THE DIRECTORY OF OPTOMETRISTS & OPHTHALMOLOGISTS IN WASHINGTON DC
A Visual Affair
1150 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC
This review is specific to the Groupon deals offered at A Visual Affair, as I can't speak to experiences there not using a Groupon. While the eye doctors at a Visual Affair seem to be friendly and knowledgeable, one will most likely leave dissatisfied if they are using a Groupon given the cost of their glasses. I realize experiences can't be generalized so I won't go into specific details of my experience, but I will advise that this Groupon is not very transparent about what it does and does not include and is not worth getting given their glasses selection is extremely overpriced- the minimum for a pair useable with the Groupon is nearly $300 just for the frames alone, and the Groupon does not apply to the lenses themself, which run about an additional $150-$200, so even using the $200 off glasses Groupon, you are looking at paying a minimum of an additional $250 for the absolute lowest price (aka not the most appealing) selections of the glasses on top of whatever you pay for the Groupon itself and there is about a week's wait time to get your glasses. If you get some of the nicer glasses, you will definitely pay more than that. It's a much better deal for similar quality glasses to go elsewhere and either use insurance, or if you don't have insurance go somewhere like Hour Eyes or My Eye Doctor. You will pay much less for the same glasses and get your glasses much sooner. That said, perhaps the experience at A Visual Affair without using the Groupon is much more satisfying.
My experience at A Visual Affair was great, from the moment I made my appointment. I got an appointment rather quickly, and felt very welcome as soon as I arrived. Dr. Bindal was so friendly and attentive. He explained everything to me and was very thorough. The staff sat with me for about 30 minutes helping me choose my frames, and I found exactly what I wanted, even though I am very picky.
The best thing was that my glasses arrived in less than a week, and I have been back since to have them tightened. Everyone there has been nothing but nice and always remember me.
Great customer service, really cool, modern selection of frames, trust-worthy doctor, and very convenient location for me.
I spoke to Ali- the receptionist at Visual Affair today because my insurance indicated that they were in my new coverage plan. She was very nice and very knowledgeable about the store's pricing and even looked up my insurance plan to see exactly what they cost for an exam and contact fitting were. She was great and my review is in no way a reflection of her professionalism.
I was informed by her however that Visual Affair charges a $20 fee for obtaining PD Measurements and prescription if you don't buy directly from them. Really?? After I hung up, I checked around because it seems to me like they are making you pay for your own medical records. I didn't think that sounded right.
I was right. According to the Bureau of Consumer Protection, "The Federal Trade Commission enforces both the Contact Lens Rule and the Eyeglass Rule. These Rules require that eye care providers give their customers copies of their prescriptions: Contact lens prescriptions must be given to the customers once the lens fitting is complete; eyeglass prescriptions must be given to customers at the end of the eye exam."
Also in regards to paying for lenses, "As an eye care provider, can I charge a patient for trial lenses or require a patient to buy them?
You may, but only if the trial lenses are necessary to complete the fitting process. This is sometimes the case with some "specialty" or custom-made lenses. You may not require a patient to buy contact lenses -- such as a six-month supply of disposable lenses -- as a condition of giving them a copy of their prescription."
For more info, here is the link to the FTC site: business.ftc.gov/documen_
Requiring someone to pay a $20 penalty to obtain their prescription in order to buy contacts elsewhere does not seem to fit within the requirements of the law. If i am mistaken, I would appreciate being corrected! If my interpretation is correct though, Visual Affair should probably change their policies.
I understand that they want to remain competitive with Warby Parker and 1-800 Contacts, but laws are laws people. I now have the sense that I will be nickle and dimed at Visual Affair and choose to take my business elsewhere.
Dr. Bindal is fantastic; I've been going to him for eight or nine years now. The staff is generally courteous, too, but I've had problems getting my contact order filled the last couple of years. Last year, it took almost two and a half weeks to get them; this year, apparently they just forgot to call me! But I'll keep going to Dr. Bindal - it's rare to find any kind of doctor I like and trust.
I found A Visual Affair by searching:
A) Who was close to work or home
2) Who my insurance would cover
III) Who Yelp reviewers hadn't torn apart (you'd be surprised - apparently there are a lot of questionable optometrists in the area).
I have to say, I was somewhat disappointed. The optometrist who did my exams was young (not a bad thing), but as a result, didn't appear to know too much when I asked specific questions (i.e. when I can get Lasik, because every optometrist has told me something different). I had hoped to get Dr. Bindal, but didn't request him, so I guess it was my own fault.
