff.
I have been bringing my daughter in for 1.5 years (she's only 2) for just basic examinations. We did sign a waiver 1.5 years ago that if certain procedures were performed that were not covered by insurance, we would pay.
The last time I took my daughter, the physician did a refraction to check her prescription. My daughter doesn't wear glasses. She never has. And no prescription was given. Whether a refraction was necessary or not, I am not medically trained to determine. The physician did the refraction without explanation of the cost, coverage, or necessity. I'm not judging the physician necessarily because she's a professional but also an employee. She does what she is trained to do. However the practice wanted to bill me after the fact ($55) without any explanation during the course of the entire hour we were there in the office during which they could have explained what they needed to do. They simply stuck a bill in my face, and said, please pay. My good friend is an opthamologist and has said that he would only charge for a refraction if he was actually giving a prescription. That's the point of a refraction. If there's no "product" given to the patient, he doesn't in good conscience feel it is his right to charge for something that the patient isn't going to take away. To say nothing of that fact, that not once during my daughters visit, were we told that there would be a charge over and above our co-pay. This is simply poor customer service, poor management, and poor medicine. Businesses that are too lazy to inform their customers (patients) simply do not deserve my money or loyalty.
I walked out before my appointment even began.
I should have known better than to make an appointment here because when I walked in 2 weeks ago - all 3 receptionists were texting on their iPhones. But I made the appointment anyway. I was asked for my name, insurance, and if I wear contact lenses, was given an appointment card, and left.
I had an appointment today at 9:00 AM - so says the appointment card that I have sitting right in front of me. When I arrived the receptionist told me "You're late, the appointment was at 8:30." I politely told her she was wrong, and although I had left the appointment card at home, the appointment was for 9:00.
I handed over my ID and Insurance card, was asked to fill out some paperwork, and sat down to do so. I came to a page that addressed the other Yelper's concern, so I guess this was their "fix" - a notice that I would be charged a $55 refraction test charge that could not be waived.
This, for me, was strike 2 - wrong appointment time, and now I'm being told I HAVE to pay a fee that wasn't explained to me when I made the appointment. So I'm looking at an $80-day so far with the co-pay and this surprise fee. Great.
THEN the receptionist calls across the waiting area, "Ms. Smith - is your first name Mary?" This chick has my photo ID and insurance card in front of her, which if she read, she would see that my name is not, in fact, Mary. "No..." I answered. "Mary Peterson?" I guess she's trying to give me another chance at confirming my own name. "No, my name is not Mary Peterson Smith, don't you have my ID in front of you?" She looks down, "Yes, I guess we have you in the system wrong."
So I finished filling out the paperwork and handed it in, and started to wait. Then Receptionist Extraordinaire calls across the waiting room, "Did you want to be seen for contact, too, Ms. Smith?" "Yes, I thought I took care of that when I made the appointment..." "Well, you have to fill out this form, too." SO I go to the counter, and see that it's a form telling me I'll pay anywhere from $90-something to over $200 (!!!???) for contact lens fitting, and it's not covered by insurance.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, I thought. "Is this covered by insurance?" "No, we don't participate with Eye Plans", she answered, "so you can submit paperwork to your insurance and you might get some of it back." I wasn't told this when I made the appointment.
At this point I have ZE-RO faith in this place. I'm not trusting them with my money, they've wasted my time, and goodness knows what their health-care is like. "You have gotten my appointment time wrong, my identity is wrong in the computer, and now these 2 miscomunications - I am no longer interested in being here. I am cancelling my appointment." "Ok" the receptionist said quietly, "Have a nice day" she almost whispered. With head down, and no attempt at service recovery, she lost a patient and a sale. It was a sad, pathetic scene.
Please don't go here, they're not taking health-care seriously. Health care includes everything from your front office, to your physician's services, to how your staff handles paper-work behind the scenes. The landscape of health-care is changing, and if Dr. Gaspar's practice doesn't keep up, I predict they will be gone.
Dr. Gaspar and his practice comes highly recommended to me by many doctors including primary care and specialty physicians. I was concerned that I would not be able to get an appointment with him when needed but I was wrong. His friendly staff was able to accommodate my schedule. While scheduling, the staff was pleasant, respectful and informative. Upon arrival at the office, I was greeted with a smile and handed some paperwork to fill out. The paperwork was detailed but informative about refraction and such. I was seeing Dr. Gaspar for something called a pterygium which is a growth on the eye that requires surgery.
I was first seen by a technician who was Spanish speaking. This was very helpful since my primary language is Spanish. She was able to communicate with me efficiently and effectively so that I could understand the complicated anatomy and processes of the eye. After dilation, I saw Dr. Gaspar. He was very friendly and you could tell he had a wealth of knowledge and experience. He did a very thorough exam and explained my options to me. WE decided to proceed with the surgery to relieve my symptoms and further complications.
