• Report: #69224

Complaint Review: Eyeglass World

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  • Submitted: Wed, October 15, 2003
  • Updated: Wed, October 15, 2003

  • Reported By:Orlando Florida
Eyeglass World
3808 E. Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 Orlando, Florida U.S.A.
  • Phone: 407-894-7533
  • Web:
  • Category: Eye Care

Eyeglass World How I'm fighting Eyeglass World Ideas you might use. ripoff Orlando Florida

*Author of original report: Letter to Florida Attorney General

*Author of original report: 11,667 per month payment to WFTV given by Lou Pearlman of Trans Continental Talent

*Author of original report: 11,667 per month payment to WFTV given by Lou Pearlman of Trans Continental Talent

*Author of original report: 11,667 per month payment to WFTV given by Lou Pearlman of Trans Continental Talent

*Author of original report: 11,667 per month payment to WFTV given by Lou Pearlman of Trans Continental Talent

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THE UNHAPPY (STANDARD) EYEGLASS WORLD EXPERIENCE
My unhappy, frustrating and expensive experience began about a year ago. I won't burden the reader with all of the details, but my experience followed very closely the pattern of the other RipOff Reports.

The eye exam and RX eventually proved to be wrong, with the result that I couldn't use the glasses. A second Eyeglass World Optometrist insisted that the RX was fine. A third, independent optometrist found obvious errors in the RX.

The glasses delivered only after many phone calls and visits to the store -- several weeks after the promised date.

I insisted on a refund about two weeks after the promised delivery date(the work on making the lenses had not begun) and was refused.

The new glasses were delivered with the bifocals cut to two different sizes (stupid), one lens was cut too small and fell out of the frame with the slightest bump -- and they ruined the frames that I had provided.

My vision with the new Eyeglass World lenses was far worse than with my old, five year old glasses. Then, as if all that was not bad enough, Eyeglass World Customer Service from their West Palm Beach headquarters had the gall to call and solicit a statement from about how wonderful everything was and how satisfied I was. I gave the lady an earful!

THE FIGHT BEGINS
TV PUBLICITY -- CONSUMER REPORTING.
Just like the rest of you, I searched the internet and was astounded at the complaints and the pattern of scamming customers. Next step I started printing out everything I could find about Eyeglass World, made sever sets of copies and assembled a package for the three network affiliated TV stations. I mailed these with a cover letter. One station WFTV Orlando, called me back and they opened an investigation. The first report was broadcast 2/28/2003 and the second one on 10/10/2003. You can read the text of this report at:
http://www.wftv.com/money/1972486/detail.html

FILED COMPLAINT WITH FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
An investigation is currently under way regarding unlicensed activity. I discovered that five different Eyeglass World employees had printed out five receipts for me with their names at the bottom and beside their name, the title, Optician. Florida requires that Opticians be licensed. None were licensed. WFTV reporter Todd Ulrich discovered that Florida law requires a licensed optician on the premises all hours that a optical dispensing store is open. We proved in a report broadcast 2/28/03 that Eyeglass World was not staffing the stores with licensed opticians at all times.

FILED COMPLAINT WITH THE FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL
I sent a letter to the Attorney General Investigators requesting that Eyeglass World be investigated for racketeering violations of the RICO Statute. On 10/10/2003 the Attorney General confirmed to WFTV reporter Todd Ulrich that an investigation has been opened. That investigation will most likely (in the opinion of this writer) be looking for racketeering violations.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON NOW.
One question has haunted me from the beginning of my research. How has this company gotten away with it for so long? I think I know the answer. Money talks! They have corrupted the usual watchdogs of the public good. The newspapers, TV stations and the BBB.

NEWSPAPERS
In every Sunday Orlando Sentinel Eyeglass World has an advertising insert that is 8 tabloid pages in size. I don't know what that costs per week, but I can easily imagine that the bill for that advertising could be $10,000 or more per week. At $10,000/week, that would be more than $5,000,000 per year. (Perhaps someone can determine that and add it to this report.) Examining this weeks ad, I noticed a curious thing. A substantial amount of the information is, in my opinion, unnecessarily repeated. I'm a former business owner and legitimate businesses do not inflate their advertising bill. I think that half of that of that advertising insert is advertising (in this case, suckerbait) and the other half is to buy favorable treatment by the newspaper. Hush Money! Supporting that conclusion, in my search of the Orlando Sentinel's archive I found that from 1985 to the present -- 18 years -- the Sentinel has run only ONE article about Eyeglass World in spite of it's deplorable consumer record. Money Talks!

