• Report: #4258

Complaint Review: America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses

  • Submitted: Sun, January 21, 2001
  • Updated: Sat, August 21, 2004

  • Reported By:Tempe Arizona
America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses should be Americas Worst or Americas Best Rip-off

*Consumer Suggestion: I had problems with them years ago.

*Consumer Comment: rude help - same nasty attitude, just different faces.

*Consumer Comment: A Matter of Location vs A Matter of Opinion

*Consumer Suggestion: Get a Real O.D.

*Consumer Comment: Never a Problem

*Consumer Comment: I too was a victim at the Rock Hill, SC location

*Consumer Comment: America's Best is truly the best....

*Consumer Comment: America's Best is truly the best....

*Consumer Comment: America's Best is truly the best....

*Consumer Comment: America's Best is truly the best....

*Consumer Suggestion: What do you expect

*Consumer Suggestion: What do you expect

*Consumer Suggestion: What do you expect

*Consumer Suggestion: What do you expect

*Consumer Comment: Headaches?

*Consumer Comment: Reply to somewhere else

*Consumer Comment: America's Worst Contacts in Maryland too!

*Consumer Comment: Overexaggeration ..Although I did experience some problems

*Consumer Comment: I challenge you to find better prices for a 5 year time period.

*Consumer Comment: Let the Buyer Beware

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I signed up for the America's Best 5 year contract when I was in college. The contract sounded like a good deal, since, according to the contract, I could buy "unlimited" contact lenses for $20 a pair. I then moved and made an appointment at the Philadelphia (Walnut Street) office. It was unbelievably filthy! The employees were bored, unhelpful and the doctors were so unkempt and unprofessional it was unreal. They conducted my vision exam in a record 5 seconds.

I tried the King of Prussia office, which was cleaner, but the employees were still just as rude. The exam seemed more thorough, but when I told the doctor that I wouldn't be buying glasses, he said he needed to "check" my glasses and said "Oh, no, this prescription is MUCH too strong! You need a new pair of glasses!" (I had not gotten the glasses at America's Best). My glasses have never given me headaches or vision problems, so it seemed obvious that he was just trying to coerce me into buying glasses.

The final straws have been that they have charged me a higher price for my replacement contacts, claiming that my 5 year contract did not guarantee the same price for lenses (then why the hell would I want the contract???).

Recently I ordered a replacement lens; they said they do not do express shipping so I have been patiently waiting for snail mail. The lens had not arrived after a reasonable amount of time, so I called the office. The lady told me vaguely that it "might be there tomorrow"; when I asked for the corporate office number, she said she would give it to me, but first asked why I needed it. I said that if I did not get my lens by the next day, I was going to call the office to ask for a refund. She became rude and suddenly claimed that she did not have the corporate number. She took my number and promised to call me back with the number. What a joke! That was 4 days ago!

America's Best is horrible. Does anyone have any suggestions for a better company?

James
Kalamazoo, Michiagn

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/21/2001 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Americas-Best-Contacts-Eyeglasses/Philadelphia-Pennsylvania/Americas-Best-Contacts-Eyeglasses-should-be-Americas-Worst-or-Americas-Best-Rip-off-4258. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

I had problems with them years ago.

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

They fitted me with contacts that were totally the wrong size. I opted out of their insurance plan. But they had a gurantee that they said they matched the prices of any other local retailer.

My grocery store had the same lenses for cheaper than ever the contract price. So I got the proof of price and took it the store. Boy were they nasty. They agreed to sell me the lenses at that price but said they would never do again. This was after a bit of arguing. I asked for my prescription and never returned.

I say go to a regualar eye doctor, get your prescription and take it to any pharmacy. Target will fill your prescription pretty cheaply. You will probably have to wait a few days. But the savings wil be worth it.
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#2 Consumer Comment

rude help - same nasty attitude, just different faces.

AUTHOR: George - (U.S.A.)

I have patronized America's Best often over many years. I found the glasses to be cheap but generally worth what they cost. The main problem I had was at the metrocenter location in Phoenix where I was treated with amazing rudeness by some of the staff. The first time was about five years ago.

Since the staff had completely changed since then (as it does at ABE&C just like a fast food outlet), I decided to try this location again recently because it is the most convenient. Wow; same nasty attitude as years ago, just different faces.

