Irving, TX--(Marketwired - September 17, 2015) - PFO Global, Inc. (OTCQB: PFGB), the innovative manufacturer and commercial provider of advanced prescription lenses, finished eyewear and vision technologies, today announced the launch of what its management believes is an industry novel online model, inclusive of two new websites and a new associated program.
The Company believes that there is nothing available in the optical market today that is anything like this, and thus the offering is aimed at supplying eye care providers a valuable tool to assist them in stemming the migration of customers, recently estimated at approximately 8% of all eye wear sales, away from traditional brick and mortar providers to the online market.
PFO Global's unique solution to this industry prevalent problem has the potential of reseeding clientele lost through online internet eyewear sales back through Eye Care Professional (ECP). The offering is expected to create the opportunity for re-growth in the ECP's patient portfolio, while utilizing the professional care necessary for dispensing eyeglasses. Importantly, the solution meets the needs of value conscious consumers interested in savings, while promoting, addressing and maintaining the quality of direct brick and mortar care.
Traditionally, quality has long been established through hands-on "appropriate for the prescription" frame selection, pre-measurement frame adjustments, professional measurement of the pupillary distances, seg heights, frametization measurements (wrap angle, pantoscopic angle, and vertex distance), final verification of the prescription prior to dispensing and professional fitting of eyewear to each patient. An increase in online eyeglass sales, lacking these traditional quality safeguards, is the impetus of online eyeglass complaints and returns by the consumers.
Jeff LaPlante, PFO Global Executive Vice President Business Development, stated, "At PFO Global, we support the American Optometric Association and The Vision Council on their published position that the quality of eyewear purchased online without the benefit of trained professionals for frame selection, hands-on measurement, prescription verification, and final adjustment of eyewear lends itself to many problems which could be avoided."
LaPlante continued, "Our proprietary patent pending program, and the JUST THE Rx / GET THE Rx system, has the potential of being a game changer for the industry, placing traditional ECP's on a level playing field with low cost online providers, while importantly still maintaining quality control. We specifically designed our offering to help correct the myriad of hazardous issues associated with online ordering of eyeglasses, not limited to returns by the patient. Our intention is, and will always be, to drive quality and profitability back to the ECP -- where it belongs."
The program and B2C website titled "JUST THE Rx™" (www.JUSTtheRx.com) will launch on October 1st, 2015.
Consumers will have the opportunity to purchase online JUST THE Rx Vouchers for the lens types, lens material and coating options which are redeemable through ECP practices willing to embrace the new system.
The program is strategically designed as an extension program for ECP practices aimed at taking advantage of the patients visiting the website with the choice of ordering company branded high quality single vision (SeeIt™) or freeform progressive addition (FeelIt™) lenses. Materials are strategically selected to include premium quality Resolution™ polycarbonate (DistortNot™), 1.67 (PrettyThin™) and 1.74 (VeryThin™) materials; clear, photochromic (Conditions 9™) or polarized (GlareNot™) lenses are available as options along with the patient's choice of an included hydrophobic, oleophobic, anti-static 2 year warranteed, multi-layered anti-reflection coating (A-aRen't™) or an upgraded AR/HEV coating (BlueMeAway™).
The premium FeeIt™ progressive design offers the dispenser options of frametization that include multiple corridor lengths of 9, 11 or 13mm, three designs (a balanced design, a design with an accent on distance, or a design with an accent on near) and may also be ordered "compensated" for position of wear measurements, if measurements are provided by the ECP when ordering.
Prescription parameters cover a large patient population with sphere powers ranging between +8.00D and -10.00D with cylinders up to -5.00D. Progressives have an ADD between +0.75D and +3.50D. Frame dimensions and design must be appropriate for spectacle Rx and, in the case of progressives, frames should be selected which allow a minimum segment fitting height of 16mm. Prescriptions with prism are not accepted at this time under the program. The option to upgrade the lens type, lens material, or coating prior to purchase is available via a customer service interface.
ECPs accepting the vouchers are able to redeem them by ordering the complete eyewear through the "GET THE Rx™" B2B website (www.GETtheRx.com).
The website will pre-populate the patient's lens selections via the unique voucher codes, and the remaining ordering information and frame information is populated by the ECP. When the order is completed, the GET THE Rx site automatically generates a pre-paid shipping label to send the frame to the lab at no-charge to the practioner. All shipping fees are included and there is no out of pocket fee for the ECP. As all lab work is pre-paid, there is no billing to the ECP for the lab work.
When the glasses are returned, the glasses are wrapped in the "dispensing fee" -- a check made out to the ECP for $25 for each single vision and $50 for each progressive that are successfully dispensed to the patient.
As an added bonus, there are no prescription remake fees for doctor's prescription changes or dispensing errors for 30 days from the date of initial dispensing; however a flat return postage, prescription processing and handling fee of $50 is required from the ECP for each change regardless of the lens type, material or coating. Any manufacturing errors are handled directly with the lab; and are fully covered including return shipping.
As part of the new system, PFO Global will begin sign-up opportunities at Vision EXPO West 2015 for the new JUST THE Rx.com Voucher Service Provider program™, where ECP practices may enroll to be listed on the new B2C consumer website. There is no fee for enrolling, but interested ECPs must preregister their locations.
As a JUST THE Rx.com Voucher Service Provider program™, favorable participating preregistered ECP locations would be suggested to inquiring consumers via an interactive location search. JUST THE Rx Voucher Service Providers would be willing to accept new patients, provide full fee exam services, provide full fee premium frame selection, and be happy to utilize the vouchers to provide new patients quality eyewear and have the opportunity to retain the patient for life. The option to sell additional pairs by the ECP is also available via this program.