Welcome to what I hope will be the first of a regular feature of clinical and consumer blogs for this site.
It is at this time of year, after the excesses of the Christmas period that many of us look at our finance's and think about how we can save money. We are so used to buying products online now that most of us are fairly comfortable with this "Channel" of shopping . Yes, from the consumer's point of view, it is great in terms of convenience, and often it can lead to some substantial savings, however for the local High Street, it isn't great news. Often High Street shops can be more expensive than online, as they often have higher overheads, but very often you can get more personal advice and assistance that online can never do.
The same is true for Opticians. Currently, there are online vendors of spectacles whereby you select a frame from photographs, type in your prescription and a few days later a pair of spectacles arrives in the post. In some respects this is similar to ordering a book or DVD online, however who is going to adjust the specs or replace a screw if they break? If you have a problem seeing with them, who is going to put it right? Some of the fee you pay on the High Street is for that service and ultimately if too many people buy online, the local opticians may inevitably be forced into closure! Those the are left, will probably increase their prices for professional services as there will be less competition.
So next time you make that online purchase, just remember, in the short term it might appear to be a great saving you are making, but in the long term, it may cost you more both financially as there is less completion, and time wise, because you have to travel further away to find an optician.
I'm hoping this is going to be a two-way process, so if there are any clinical issues you would like me to discuss in future months, then drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll take requests into consideration.
Posted on Tue 12th Feb 2019 16:01:03
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