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Welcome to Eyetools Question of the Day #406

Sometimes one of my patients takes their prescription from my community eye care practice to a competitor for making up into glasses. Rarely they come back to me saying they can’t see with the new glasses and expect me to fix the problem. When I check the lenses the problem is usually that one or both lenses have not been made to my prescription or the lens centres have been set incorrectly. What should I do?

While it would be easy to be critical of your competitor this is not a good thing to do. Don’t say negative things about another business or other people. You can let the patient know that there has been a mistake without being critical.

You can start by saying that your competitor usually gets things right but sometimes there is a mistake. If the error is that the lenses have not been made up correctly to your prescription then measure the incorrect lens in front of the patient and right down the power you find in front of them. Then underneath write out the power they should have and highlight the difference. You might want to say it’s a small error but it’s enough to spoil their vision.

If the problem is the lens centres, measure them in front of the patient and write them down. Then measure their interpupillary distance and write that down and then highlight the difference. You might want to say it’s a small error but it’s enough to spoil their vision.

Ask the patient if you can call the other optical business on their behalf. Emphasize that they have a wonderful reputation, and this small error can happen from time to time. Call the other practice and be friendly but confident. Let them know the patient’s name, their visual problem, and what you have found. Say you’ve told the patient that this is a small mistake and hardly ever happens. Offer to arrange an appointment for the patient at the other practice while you are on the phone so she can be examined with the glasses she purchased from the other business.

Try to make sure that everyone wins. Reassure the patient that soon she will have the correct lenses. Let the other practice remake the lenses while maintaining professional dignity.

You never know, you might get a call from a practice from where you made up glasses to their prescription and you made a small error.