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Saturday / June 15.
HomeminewsBCLA President Urges Optoms to Charge More

BCLA President Urges Optoms to Charge More

Shelly Bansal, the President of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA), spoke with mivision about encouraging Australian optometrists to move to a new practice model to offer the highest level of patient care while competing head-to-head with online and discount eyewear merchants.

Having consulted with patients, a few years ago, Mr. Bansal changed the way his two UK based independent practices charge its customers.

Under his new business model, Mr. Bansal’s customers pay an annual fee, direct debited from their account each month. The fee covers two eye health checks during the year and entitles the customer to only pay cost plus tax for contact lenses and spectacles.

“We’ve changed the balance – so instead of having labour charged at a nominal fee and charging a high cost for products, we’ve turned it around.”

Under his new business model, Mr. Bansal’s customers pay an annual fee, direct debited from their account each month…

Mr. Bansal says online and discount suppliers of spectacles and contact lenses are unable to compete with his business model.

“They haven’t got a margin to work with – because I’m working at cost price… there might be a few products where the online companies get massive discounts, but it will still only make one or two dollars worth of difference (to the customer).”

He said that with regular, manageable supplies of contact lenses at discounted prices, complemented by six monthly eye health check ups, there is little incentive for customers to bulk buy online. Additionally, he said, “patients buying contact lenses all the time love it because their costs are evened out.”

Mr. Bansal, who owns two independent eye care practices in the UK, is in Australia with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care to launch the expanded 1 Day Acuvue Moist Series with 1 Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism. He will also deliver keynote presentations at ODMA in early August.

The complete interview with Mr. Bansal will appear in the September issue of mivision.