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Are Rebates For Contact Lenses A Scam?

By July 6, 2017Contacts Advice

Rebates for contact lenses can drop the price of contact lenses and make it seem like you’re getting a really good deal. However, this is rarely the case and more often than not, contact lens rebates just end up costing you rather than saving you money.

What are Rebates for Contact Lenses

Rebates on contact lenses are special discounts that contact lens manufacturers offer on their contact lenses, but only after they have been purchased at full price.

In order to claim the rebate and get some money back, you are required to fill out forms, send in documents, wait for approval, etc.

They are sometimes referred to as mail in rebates because in the past you had to mail all the forms to the company. Some companies still do things by mail, while some have moved to online, but essentially it is still the same thing.

Here’s what mail-in rebates are like in a nutshell.

Are Rebates For Contact Lenses A Scam - comic

Why do Companies Offer Contact Lens Rebates?

You might wonder, why even offer rebates for contact lenses? Why not just sell the contact lenses at a lower price?

Allows them to sell more contacts

Contact Lens Rebates are a tactic used by the contact lens manufacturers to sell more contact lenses. How? Contact lens rebates are usually not offered unless you purchase a large supply of contact lenses such as a 6 month or a 1 year supply.

Are Rebates For Contact Lenses A Scam - Alcon Air Optix Rebate

Clearly, a much easier way to offer volume discounts to patients is simply for the retailers to charge you less when you purchase a certain number of boxes of contact lenses. The retailer can then settle things with the manufacturers instead of passing that burden onto you.

Allows them to keep your money

The real reason manufacturers offer rebates for contact lenses is because it allows them to make more money.

The rebates sound really nice. You’re told that you could get hundreds of dollars back on your contact lens purchase, who wouldn’t want that, right?

The reality is that they make the process of redeeming the rebate such a hassle that they know that most people won’t actually bother to redeem it when the time comes.

Delaying the process

The rebates cannot even begin to be claimed until your contact lens order comes in. This is usually several days after your purchase, and by then, the money you spent on your contact lenses isn’t really on your mind anymore. For this reason, many people will never even bother to attempt to claim their rebate.

Complicating the process

If you decide you do want to claim your contact lens rebate, you’re confronted with obstacle after obstacle which is designed to discourage you from going through with the rebate process.

Are Rebates For Contact Lenses A Scam - CooperVision instructions Are Rebates For Contact Lenses A Scam - CooperVision

Complicated fine print surrounding contact lens rebates


In case you have any doubts about the headaches involved in trying rebates for contact lenses, just take a look at these reviews from frustrated contact lens wearers:

You can find pages and pages of these on this review website: www.reviewstalk.com

Don’t fall for the rebate scam May 11, 2017

I filed my rebate in November of 2016 and it is now May of 2017. I’ve called every week for the past 8 weeks and it’s clear no one at the Rebate Center has any authority as they read off the same script every time I call. “Due to overwhelming demand it looks like your pre-paid Visa card is taking longer to process. It should be mailed out soon though”.

Listen to every review on this site and don’t fall for Alcon’s run around scam. I hope we can enlighten enough people that they will be out of business within the next few years.


Frustrated Apr 26, 2017

Wow! What a sales scam! I submit all of the required documentation for my wife’s new contact lenses and I get an email rejecting my submission because “complete documentation not received.” I once again gather up all of the required documents and attempt to resubmit and when I use my rebate claim number, I’m directed to a web site that states the server DNS could not be found. Given all of the registered complaints, is there anyone taking this company to task?


Alcon Dailies 1 Rebate Scam Apr 25, 2017

Buy what you can afford. DO NOT COUNT ON GETTING PAID A REBATE!

The Aclon Dailies 1 Rebate is a Scam.

They obviously do not want to fulfill offered rebates. I will be complaining to my Dr. office, because they are the ones that promote the savings when they sell you the move expensive lenses.

The form from the doctor directs you to a website where you register, then you wait for an email, which directs you to a page that repeats the form from your doctor but now with a new code. It is a loop.

Register, to register, to get a form, to get a postcard? give me break. When I call, they have no record of me. Okay, how did they send emails back to someone they have no record of? Now the time period is closed and I am out of luck. Total BS.

Alternative to Contact Lens Rebates?