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU
According to the Eyeglass World website there 60 Eyeglass World locations in the U.S. Only 43 are listed in the BBB national database. There are 8 Eyeglass World locations in the area covered by the Orlando Area BBB. Not one is located in the BBB national database. Last year, several of the Orlando Area Eyeglass World stores were listed. I suspect that the local Eyeglass World stores have joined the BBB and by doing so have conveniently had their locations dropped from the BBB database. Money Talks!

By the way, of the 43 Eyeglass World locations still in the BBB national database, more than 60% have UNSATISFACTORY ratings.

TELEVISION NEWS
This past weekend, Ed Magedson, Ripoff Reports Editor, brought to my attention that WFTV, the very station that was working with me on the Eyeglass World consumer reports was listed on Ripoff Reports for protecting a major scam, in return for an $11,667 monthly payment to the station. The station manager killed several unfavorable reports and the texts of reports already broadcast were removed from public view on the WFTV website. The payments were supposedly made as contributions to WFTV's charitable activities. However, The WFTV website states that $9,600,000 was raised in 2002 and $1,100,000 spent for those charitable purposes. $8,500,000 of the 2002 funds raised was not accounted for. Money talks! Check the Ripoff Report on WFTV.

Updates to follow.

Bill
Orlando, Florida
U.S.A.

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Eye Glass World

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/15/2003 07:29 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Eyeglass-World/Orlando-Florida-32803/Eyeglass-World-How-Im-fighting-Eyeglass-World-Ideas-you-might-use-ripoff-Orlando-Florida-69224. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Letter to Florida Attorney General

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

Following is the text of my letter to the Florida Attorney General.

March 25, 2003

Mr. Stephen Iglesias
Office of the Attorney General
PL-01 Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050

Re: Eyeglass World Investigation

Mr. Iglesias,

Thank you for your call yesterday. After considering Ms. Snell's request that I e-mail the information I have, I decided that it was not practical. As you will see, my file is more than an inch thick.

Since we also discussed my sending you a videotape copy of Todd Ulrich's WFTV Consumer Report on Eyeglass World, I decided to ship my entire file to you.

Along with the videotape and my Eyeglass World file, I'm sending the glasses I got from Eyeglass World. It is not necessary to return the lenses or the frames. The lenses make my vision worse than with my old glasses. The frames were mine and I had EGW mount the lenses in them. They ruined the frames by over tightening a screw when installing one lens. That screw cannot now be removed or turned making the frames useless. Notice also that the left trifocal is substantially larger than the right trifocal. The right side lens easily pops out of the frame -- apparently cut too small for the frame. Probably the work of unqualified and unlicensed people.

On the videotape you'll hear Todd Ulrich mention that I had received a refund from Eyeglass World. I received a refund of $180, the amount they charged to make the lenses -- after five months and after filing a complaint with the Florida Board of Opticianry. I have not been reimbursed for the ruined frames. At the Kissimmee EGW I was quoted $149 as the price of an identical set of frames. They should also refund the $59 I paid to have my eyes examined in their store, since I had to go to another optometrist and get another exam. I also had to buy a new set of frames. They still owe me a total of $208.

I am not a lawyer, but from what I have read about the RICO statute, it sure seems to me that Eyeglass World's business practices would fit the definition of racketeering. EGW complaints reflect false and misleading advertising, shoddy workmanship, systematic defrauding of customers and blatantly ignoring the regulations and laws of the jurisdictions in which they operate. In my file you'll find fifteen consumer complaints from a website, Rip-Off Report.com. Those complaints are from all over the US, including several from Florida. In my opinion, the content of those complaints shows a company-wide effort to deliberately defraud customers. The complaints detailed on Rip-Off Report.com, are very much like my own experience with them.

The Better Business Bureau national website lists forty-one Eyeglass World locations. As of last night the BBB records show twenty-six (63%) with unsatisfactory ratings and only 9 (22%) with satisfactory ratings. In November 2002 it was 55% unsatisfactory. There are many more EGW locations than the BBB national records show -- 83 according to Marco Musa as of 11/2002. I suspect that the company makes a concerted effort to keep their stores off the BBB listings.

Eyeglass World is not just a problem to the consumers of Florida. The company is systematically defrauding consumers nationwide. I hope that at the appropriate time you will invite Federal prosecutors and Federal agencies to participate in your efforts to protect consumers.

Eyeglass World must be shut down nationwide. The owners and top management should be prosecuted and jailed.

