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ContactsDirect is an online contact lens retailer. They claim to save you money on contact lenses by shipping them directly to you, rather than having you buy them through your eye doctor or another third party.
ContactsDirect is one of several online retailers that provide a similar service. Is ContactsDirect really any different from their competitors? To find out, we took a look at their pricing, customer service policies, and online reviews.
Pros of ContactsDirect
- ContactsDirect is about the same or more affordable than their competitors, especially when you use a discount or a coupon.
- They work directly with vision insurance plans, which many online retailers don’t.
- They offer price matching and make getting a manufacturer’s rebate easy.
- Ordering a year’s supply of contacts will get you a significant discount.
- You can use their vision assessment tool if your prescription is out of date.
Cons of ContactsDirect
- The refund policy is a little bit confusing, especially if you receive a defective order.
- You can only buy contact lenses from this site — no glasses or frames are available.
- Shipping takes 7 to 10 business days after your order is processed if you choose the standard option, which isn’t the fastest.
- If you don’t get a deal or a discount, the contacts cost the same as they would anywhere else online.
ContactsDirect is a direct-to-consumer contact lens retailer. They’re owned by the Luxottica Group, an international eyewear retailer based in Milan, Italy.
They market themselves as the most affordable place to buy contact lenses online.
ContactsDirect offers $100 discounts if you choose their “annual supply” option, and they also offer price matching with their competitors. Combined with other periodic sales and offers, they make a convincing pitch for being the cheapest place to get quality contact lenses shipped straight to you.
ContactsDirect sells brands of contact lenses from every major manufacturer. That includes Acuvue, SofLens, Biofinity, Clariti, Johnson & Johnson, CooperVision, Ray-Ban, Bausch & Lomb, and more.
ContactsDirect offers a wide range of prescriptions, from transition lenses to contact lenses for astigmatism. They even have colored and eye color-enhancing prescription contact lenses. They also offer daily disposables.
ContactsDirect also sells eye care products, such as saline solution and eye drops. They carry OptiFree, Systane, and Clear Care brands.
The retailer doesn’t currently sell frames or lenses for prescription eyeglasses, but they do partner with Glasses.com on some sales and promotions.
The cost of buying from ContactsDirect will vary according to your prescription and your preferred brand of contacts. Buying in bulk also reduces the price of your order.
For example, two 90-count boxes of Acuvue TruEye dailies (enough for 3 months) cost $209. If you buy enough boxes to last a year, a $100 discount will be applied to your order.
In comparison, two 90-count boxes of daily disposables from SofLens, a brand considered to be more affordable, cost $104. Again, if you buy in bulk, you can save some money.
Ultimately, the pricing of these contact lenses is similar to what you would pay if you used another online retailer. The savings only really kick in when you buy in bulk.
The site also frequently runs deals on certain brands and has seasonal coupons. These coupons are better than the deals some competitors offer and can reduce the price. ContactsDirect also offers free standard shipping for all orders.
Yes. ContactsDirect partners with several major vision care insurance companies, including Aetna, Humana, and EyeMed. You can enter your insurance information at checkout, and ContactsDirect will bill them directly. That means that if contacts are covered by your insurance, you won’t even have to submit for reimbursement.
ContactsDirect also allows you to pay for your contacts with a health savings account (HSA) or flexible savings account (FSA), as long as your spending account card is associated with a major credit card.
Buying online from ContactsDirect is fairly easy. The website is simple to navigate on a mobile device or on a desktop.
To buy, you’ll need to know the type of contacts prescribed to you. It’s easiest to shop by brand and scroll down to the product you typically buy, whether it’s dailies, weeklies, or monthly disposable contact lenses.
Before you place your order, you’ll need to provide ContactsDirect with your prescription information. You can do this in several ways:
- Enter the information and provide your doctor’s contact information. ContactsDirect will contact your doctor and verify that the information is correct.
- Upload a photo of your original prescription to ContactsDirect.
- Choose to send your prescription later, if it’s expired. You can use the ContactsDirect digital assessment tool to update your prescription for an added fee. Note that this assessment doesn’t mean you can skip out on your regular eye exam.
How to order from ContactsDirect
Before you order from ContactsDirect, check out any promotions or deals that they have running currently. You might be able to find a coupon or promo code on the site’s landing page.
You may also want to subscribe to their email list before you order. You’ll get a coupon for doing so, which might be better than the deal that they’re currently running.
The process is pretty simple:
- Choose the product that you want to purchase.
- Enter your prescription information via uploading a photo, providing your eye doctor’s contact information, or using ContactsDirect’s virtual assessment tool.
- Choose your shipping speed.
- Enter your payment information, and you’re done!
You’ll receive an email confirmation and updates as your order is processed.
Also, be aware that ContactsDirect offers discounts to military personnel and first responders. You can verify your identity with your employee ID to get the discount.
Once you’ve got your discount code in hand, you’re ready to order.
Some manufacturers offer rebates after you’ve purchased their product. It’s like a coupon, but you’re getting money back once your purchase is complete.