I will use ABE&C again, but not this location.

Finally, to my perception, the Doctors performing the examinations were professional and courteous, (even at Metrocenter).
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#3 Consumer Comment

A Matter of Location vs A Matter of Opinion

AUTHOR: Kristen - (U.S.A.)

I have used ABC&E several times in Springfield, MO. The customer service is always great and they don't rush me through exams. Obviously, I am happy with them and intend to go back. A good friend of mine has had a similar experience with the ABC&E in Chesterfield, MO (near St. Louis). It appears that the quality of customer service and office conditions depend largely on the staff at a specific location. It's unfortunate that some are so poorly managed, but since some are avoid them & go to an independant or some other chain with a good reptuation in your area. It seems an overstatement for a person who's had a bad experience at one location to say ABC&E is a complete rip off when there are many other locations out there.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Get a Real O.D.

AUTHOR: Sarah - (U.S.A.)

I have read many of the complaints on here, Not just about Americas best but other companies as well.. Like most have said if it looks to good to be true then it probably is. I own an optical store in my area and the things I am reading are insane...First of all God only gave you TWO eyes.

Medical advances have not come far enough yet to replace those eyes. You wouldnt take chances with anything else. WHY do that with your eyes!?!?!?

My suggestion, Go to a smaller optical store(NOT a chain store). One thing you will not get is being rushed in and out in 15 minutes. The doctors will sit down and discuss any of your concerns, not to mention checking not just your vision but your eye health as well.

They take the time to look for things like Glaucoma,Macular degeneration, Retinal Detachments etc. etc. Yes you may pay more but the service and quality of products would be far superior than losing your precious sight!!! Places like America's Best,Lenscrafters,Pearle Vision etc all have INDEPENDENT doctors of Optometry, Which means they do NOT own the store nor have an invested interest in it.

You could see one doctor one year and another the next. And the problem with that?! They dont remember your name, what your problems may have been etc. Going to a private store has its many benefits. First of all when it comes to your glasses.

You will get frames with excellent warranties. Better lenses, better service and a much better eye exam. Corporate stores are all about Money once they have that they could care less about you. Something else I thought Id pass along. Most people have NO idea that they have vision coverage under their health insurance. I would look into that as an option to help offset the prices you may pay.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Never a Problem

AUTHOR: Ruth - (U.S.A.)

I have been a customer of ABC&E for more than 10 years in the Pittsburgh Pa. Area...because I have moved around the city alot I have used a few of their locations...I can't recall even one time that someone was rude or unhelpful and the offices were always clean and in order, and I have never had an incorrect perscription. The doctors have always been professional and have always answered any questions that I may have had.

I do subscribe to their 5 year eyecare club and think it is a great offer! My family all have poor eyesight and have been seeing eyecare specialist most of our lives I feel that the care that I have received at ABC&E has been just as good or better than any of the other "private" practices that I have been to..

I guess it still boils down to "it all a matter of opinion!" and mine happens to be a good one....thanks Americas Best keep up the good work.
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#6 Consumer Comment

I too was a victim at the Rock Hill, SC location

AUTHOR: Kim - (U.S.A.)

I had went for the first eye exam and was given some contacts to try. Well I called them back three days later saying my prescription was not correct. My vision was blurry and I can bearly read black and white writting. I went back in and saw a different doctor and explained to him my situation. He rechecked my eyes and said my prescription had changed (within three days?). He said that my prescription was too strong and that now my vision is the same in both eyes. I said okay, he then gave me another pair of contacts and the same thing happened again. My vision was still blurred and I could barely read things on paper, I could barely make out faces. I then decided that I was not going back there because obviousely they could not get my prescription right. I thought it was me, I bought all kinds of cleaner and solution hopeing it will clear up the blurrs, but iti didn't. I decided instead of wasting anymore time and money I would go see another eye doctor. Dr Musler at lenscrafters had no problem getting me the correct prescription. He also told he that they had me in the wrong type of contact for some one who has astigmatism, which they knew I had. I will never go back there again and Iwarning anyone else who's even thinking about it go the America's Best. The prices seem great but you pay for it in the end!
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#7 Consumer Comment

America's Best is truly the best....

AUTHOR: Carol - (U.S.A.)

