THE DIRECTORY OF OPTOMETRISTS & OPHTHALMOLOGISTS IN WASHINGTON DC
A Visual Affair
1150 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC
I found A Visual Affair through ZocDoc, because I enjoy not actually having to talk to people and do the "when are you free/what about 2 PM on a busy Tuesday" dance. After verifying that my insurance was valid there, I confirmed my appointment and was happy to find something one block from my office (turned out to be a huge blessing with the number of visits I had to make. I also spoke with a friend who knows Dr. Bindal personally and highly recommended him, so I was happy about feeling like I had someone who wouldn't try to rob me and blind me in the process.
--Dr. Bindal is phenomenal. He gets 6 stars from me. He tolerated my straight forward questions/etc and I felt like he gave me straight forward answers (e.g., "most lawyers and engineers are perfectionists about their vision, so they don't like XYZ for ABC reasons, so maybe this isn't the best option for you").
--I love my frames and get compliments on both pairs all the time.
--They'll give you saline solution whenever you stop in and ask for it.
--The staff is very helpful and sweet (although not the fastest workers ever) -- and they respond/follow up when they say they will.
--The other doctor, who I got for some follow-up contacts visions, was not as easily relate-able. I had a hard time establishing the same rapport/comfort with him and didn't feel like I received as great of care from him, which naturally made me nervous (I was a first-time contacts-seeker, and he didn't answer my questions very well about the whole sticking-your-fingers-in-your-eyes lifestyle).
Not great things:
--You will wait FOREVER. Forever and ever and ever. Apparently they don't pad appointment times for runover/etc, so what should be a ten minute appointment at 1:00 ends up being a 30-minute wait and a 15-minute appointment at 1:30. Very frustrating when you show up early like a good citizen.
--The prices are a bit high, but what are you going to do at an eye doctor in the middle of downtown DC? They're not entirely transparent in how they price/invoice things (important if you're trying to get insurance to cover any of it), so be sure to stay on top of that.
I had very unpleasant experience with this office (four appointments in January and February of 2013).
The staff in this office is always changing. Even though I've been a patient for more than two years, the receptionist didn't bother to check my file and brought loads of paperwork to complete during my initial appointment on January 30th. When I pointed out that nothing has changed in my medical, residential, and employment history, they still made me to write the same information again. After checking my vision both for contacts and eye glasses, Dr. Bindal scheduled a follow up appointment because his office didn't have contacts that would fit me.
My second appointment was on February 13th. Dr. Bindal asked me about the purpose of my visit. I told him that I came for a follow-up appointment to try contacts. He then flipped though the file and told me that they haven't ordered them. I was upset, but then he assured me that his office will contact me once they have them.
The office didn't contact me and I called myself and scheduled another appointment for February 20th. While I was waiting, the receptionist brought again paper work to fill out. I realized at that point that the staff is not very bright and told the receptionist that I completed the forms during my first visit and she should check the file. This time there was another doctor, who was actually nice, but he didn't know the purpose of my visit. When I explained that I came to try contacts, he told me that they don't have contacts that would fit me. I told this doctor that I am simply not satisfied with their service because they make me to come to their office, wait, and then don't even bother to check the file. He then told me that he will try to fix it. He brought a pair of contacts and asked me to wear them for a week and if they don't work, I can schedule another appointment and try another pair.
The contacts didn't work (my vision was blurry) and I scheduled another appointment with Dr. Bindal on February 27th. Once again, the doctor didn't know why I scheduled my follow up appointment no did he have contacts for me. Moreover, he didn't even bother apologizing for the long wait (which is always an issue). I left the office stating that I will see another eye doctor. I spent $144 and didn't even get the adequate prescription. I attempted to request a new prescription from that office on 02/27 and on 03/07 from Dr. Bindal, but he didn't even respond to my email. Would not recommend anyone this office.
In the interest of full disclosure, my visit to A Visual Affair came courtesy of Groupon, so I can't speak to the fairness of the pricing or anything.
Otherwise, I had a very good experience at A Visual Affair. Dr Bindal is attentive, friendly, and professional. They have a much larger glasses selection than I was expecting, and the sales associate who helped me was very patient (I was very picky, which I think is fair - I'm planning on wearing these just about every day, so they have to be perfect) and helpful.
Also, I had my appointment on Friday, and my glasses were ready today (Tuesday)!
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.
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.
A Brighter Image
Eyewear & Opticians, Optometrists
1720 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC
Just excellent customer service.
Great location, just a block from Dupont Circle North Metro stop, and next door to Bethesda Bagels Oh sure, you can go to a chain and be treated like a number. But you can come here and be welcomed like a friend and good neighbor.
They are very competent and very good, which is most important. But, in addition to that, the excellent customer service is what makes this place special.
Seriously awesome. The doctor was AMAZING, thorough, and really super nice. His staff that helped me find some frames were also super friendly, professional and extremely nice. They did a GREAT job. I highly recommend this place to anyone looking for an eye doctor.
