Looking for colored contact lenses in time for Halloween? Better Business Bureau’s view: Keep an eye out for retailers with unresolved complaints and those selling lenses without verifying proof of prescriptions.
“Contact lenses are not a one-size-fits-all product,” remarks Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “There are major risks when purchasing from unofficial retailers.” Designyoureyes.com
has accrued three delivery-related complaints since June 2012. Although the company advertises a private mailbox in Bellevue, Wash., BBB is unable to verify its business registration with Washington Secretary of State.
“Delivery and billing issues are not the only concern,” adds Andrew.
All contact lenses—for vision correction or cosmetic purposes—require prescriptions. Eye care professionals should provide prescriptions only after conducting full exams and fitting appointments. Ill-fitting lenses and improper care can lead to serious eye infection risks
Contact lens sales are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration. While consumers can opt to purchase lenses from eye care professionals, stores, mail-order services and even online retailers, all sellers must abide by the FTC’s Contact Lens Rule: A Guide for Prescribers and Sellers
- Watch out for websites that appear to target non-prescription buyers. Look away from those that sell prescription products like over-the-counter goods.
- See to it that sellers request prescriptions in person, by fax, by mail, by email, by secured online form or via “direct communication” with the prescriber.
- Notice that legitimate businesses take time to validate orders. Instant approvals are red flags.
- View the FDA’s article before buying contact lenses.
- Look up sellers on bbb.org.
Notify eye care professionals of prescription problems. Inform legitimate companies of delivery issues. Report serious sales offenses to the FDA