I can understand one persons response to poor service. But honestly how many times have the folks at the local McDonald's messed up an order, were rude, or digusted you in some way? You still go back don't you? I have been an ABC&E for more than 5 years. I was thrilled when they explained to me the benefits of the 'Club'. Since joining I have made it a point to go have my eyes checked and rechecked at least 3 times per year!! That's value! If it were not for this I would go maybe once every 2 years! I had an eye problems one month, turns out it was an eye infection. A single trip to my regular doctor could have cost as much as $100!!! This trip, zero!! I have replaced my lenses for my expensive frames only once for a mere $50, as opposed to the hundreds it would have cost for one of the 1 hour places! Dr. Johnson of the Northlake store has always been friendly and professional! There is no where else I would rather take my family for the care of their eyes!
Thank you America's Best for making the health of my eyes inexpensive!
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#8 Consumer Comment

America's Best is truly the best....

AUTHOR: Carol - (U.S.A.)

I can understand one persons response to poor service. But honestly how many times have the folks at the local McDonald's messed up an order, were rude, or digusted you in some way? You still go back don't you? I have been an ABC&E for more than 5 years. I was thrilled when they explained to me the benefits of the 'Club'. Since joining I have made it a point to go have my eyes checked and rechecked at least 3 times per year!! That's value! If it were not for this I would go maybe once every 2 years! I had an eye problems one month, turns out it was an eye infection. A single trip to my regular doctor could have cost as much as $100!!! This trip, zero!! I have replaced my lenses for my expensive frames only once for a mere $50, as opposed to the hundreds it would have cost for one of the 1 hour places! Dr. Johnson of the Northlake store has always been friendly and professional! There is no where else I would rather take my family for the care of their eyes!
Thank you America's Best for making the health of my eyes inexpensive!
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#9 Consumer Comment

America's Best is truly the best....

AUTHOR: Carol - (U.S.A.)

I can understand one persons response to poor service. But honestly how many times have the folks at the local McDonald's messed up an order, were rude, or digusted you in some way? You still go back don't you? I have been an ABC&E for more than 5 years. I was thrilled when they explained to me the benefits of the 'Club'. Since joining I have made it a point to go have my eyes checked and rechecked at least 3 times per year!! That's value! If it were not for this I would go maybe once every 2 years! I had an eye problems one month, turns out it was an eye infection. A single trip to my regular doctor could have cost as much as $100!!! This trip, zero!! I have replaced my lenses for my expensive frames only once for a mere $50, as opposed to the hundreds it would have cost for one of the 1 hour places! Dr. Johnson of the Northlake store has always been friendly and professional! There is no where else I would rather take my family for the care of their eyes!
Thank you America's Best for making the health of my eyes inexpensive!
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#10 Consumer Comment

America's Best is truly the best....

AUTHOR: Carol - (U.S.A.)

I can understand one persons response to poor service. But honestly how many times have the folks at the local McDonald's messed up an order, were rude, or digusted you in some way? You still go back don't you? I have been an ABC&E for more than 5 years. I was thrilled when they explained to me the benefits of the 'Club'. Since joining I have made it a point to go have my eyes checked and rechecked at least 3 times per year!! That's value! If it were not for this I would go maybe once every 2 years! I had an eye problems one month, turns out it was an eye infection. A single trip to my regular doctor could have cost as much as $100!!! This trip, zero!! I have replaced my lenses for my expensive frames only once for a mere $50, as opposed to the hundreds it would have cost for one of the 1 hour places! Dr. Johnson of the Northlake store has always been friendly and professional! There is no where else I would rather take my family for the care of their eyes!
Thank you America's Best for making the health of my eyes inexpensive!
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

What do you expect

AUTHOR: Rick - (U.S.A.)

Well it seems that most of you have had problems with Americas Best

As an independent provider of Eyecare in Maryland I just have to say that you all deserve what you get.

While saving money is good, proper health care is better. A independent, while charging more , will give you hand holding care, as I do.