Using rebate programs for ContactsDirect is pretty simple, even if you’ve never used a rebate program before. Simply go to the rebates page on their website and see if the product you purchased is eligible. You’ll fill out the information, submit a form, and get your rebate in the mail.
ContactsDirect is for people who have an up-to-date prescription for their contact lenses. It’s especially for those who are looking to save money by ordering in bulk, and for people who are able to wait a week or two before their contacts arrive.
It’s also for deal hunters looking for coupons and company rebates. People who have an HSA, FSA, or vision insurance may especially appreciate how ContactsDirect deals directly with insurance companies. There’s no need to submit separate forms and wait for reimbursement.
Keep in mind, though, that it’s likely not the best fit for people who need their contacts to show up on their doorstep immediately. (Unless you’re willing to pay hefty fees for super-fast shipping.) It’s also not a great fit if you’re looking to order contact lenses and eyeglasses together.
Standard shipping from ContactsDirect is always free. This shipping option takes 7 to 10 business days from when your order is processed.
If you’d like, you can get your order within 3 to 5 business days for around $12, or within 1 to 2 business days for about $20.
If you choose to have ContactsDirect contact your eye doctor to verify your prescription, this can add to the processing time and make your order take a little longer.
ContactsDirect offers refunds if you meet specific criteria.
Unopened boxes of contacts and contact solution can be returned within 6 months of receiving your order. You request a return, and they create a shipping label that’s prepaid. You ship the product back to ContactsDirect, and they issue you a refund within 10 days.
If you have an issue with your contacts because they’re defective or they aren’t what you ordered, you’ll need to get in touch with ContactsDirect’s customer service.
Their return policy says that they can’t give refunds on opened boxes of defective contacts. This is a little confusing because you probably wouldn’t know they were defective until you opened them. If you have a problem with your order, contact the retailer right away and give them the details.
For the most part, most people who shop from ContactsDirect seem to be pleased with their customer service.
The site has a 3.9 rating out of 5 stars on the independent review site Trustpilot. Since there are over 1,000 reviews, that’s pretty impressive.
In terms of unhappy customers, some reviewers report that their order never arrived or took significantly longer than expected. This seems to be the exception rather than the rule, but it does happen.
Class action lawsuit
Luxottica of America, which is the parent company of ContactsDirect, was involved in a multi-company class-action lawsuit involving 1-800 Contacts that was settled in 2020. The lawsuit alleged that some contact lens retailers entered into an agreement with 1-800 Contacts that negatively affected the price and availability of contact lenses on the online marketplace.
There are several other competitors that you might want to check out before placing your order with ContactsDirect, such as:
- 1-800 Contacts. 1-800 is one of the oldest retailers focused on direct-to-consumer contact lens shipments. Read more about them. 20% off new orders
- LensDirect. Like many other online, direct-to-consumer companies, LensDirect offers prescription contacts and glasses. Learn more about their services.
- Warby Parker. They’re known for bringing prescription eyeglass shopping online, direct to shoppers at home. Read more about their contact lens options.
Here’s how they compare.
|Contacts Direct||1-800 Contacts||LensDirect||Warby Parker|
|Free standard shipping?||yes||yes||for orders over $49||yes|
|Works directly with insurance?||yes||yes||no||no|
|Offers eye care accessories?||yes||yes||yes||no|
If you’ve seen the eye doctor pretty recently and have an up-to-date prescription for contacts, skipping a visit to the eye doctor shouldn’t be an issue.
However, make sure you’re still getting yearly eye exams to keep your prescription accurate and monitor your eye health.
Signs that you need to see your optometrist include:
- persistent symptoms like redness, inflammation, and dry or watery eyes
- eye pain or frequent eyestrain
- flashing lights or floaters in your eye
- blurry or obscured vision
- difficulty seeing up close or far away
Is ContactsDirect legit?
Yes, ContactsDirect is a legitimate place to get contact lenses from mainstream manufacturers. They accept most forms of payment, including FSA and HSA funds and major vision insurance. They have security measures in place to protect your information when you order from their website.
Is ContactsDirect a reputable company?
ContactsDirect has hundreds of reviews from happy customers and a good reputation in the eyewear world. They have customer service available if there is a problem with your order, and it seems as if they work to make it right when things go wrong with their products. There have been some negative reviews, though, that mention issues with their return policy.
Does ContactsDirect verify prescription?
ContactsDirect verifies that you have an up-to-date contact lens prescription, as is required by law in the United States. They do this by asking for a photo of your current prescription, or by reaching out to your eye doctor to confirm. They will not provide contact lenses to you if you do not have a prescription.
ContactsDirect has a decent reputation for customer service and a solid reputation for providing a good product at a competitive price.
Buying from ContactsDirect is probably cheaper than going through your eye doctor, but that doesn’t mean that it’s cheaper than any other online contacts retailer. You may have to hunt around for a coupon or a discount to get any kind of significant savings.
Ultimately, buying from ContactsDirect pays off the most for the bargain hunter who’s looking to buy in bulk and also willing to wait for a good sale.