Why Which? Recommends Independent Opticians over High Street Chains


Independent opticians were recommended in the Which? report


Last July consumer organisation Which? focused its considerable and extensive product and service testing on opticians. Which? tested and compared both independent and High Street chains to determine which opticians offered the best service. It may surprise you to learn that High Street chains were lagging behind their independent competition. Read on to discover how we were tested, and why as an independent optician we offer by far a better service than the more well known household names.

The Which? Optician Survey 2014

The survey was carried out over a three year period by 5400 Which? members. They all required either glasses or contact lenses. On the most recent visit to their opticians, the Which? members scored the opticians on a set criterion. This included:

  • Customer Service
  • Staff Skills
  • Product Choice
  • Product Quality
  • Timekeeping
  • Aftercare

The Which? report gave a satisfaction score of 88% on average to independent opticians, with their High Street counterparts struggling to match it. The best High Street score came out at 72% while the worst had a disappointing 59%. The Which? survey also highlighted that in terms of product quality, product choice, and timekeeping the High Street chains were languishing behind independents.

Aftercare too highlighted the flaws in High Street chains with many of them unwilling to fix product problems without making a charge. Independents however, were more than happy to fix problems for free.

The survey also pointed out that it is a good idea to buy glasses and contact lenses from the same practice where your eyes were tested. This makes resolving issues far easier than if you use different opticians for eye tests and product purchases. This was acknowledged by Don Grocott, chairman of the Optical Confederation.

He said: “The eye examination that determines the correct glasses and contact lenses…provides the essential precise measurements to ensure that new glasses and contacts are exactly right.”

You can read the survey results by clicking here.

Why Independent Opticians did Well in the Which? Survey

Although the High Street chain opticians are household names and their television commercials are regularly broadcast, there are a few aspects to remember about all chain stores. They normally have centralised services such as purchasing which restricts product choice. They often opt for a cheaper more profitable option which impacts on quality. They also take a similar profitability approach to the staff they employ, and often do not invest in the staff they have. Again, your service is impeded as a result.

Independent opticians however, have no such restrictions and subsequently we focus on giving you the best service, the best products, and the best eyesight care we can. Make your appointment with us, and see the difference for yourself. Click here and give us a ring.