As far as the product you are buying.As consumers we learn to look for the lowest price. This is not a bad thing, except in this case. Contact lenses are a no profit item for the eyecare provider, including Americas Best. Most contact lenses sold today have a profit margin between $2.00 - $5.00 . As with most 2 weel lenses ie: Acuvue, the cost ranges from $15.00 to $19.00 wholsale so you can see its not a big money maker. As far as eyeglasses, there is more profit, so that is where we make our money,but a pair of glasses retailing for $49.00 is just that a pair of glasses WORTH $49.00 , there is no free lunch here. The frame which was bought by the one writer, most likely was a old closeout, which was purchased for less than a buck!

So with all this in mind, how could the hire good help!

Next time seek out an independent! Save money on that cup of Starbucks , not your vision!

Regards
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

What do you expect

AUTHOR: Rick - (U.S.A.)

Well it seems that most of you have had problems with Americas Best

As an independent provider of Eyecare in Maryland I just have to say that you all deserve what you get.

While saving money is good, proper health care is better. A independent, while charging more , will give you hand holding care, as I do.

As far as the product you are buying.As consumers we learn to look for the lowest price. This is not a bad thing, except in this case. Contact lenses are a no profit item for the eyecare provider, including Americas Best. Most contact lenses sold today have a profit margin between $2.00 - $5.00 . As with most 2 weel lenses ie: Acuvue, the cost ranges from $15.00 to $19.00 wholsale so you can see its not a big money maker. As far as eyeglasses, there is more profit, so that is where we make our money,but a pair of glasses retailing for $49.00 is just that a pair of glasses WORTH $49.00 , there is no free lunch here. The frame which was bought by the one writer, most likely was a old closeout, which was purchased for less than a buck!

So with all this in mind, how could the hire good help!

Next time seek out an independent! Save money on that cup of Starbucks , not your vision!

Regards
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#13 Consumer Suggestion

What do you expect

AUTHOR: Rick - (U.S.A.)

Well it seems that most of you have had problems with Americas Best

As an independent provider of Eyecare in Maryland I just have to say that you all deserve what you get.

While saving money is good, proper health care is better. A independent, while charging more , will give you hand holding care, as I do.

As far as the product you are buying.As consumers we learn to look for the lowest price. This is not a bad thing, except in this case. Contact lenses are a no profit item for the eyecare provider, including Americas Best. Most contact lenses sold today have a profit margin between $2.00 - $5.00 . As with most 2 weel lenses ie: Acuvue, the cost ranges from $15.00 to $19.00 wholsale so you can see its not a big money maker. As far as eyeglasses, there is more profit, so that is where we make our money,but a pair of glasses retailing for $49.00 is just that a pair of glasses WORTH $49.00 , there is no free lunch here. The frame which was bought by the one writer, most likely was a old closeout, which was purchased for less than a buck!

So with all this in mind, how could the hire good help!

Next time seek out an independent! Save money on that cup of Starbucks , not your vision!

Regards
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#14 Consumer Suggestion

What do you expect

AUTHOR: Rick - (U.S.A.)

Well it seems that most of you have had problems with Americas Best

As an independent provider of Eyecare in Maryland I just have to say that you all deserve what you get.

While saving money is good, proper health care is better. A independent, while charging more , will give you hand holding care, as I do.

As far as the product you are buying.As consumers we learn to look for the lowest price. This is not a bad thing, except in this case. Contact lenses are a no profit item for the eyecare provider, including Americas Best. Most contact lenses sold today have a profit margin between $2.00 - $5.00 . As with most 2 weel lenses ie: Acuvue, the cost ranges from $15.00 to $19.00 wholsale so you can see its not a big money maker. As far as eyeglasses, there is more profit, so that is where we make our money,but a pair of glasses retailing for $49.00 is just that a pair of glasses WORTH $49.00 , there is no free lunch here. The frame which was bought by the one writer, most likely was a old closeout, which was purchased for less than a buck!

So with all this in mind, how could the hire good help!

Next time seek out an independent! Save money on that cup of Starbucks , not your vision!

Regards
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#15 Consumer Comment

Headaches?

AUTHOR: Tiffany - ()

I have been using Americas Best since I was 15 and not once did anyone recommend that I have my pupils dialated. Because I was a child and my parents could not afford the other places, I was forced to go there.

Not only did the $49 dollar frames look horrible, but because they didn't do a thorough examination, my prescription sucks! The lens always pop out, my headaches are horrible, and looking down makes me sick to the stomach.