Rebates on contact lenses are mostly a thing of eye doctor offices. Eye doctors sell contact lenses at such an inflated price, that they need to offer rebates in order to entice their patients to purchase contact lenses from them. However, as the reviews above demonstrate, rebates cost you time, money and frustration more often than they save you any money.

In the online world, it is less common to encounter rebates on contact lenses because the prices are already so low.
This is a much more direct way of saving money on contact lenses. Instead of the roundabout, and often futile contact lens rebate.

Where to Shop for Contact Lenses Online

Although prices for contact lenses are unquestionably cheaper online than in your doctor’s office, you need to know where the lowest prices for your brand are found.

There are some contact lens websites that exploit the assumption that many people have that prices for contact lenses on the internet are all the same. They far from it!

Consult a Contact Lens Price Comparison Site

At Contacts Advice, I compare contact lens prices across all major contact lens websites. Prices vary so much from site to site that some places charge more than double what other places do! Take a look at this price comparison chart from this week and notice how much prices vary across websites:

Contacts Advice Price Comparison Sheet July 5 2017

Prices change almost weekly, so make sure to consult the most up to date version of the chart above by hitting the banner below.

Lowest Contact Lens Prices Online

Get a Contact Lens Price Consult

Julie Founder of Contacts Advice

Hi, I’m Julie – Founder of Contacts Advice

When looking save the most money on contact lenses, you don’t just have to consider what website has the best price, but also whether or not you have to pay for shipping & handling, and what kind of volume discounts are available, if there are hidden processing fees, etc.

With all of this in mind, it can be very difficult to narrow down the best place to buy contact lenses online, especially if you’re not familiar with all of the websites out there.

That is why I offer FREE contact lens price consults. All I need to know is what your brand is, and how many boxes you want to order, and I can find the website that will save you the most money on your order.

This is a service that can potentially save you hundreds of dollars on your order, and it’s completely free. So what are you waiting for? Get your FREE contact lens price consult today!

Free Contact Lens Price Consult


Author Julie

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Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Laurie says:

    The Alcon rebate appears to be a scam. I submitted my paperwork online in June. It’s been over 90 days. I tried to check on the rebate status and the website now comes back in error with a potential malware warning, This screams scam to me. How is this legal?

    • Julie says:

      Hi Laurie, I’m sorry that you seem to have been scammed by Alcon’s rebate system. In the future, you can bypass the whole rebate system and still pay less than you would if the rebates were actually legit. To do this, look up your brand on Contacts Advice’s homepage and you’ll find the lowest possible price for your brand.

      Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Jenna says:

    The Alcon rebate is a joke. They make the window to submit the rebate so small that anyone who is not dedicated to full-time pursuit of rebates will miss it. I will never buy contacts in a doctors’ office again–online is a better option and you won’t feel scammed that you missed the arbitrary and rigid window to submit by only 10 days. Huge bummer and what a disappointing company to deal with.

  • Shiloh says:

    What a joke!! Submitted all the paperwork, was never informed that they needed more until I called to check my status and then had to submit more paperwork to be declined..through email… That I wasn’t in their time frame.
    I’m a young adult who spend 600+ on contacts/fitting to not get a 200 dollar rebate that I would never have bought in the first place knowing this. Absolutely heartbreaking and disappointing. Don’t use this company they will just hand you off to the next person to tell you the same thing. What a scam.

    • Julie says:

      Hi Shiloh, I’m sorry that that happened to you 🙁

      Unfortunately, this is an all too common story. In my opinion, the best way to save money on contact lenses is not by paying high prices and then hoping to get some back via rebates, it’s by finding the lowest price to begin with. Hopefully, my contact lens price comparison can come in handy for you in the future. Thanks for sharing your experience here 🙂

  • Vonique says:

    I bought several boxes of ACON contact lenses from the eye doctor who said I would get $100 in rebates. After hours of gathering up receipts and scanning bar codes I and online submissions I never heard anything back. 3 months later I called them and they said it was declined because I had sent in the bar code of the box that the lenses came in rather than the individual boxes themselves. What??? There was no indication that I was supposed to scan 8 individual bar codes rather than the one box they all came in. What a SCAM!! I will never buy from ALCON again!!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Vonique, thanks for sharing that story with us. That’s so terrible that they scam their customers this way. Hopefully the tips for saving money on contact lenses on this website will help you save on your next purchase without resorting to scammy rebates.

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