High street opticians and online opticians Before the invention of the internet, sale spectacles took place in high street business premises. This was a convenient way, which patients and customers with eye problems consulted the opticians in their premises, get their eyes tested and received proper spectacles for their problems. The merit of high street opticians to the customers was that they were able to receive interpersonal consultation from the opticians. This enabled the registered opticians to diagnose the extent of the patient’s problem fully and administer the proper and appropriate treatment.
If anything went wrong, the customers had a right to complain to the opticians may be for wrong diagnosis or other related issues. However, the demerits of high street opticians were the expensive sale of spectacles to cater for costs such as taxes, business premises, and employee wages among others. Then came the 21st century of conducting business where spectacles gained a platform for sale online. Customers would purchase a pair of spectacles from the click of a button from a computer. This mode of selling spectacles was cheap and reliable to customers and the business owners.
This was because most of the operating cost such as advertising, premises cost, and wages reduced. Moreover, websites did all the magic of attracting customers and making sales, and deliveries to the door step of customers. However, the downside of this mode was that there was no reliable way of opticians getting the right feedback from customers and customers were likely to purchase the wrong pair of spectacles. This is because, transactions take place virtually on the online platform whereby there is no direct and face-to-face consultation between the optician and the patient.
There is also a possibility of unregistered opticians delivering unqualified services to customers, therefore, raising the issue of substandard services. According to the Brunswick Guild of dispensing Optician act, the act states that a qualified, registered optician must obtain a certificate of outstanding qualification that enables a member to fit and dispense contact lenses to customers (Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, 2002). In this act, an optician is a registered member of the association who has the authority to practice optical dispensing.
Some of the criminal offences established by the opticians act include testing of sight while unregistered. This is according to section 24 of the 1989 opticians act. No optician should test the sight of a patient unless he is a registered optician (General Optical Council, 2011). Under section 25, it is a criminal offense for an unregistered individual to fit contact lenses. It is an offence to sell optical appliances such as spectacles and lenses, which do not meet the requirements in the opticians act. (Legislation. gov. uk, 1989) However, most entrepreneurs in the online platform do not bear the required qualifications or registration according to the opticians act.
This creates a confusing dilemma of whether customers should trust online vendors or visit the high street opticians. Despite the opticians act, there are numerous online opticians doing business and this brings out the question of whether most of these online opticians have the required registration or qualification. Competition has risen massively between high street and online opticians. The reason being setting up an online business is quite easy and cheap since one only needs online space for advertising (Mantinoba laws 2011). There are controversial issues over the services offered online.
Most of the online opticians lack registration, and this leaves customers at risk because of the substandard services offered online. From a legal perspective, most online vendors do not follow the opticians act, and they are not registered. The customer’s health is usually at risk, and there are chances of compromised services just to make quick money (Legislative Counsel Office 2003). References Legislative Counsel Office 2003, Dispensing Opticians Act, viewed December 5 2011 from >http: //www. gov. pe. ca/law/statutes/pdf/d-12.pdf< Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick 2002, Opticians Act, viewed December 5 2011 from >http: //www. gnb. ca/legis/bill/editform-e. asp? ID=120&legi=54&num=4< The Opticians Act.
Viewed December 5 2011 from >http: //www. moj. gov. jm/laws/statutes/Opticians%20Act. pdf< Legislation. gov. uk 1989, Opticians Act 1989, viewed December 5 2011 from >http: //www. legislation. gov. uk/ukpga/1989/44/contents< Mantinoba laws 2011, The Opticians Act, Viewed on December 5 2011 from >http: //web2.gov. mb. ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/o060e. php< General Optical Council 2011, Opticians Act 1989, viewed 5 December 2011 from >http: //www. optical. org/en/about_us/legislation/opticians_act. cfm