The specific aspect of my visit I didn't enjoy was that this doc basically made me feel like a Geico Caveman when I told him I wear Acuvue 2 contacts. Apparently those are "pretty old" and I should try a new brand like Biofinity or whatever. Look dude, I've been doing this dance since the 4th grade and I'm happy with what I've got going on. Plus, this free pair of Biofinity contacts he gave me hurt my eyes after a few hours, even if they're more oxygenated and better for my eyes, so I'll likely end up going back to the brand I'm comfortable with (both physically AND financially). And I don't need your newfangled saline solution either.
I'm still searching for someone who makes me feel as comfortable as my childhood optometrist did for 10+ years, which is appearing a near-impossible feat. Aaaand now I'm homesick.
The reception staff was very sweet, even if they weren't super capable. I purchased a $25 for $50 Yelp deal for this office before my appointment, but when I showed it to the 2 girls at the front, neither one had any idea what it was or what to do with it. One had to stare at it for a solid 2 minutes before they just treated it like a gift certificate, which is what I had hoped for/expected. Also, it was around 1-2 PM, so both were going in and out for lunch so it was difficult to find someone to help me since they had to man the phones, customers and glasses shoppers.
Speaking of which, I was actually pleased with their selection of frames. I've had the same frames since I was 19 (yuck), so I decided to use my insurance discount to get a brand new pair. I did find a pair I really liked (and others I had to let go of because they just weren't PERFECT like these were), and one of the girls was very helpful and quick in helping me order them. Of course they try to sell you on every single item (scratch coating, non-reflective, blah blah blah) but considering I only wear mine at night and when my lenses are bothering me, I didn't opt for most of it. I did, however, have to pay extra to make the lenses thin enough to wear. My eyes are so bad that if the lenses weren't shrunk, they'd be about 3-4 inches thick.
However, I was frustrated that about 90% of their frames are locked in 5-6 cabinets. I'm a browser, and I have to try EVERYTHING on to know that I'm really picking the right pair, and it became incredibly tedious to ask one of the girls to open and close each cabinet when I saw a new pair I wanted to try. It not only makes me look high maintenance (regardless of whether or not it's true), and it pulls her away from something else she likely needs to be doing.
I'm going back in a few weeks for dilation (joy) and to make sure my new contacts are working out for me, so maybe I'll update after that, but in the meantime, I'd say this place is only okay.
A Brighter Image
Eyewear & Opticians, Optometrists
1720 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC
Dr Goldberg was super nice, thoughtful, thorough and happy to answer questions which was awesome.
The real star of the show though was Evan. Nicest, funniest, least pushy eyeglass salesman I've ever met and I've been wearing glasses for a while.
Thanks for such a great experience and to top it off they said my glasses would be ready in TWO DAYS !!
Everyone who works here is knowledgable and helpful. I am not great with insurance, but they always have complete knowledge of what I am able to get with my plan, and are careful to make sure I am not going over what is offered. They have online and text appointment services, which is convenient and easy. Their frames are expensive, but if you have eye insurance I would highly recommend them!!
The incredibly polite & helpful staff got me into a new pair of glasses nicer than those I walked in with in record time. Highly recommended.
I had an excellent experience here. They fit me in quickly, and they have great hours and a very convenient location, so I could go after work. The optometrist seemed very knowledgeable and answered all my questions but didn't waste any time with unnecessary tests. The staff was also very helpful in explaining my vision plan and helping me pick out glasses from a wide selection. I just got my glasses today, and they're really lightweight and have improved my vision remarkably. All around great experience--just what I was looking for.
I feel bad for the guy who first reviewed this business, but I had a pretty good experience at A Brighter Image. I had an eye exam there, I felt the Dr. was competent. They had a super friendly guy to help me pick out my new frames. He selected a few that he thought would match my head. The best part? He said "I will simply die if you don't buy that pair" while I was trying on the third pair. In order to save his life, I purchased them. (They look pretty good on me, so I guess the dude knows his stuff). I found the price average for the quality of the glasses, lenses, and service. I will recommend this place to my coworkers and friends.
America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses
Eyewear & Opticians, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists
5031 Indian Head Hwy Oxon Hill, MD
A very bad neighborhood to go into, first of all. Don't risk your life going to this business to (supposedly) save some money.
Just as important: If you go in for the "Two pairs of glasses for $69," you'll find they have one add-on after another, and you end up not being able to pay for two pairs. So you go for one pair, and that one pair still ends up costing $400 because of all the add-ons (the warranty, a special scratch protection coating, a special glare protection coating....you name it, a lot of stuff that ends up costing multiples of $69, and just for a single pair of glasses).
So their ads are basically just intended to bait you and draw you in and play you for a sucker.
