Updated on  February 5, 2024
11 min read

1-800 Contacts Review: What It’s Like to Buy From Them

4 sources cited
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Quick Summary

  • 1-800 Contacts is our number one recommendation for buying contact lenses online
  • Their price match guarantee ensures you get the best price on the internet
  • Their free contact lens returns policy allows you to exchange any unopened lenses
  • Free contact lens replacement for any torn lenses
  • Their customer service is 24/7 and completely live, meaning you will always get a real person helping you
  • If you don’t have a current contact lens prescription, or if this is your first time getting contacts, schedule a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting with your doctor. Once you have a prescription, you can then order lenses online.

Where to Buy Glasses + Contacts

Best Overall: Warby Parker

Fastest Delivery: EyeBuyDirect

Also Great: Liingo

Best Place to Buy Contacts: 1800 Contacts

Why Trust Our Review?

As a top-rated website for vision health, Vision Center aims to provide unbiased and detailed reviews about vision products and services. For 1-800 Contacts, we did the following:

  • Personally tried out 1-800 contacts to see their customer service
  • Reviewed online feedback and reviews from hundreds of customers
  • Developed a rating system for online contacts providers based on customer service,  prescription verification, product variety, pricing deals, and shipping

1-800 Contacts Review (My Personal Experience)

I’ve had astigmatism and myopia since I was 4. My prescription used to change constantly. This meant multiple exams every year. I spent countless hours of my childhood in my local optometrist’s chair. 

Luckily, around age 24, my vision started “settling.” Now, at age 31, my prescription has remained stable. I still get an annual eye exam to check my overall eye health and ensure my prescription is current. However, I order all my prescription eyewear online now. 

Consumers can now enjoy the convenience and reduced online shopping prices for their vision correction needs.

1-800 Contacts has been an industry leader in online contact sales since 1995. Here, I’ll share my experience with ordering from them and any information you need to place an order.

Vision Center 1800 Contacts Review Order

What I Liked and Disliked

Here are the pros and cons of buying contacts from 1-800 Contacts:

Pros of 1-800 Contacts

  • Huge selection of all major contact lens brands. At 1-800 contacts, you can choose from various brands of contact lenses and get the perfect fit for your eyes. If you’re looking for a certain contact lens brand, they may have it.
  • Price match guarantee. People who wear contact lenses can guarantee to get the lowest price when they shop at 1-800 Contacts. They will match or beat any price you find online.
  • Easy checkout process & fast shipping. 1-800 Contacts’ comprehensive ordering system makes getting the contacts you need easy. Plus, they offer fast shipping, so you can get your lenses quickly.
  • Great return policy. Their return policy covers defective, torn, and unused lenses due to prescription changes. This helps you save money.
  • Fantastic customer service. When you can 1-800 Contacts, customer service reps answer phone calls and online chat messages. This ensures that all of your concerns are met.
  • 25+ years of experience. Their long history and extensive experience represent their commitment to providing the best service and products. You can trust that you are getting a quality product from a reliable source.

Cons of 1-800 Contacts

  • They can’t provide comprehensive contact lens fittings or eye exams. You can only receive a contact lens fitting and eye exam from an eye care professional.
  • Not ideal for first-timers. Eye doctors help teach you about your contact lenses. Getting a trial pair from your eye doctor is recommended for people looking for their first prescription contacts.
  • Unavailable lenses. Sometimes lenses are unavailable, meaning you have to wait for your order. However, this is less common with 1800 contacts because of their large warehouses.

Ordering Process and Delivery

If it’s your first time getting contacts, we recommend visiting your eye doctor to learn how to care for them. Once you feel comfortable on your own, you can start ordering online.

The ordering process at 1-800 Contacts is straightforward. All you need is your current contact lens prescription and a credit card. Here’s what the process looks like:

  1. Add your lenses to your cart
  2. Create an account
  3. Upload your prescription information
  4. Fill out your shipping and billing information
  5. Check your email

Shortly after you place your order, 1-800 Contacts will send you an email confirming your order. They will then verify your contact prescription is accurate and up to date. 

