Hi. I’m blind. Okay, I’m almost blind.
I have no vision insurance.
Being almost blind with no insurance is no walk in the park. It just plain sucks.
I rarely have my vision examined to see if my prescription is correct. When you wear both glasses and contacts, such an exam can cost almost $200 uninsured. Care to know how much contacts cost uninsured? Mine, because I have astigmatism, cost $180 for a six month supply. I make this six month supply last more than a year. I can’t afford not to. I also can’t afford to purchase a new pair of lenses or frames from my local optician’s office or Lens Crafters or the like.
Up until this winter, I had been wearing the same frames I purchased in Berlin when I was 17 years old.
That’s over 10 years sporting the same look. I splurged 5 years ago and got the prescription updated with new lenses, which cost only $20 less than what I paid originally for the whole set. But by last summer is was clear that even those lenses had served their time. They were scratched, blistered and barely hanging on to my Euro semi-rimless frames. I needed new lenses. I needed new glasses. Now.
While, fretting over and weeping about the cash we’d have to drop on a fresh pair of glasses, I desperately searched the internet hoping to find some sort of coupon or deal in which I could still keep my style without spending upwards of $600. Then I fell upon the holy grail of shops for almost blind people with no vision insurance. Warby Parker.
Warby Parker was made for people like me. People with no magic address in the sky to send claims. People who have an affinity for fashionable frames. People with limited cash but an abundance of stylish desires. People who are lazy.
They make it easy for you to love them, because they make everything about the whole shopping experience effortless and all they need from you is $95. Not $95 per eye or per eyelash, $95 total for high quality lenses and stylish, sturdy frames.
Having concerns about ordering a new pair of glasses sight unseen without trying them on? Of course you are. I certainly had my reservations until I realized they were willing to express ship me five frames free of charge and let me try them on in my home for a few days before I shipped them back using a label they provide, also free of charge. This sounds fantastic, but then you browse their vast selection of über stylish frames and wonder how on Earth you’re going to narrow it down to just five. The website’s virtual try-on tool, where you upload a photo of yourself and try on not only the various styles but the different color choices within the styles right there on your face, helps weed out frames that probably aren’t the most flattering fit.
I wanted a pair that was stylish and would be for a while (ahem remember how long I kept my last pair), but not frames that would make me feel like I had to be at the top of my hip game every day just to wear them. Also, I didn’t want you to notice my glasses at first glance, maybe not until you were having a conversation with me. I found that subtle coolness in the Japhy frames.
Once I decided on Japhy, ordering was simple enough. I just provided the contact information of the last optometrist who examined my eyes and they obtained my prescription for me. I also had to somehow determine the distance between my pupils for the most accurate prescription. I was able to obtain this measurement in less than 30 seconds while grocery shopping at Target Optometry for free. However, if you aren’t lucky enough to find a place to give you this information for free, Warby Parker will refund you any fee you are charged. After all my information was submitted I had my new glasses shipped to me for free and on my face in about a week.
In general, my experience buying new glasses from Warby Parker was extremely positive. My few interactions with customer service (one email exchange and one phone call) were comforting and really boosted my confidence in the pending transaction. The service reps seemed cool and laid back yet eager to assist me. I will admit, however, after receiving my new frames, I had trouble adjusting the frame’s ear pieces to my head. It took me a good week of experimenting and constant (annoying) fiddling to get my glasses to set comfortably against my face and stay put when leaning over (like when picking up a baby 1 thousand times a day). Having your frames adjusted to fit your head is something that is done at the optometrist’s office when you arrive to pick up your new frames. This is the one service Warby Parker just cannot provide being an online retailer. Though somehow saving upwards of $300 makes that little inconvenience much easier to forget.
Three months later of daily wear I have no complaints. My lenses are still perfectly crystal clear with no scrapes or scratches, and they’ve stayed in place after enduring several accidental toddler punches to the face and infant head-butts. I’m impressed, and can’t wait to buy my next pair.
**I have zero affiliation with Warby Parker. I just love them and thought you might, too!**