Posts Tagged ‘AOA’

1800Contacts and Facial Tissue

David Langford, O.D. on May 28th, 2008 under Optoblog •  2 Comments

It is interesting that some private practice docs can’t seem to tell the difference between Kleenex and Puffs- I mean 1-800Contacts and other retailers of soft contact lenses. This article was written in October 2006, but certain items are worth repeating in 2008:

…optometrist Wiley Curtis, of Arlington, Texas, represented the AOA’s position, tempered by his own experience. “Over the course of this year, I have tracked 18 contact lens orders placed with 1-800 Contacts,” he says. “I am saddened to report that the first 17 orders were all filled by the company without any verification contact with my office, in apparent violation of the FCLCA.”

After the hearing, 1-800 Contacts looked into this accusation. “Our records from the last 12 months to this doctor’s office show 192 phone calls, three faxes and eight total hours on the phone with his staff,” says Kevin McCallum, 1-800 Contacts’ senior vice president of marketing and operations. “We received 117 orders from this doctor’s patients. All 117 orders received a successful verification request.”

This actually happened while the congress was hearing testimony about the FCLCA. Apparent AOA stooge, Dr. Curtis, alleged that 1800Contacts broke the law, so the 1-800Contacts team stayed up all night to research, and the next day at the hearings they provided evidence to the contrary.

I only first heard about this event when I listened to Jonathan C. Coon, CEO of 1-800 CONTACTS, speak to all the Wal-Mart Optometrists on April 27th at our all-travel-and-expenses-paid meeting in Nashville, TN. He had given pretty much the same speech on a DVD sent to all Wal-Mart vision centers earlier this year after the announcement of Wal-Mart and 1-800’s alliance. Here is a significant clip. Please watch.

I wish everyone could see the entire half hour speech, but the above video clip combined with the aove AOA-is-stupid story show why optometrists blindly dislike 1-800 Contacts. I hated 1-800 blindly because that is what the organized optometrist establishment taught me to do. After learning the facts, there is no reason for any optometrist to dislike 1-800, unless that optometrist also hates all their other competitors. I don’t because I’m friends with most of the other optometrists in town and 1-800 is making my life easier now.

For these reasons, I would like to officially and publicly retract the negative comments I made about 1-800 Contacts in this previous post. It was a knee jerk response conditioned by organized optometry, for which I am ashamed.

I admire Mr. Coon and his core team for everything they’ve done to become a very successful business. I think that private practice optometrists, like the above Dr. Curtis, are just jealous. Incidentally, Mr. Coon in his speech said that after presenting the facts about Dr. Curtis’s patient orders to 1-800 Contacts, 1-800 asked him and the AOA to stop making wrongful [slanderous, defaming] accusations or privide their evidence. He has yet to bring evidence or retract his statements.

Don’t be blinded, everybody. Go to your nearest Wal-Mart Vision Center and ask to watch the 1-800 Contacts DVD.

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Organized Optometry Grandstanding

David Langford, O.D. on May 17th, 2008 under Optoblog •  Comments Off on Organized Optometry Grandstanding

So my old cui congressus, the Armed Forces Optometric Society (AFOS), decided to show off a bit. They sent a letter demanding that 1800 Contacts cease and desist a certain practice on their website. 1800Contacts changed the practice in question, and then AFOS published their letter with great triumph in their April 2008 newsletter.

AFOS to 1-800Contacts Letter

The item in question is apparently that when someone selected a ship to FPO/APO (military speak for Fleet/Army Post Office), the 1800 website indicated that they did not require verification of the contact lens prescription. The letter was sent on March 28, 2008, and by the April 2008 edition of the AFOS newsletter, 1-800 had changed their website to indicate that FPO/APO address still required verification.

Okay, now if I were the optometrist to find out about the FPO/APO verification snaffu, then I would have maybe shot off a private e-mail or a phone call, probably stating the same thing about believing that the policy could be in violation of FCLCA. But then I wouldn’t be thinking like Big Optometry. Organized Optometry needs a win. After the AOA suffered a humiliating loss to 1-800 over the whole FCLCA, they need to throw it back in 1-800’s face. Even though military eye docs don’t sell contacts, AFOS must grandstand the point that they scored big against the eeeevil 1-800 Contacts.

Okay, here’s my question. Did AFOS seek out every other online retailer of contact lenses to check their policy about prescription verification of FPO/APO ship-to addresses? Did they send all of the other retailers letters about “a legal oversight” and publish these concerned memos in their next newsletter?

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