Well, Maybe Again…
Okay, so I spoke too soon. Never again? Perhaps one, actually two, more times. Less than twenty four hours after I contacted Eyeglass World through Facebook the district manager for this area called me. We went over everything that I’d mentioned in my eMail and he sounded honestly upset by what had gone on. He said they would refund the full cost of the eyeglass exam and have a different doctor do a second exam, free, to make sure I received an accurate prescription. He asked my why I had only gone for an exam and had opted not to buy glasses. I told him that honestly I knew they couldn’t match the price I could find online and my previous experience with Eyeglass World years ago had soured me to their company name. I’d only gone there for the exam this time because they’d offered it cheaper by far than anywhere else.
He asked me what I would pay and what options I would get online. I told him then things I’d ordered; photo reactive lenses, anti-glare coating, alloy metal spring-hinged frames and the exact price they’d be, $36.90 plus shipping. He asked if I would give them a second chance if he matched that price, option for option. I agreed. You honestly get better fitment when (hopefully) trained professionals adjust them to your face. He ended the conversation telling me that he would have the doctor who held the lease on the Opticians office at their location as well as the temporary manager (it turns out the entire management staff at the Melbourne, FL location had been recently fired) call me and make arrangements to get me in and get things resolved.
That was on Wednesday the tenth. By the next Tuesday I’d not heard a word from Eyeglass World or the doctor. I called the number for the district manager in my caller ID. It went straight to automated voicemail, that didn’t look good, I left my message and figured it would either be a while or forever before I heard back from them.
A couple hours later the phone rang and it was the (temporary) manager from the Melbourne store. He said that he’d just, that day, received my complaint and was bothered by the way things happened and asked how he could make things right. I asked if he was going to honor the district manager’s promises and he assured me he would and that he would even try to beat the online price to make up for the inconvenience.
He made me an appointment for the upcoming Friday to get a new eyeglass exam with a different doctor that covered the office a couple days a week and said that he and his (also temporary) assistant manager would both be there to work with me and get things figured out.
Walked in a little after eleven on Friday morning and asked for the manager, who had ‘Just stepped out.’ but his assistant was there and she knew what was what. I barely waited a few minutes in the doctor’s office before they started my exam. I didn’t even have to ask the doctor to measure my PD (pupillary distance) he either always does it or was told it was one of the points of my complaint having asked the previous doctor if he would provide that service and his refusal on the ground that ‘The company (that he’s supposed to be independent from) doesn’t provide PD measurement to people who take their business elsewhere.’
Exam over, the receptionist quickly processed a refund of the fee I’d been charged the week before. I then finally met with the manager who apologized profusely, told me to pick out any frames (any!) I wanted and handed me off to his assistant to help me put together my glasses.
She said she was going to ‘look in the drawer’ to see if she could find any frames similar to the ones I currently wear (which is what I wanted). The ‘drawer’ by the way is the place they keep frames so crappy and inexpensive that they’re embarrassed to display them. I on the other hand headed straight for the quality goods and found several pair that were similar in shape and size to what I’m wearing now.
I met her back at her work station. She had two or three pair of $29 – $39 frames that looked like crap which I immediately dismissed. We went over the four pair I’d brought back and settled on a pair of $179 Stetson brand frames with 180° flex hinges. She spent a lot of time with me going over the options, poly-carbonate vs. plastic lenses even going so far as to take my current glasses apart to verify which material they were made from. She never once made me feel like this was a hassle or that she resented having to practically (we’ll get to that in a moment) give away a pair of glasses. The only sour moment was when the woman I’d dealt with first the last time I was there made some quip while looking at me and laughed. I didn’t quite catch what she said so I didn’t say anything. Unfortunately they didn’t have my prescription lenses in stock so they had to be ordered. Should be a week or so before they’re in.
The assistant manager double checked my PD to make sure we had the numbers right and then put together the order. Once she’d done that I showed her the invoice I’d printed from the online company. She read through it, typed for a bit and gave me a price which was $5 higher than the total I’d brought it. That was the only sour note with her, she seemed annoyed when I pointed out that she’d taken the grand total from the invoice which included shipping fees. She read the invoice again and charged me $36.60 She actually did ‘beat’ the online price as the manager had said he’d try to do but only because she read the price wrong and charged me a whole thirty cents less. 🙂
In the end she had to knock $318 off their price for these glasses to price match Zenni Optical online. Three hundred and eighteen dollars?! Their price was $355 for a pair of glasses they expect you to replace in a year or two. Who can afford that?! As much as I appreciate the way Eyeglass World handled my complaint and went to extremes to make things right I honestly can’t say I’d go back for a pair of glasses from them, not when they’re nearly ten times as expensive as a decent pair are online. One pair of their glasses is literally the same cost as four local eye exams and four pairs of glasses ordered online… assuming prices don’t change much over the coming years.
Thank you Eyeglass World. It was a true pleasure to see you honor your word and live up to your promises. Not many companies will do that these days.
Hawk (seeing the world better, soon)