In that kind of environment, the customer service is as sloppy and as indifferent as you'd expect. They don't care how they inconvenience you, once they've got you on the hook. You need something they can handle over the phone? They'll make you put in an appearance at the store anyway. They don't stay on top of things, so you need to call them and pester them about whether an order has arrived, etc.
It all smacks of dishonesty and people who are just marginally competent in what they do for a living.
Well, well, well. It looks like it is up to me to balance out the perception of this place since the other reviewers have portrayed it as a festering cesspool full of screaming lunatics. This is not the case.
First of all, they were convenient in the sense that they were able to see me the same day that I called. I couldn't say the same about either store that I called in NoVA. I was in, out, and on with my afternoon. Everyone in the store was friendly, straightforward, and helpful. The optometrist was as thorough as any that I have been to in the past.
Second of all, the place was reasonable. I did join the Eye Care Club for $99, and it has payed me back in a variety of ways since early 2013 when I first went to the Oxon Hill store. The Eye Care Club offers members free eye exams for up to three years (that is an additional 5 exams if you go every 6 months). Also, I get discounts on my Proclear monthly contacts. They are only $41 a box, and if you do the math that comes out to a measly $82 every 6 months/ $164 per year.
Thirdly, let's talk about the location itself. Yes, I lived in Alex.,VA in 2013. The prevailing perception of many a NoVA snob is that crossing the Potomac over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge is analogous to crossing the River Styx into the depths of Hades. (As evident by this other reviewer here who said, "my life was threatened.") Got news for ya, everybody in nearby Alexandria: Nobody in this neighborhood is interested in threatening the Professor Emeritus of Economics or your vintage Volvo. Ooh, there is some trash on the ground... ooh, there are some seagulls eating discarded french fries in the lot... I'm not really sure who that guy is having a conversation with outside of the Giant... maybe a ghost? This is a working class suburb, people. It's not the Southside of Chicago. Thus ends my rant.
No complaints here, if it wasn't 700 miles away from me I'd go back.
To make a long story short don't waste your time patronizing this store. They have RUDE employees who mirror unprofessional and quite ghetto behavior. I had an employee raise her voice at me while using obscene language, just because I choose to stick up for myself. And it's sad because everyone else that works in the store seems to be quite nice.
This location is in Eastover Shopping Center. The guy and I went in to check on the 2 for $69 with a free eyeglasses exam. However, my guy has some bad vision, so he needs more than that deal includes! However, the people working in this location, were nice, but extremely hood!! LOL! They were friendly, but whew...they were a bit much!
America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses
Eyewear & Opticians, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists
1401 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD
I have been going to this store for 20 years. I have never had a problem and recommended it as the only way to buy glasses. There are faults, but magazines
and decor are not high on my list. Unfortunately, this time was different. Everything went as expected. The pre-exam and my time with the doctor were efficient and satisfactory. This changed when I sat down with the salesperson and was told that
it was against the law for me to purchase the promotional glasses with the CR-39
plastic lenses and that I would have to buy the polycarbonate lenses costing considerably more. I gave him any number of opportunities to correct himself, but
he kept insisting that it would be against the law to sell me plastic lenses! While the doctor recommended polycarbonates, it was not required. I have bought many pairs of glasses in the past and was never charged more or REQUIRED to purchase the more expensive lenses. I had to leave the store without having placed an order.
I checked with my ophthalmologist and was told that it was a recommendation, not
I sent an email from the America's Best site and I am waiting for a reply.
July 25, 2014
I did finally get my glasses today. I would have gone with 5 stars, but this problem
should never happen. I eventually was given an official America's Best form to sign.
The form should have been available to me a month ago without the hassle.
Anyway, I will continue to recommend America's Best, with caveats.
This place is awful. :( the customer service is bad and rushed plus the selection of frames is despicable. The tech rudely gave up on the eye puffer test and had to wave himself with paper out of frustration, after only 2 attempts. ( :( I hate that test. )Whoa... worst experience in customer service in a while. I did not purchase anything except the eye exam... my money is not going to these guys. YIKES! Not coming back!
I wish I could give them ZERO stars. Worst customer service I've ever experienced plain and simple their employees and doctors don't give a crap about you or your time...all they care about is getting your money and getting you out the door ASAP.
The gentleman that helped me was great. Funny and attentive. I made my appointment for their last slot on a Friday. I checked in 15 minutes prior to my scheduled time and was not seen until 30 minutes after my scheduled time, only to have the doctor ask me how long I was waiting. I guess she was waiting too.