I won't be going back there because they are just as expensive as the others but without maximum professionalism, customer service, and punctuality. I would not dare buying contacts from them either.
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#16 Consumer Comment

Reply to somewhere else

AUTHOR: Tim - ()

I felt like I was herded through Americas Best like cattle, but when I was finished at least I felt like I received the correct prescrition.

I went to Nationwide Vision and it took them four times to finally get my glasses order correct and two times to get my contacts correct. With my glasses I still don't feel the prescription is right. I would highly recomend staying away from them.

Good Luck,
Tim Sturtevant
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#17 Consumer Comment

America's Worst Contacts in Maryland too!

AUTHOR: Jim - ()

I have been a member of America's Best Contacts and Eyeglasses for six years, and have only visited the Rockville, Maryland location. My first five years of membership were bearable considering the potential savings on contact lenses. The lines were always long and every employee I came in contact with were EXTREMELY RUDE. Regardless, the prices were consistent throughout the five years and the doctors appeared to be qualified.

What a difference a year makes. Within the first year, the prices for my contacts jumped from $20.00 to almost $45.00 (inflation?!). The brand I use is America's Best's own generic product, manufactured by them- do they want us to believe that they're paying for a mark-up on their own brand? They're surely not paying more for their brainless employees.

But what matters most is the professionalism of the doctors at America's Best. My past two eye exams at the Rockville, Maryland location were rushed and the doctor even seemed confused using some of the equipment. When I put my new contacts in, they were extremely uncomfortable and something seemed wrong with them. After comparing the new vials with some older ones, I realized they had prescribed the wrong diameter lenses. This error would have been avoided if the "doctor" had taken an extra second to review my history of six years-detailing the correct diameter for my eyes.

America's Best Contacts and Eyeglasses need to drastically overhaul their Maryland location. They are NOT selling shoes! They are irresponsibly examining the most vital of senses and rushing you out the door with overpriced contacts. Their customer service is terrible, how thorough can a corporate office be if the level of poor service has remained unchanged for six years? I will take my business elsewhere.
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#18 Consumer Comment

Overexaggeration ..Although I did experience some problems

AUTHOR: Julie - ()

I have been with America's Best for over 10 years and have never experienced "a five-second" eye exam. I think that person exaggerated just a little too much.

Although I did experience some problems with the downtown Chicago area office, which included rudeness and no express shipping, I made a choice to move to another office.

I have never seen any of the offices, even the downtown area, filthy or dirty. They are always clean and sanitary.

I am more than satisfied with the service I have received over the years and the 5 year contract is more than satisfactory. I guess it all depends on your opinion and I have submitted mine. I would gladly return and in fact, I have a Saturday appointment to have my eyes checked.
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#19 Consumer Comment

I challenge you to find better prices for a 5 year time period.

AUTHOR: Chris - ()

As a customer of America's Best for the last 5 years, I also am a member of the CLUB. Yes I did sign a contract, but I also read the contract and it was made clear that prices are subject to change (with an inflating economy.,genius!) But I was assured that they would be the lowest available price for my lenses. I challenge anyone to beat that CLUB for the benefits it offers. FREE unlimited exams, what's better than FREE? also I get discounts on glasses. If I didn't go to America's Best for the last 5 years I can only assume that I would have paid A LOT more than the minimal fee I paid for the club. My doctor there has always been quick but efficient, (It takes me 5 seconds to get in his office) and about 8-10 minutes for the exam. He already knows my medical history from the last 5 years so no need to spend 1/2 hour with me.
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#20 Consumer Comment

Let the Buyer Beware

AUTHOR: Paul - ()

I found this site because I was looking for the nearest ABC&E office since there is not one in my immediate area. I have been a customer of both the Mesa, AZ and the Little Rock, AR offices.

Yes, I have had long waits. No, I have not been a victim of a bait and switch. I have not been in a dirty facility with rude staff.

Response to replacing lost contact lenses has been satisfactory i.e. checking on status, shipping via FedEx.

I have never felt any pressure from office staff or doctors to buy any certain type of frame or package.

The bottom line on this and similar situations is you must read the fine print first, ask questions as you go along, assume nothing and be willing to walk out if you are not satisfied.

The consumer's motto should be, "If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is." However, you can take a situation that seems to be to good to be true and use it to your advantage if you follow the above steps.
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