Consumer Retorts: Brother Printers, Zenni Optical Glasses

OK, that’s just a fun title.  I thought this would be a good time (why not?) to write a couple of positive reviews that are long overdue.  I will not post links to the manufacturers, but you can get them from the names.  Neither of these is paid for or any crap like that.  Just a couple of good experiences I’ve had.

1. I tend to be cheap.  Really cheap.  So cheap that for years I used printers I bought at Goodwill.  (This is a short review.)

So, let me cut to the chase:  If you don’t have a printer and you need one, buy a cheap (inexpensive) Brother laser printer or multifunction printer.

By “cheap” I mean in the $100-150 range.  I have two (both DCP-L2540DW printers (one at home and one at the office), both set up for wireless use.  Each cost something like $120.  They just work.  End of review.

2. I wear bifocals.  I’ve worn classes since I was 6 or 7.  I’m 60 now.  Bifocals are expensive.  When we lived in Wisconsin, I had an insurance plan that covered glasses and I got good glasses at an expensive shop.  Best I’d ever had.  But after many years, my eyes changed and I was in a position not to have glasses that were worth crap.  (This is a longer review.)

So, I looked around and there was this place called “$39 Glasses” and I figured what did I have to lose?

Well–first off, the glasses start at $39 and mine were more like $90.  OK, still 1/4 of what I’d pay most places.  Then they took months to arrive.  Then they had to be remade multiple times (including in one case because there was an obvious 1/2″ circular mark in the center of the visual field.  Then, they stopped carrying the frame I had ordered the first time.  Then…  Hours of waiting on the phone.  Weeks of frustration.  I recommend that you avoid $39 glasses like the plague.  Who knows?  Maybe they’ve changed?  I do not recommend them.

So I got an inexpensive pair locally.  They were…”weak.”  I don’t know why this tends to be the case, but almost every time I’ve had glasses made at one of those “mall” places, they come out feeling weak.  I suspect that’s because most people, when they get a new prescription, are getting a stronger prescription, and that’s going to give them headaches, so these places look at the tolerance zone and make their glasses to the low end of said zone.

So I went back to my by-then-10-year-old glasses.  They were starting to fall apart, but hey.

Then, a little over two years ago, I went for an eye exam and the doctor told me that I had cataracts and would, at some point, need surgery.  Didn’t say when that point would be.  So.  I needed new glasses.  I checked.  At a half-decent (and I emphasize the “half” part) optical place, I would need to pay $350, and I didn’t even like the frames they had.  And I might not even get five years’ use out of them because surgery??  No way was I going to do that.

So…I went back to the Internet.

I honestly forget how I found them, but there was this place called Zenni Optical that advertised glasses as cheap as $6.  Once again, the ones I wanted were way more: $35 just for the frame (you can see them on me here)!  Something like $70 baseline with lined lenses.  But I figured WTH, warranty, and got them with all the trimmings.  $95.

I think they took two weeks to arrive and they were perfect.  The best glasses I’d had since the expensive place in Wisconsin that was covered by insurance.

They were so perfect that a month or two later I ended up buying matching sunglasses.  Also $95 with a dark tint.  Nice!

Two months ago, I had another eye exam and still didn’t need surgery, but needed a slight change in my correction in one lens.  This time I went to Zenni and decided to try a different frame.  When it arrived, I didn’t like it as much; it felt fragile (their fault) and sat funny (my fault).

I tried them for a couple of weeks, but ultimately decided the frames weren’t for me.  So I returned them (you get about a month), and then ordered a pair in the frames I’d had before.

And when they arrived they were perfect.  The change was small, and so for driving purposes my “old” sunglasses are still good.  And my old regular glasses are there as a backup.

My daughter, who has a much simpler prescription and very different frame preference than I do, has had three pairs from Zenni, at around $20-25 each time.  All good.

Yes, I know I’ve spent over $300 on glasses over the past two years.  Three pairs.  All Perfect.  As opposed to $370 for one pair that might not be.

I recommend Zenni.  That’s it.

 

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