Actually, I DID go to Specsavers - at their invitation - to review the service given to a busy parent with two kids in tow and in need of an eye-examination. Here's what I found:
1. Unlike many shop/service workers (I'm thinking doctor's receptionists especially - or is that just me?) if the people working at my local branch DID object to Charlie trying on every pair of glasses in the shop and to me manoeuvring a push-chair round their rather modest premises, they didn't show it. And I was only making an appointment for an eye-test at the time.
2. On arrival for said appointment (and without Charlie this time but still manoeuvring that push-chair) I was pleased (or so I thought) to be given some material for my review straight away. Aha! Three of us, all booked in at nine-thirty. They're doing an NHS on us and treating us all like hospital consultants do. But no, not only were there three technicians for the initial eye examination, there were three opticians too.
3. Mine was a rather taciturn but thoroughly efficient chap, lacking a little in bedside manner maybe but otherwise fine. And anyway, who wants chit chat? The man has a job to do. And do it he did. Rather well. Still unaware of the voucher in my pocket paying for my review, the optician talked me through the details of my prescription and said I really didn't need new glasses. Everything was fine, he assured me. Come back in two years.
4. I actually went back last week - to pick up the specs he'd said I didn't need. Because - as I was asked the review their entire service, and as they were paying (well, contributing towards the cost - I did end up paying a small amount myself thanks to the small print) and as I fancied a new pair anyway (something slightly stronger, more baby-proof) I decided to test drive their range of frames.
5. The first - well, only - thing to say is that if it says £99 on the frames, that's what you pay. Simple! Having been stung before at an (unnamed) High Street competitor by an additional charge for lenses (as if I wanted a piece of empty facial furniture to wear) I was more than pleasantly surprised and not a little reassured. Because - as I ended up paying extra both for photochromic lenses and for an anti-glare coating - I was pleased that their transparent pricing meant the mental calculations I was doing weren't too challenging.
6. Actually, that was the only drawback as far as I was concerned. Because you - dear reader - would, should you wish, be entitled to free photochromic lenses and even a free second pair of glasses. But the 'not in conjunction with any other offer' small print meant I wasn't. Still, that was a small price to pay (about fifty quid, if you're asking) both for an eye test and a smart new pair of specs.
What do you think?