October 16, 2020 – Your contact lens prescription is yours, legally! You paid for it. And now the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has got your back with new rules to enforce the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumer Act of 2004.
Our customers regularly express frustration with their eye doctors who have withheld their prescriptions or charged them extra fees. This is a clear violation of consumer protections and is predatory behavior. Don’t let your optometrist take you for a ride!
We’ve been fighting for patient protection so you can shop around when buying your contact lenses. On October 16, 2020, the FTC acted and began enforcing the Contact Lens Rule. When they hear of violations, they may issue warnings or impose fines based on the severity of the violations.
What You Need To Know Before Your Next Eye Exam
Before your next eye exam or contact lens fitting, here’s a checklist for you:
- Your optometrist must provide a copy of the contact lens prescription to you at the end of the contact lens fitting before leaving the exam chair – even if you do not ask for it. Don’t leave their office without it!
- You always have the right to request a paper copy of your prescription.
- Carefully read any acknowledgment your optometrist asks you to sign when receiving your prescription. As long as the declaration only shows you’ve received the prescription, that’s ok to sign.
- DO NOT sign a waiver of your rights or release from liability in exchange for your contact lens prescription.
- Your optometrist cannot require that you buy contact lenses or pay additional fees to receive your prescription.
- Check the expiration date of your prescription. It must be between 1-3 years. An expiration date of less than one year may be provided only when medically necessary.
To report a violation, visit: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/, then click on Other, Health and Fitness, and choose Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses.