We have a few patients who regularly call seeking free trial contact lenses. Most of these “clients” have never bought any contact lenses from us- they just request more free diagnostic lenses. All of these “clients” are also all advised that they must return for a contact lens check before we can finalise their prescription and ensure that the lenses are fitting properly, so that they do not harm their eyes.
Mostly, having issued trial contact lenses, we will not see them again for 6 months, when once again they are looking for more trials, because they have a Christmas party, or they have a “family wedding tomorrow”, and as they have no contact lenses we cannot check them in their eyes. As an aside “free trial” diagnostic lenses are not free, we pay for them, at the very least we pay for shipping.
I find this a difficult situation- I need to see the lenses in their eyes, ideally after about 4 hours of wear on the day- soft contact lenses almost always look to fit well when just inserted- but if they wear all of the diagnostics, how am I supposed to check them?
We have to fix this – we cannot issue contact lenses on an ongoing basis to people who do not have a valid contact lens prescription!
The only solution to this is that no trial contact lenses will be issued without a check appointment being booked, and if the client fails to show for that appointment, no further lenses will be issued. We do try very hard to be accommodating, but there was a chap due to come in for a contact lens check in Kingscourt on Saturday, who has been “trialling” contact lenses on and off since 2012, and once again he did not show for his check appointment. He recently stated that he “might get his eyes tested this year”. His spectacle prescription is now out of date, and we have never finalised his contact lens prescription- he won’t be getting any more contact lenses, at all, ever, from us!
I would personally like to apologise for this, but we are legally and professionally responsible for all contact lenses issued – they are classed as medical devices, and it seems that there are numerous patients in Kingscourt, who have been “trialling” contact lenses, sometimes on and off, for over four years.
No more. They will be issued with one pair to apply 4 hours before their appointment, if they do not show……