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Low uptake spells end of OA’s Advantage Program

Fewer optometrists taking up business-related offers and deals provided through Optometry Australia’s Advantage Program has prompted the organisation to end the scheme after more than 20 years.

In a decision announced on 21 October, Optometry Australia (OA) said that while the Advantage Program had once provided the member-based organisation with an “excellent revenue stream from external companies”, this was no longer the case.

“It has become difficult for us to continue to provide the high levels of support necessary to ensure we are getting you [members] the best deals possible,” OA stated.

In the 22 years OA has offered the Advantage Program to members, its offers have covered business, travel, and home and contents insurance; finance, legal and human resources support; and deals on lifestyle products and services.

OA will continue its partnership with Industry Legal Group, offering all members ongoing access to legal and human resources support in 2021 and beyond.

Through the Advantage Program, OA optometrists have saved thousands of dollars on international money transfers using OFX Global Money Transfers. As of 2019, 77 members made 1,559 deals using the service since 2013, transferring nearly $18.4 million from Australia to overseas or vice versa.

Likewise, many members have used the program’s former business insurance partner, Guild Insurance, to support their businesses through unexpected disruptions.

Additionally, a New South Wales member saved $1,080 on her practice electricity bill using energy specialists Make it Cheaper, which joined the Advantage Program in 2019.

Despite the savings and support, OA said it has become “very challenging to maintain a program that should offer exclusive deals for members, but in reality, offers similar deals readily available elsewhere at the click of a mouse and often at a more competitive price”.

OA will retain a streamlined business directory service on its website for all members to access and will also consider adding new businesses to the directory depending on demand. The directory will enable members to deal directly with businesses, such as Doctors’ Health Fund, accounting firm RSM, OFX, Make it Cheaper, Optometry Finance Australia and BMS Insurance.

OA members can access current services provided by all Advantage Program partners and participate in any deals advertised until its closing date of 18 December 2020.

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