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ContactsDirect Review: A great way to buy prescription contact lenses?

Our expert testers tell you everything you need to know about ContactsDirect so you can decide for yourself

Last Updated: Mar 9, 2020

ContactsDirect Review

More and more people are turning to online health services as a means of streamlining the process of getting the health products they need, saving time and ideally money too.

ContactsDirect aims to help you do just that, if you’re shopping for prescription contact lenses. Sounds pretty appealing, right? Compared to traditional ways of getting your prescription contacts and eyeglasses, the more you can do online and delivered, the better.

So we thoroughly tested ContactsDirect to find out how their shopping experience stacks up to the competition. Here we’ll tell you all the pros, cons and factors that can help you decide if it’s the ideal way for you to get your contacts. Read on!

Review Summary

Pros

  • Wide selection - all major brands of contacts.
  • Accepts many insurance providers.
  • Accepts FSA accounts.
  • Free standard shipping, with faster options.
  • Specific discounts available for students, teachers and veterans.
  • They’ll beat any lower price you find.

Cons

  • No international shipping right now.
  • Selection of eye drops and solutions is subpar.
  • VSP is out of network.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for a way to get your prescription contact lenses more conveniently, and your insurance is accepted here, then we can recommend ContactsDirect for its massive selection, free and fast-enough shipping (in the U.S.) and also some pretty nice and frequent discounts. If you’re outside the U.S. though, you’ll have to opt for a different company. And if you’ve got VSP, which is out of network for ContactsDirect.com, we’d recommend you try Eyeconic instead. For all others, check out ContactsDirect.com for convenience and savings.

Our Top Picks

ContactsDirect

ContactsDirect offers a wide selection of contact lenses, making it easy to order your prescription contacts, delivered straight to your door.

Particularly if you have vision insurance accepted by ContactsDirect, their service is excellent and definitely takes some of the hassle out of replenishing your prescription contacts. Use your FSA money too!

Why you should trust us

Innerbody recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary online. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

We extensively test, experience and order from each health service we review. Our review of ContactsDirect is no different. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we use the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally this review of ContactsDirect, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

What ContactsDirect offers

Owned by Italian company Luxottica - which also owns Lenscrafters, Sunglass Hut, Oakley, Ray-Ban, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical and others - ContactsDirect is an extensive online marketplace for contact lenses.

Products

ContactsDirect makes it easy to find the brand you want:

  • Acuvue
  • Air Optix
  • Avaira
  • Biofinity
  • Biomedics
  • BioTrue
  • Clariti
  • ClearSight
  • DAILIES
  • Focus
  • FreshLook
  • MyDay
  • Optima
  • Precision 1
  • Proclear
  • PureVision
  • Soflens
  • ULTRA

They organize available products by brand and, within these brand areas, selections are extensive.

Annual ordering

ContactsDirect has a very user-friendly method of ordering an entire year’s worth of lenses. If you know what you want to use for a year, then look for a little icon for buying that product in a yearlong supply. Doing so can save you up to $100 throughout the year. No need to figure out the number of boxes you need - ContactsDirect already has it figured out. That couldn’t be easier.

You can put in a very large order on ContactsDirect. But if you want to order more than $1000 worth of contact lenses at one time, you’ll have to call their customer service number.

Insurance and FSA accepted

Right now ContactsDirect accepts a lot of different insurance providers - Aetna, EyeMed, Humana, Blue View Vision, Superior Vision and others.

However, VSP (one of the biggies) is out-of-network, along with MetLife, Cigna, Davis and others. In our opinion, the shopping experience on ContactsDirect is best when your insurance is accepted (which isn’t a shocker). If you’ve got VSP, based on our testing, you should browse Eyeconic first. Eyeconic integrates so well with VSP and we predict your experience will be better. (To read more, check out our Eyeconic review.)

FSA

ContactsDirect was also one of the very first ecommerce sites to accept FSA payments. This is fantastic for those of us whose employers opt to deposit money into our FSA accounts. If you enter the account number for your FSA when you’re ready to buy from ContactsDirect.com, just as if it were a credit or bank card, you’ll be able to use your FSA dollars to buy your prescription contacts.

The process of ordering from ContactsDirect

Our testers found the ordering process very easy and the interface intuitive. Here are the steps:

You can technically order from them using their phone number (1-844-5-LENSES (1-844-553-6737)) or via LiveChat with a representative (available Mon-Fri from 8am-4:30pm EST). The representatives are helpful and it’s nice to know that you can use these other ordering methods, especially if you’re doing it for the first time and not sure what insurance or prescription information to provide.

However, we found the process of submitting insurance information and prescription details to be straightforward.

Step 1: Start browsing

Make sure ContactsDirect has the contact lenses you want. (It’ll be surprising if they don’t! But best to know before going through the rest of the process.)

Step 2: Create an account

You can register not only yourself but also others within your account too, making it easy to order for your entire family.

Step 3: Connect your insurance

Here’s where you’ll want your insurance info. In your registration process, you’ll want to check a checkbox for insurance coverage and then fill in your insurance information (if you have vision insurance). If your vision insurance is out-of-network, we recommend you reach out via LiveChat to speak with ContactsDirect, um, directly.

Step 4: Specify your prescription for the lenses you choose

Find your desired contact lenses and put them in the cart. You’ll need to know your prescription information in order to apply that prescription properly to the lenses you’ve chosen. Have it handy and we recommend double-checking to make sure you input it correctly. Note: you’ll need a prescription specifically for contact lenses, not eyeglasses.

Step 5: Checkout

Enter your payment information and select which shipping method you’d like, and you’re all set!

Shipping and returns

Our testers found no unpleasant surprises with shipping. Those who chose standard (free!) shipping had their packages arrive in the 7-10 day window (never more than 9 days, for us). Those who expedited their shipping got their lenses within the delivery windows as well.

Shipping rates

  • Standard, 7-10 business days: Free!
  • Expedited, 3-5 business days: $11.99
  • Overnight, 1-2 business days: $19.99
  • Shipping to Puerto Rico, 7-10 business days: $7.00

NOTE: You can’t ship internationally right now.

How do returns work with ContactsDirect?

ContactsDirect has a decent return policy - not the most generous in the world, but sufficient and practical enough. Any unopened product can be returned for a full refund as long as you start the return process within a year of your purchase date. That’s the good news.

The more annoying part of the picture is what happens if you end up for some reason receiving a product that’s the wrong prescription, or somehow defective or damaged. For instance, ContactsDirect can’t do moneyback returns on an opened box of contact lenses even if you discover the product is defective or wrong.

Some of this can’t be avoided; prescription medical products just aren’t as easy to return as a pair of shoes, for instance. Our testers had no problems using ContactsDirect, by the way, and no products arrived with issues at all. But if you receive a damaged, defective or unacceptable product, keep in mind that the return process may take some time and probably be a little frustrating. First, you’ll call the customer care line at 1-844-5-LENSES to describe how you think your contact lenses are defective or somehow wrong. Then the manufacturer may need to examine the lenses. At that point, if the manufacturer concludes that the product was damaged, defective or somehow wrong, then ContactsDirect will replace your product at no expense. It’s not a refund, but a replacement.

We didn’t experience any of these scenarios, however. And from our research, it seems unlikely that you will either. The best way to protect yourself from incorrect products is to double-check that you enter your prescription information correctly when ordering. Double-checking at that point can save you from headaches later!

What criteria do we use to judge health service companies?

At Innerbody, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For ContactsDirect and other health services and products, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations:

Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? Is the quality of the service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?

User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device/program/app/website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?

Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?

Customer Support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?

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