Eye Tests at Home

Nov 21, 2018

On 9th November Head of the OCCS Jennie Jones appeared on the consumer advice programme You & Yours on BBC Radio 4. In the interview Jennie offered advice on having eye tests and spectacles supplied in your home and the building of trust between the patient and the care provider. You can listen to the interview here which starts at the 16.20 mark. The Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS) is an independent and free mediation service for consumers of optical care and the professionals providing that care.

All opticians and optometry practices will have their own internal complaints procedure to deal with any concerns raised by consumers. However, if a consumer and the practitioner cannot resolve the complaint, either party can refer the complaint to the OCCS. We will then review the complaint and help to find a resolution.

With Jennie’s interview in mind we wanted to take the opportunity to offer our advice when having eye tests at home to avoid any difficulties as a consumer. Where possible, always have a person with you to support you. Likewise, try to thoroughly research the company that will be visiting you to understand how the process works 

Eye tests are usually free for the over 60’s and you may qualify for an NHS funded eye test at home if you are unable to visit an optician unaccompanied due to physical or mental disability and are any of the following:

  • At home: if you are unable to leave home unaccompanied because of physical or mental illness or disability;
  • At a residential or care home: if you normally live there and you are unable to leave the home unaccompanied because of physical or mental illness or disability;
  • At a day centre: if you would have difficulty in obtaining sight testing services from practice premises because of physical or mental illness or disability or because of difficulties in communicating your health needs unaided

Pricing for home visits and services, much like their high street equivalents, can vary greatly. If you are unsure about any of the charges for your spectacles don’t be afraid to inform the optician that you may want more time to decide on whether you will go ahead or not. Discuss the pricing with a relative or a friend and research into other options that exist to obtain a price comparison should you wish. 

Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations of 2013 you have a 14 day cooling off period that allows you to cancel any contract signed within your property. Any deposit paid to the company must be returned within seven days of receiving your notice to cancel.

Should you need advice on how to raise a complaint or have any concerns the OCCS are available to talk through this through with you and can be contacted on 0344 800 5071. 

Since 1 April 2014, the OCCS has assisted over 4,500 consumers and practices to resolve their consumer complaints. Jennie Jones, head of the OCCS, explains: ‘We are delighted that the OCCS  is seen as an effective and useful service, providing independent and impartial mediation and advice. The team does an amazing job ensuring that both the consumer and the practice feel heard, understood, and importantly, helped to find a very practical resolution to the complaint. Mediation is not about judgment or deciding who is right. It is about understanding each other’s perspective to be able to find an answer both can accept. We will soon be reporting on our 4th year in action, and look forward to sharing even more insight and useful information for all involved in optics.'