COLORADO SPRINGS — The Federal Trade Commission recently sent cease and desist letters to a series of eye doctors across the country after reports that some providers were violating consumer protection laws.
The FTC is getting reports that some eye doctors are failing to provide customers with their prescription information at the end of their appointment. By law, consumers have a right to this information which allows them to shop around for the best prices.
“After you have your exam and it’s already paid for always ask for a copy of it and make sure it has the doctor’s signature and the exam date and expiration date,” said Sydney Detrolio, an optical manager in Colorado Springs. “I do run into people who bring in their prescription and it’s expired and I can’t do anything for them.”
If your eye doctor is willing to sell you lenses, that means your fitting is complete and you should get a copy of your prescription. The FTC says you don’t have to pay for it, request it, or fill out any forms.
“What happens with a lot of private practices is that they get their exam and the private practice obviously wants them to buy the glasses from them,” said Detrolio.
According to the FTC, no eye doctor can force you to buy lenses from them or make you sign a waiver or release in order to get your prescription. Local optical managers say having a copy of that prescription is not only a consumer right, but it’s the only way to get access to what you need.
”If you do not have your own copy of your prescription no one will help you or sell you glasses or contacts for that matter,” said Detrolio.
The FTC says eye care providers who fail to provide the prescription information to customers can face fines of more than $50,000 per violation.
Consumers can learn more and file reports with the FTC by visiting this website: https://consumer.ftc.gov/consumer-alerts/2023/02/your-eye-doctor-violating-contact-lens-rule?utm_source=govdelivery
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