Anyone who sells you contact lenses without first getting a copy of your prescription or properly verifying your prescription information with your prescriber is selling them illegally — and putting your eye health at risk. That’s because wearing contacts that haven’t been fitted to your eyes can cause corneal scratches, eye sores and irritation, and conjunctivitis (pink eye).
The FTC just filed a complaint against Vision Path, doing business as Hubble, alleging that the company failed to get or properly verify contact lens prescription information submitted by customers, sold lenses after prescription verification requests were denied, altered prescriptions from the prescribed brands to Hubble lenses, and failed to maintain required records.
The complaint also alleges that Hubble deceptively claimed it would ensure customers got lenses with valid and accurate prescriptions, as determined by their eye care provider; falsely claimed that certain consumer reviews were independent when they were not; and failed to disclose material connections between Hubble and some reviewers.
The next time you’re shopping for contact lenses, remember that under the Contact Lens Rule:
- Sellers must have a process for verifying prescriptions. This includes letting you submit a copy of your contact lens prescription. If you don’t submit your prescription, but instead give your prescription information, the seller must verify your prescription information with your prescriber.
- Sellers must not substitute another brand of contact lens for the one prescribed. If you want a different brand than the one written on your prescription, you’ll need your eye care provider’s approval. The only time you don’t need your provider’s approval to switch brands is if a manufacturer offers a brand name and a generic or store brand version of the same lens.
If you come across someone selling contact lenses without getting or properly verifying a prescription, take your business elsewhere and report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
For a more in-depth look at your prescription rights for contacts — and glasses — read Buying Prescription Glasses or Contact Lenses: Your Rights. Your eyes will thank you.