I have been going to A Brighter Image for a few years for annual eyes exams and an new pair of glasses. I have always been pleased with the service, prices, and the friendliness of the staff. Last week, the right frame of my glasses broke and I made it into A Brighter Image 5 minutes before they were closing. They stayed later and replaced the frames of my glasses so I could walk out with practically a new pair. I would recommend them to anyone who is looking for a good eye doctor with a great staff.
I visited A Brighter Image a few weeks ago and have lukewarm feelings about it. First, it is conveniently located in Dupont Circle, which is nice. I think there are some organizational issues that could be deal with. First, when I walked it seems like everyone at the store was hanging out and it seemed like customers were interrupting. It took a few beats for someone to greet me but once they did I was given some information to fill out. Second, there are multiple people who are basically interrupting each other as they try to attend to the customer. For example, when I went to the front desk to "check out" one person began the process and another finished it. It's not a big deal but it's little things that show a bit of unprofessionalism. Third, there were some unprofessional conversations happening among the staff that I would have preferred not to be present for. They were discussing promotions and hiring/firings within the store. Finally, the doctor was not very engaged. It was quite possibly the shortest eye exam i've ever had (i've been wearing glasses/contacts for 15 years) and he was rather unpleasant...interrupting me before I finished reading out lines and then when I would take his lead and only read the first few letters he'd tell me to finish up! The entire time I sat in the chair I wondered why he was so upset. After the exam the doctor led me to one of the tables outside the exam room and threw two contacts at me "left!" "right!". I was pretty surprised at this point by the customer service and just put on my lenses hoping to get out of there. However, he went ahead and did another eye exam before checking in on me...but hey, since they only last 5 minutes it wasn't that long of a wait. I finally got out of there after paying for the services but it wasn't a great experience.
Bottom line: If you live in this area I suppose it's an adequate place to get an eye exam but do not expect friendly service. Their frames are OK but pretty overpriced...I only found two frames under $210. I get an eye exam once a year so i'll just go somewhere else next year.
Great operation. The folks there are super nice and competent. Family operated business means you're more than just a number. After my eye exam, I ended up buying my frames elsewhere, but came back to them to fill the lenses because I liked working with them so much.
America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses
Eyewear & Opticians, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists
5031 Indian Head Hwy Oxon Hill, MD
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!
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.
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.
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.
America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses
Eyewear & Opticians, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists
1401 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD
America's WORST place ever. I made an appointment online for the last slot at 5 pm on a Saturday. I got off work early and rush all the way from DC only so they could tell me that Dr Yang was already leaving cause it was too late. I was there at 5, on time, WTF!!!! Why will you have a 5 pm slot if they are not going to honor it. And it's not like she left at 5, they said that she had already pack her purse and she was done for the day.
The first time I when it was not any better (why I when back, cause I join the 3 year free eye exam (biggest mistake ever)). Dr Yang only cares about rushing you out so she could move to the next person. It took her literally 2 minutes to check for my prescription and every time I ask her to go back to the last slide she had an attitude.
Since I am stuck with america's worst for another two year, I will now go to the DC office since they have better reviews.
I've gone to this chain before and have been pleased in other locations. The prices are right. However, at least at this location, don't expect much customer service.
My latest experience: the store had a power outage, so they apparently had no way to call and tell me my appointment was cancelled. I drove 45 minutes out of my way to get there for the appointment only to find it was closed. After later complaining, all they offered me was meager 15% off my purchase. By the way, they never even followed up later with a courtesy call to apologize or ask if I'd like to reschedule.
This place is the WORST! It's so GHETTO, no one has any customer service skills including the Doctor! I believe the doctor I saw was Dr. Yang or Wang. I use to go to lenscrafters, and haven't worn contacts in over 7years. The only reason I wanted to switch eye places was because I no longer have insurance and Americas Best is def way cheaper BUT honestly I would've much rather paid the extra money, knowing what I know now. I got the wrong prescription; I can see better without these foggy trails I'm wearing at the moment. And when going back for my follow up to see how my trails are working out I GOT YELLED AT by the Doctor because I didn't save the disposable container my trails came in. First of all I am her Patient NOT her employee or staff to even talk to like that. Second of all its NOT my responsibility to keep track of what prescriptions were given to me. This was absolutely ridiculous! After she yells at me in the examination room she takes me out to the front desk and YELLS at her staff in front of me and two other NEW patients! The new patients looked shocked. I hope they didn't follow through with their appointment. Now I'm stuck with this place for 3 years. After I get my trails and glasses I will not be visiting the rockville location. Hopefully I have better luck in silver spring. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU DO NOT BRING YOUR BUSINESS TO THIS AMERICAS BEST!
This is the worst experience I've had with customer service. I had traveled over an hour for a scheduled follow up appointment. The receptionist made me wait over 30 minutes only to let me know that the optometrist could not see me that day. She told me to come in the next week. I don't understand why it would take over 30 minutes to inform me that I could not be seen especially since during my wait, the receptionist was not tied up or helping any of the 3 customers who were also waiting at the time.
