A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Marks and Spencer to review the launch of their new M&S opticians in the Vanguard Shopping centre in York. M&S have launched their new optician service at five of it’s stores nationally.
I have worn glasses since I was seven years old and although I now wear contact lenses during the day , I love wearing my glasses on an evening to watch TV and relax as they are more comfortable. My eyes have a complicated prescription with astigmatism, so the prescription needs to be absolutely right to ensure good vision and the style of frames I can choose from is a little restricted. I recently made a very expensive glasses purchase, which made me look look like Olive from the Tv series on the buses! If you are too young to remember “Olive” google her and you’ll see the look I’m trying to avoid! I’ve also had glasses in the past where my vision has distorted if I looked in any direction other than straight ahead! I was interested to see what styles and advice M&S would have.
I booked my appointment online, which was really easy. I received an email confirming my appointment and a reminder phone call and text the day before my appointment was due. On arrival at the optician department in the Vanguarde store, the staff were extremely welcoming. I was impressed at how bright, clean and attractive the displays of glasses frames were, the department was “buzzing” with lots of people browsing.
I didn’t need to wait long before I was directed to a room where the pre eye test checks were completed. James, the pre screen optical assistant was knowledgeable and very professional, he explained clearly what each check was for. I had photographs taken of the back of my eye to check the health of my optic nerve, field tests and a glaucoma test. I have a history of glaucoma in my family, so all the tests were very reassuring.
Following the checks I was introduced to the Kiran, the dispensing optician, who showed me a range of frames which she felt would suit me and importantly, would suit my prescription. She was knowledgeable, friendly and approachable.
I then had my eyes tested by the optician. She was thorough and asked lots of questions around my health and whether I had experienced any headaches recently. If I have any criticism of the whole experience it would be that the optician appeared a bit disinterested, which was in stark contrast to the other staff. However by the end of the test I felt that my vision had improved with the lenses she was using and although my prescription hadn’t changed that much, I chose to get a new pair of glasses, which were included as part of the review.
The dispensing optician then spent lots of time with me choosing the frames which best suited my face. I had an option of colours and couldn’t decide on purple or red! I chose purple and then the dispensing optician took measurements to ensure the frames fitted well. I chose the thinnest lenses possible in order to avoid the “Olive – On The Buses” look! The total cost of my glasses including the M&S frames and lenses was £150, which I feel is extremely reasonable in comparison to what I have ever paid before! I was advised that my glasses would be ready in around ten days.
In exactly ten days time I received a text to say my glasses were ready. James, the optical assistant fitted them and checked that they were comfortable. I was wearing my contact lenses at the time, so he advised me to try them in the evening and see how they were. I was informed that the glasses could be brought back at any point for refitting and checking if necessary.A week later and I am so pleased with them! My vision is great and I love how they look. I’m even considering wearing them in the day rather than just evenings, which is a bit unheard of for me!
To conclude, I was impressed by the overall experience and would definitely consider using M&S opticians in the future. I Felt the range of frames was excellent, the prices very reasonable and the staff knowledgeable and helpful.
*For the purpose of this honest review I received a free eye test and pair of glasses. All words and opinions are my own. I received permission from the dispensing optician and optical assistant to use their first name.