THE DIRECTORY OF OPTOMETRISTS & OPHTHALMOLOGISTS IN WASHINGTON DC
A Visual Affair
1150 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC
I've been very impressed with his staff and his service , there are not enough words to describe his professionalism , I want to thank you for all you done for me doctor you will be truly missed as I move to the west coast.
As a disclaimer for the review, I am someone who has rather good insurance for eye doctor services so price isn't an issue. This review is only on the doctor and the service.
Dr. Bindal was great. I found him friendly and focused on answering my eye care concerns. As a professional who spends major time on the computer my eyes had been straining and he set me up to get my first pair of glasses to ease the fatigue. Yes please. I felt so relieved. His staff were friendly and the glasses woman just got me. She was also originally from the Midwest and understood that I was not prepared to make a fashion decision on a rushed lunch hour. She surrendered my prescription and I was off to contemplate my new look.
Minus a star for the annoyance of not padding their appointments. I arrived and waited over twenty minutes which I really didn't appreciate as I was on my lunch hour and only had limited time.
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.
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
I had a similar experience to Arturo. I feel trust is important in my doctors, and this place has not earned my trust by up-selling and over-prescribing. My one positive is that the staff is very nice. 2 years in a row I was over-prescribed for my contacts. By the 3rd year, my prescription was back where I started.
Also, I similarly felt the doctor was up-selling options. While it is admirable that they have the newest and fanciest machines for checking my eyes, I'm not sure that I need to pay extra every check up.
Finally, I was frustrated with a recent glasses-lens experience. I had the lens for two years and took them in because I couldn't clean them. These are glasses I where very infrequently - I usually where contacts. It turns out my seldom used glasses had an anti-glare coating that does occasionally scratch. The only fix is to replace them, and conveniently the warranty runs out after a year. I was frustrated that I was not told there were cheaper lens option and equally frustrated the optometrist would not call the wholesaler or manufacturer on my behalf.
I advise taking your eyes else where.
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.
Unbelievable customer service!
Not only is this place in a stellar location steps from my office (woohoo!) but the staff (and resident bulldog!) could not be better. A lot of shops in this area can be less than welcoming when you walk in the door - but this place has it right. The moment I walked in I was greeted by several smiling staff members and though they were busy. they helped me immediately.
I do love the eye doctor I typically see, but today they gained a new customer. What a fun, lively and knowledgeable staff. Thanks, Brighter Image - you guys are tops!
This place is awesome! My husband suggested it to me (he works in the area).
I went in there and they had an awesome selection and the staff was so nice. And funny! One night I was late to pick up my prescription and the owner opened the office back up just for me.
I got a convenient appointment on the Saturday the week I called. Dr. Vater was efficient, and answered my questions about my [weird] eyes thoroughly. The sales people were really helpful in my selection of my very first pair of glasses. Didn't like the retinal-scan upselling; it felt very forced.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Front desk girl was rude; Doctor told me that they didnt make my contacts anymore(which was a lie, I just found them at ten other locations); glasses deals are only for a few **** because if your vision sucks like mine, then you need light weight lenses for an extra 200 plus the frames, which they dont mention when you start the exam or anywhere in fine print.....ahhhhh they also wouldnt except my insurance nor try to see if it would be accepted...i just chhecked with my insurance and they were suppossed to accept it...lol...no thank you to America's Worst.
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.
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.
Horrible service. Like other people mentioned beforedo not bother to make an appointment, they would not care. I drove 30 mins to learn that the doctor was behind and also needed a lunch break and they asked me if I could come back in 3hrs! WTF!!! Couldn't they call to tell me before I drove there. I told them NO THANKS! and slammed the door on my way out.
America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses
Eyewear & Opticians, Optometrists, Ophthalmologists
Brentwood, 1060 Brentwood Rd NE Washington, DC
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!
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.
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.
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.