Even with better deals/cheaper prices, I would not come back here again! DO NOT GO HERE!
After some pretty yucky visits at other retailers, I decided to take my son here for the "2 for $69.95 deal" for his first pairs of glasses. Expected the worst after reading some other reviews, but was pleasantly surprised. Selection isn't massive, but decent for the price. We picked 2 pairs for $104.00.
Greeted by front desk staff promptly, personally shown where the kids glasses display was, lots of fun interaction while my son modeled pairs. Brought back for first part of checkup with the technician after only 5 minutes waiting, not even long enough to finish one screen of Candy Crush. Technician was awesome, patient with my hyper son, answered all of his questions about what she was doing to his eyes.
Walked back to waiting area for optometrist (or ophthalmologist - not sure title) who was very nice. Quiet, but answered all our questions. Walked me through his rx and next steps in regard to follow up and how quickly his rx may change.
Eye exam was free, glasses were only $104 for 2 pairs. Price is great, in and out on a busy Saturday in 30 minutes. We made an appt a few days earlier, so not sure about how long a walk in would have to wait. Not sure about their adult selection, but for kids glasses, you can't beat the price. The staff was also really great with kids.
I recommend you check them out.
UPDATE: went to the store this weekend after my sons supposedly "unscratchable guaranteed" lenses suffered a minor scratch. Saw Terrell and he basically sneered at me and said "no, we can't help you. you can pay $40 - $50 for a new pair of lenses" and handed them back to me like they were covered in cooties. I told him point blank that I was the only person to actually review them favorably on Yelp and would be updating my review to reflect this interaction. He smirked and said "allll right....have a gooooood day" and walked off.
Avoid. Customer service doesn't end after the sale.
America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses
Eyewear & Opticians, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists
Brentwood, 1060 Brentwood Rd NE Washington, DC
I'm getting old and I can no longer read with my regular prescription, so I went to my doctor and got a new one. I took the new prescription to America's Best and they made the glasses in the time they said they would. I found the staff helpful and the selection of frames, while not huge, was big enough for me to find something I liked.
I have to say, on price, that they were totally up front about the fact that my glasses would cost more than the advertised price. This is because I need high-index plastic or something like that for my prescription. They weren't upselling me, either, because I am always told this. But at least I knew from the beginning what the total cost would be. I was pleased to be offered a 20% discount because I have health insurance. I didn't need to do any paperwork, just show them my insurance card. (Personally, I think the poor people who don't have insurance need the discount more than I do. But apparently the deal has something to do with an arrangement America's Best has with the insurance companies.)
The bad news was that I hated the new prescription. So I went back to my doctor and got a new one. I was freaked out about the fact that I was going to have to pay for new glasses until he told me that the industry standard is for the lens shop to make the new lenses free of charge. He wrote "Doctor's courtesy" or something similar on the bottom of the prescription. The kicker is--my doctor said some of the chains don't do this. He specifically warned me not to go to Hour Eyes. He wasn't sure if America's Best worked this way or not.
So I take the new prescription to America's Best and what do they do but give me the new lenses free of charge! But wait, there's more--the new prescription is better but I still can't see right. So I decide to make the new prescription into reading glasses. This means I need new distance glasses in my regular prescription. (The ones I have are scratched and messed up.) So I go BACK to the store and this time I ask them if I can retroactively take advantage of their 2 for 1 deal. They called out the manager and she said she could give me 50% off the second pair of glasses. Which I think is totally fair.
Another good thing to know is that they warranty the glasses for a year for everything except loss and theft. I've already made a note to go back in 11 months, if need be, and get new lenses for the glasses I'm buying this year. (Don't you hate the way sunscreen and stuff like that messes up the lenses?)
The bottom line? Friendly, helpful staff and good prices. I'd recommend these guys without any hesitation.
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.
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!
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.
I went there for their $69.95 deal for glasses. I arrived 15 minutes early and I didn't get seen until 15 minutes after my appointment time (sucks). The staff was nice and helpful. I had my eye exam completed and I later went to look at frames. I WAS VERY DISPLEASED WITH THE SELECTION of frames they had however I found two frames that I found attractive considering my options to choose from.
When I got to the desk to make my purchase for the frames(NO HIDDEN FEES), the lady assisting me pointed out the eye doctor suggested on my prescription that I should get "poly something" lenses which I was confused about especially since the doctor did not express that to me (tisk tisk) so I politely declined...but I couldn't help but think if the doctor made a suggestion for a specific lens she should have discussed why and additional information to me so I was a little pissed about that.
I left content and I am currently waiting for my frames.....TO BE CONTINUED.....
So I got my frames the were bent all crazy I had to reorder one of my frames because it ran super small and my other frame was bent as well I was able to get my issues resolved however I'm not sure if I'll be returning