1-800 Contacts processing and shipping times are faster than most online retailers.

Delivery

Once your prescription is confirmed, they will process and ship your order. Shipping options are:

  • Standard. Free Standard Shipping: 5-7 business days
  • Ridiculously Fast. $14.99: 2-3 business days
  • Teleported (Basically). $19.99: 1 business day

I placed my order on Thursday with standard shipping, and my contacts arrived Sunday. (With a free contact case included).

Vision Center 1800 Contacts Review

Costs

1-800 Contacts list prices can be higher than the competition. However, as a part of their “Gajillion Percent Promise,” they have a price match guarantee. You can use this by contacting their live customer support via online chat (on their website), email, or phone.

All you have to do is tell them where you found a better price. They will then confirm the competitor’s pricing and reduce your cost to $1 less than the competition’s. Remember to always ask for a price match guarantee. If you don’t ask for one, they won’t give it to you.

Another great feature of 1-800 Contacts is no hidden fees. The price listed on their website (or a competitor’s website) is your exact price. You will only pay an additional fee if you choose to expedite your shipping. 

Returns

1-800 Contacts has a very generous return policy:

  • They let you return any unopened lenses for store credit
  • If a contact lens rips, they will send you a replacement order for free
  • If your prescription changes, you can return or exchange your old lenses

Contact 1-800 Contacts via chat, email, or phone to start the return process. Their live customer support will be happy to help you through the process.

Online Selection

1-800 Contacts has one of the best selections of contact lenses online. They carry all major brands, including:

  • Acuvue
  • Air Optix
  • Biofinity
  • Biotrue
  • Clariti
  • DAILIES
  • FreshLook
  • Precision1
  • Proclear
  • SofLens
  • Ultra
  • & More

They offer daily, weekly, monthly, and extended wear options for various prescriptions.

What are Customers Saying?

We’ve reviewed hundreds of online customer reviews about 1-800 Contacts. The company currently has a 2.9 out of 5 stars rating on Trustpilot. This shows that many customers have a low rating for their experience. 

Here are some things we saw in those reviews:

  • Customers find that you can reach a customer service representative easily
  • If you need contacts ASAP, you can trust 1800 Contacts for a valid prescription
  • Customers find that they need to wait long times for refunds and cancellations
  • The quality of contacts from 1-800 contacts isn’t that great; they rip and break easily
  • Customer service representatives can be pushy about their upselling practices
  • 1-800 Contacts’ online eye exam is generally cheaper than in-person eye exams 

1-800 Contacts: A Quick Summary

1-800 Contacts is the oldest direct-to-consumer prescription eyewear mail service still in business. Back in the day, you could call them (guess what their phone number was) and place an order to be shipped to your house. 

Now, their sales take place online. They have an excellent selection, great customer service, and fast shipping times. These are the top categories I consider when shopping for contacts online. (But I’ll cover all possible considerations in this review).

Here’s what you need to place an order with 1-800 Contacts:

  • A current contacts prescription from an eye doctor
  • A credit/debit card

IMPORTANT: To order contact lenses from 1-800 Contacts or any other online retailer, you must have a professional contact lens fitting and exam from an eye doctor. They will provide you with a prescription, along with a brand recommendation. 

However, you don’t need to buy your contacts or glasses from the eye doctor. You can take the prescription with you and order contacts online.

You will upload this prescription at the time of purchase. 1-800 Contacts will then verify its authenticity.

Unfortunately, online retailers cannot provide a new prescription or contact lens fitting. That still needs to take place in person. However, once you have your prescription, you can save time and money by ordering your lenses online. 1-800 Contacts also provides online vision exams to renew your contact lens prescription.

What is the “Gajillion Percent Promise?”

