Hints from Heloise: Free exam is bait for customers

Dear Heloise >> Last week, I went in for an eye exam because of an ad offering a “free eye exam” and two pairs of frames for $70. I knew the lens couldn’t be included, but after the exam, I went to pay my bill and was shocked to find that the total was $550! I asked how we got to that amount, since my frames were only $70 and the exam was free. The lens are made of plastic, a fairly cheap substance, so how did they arrive at $550?

If my eyesight was severely compromised, I might not have questioned the amount, but it is not. After a few moments of stuttering, the young lady servicing me called for her manager.  I asked for some answers, and she had none, but rather than lose the sale, they reduced the price by more than a hundred dollars!

After speaking with some friends, I found out that this is happening with several other companies on the east coast, and probably in other areas of the country as well.

There is no other way to say it, but this is a rip-off. It can also backfire on the companies that choose to do business this way. If they had not reduced the price (and they still made a sizeable profit), I’d have walked out the door. I urge others to do the same thing if the company refuses to reduce their exaggerated prices — whether it’s auto repairs, home repairs or any other type of business that abuses the inflation prices we all have to deal with these days.

As consumers, there are many goods and services we can refuse to buy if the prices are astrain on our financial situation. No one should be afraid to question the price of something, or to just walk away if the price seems unreasonable.

— George H., Boston

Dear readers >> Got an old blanket or comforter you plan to toss out? Here are some uses for that item instead:

• Use it to cover tender plants outside during the winter season.

• Use it to cover your windshield so you won’t have to scrape off snow and ice.

• Line the doghouse outside with it so your pet can fight off the cold weather.

• Keep it in the trunk of your car to wrap yourself or someone else up in if you get stuck in a snowbank.

• Use it to wrap up an injured person or animal after an accident.

Dear Heloise >> Why do women want to follow the latest styles? I always went by what looked good on me. Some women don’t. They wear the wrong colors and styles thinkingthey look fabulous, when in fact they may look comical or matronly.

— A Reader in Youngstown, Ohio

Dear reader >> What we wear depends on what we can afford or what we like. Some people are simply not a slave to fashion, while others feel they need to follow the latest trend. It’s part of what makes us different and interesting. I love “people watching” no matter what they wear!

Write to Heloise

P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com

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