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Target Eyeglasses

Claim:   Target stores with optical departments are offering free eyeglasses to children 12 and under.

WAS PARTLY TRUE

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, April 2009]

PLEASE PASS ON! THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO ASSIST THOSE IN OUR COMMUNITIES WHO WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO REPAIR OR PURCHASE GLASSES FOR CHILDREN.

In case you have a child or know of someone who does (ages 12 and under), they can get a FREE pair of eyeglasses from Target:

Target is doing a special promotion for their optical service. It could end any time but will definitely end no later than April 29th. Children 12 and under can get a free pair of glasses. They need to bring in a valid prescription for glasses from their doctor and Target will let the child pick from about 40 different frames. They will place their best lenses in the frames which are non-glare and scratch resistant and normally sell for $200.00. There are no income guidelines. Any child 12 or under is eligible.

You can find stores with optical departments at www.target.com to confirm they are participating before making a trip to their store.

Please pass this information on to anyone who can benefit from this promotional offer. If you know someone with lost or broken glasses please share this information with them ASAP, as the promotion could end at anytime. They would like families to come in as soon as they can.
 

Origins:   Unfortunately, during troubled economic times ordinary (i.e., non-urgent) health care is one of the first things many families have to eliminate from their budgets — not just routine doctor visits, but also regular dental and optical checkups may go by the wayside, especially among families who have no insurance to cover such services.

The claim that Target stores with optical departments are offering free eyeglasses (frames and lenses) to children 12 and under would therefore seem to be a
welcome announcement to many parents: It would mean they could get their children's existing eyeglasses replaced for free, and even if they had to pay for optical exams to obtain new or updated eye prescriptions for their children, they could rest assured that those prescriptions would be filled free at Target for children 12 and under.

Sounds too good to be true? That's what we thought, especially when we noted that the Optical section of Target's web site makes no mention of any such promotion. (They merely offer coupons for discounts on glasses, contacts, and premium lenses.)

So, we contacted Target's Customer Relations department to ask about this promotion and were told that they were offering such a deal, but only in a very limited sense. The "free eyeglasses to children 12 and under" promotion was a pilot program currently available only in a few stores in select areas (e.g., Kansas City, Kansas). However, that pilot program has now ended, as a Target Optical marketing manager communicated to us on 10 April 2009:
Free Kids Eyeglasses Promotion

At Target Optical, we believe strongly in our value, product and services and wanted to introduce Target Shoppers to the unique shopping experience that we offer. So, to introduce more Target Shoppers to our stores, during the month of March we offered families a way to try Target Optical for free through our Free Kids Eyeglasses promotion.

The Free Kids Eyeglasses promotion is now over. It was a limited time offer in seven stores within the greater Kansas City area. We were pleased to distribute over 1,000 pairs of free children's eyeglasses during this event.
Last updated:   10 April 2009

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