Buying prescription eyeglasses? Your rights are clear

The FTC’s Eyeglass Rule makes it easier to comparison shop – which can help you save money. The Rule gives you the right to get your prescription from your eye doctor – whether you ask for it or not – at no extra charge. You can use the prescription to buy eyeglasses wherever they are sold – from an eye doctor, from a store, or online. Cost and quality can vary a lot from seller to seller, so it pays to shop around for the best deal.

Your eye doctor must give you your eyeglass prescription after
your exam. It’s the law.

The doctor must give you your prescription for glasses at the end of your eye exam. The doctor can’t require you to pay an extra fee, buy eyeglasses or contact lenses, or sign a waiver or form in exchange for your prescription. You shouldn’t have to ask for the prescription (and the doctor shouldn’t even ask if you want it); it should be automatic.

If you suspect an eye doctor is violating the Eyeglass Rule, you can report that online at FTC attorneys and investigators – and hundreds of other law enforcement agencies – use consumer complaints to bring cases against companies and people that violate the law.

In fact, the FTC staff recently sent 38 letters warning eye doctors about possible violations of the Eyeglass Rule. Violations of the Rule could result in legal action and financial penalties.

For a more in-depth look at your prescription rights for eyeglasses – and contacts – read our newly updated article, Prescription Glasses and Contact Lenses. It includes a list of what you should see in your prescription.

This article by the FTC was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.