It just seems very disorganized and lacking some type of modle of service. I got my glasses less than a week but I stil have not gotten my contacts and its been about two weeks.. and this is just for the trial pair... we'll see how long it takes.. from reading the other reviews, it makes me scared.
Summary: More than a month later and 4 visits, I STILL do not have my glasses.
Customer service is abysmal at best. It was like a high school hallway in between classes on my first visit. The staff was more interested in running around playing games with each other than even bothering to acknowledge the existence of customers. They finally bothered to say something to me more than 10 minutes after I arrived and stood at the reception desk. Having an appointment didn't seem to give me any sort of priority over the walk-ins.
While I was in the initial exam room with the tech other employees walked in and out with boxes and chatted with the tech as if I was not even there (not to mention mid-eye test).
The Optometrist was very nice and professional...the one redeeming quality, although not enough to bring it to 2 stars. I actually felt bad that she had to work with this group.
Selection: The selection was decent. Of course the "fun" frames are not part of the cheap deal...but still less than other places I have purchased glasses. There is also an upsale for thinner lenses and many frames require special lenses.
Again, it took a long time to place my order. There were lots of staff hanging around "playing" and only one guy doing the orders.
I waited 2 weeks and expected a call to tell me the glasses arrived. Nothing. So I stopped in. One pair (of course the cheapo back-up pair that I wasn't really interested in wearing regularly) arrived. Supposedly the other pair had shipped the day before.
I waited another 2 weeks for the promised call. Again, NOTHING. Stopped back in and overheard them telling the lady in front of me that they had lost her glasses. Sure enough, I got the same line. They told me to wait in line for them to reorder (which I am not sure why...because they already had all of the information)...of course I had to wait in a 3 person line (with each person taking 20 minutes). I had to leave. So, more than a month later, I still do not have my glasses. Heading back again to try to resolve.
Parking: Take the bus. There are a few reserved spots in front but they share them with a salon...so don't count on parking there on a Friday afternoon. There is $5 parking behind, they may have parking validation, but I wasn't going to count on it.
America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses
Eyewear & Opticians, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists
Brentwood, 1060 Brentwood Rd NE Washington, DC
You get what you pay for at this location. The service is not good, the glasses selection is pretty bad, and they are always trying to selling you WAY more than is necessary. Also, although the frames are cheap, the lenses are actually quite expensive (and again, they will tack on stuff without asking you, like special coatings, etc, and will not even tell you unless you ask why it is so expensive). Also, getting glasses back from them takes 7-10 business days--which is ridiculous.
By far, the dirtiest and grossest eye exam place ever! Please wipe down your equipment, tear away obviously already used strips of paper and clean the bathroom.....please and thank you.
Bought two pairs of eyeglasses here that seemed to take longer than usual to come in.
When they performed my eye exam, the lady sat me down in the chair, then immediately went on her lunch break... I know she did, because when she came back she smelled of sandwich.
Also, I lost one of the little nose-rester thingies from one of those pairs of glasses, and went in to get it replaced.
A few days later, went to pick them up, just like the young lady at the front desk told me to do, (SAME young lady), and she looked at me as if she had no clue what I was referring to. They weren't ready...
She found my glasses randomly stashed away somewhere, and promised to fix them right away. You know she replaced the lil nose thingies with two of the largest and most horrendous nose thingies known to man? She also threw the one that wasn't broken away so I had no clue of knowing how to just find a match for it.
Although, I loved the 2 pairs of glasses I received, yeah, my experience there sucked. I was treated like an irrelevant step nephew. I'll have to do this online next time, since I've heard good things about a few of those services.
The office staff is very nice and helpful but the doctors are awful. DO NOT go here unless you want the doctors to mess up your prescription and sub par service. They hardly answered any of my questions when I asked and did not have the kind of contacts I wear in the store.
The doctors are really really awful. I would never go back here!
I got my glasses from America's Best about 6 or 7 months ago. They were really inexpensive -- $39 for the frames, and the thinned out lenses were around $89, which includes a 1 year warranty on the entire frames and lens package for pretty much anything, accidents included. My glasses are the most comfortable glasses I've ever owned, and I've gotten glasses from both chains and private offices before.Their selection of frames is somewhat limited, though. I found that many of them were made for very small faces, but there are a couple of gems that can be found if you already know what shapes fit your face. If you happen to find two that are nice, they have good 2-for deals, starting at $89, I think. Special lenses will be add-ons.
After I got my glasses, I've heard that America's Best is not that great of a place to go for glasses, but I had a really good experience there. I brought my prescription from my regular eye doctor, and just picked out my glasses there, so I don't know if their eye doctors are good. The staff were helpful and friendly, though.
Minus 1 star for limited selection.