1800 Contacts is the world’s largest seller of the best contact lenses online, and it’s honed the process to a fine art. You have access to customer service via phone or live web chat, if you prefer, and its customer service is quick and attentive.
There is always free shipping, free returns (even if your prescription changes) and the brand exchanges torn or broken contacts without asking any questions. The range is exhaustive and its price matched too.
An online eye test app allows you to renew your prescription in tandem with your existing optician, saving you another job. 1800 Contacts is the Amazon of the contacts world, but with a surprising and welcome human face. As the name suggests, this isn't where you'll find the best eyeglasses online too, so if you wear both types of corrective wear, check out a retailer that sells both. For inspiration, read our GlassesUSA review.
1800 Contacts review: Overview
When buying anything online, and especially medical products, you need to know that the company you’re dealing with is a large, well-run operation. 1800 Contacts is huge and well-established. The problem with huge Internet giants is they can be a little faceless, but this brand has phone support backed by real humans who answer the phone in good time. It's a similar story to Coastal, as we explain in our Coastal Contact Lens review.
All the customer service is personable and fast. In order to buy from them, you need a verified prescription, and 1800 Contacts is also happy to contact your optometrist and liaise on your behalf. Prices are matched, shipping is free and the subscription service means you’ll never run out.
1800 Contacts review: Prices and offers
The one big downside to 1800 Contacts’ way of doing business is the way it works out your final price. There’s a price for each box of contacts, which is fine. But then there’s a 5% discount for subscriptions, some orders are eligible for rebates, there are introductory offers that apply for how long? Do subscriptions count? Have you got a calculator? What’s that customer service number again? It’s not impossible, but it does feel more complicated than it needs to be and that’s a shame.
When compared to the big discounters like AC Lens, 1800 Contacts looks a little expensive, but if the discounts and rebates fall your way, they could well be competitive. If the pricing policy was clearer, this would be a pretty much perfect company to deal with.
A great feature of this brand is that it also takes many of the best vision insurance plans, so you could save yourself a lot of hassle going back and forth between them.
1800 Contacts review: Features and website
Like all stores on the Internet, you need to be sure that you’re going to get good, quick trustworthy service. 1800 Contacts, based in Utah and founded in 1995, has pedigree and credibility by the bucketload. A slew of customer friendly policies like free shipping, free returns and no questions asked exchanges for defective product are all welcome.
The products are certified genuine, and the brand shifts such huge numbers hardly anything goes out of stock. As the name would suggest, telephone customer service is available, and they pick up quickly and cheerily. If you value more quiet time, or it’s just better for you, live chat is available too. It lacks a bricks-and-mortar presence, which we talk about in our LensCrafters review, but offers enough options to cover most of your enquiries.
Customer service can be a euphemism for unending torture and sky-high phone bills, but surprisingly for such a big firm, 1800 Contacts’ customer service reps are breezy, efficient, quick and funny. It puts a lot of stock in customer service (citing ‘customer retention’ as its aim, not a pretty term) and it does hit the mark.
The range of brands and types, including all the cosmetics and colors you’d look for, is about as complete as you could get, although read our Discount Contact Lenses review for a site with an equally hefty range. From monthlies to dailies, astigmatism to multifocals, they’re all there and usually in stock. There is a subscription service to make sure the forgetful among us (Just us? No, good.) don’t run out, or they’ll drop you a one-off order if you need it quick.
They’ll even emergency overnight it to you for a small charge. The benefit of a high-stock, high-turnover business is that they’re exceptionally likely to have your exact order on a warehouse shelf and ready to ship to you at a moment’s notice. If you’re sold on 1800 Contacts’ service and need glasses, they’re now partnered (read: recently bought) with Liingo, a modern, low price eyewear seller.
Getting your contacts online (even colors and cosmetics) requires a valid and up-to-date prescription, which can be time consuming and inconvenient. 1800 Contacts, once it’s established your existing optometrist’s credentials, will use an iPhone or Android app to check that your prescription’s still legit. In 15 minutes, you can update your RX without having to change out of your pajamas.
It’s all checked by a real doctor, and within 24 hours you’re up and running with the minimum of fuss. This is a real time-saver and goes along way to taking the only real sting out of shopping for contacts online.
Should you buy from 1800 Contacts?
1800 Contacts is reliable, quick, accountable and has an excellent customer service department. You can be confident that when ordering from them, you’ll get the right contacts quickly, and should anything go wrong, it’ll be quickly sorted.
Regulations about prescriptions are neatly dealt with thanks to the excellent app which is accurate and checked by qualified doctors. The company ships for free, makes sure returns are free, even when your prescription changes and they take HAS and FSA cards.
The range is exhaustive and the low prices backed by a price-match promise. The only downside, unless you value shopping locally, is the slightly opaque pricing structure which relies on rebates, discounts and offers to settle on your final bill. A very minor negative for a large, efficient and surprisingly personable company.