News item

Should have gone independent optician

New Which? research reveals the best and worst places to buy glasses, with local independent opticians coming top and some of the well-known brands falling down. 

They surveyed more than 5,000 Which? members about using an opticians and found:

  • Local independent stores came top with a customer score of 88%.
  • Members-only store Costco came a very close second with a score of 86%, performing highly on timekeeping, product quality, price and value for money.
  • Optical Express came in last place with just 59%, falling down on special offers, price and value for money.
  • Vision Express also scored poorly for special offers with around four in 10 (43%) having spent more than they bargained for, and three in 10 (28%) saying there were so many offers they found it confusing.
  • Independent opticians were the only stores to achieve top ratings for customer service, staff skill and communication.
  • Popular high street brand, Specsavers, came near the middle of the table with a customer score of 72%.
  • Tesco Opticians lagged behind all others in the survey for its customer service.
  • Independents were more likely to fix a problem with glasses at no extra cost (54% of those who complained, compared to 47% of stores overall). 

Editor of Which?, Richard Headland, said:
“Not all optician stores are the same and we found big differences between them. We were surprised to see that some of the big high street chains didn't fare as well as other retailers, like Costco, who aren't famous for selling glasses.”  

Notes to editors:
Which? surveyed 5,409 Which? Connect members online in March 2014 about using an opticians to have eye tests and buy glasses and/or contact lenses in the past three years. The overall customer scores are based on customers’ satisfaction with the store on their last visit and the likelihood of recommending it to a friend. 
DATE: 23 June 2014