1-800 Contacts’ main selling point is their Gajillion Percent Promise. There are six main components of this promise:

  • Millions of contacts in stock. They own a few giant warehouses. This lets them keep millions of contact lenses in stock and ship them quickly. 
  • Best-price guarantee. They will beat any competitor’s prices.
  • No hidden fees. The price you see on the website is the price you pay.
  • Free returns and exchanges. Any unopened contact lenses can be exchanged for free (including shipping).
  • Torn lens replacement. If your contact lens rips, 1-800 Contacts will send you a replacement for free.
  • Online prescription renewal. You can renew your prescription with their online vision exam if it expires. It costs $20, takes 10 minutes, and a licensed doctor will renew your prescription within 24 hours.

Subscription Service and Insurance Information

1-800 Contacts offers a subscription service for added convenience. You can set the delivery schedule, and they will deliver your lenses on schedule with free shipping every time.

You’ll save 5% on your lenses, and you can delay, skip, or cancel your subscription anytime.

Insurance Information

1-800 Contacts accepts many types of vision insurance. They are considered in-network for:

  • Anthem (EyeMed)
  • Blue View Vision (EyeMed)
  • Davis Vision
  • Superior Vision
  • Spectera
  • United Healthcare Vision

You can use their benefit finder to check your vision insurance options. 1-800 Contacts helps you save money even if they are considered out-of-network. They claim customers save an average of $105 with out-of-network benefits. They will provide a claims form for reimbursement after checkout.

Remember to check with your insurance provider if 1-800 Contacts is considered in-network or out-of-network for your specific plan.

What If Your Prescription Expires?

1-800 Contacts online vision exam service allows you to renew your current contact lens prescription. This is a convenient service in case your subscription expires.

Remember that online eye exams don’t replace a comprehensive eye exam. They don’t check for general or eye health issues. You should still schedule an annual eye exam with your eye doctor.

The process to renew your subscription is straightforward and easy. You only need a computer or cell phone and 10 feet of space.

After completing the exam, a board-certified ophthalmologist will review your test results. They will provide your updated prescription. 

Can You Buy Glasses on 1-800 Contacts? 

1-800 Contacts doesn’t offer glasses for sale. If you wear glasses, you can look up their partner company, Liingo Eyewear. They will have different glasses options for you. 

Liingo Eyewear also has a virtual try-on feature. This feature allows you to see if the glasses suit your face.

Is 1-800 Contacts Worth It?

While 1-800 Contacts promises fast and reliable contact lens deliveries, you may want to consider other options. The company has a handful of negative reviews, so you’ll want to use your best judgment when buying contacts from their site. 

In my experience, 1-800 contacts provided great customer service. They also offer a great selection of contacts, making getting the contacts you need easier. Their price match guarantee also helps you obtain contacts at a lower price.

Our Rating

After trying out 1-800 contacts, here’s our product rating based on different factors:

Customer Service:
3

While I had a good experience with 1-800 Contacts’ customer service, other customers don’t have the best experience. Some find their customer service representatives pushy, especially when it comes to their upselling. 

Prescription Verification:
3.0

You can easily verify or renew a contact lens prescription with 1-800 Contacts. However, this isn’t the best prescription you can get. Going to an eye doctor is still more advisable. 

Product Variety:
4.0

1-800 Contacts has various products available on its website. They have one of the best selections out of different providers. People who prefer trying different brands will enjoy 1-800 contacts.  

Pricing Deals:
3.0

You can score great deals on contacts with 1-800 Contacts’ price match guarantee. However, some customers report different prices at checkout than initially quoted. They also won’t offer a price match guarantee unless you ask. 

Shipping:
4.0

Shipping for 1-800 Contacts is generally okay. It’s quick and easy, and they provide different shipping options based on time.

Overall Rating:
1.4

Vision Center’s overall rating for 1-800 contacts is based on my experience and customer feedback. While I had a good experience with the company, many customers had issues with customer service and pricing. 

Read More: Types of Contact Lenses

Best Places to Buy Contacts

Best Overall

1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.

Also Great
glasses usa logo

GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.

Best Places to Buy Glasses

Best Overall

Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.

Also Great

Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.

Best on a Budget

EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of budget frames starting at $6.

Updated on  February 5, 2024
4 sources cited
Updated on  February 5, 2024
The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.