Dr. Gaspar and his staff went out of their way to help me. At the time of my appointment I was in between primary care providers and they contacted a Spanish speaking MD for me and made an appointment so that I can get a full physical and clearance for surgery. Thanks to them I have secured a great ophthalmologist and primary care physician.
Surgery day was a breeze even though I was nervous. Dr. Gaspar came to see me before and after surgery to ensure I was comfortable. I have seen him and his staff for my post operative appointments many times thereafter and I could not be happier. I am very thankful to the Arlington Eye Center for being so good at what they do!
Associates In Eyecare
Eyewear & Opticians, Optometrists
2960 Chain Bridge Rd Oakton, VA
late in 2012 i stopped in because i was randomly in the neighborhood, and thought i'd use my flex spending money on a new pair of frames. The staff was so friendly and helpful, and i look forward to coming back soon to get my lenses put in and visit the doc!
Apex Optical Company
Eyewear & Opticians
2001 L St NW Washington, DC
Once again, another terrific experience at Apex with Garrett. He is polite, funny, and treats every client like gold. I get the impression from seeing the other sales staff that they are all the same.
I have a difficult time getting adjusted to new prescriptions and glasses. At the recommendation of my ophthalmologist I went to Apex the first time about 5 years ago. I would never go to another optician. Customer service by all the staff is excellent at both the adjustment and fitting stage and the time they give you to get the right style. Rex, Garrett, and Youssef have all assisted me and are all great.
Had a great experience there today. Staff was attentive, helpful, and friendly. Great spot.
I walked in first thing in the morning and was warmly greeted by Youssef Ezzaki, a certified optician. Not only did he fix my glasses (3 pairs!) he did it for free! I will definitely bring my future business to such a professional and welcoming establishment and recommend them to others as well.
My nine-year old frames broke this weekend. I have nearly new lenses but the frames are discontinued (they still have the original order on file). Not to worry. I took them to Apex and Youssef found frames that my existing lenses popped right into and look great. Saved me loads of money and I couldn't be happier. This is why I've been going to Apex since I was 5 years old.
Apex Optical Company
Eyewear & Opticians
Tenleytown, 4200 Wisconsin Avenue NW Washington, DC
I got my first pair of glasses at Apex Optical when I was 11, and have gone there ever since. Their high-end selection is not cheap, but I am always happy with my service and what I get there.
Undoubtedly, the most expensive optical store I've ever visited. They wanted to sell me a Lindberg rimless frame (it only has connections to the ear and a nose piece) and a progressive lens for $1056. Go elsewhere!
I came here on the advice of a Washingtonian article. The glasses I've had for the last 4 years were from Lenscrafters, and there's nothing wrong with them. I just needed new ones for a new prescription.
The service at Apex was average, and they had a very boring selection of frames. The few they had for $129 were ugly and cheaply made, and the rest of their inventory was filled with snooty big-name designer glasses with giant logos for showing off. Ugh, no thanks.
The price for a decent pair, with lenses, came out to $450 for me, and they couldn't be made until the next day. I guess I fail to see what's in any way special about this place, and in the mean time, I'm going to Burton.
Apex is pricey, they don't take insurance and don't provide on-site eye exams. So why go? Lifetime great customer service! I think their selection of frames is very good, but what I really like is the time they take with each customer to make sure your eyewear is appropriate for your face and properly fitted. I like being able to drop in without an appointment and have my frames tightened or get a consultation. Optician Marco Zapata is fabulous; he diagnosed a problem I was having with my Maui Jim prescription sunglasses that was making them unwearable. Two other staffers at Apex hadn't gotten to the source of the problem and I was about to scrap the glasses. Marco started first by PUTTING THEM ON to experience what I was seeing--so simple! In just a few minutes he had made a corrective adjustment to the frames and now my sunglasses are perfect!
I stopped in here today to get two pairs of sunglasses fixed and it has been a long time since I received such great customer service. They immediately helped me, fixed my glasses within minutes and even cleaned the lenses and tightened the ear piece part without me asking! I will definitely be coming back here for repairs or perhaps to buy a new pair from their wide selection of top brands- Oliver Peoples, Kate Spade, etc. Thank you for your kindness Apex!
7645 Leesburg Pike Falls Church, VA
The doctor here is old school. He took his time assessing. I give huge props to the doctors thoroughness and genuine interest in the patients well being. He took the time to explain my exam results in detail. His staff is wonderful and very caring/helpful.
Minus 2 stars for aesthetics, I was skeptical (and a bit uncomfortable) at first when I walked in because the office is very outdated, not shiny and new. I tend to associate shiny and new with being clean. This place is a time warp into 1975. But the service was so great, I will keep coming back.
The best. I've been going to Dr. Eleftherio for over 10 years. He is easily my favorite eye doctor in 30+ years of going to eye doctors. He takes his time with you and the staff is great too.