Zenni Optical

I have been very near-sighted since I was in 3rd grade. After the optometrist completed my first eye exam, he called my mother in to ask “how did this child find his way to school?” As you might imagine, this makes me no stranger to wearing glasses. But during my high school/early college years I tried wearing contact lenses. I found them to be more hassle than they were worth, so I ended up going back to glasses. However while I had been wearing them, one thing I greatly enjoyed was having sunglasses.

One pair of sunglasses that were particularly nice had a blue tint to the lenses. It cut out all the glare and made dull, grey days seem more pleasant (grey skies would look blue). Since I’d gone back to wearing to glasses, I’d given up having sunglasses as prescription lenses cost too much for me to buy a 2nd pair. I tried glasses with clip-on shades but the clip-on broke and later pairs of glasses I chose didn’t come with them.

Then this year back in February I decided to try ordering a pair of prescription sunglasses online. I’d read several reviews of Zenni Optical and it sounded promising. So I poked around their site and ended up ordering a pair of titanium frames with mid-index, polycarbonate lenses and a 80% blue tint. Total cost $58.85. Compared to $251 for just a new pair of lenses from the local optometrist.

So if price is your only criteria, then Zenni Optical wins. However price isn’t my only consideration, for one thing it took over a month to get my glasses from them. Over a month with no communication from them on the status of my order until I wrote them. Then when I did write them, it took them several days to reply. Additionally it’s hard to correctly judge how the glasses will fit from just a picture and the measurements. I suppose if I’d paid more attention to the measurements given, I might have had less trouble but that’s how the cookie crumbles1. Also the images they have of how the various custom tints do a poor job of showing how things will look through them. It would be better I think to have a reference picture of something with know colors (e.g. banana, stop sign, etc…) and then various shots of the same item though lenses with the various custom tints. Something like that would have given me a better idea of the very, very bright a blue my 80% tint would turn out to be2.

Still they do a good job against bright sunlight and against snow-glare, which I had been somewhat concerned about. “Fortunately” we had several inches of snow fall around my house last night and so my new glasses got a good workout vs snow-glare.

Overall I’ve been pleased with my purchase but Zenni Optical’s customer service could use a bit of work.

1 The glasses don’t fit badly but the arms of the frame are a bit shorter than I’d like.
2 I’ve been told my new sunglasses look like “hippy-shades”.

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