Sincerely,
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#2 Author of original report

11,667 per month payment to WFTV given by Lou Pearlman of Trans Continental Talent

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

WFTV clarification

In reading over my report immediately after submission, I realized that I failed to make it clear that the $11,667 per month payment to WFTV was not from Eyeglass World. The reason I included the WFTV story in my report was to illustrate the pervasiveness of the problem of disreputable companies buying favorable treatment. I think it demonstrates that it is quite possible other TV News organizations may have been corrupted by Eyeglass World.

For example, about a year ago I found the website of a South Florida Opthalmologist who had been interviewed by a consumer reporter for a Miami TV station. That story was not broadcast. While he was in Las Vegas on vacation, one evening in his hotel room he was watching the evening news. There was a consumer report about Lasik Vision Institute, owned by the same people that own Eyeglass World. He was surprised to see the tape of his South Florida interview about that same company. He later found that the Miami station had killed his story and the reporter (probably frustrated and angry) had sent the doctor's interview to a station in Las Vegas. It might be very interesting to find out why the story was killed in Miami. Was there some corrupting influence?

I recently I searched the internet to try to find the source website, but was unsuccessful. However, a printout of this story was among the documents I sent to the Florida Attorney General.
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#3 Author of original report

11,667 per month payment to WFTV given by Lou Pearlman of Trans Continental Talent

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

WFTV clarification

In reading over my report immediately after submission, I realized that I failed to make it clear that the $11,667 per month payment to WFTV was not from Eyeglass World. The reason I included the WFTV story in my report was to illustrate the pervasiveness of the problem of disreputable companies buying favorable treatment. I think it demonstrates that it is quite possible other TV News organizations may have been corrupted by Eyeglass World.

For example, about a year ago I found the website of a South Florida Opthalmologist who had been interviewed by a consumer reporter for a Miami TV station. That story was not broadcast. While he was in Las Vegas on vacation, one evening in his hotel room he was watching the evening news. There was a consumer report about Lasik Vision Institute, owned by the same people that own Eyeglass World. He was surprised to see the tape of his South Florida interview about that same company. He later found that the Miami station had killed his story and the reporter (probably frustrated and angry) had sent the doctor's interview to a station in Las Vegas. It might be very interesting to find out why the story was killed in Miami. Was there some corrupting influence?

I recently I searched the internet to try to find the source website, but was unsuccessful. However, a printout of this story was among the documents I sent to the Florida Attorney General.
Respond to this report!
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#4 Author of original report

11,667 per month payment to WFTV given by Lou Pearlman of Trans Continental Talent

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

WFTV clarification

In reading over my report immediately after submission, I realized that I failed to make it clear that the $11,667 per month payment to WFTV was not from Eyeglass World. The reason I included the WFTV story in my report was to illustrate the pervasiveness of the problem of disreputable companies buying favorable treatment. I think it demonstrates that it is quite possible other TV News organizations may have been corrupted by Eyeglass World.

For example, about a year ago I found the website of a South Florida Opthalmologist who had been interviewed by a consumer reporter for a Miami TV station. That story was not broadcast. While he was in Las Vegas on vacation, one evening in his hotel room he was watching the evening news. There was a consumer report about Lasik Vision Institute, owned by the same people that own Eyeglass World. He was surprised to see the tape of his South Florida interview about that same company. He later found that the Miami station had killed his story and the reporter (probably frustrated and angry) had sent the doctor's interview to a station in Las Vegas. It might be very interesting to find out why the story was killed in Miami. Was there some corrupting influence?

I recently I searched the internet to try to find the source website, but was unsuccessful. However, a printout of this story was among the documents I sent to the Florida Attorney General.
Respond to this report!
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#5 Author of original report

11,667 per month payment to WFTV given by Lou Pearlman of Trans Continental Talent

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

WFTV clarification

In reading over my report immediately after submission, I realized that I failed to make it clear that the $11,667 per month payment to WFTV was not from Eyeglass World. The reason I included the WFTV story in my report was to illustrate the pervasiveness of the problem of disreputable companies buying favorable treatment. I think it demonstrates that it is quite possible other TV News organizations may have been corrupted by Eyeglass World.

For example, about a year ago I found the website of a South Florida Opthalmologist who had been interviewed by a consumer reporter for a Miami TV station. That story was not broadcast. While he was in Las Vegas on vacation, one evening in his hotel room he was watching the evening news. There was a consumer report about Lasik Vision Institute, owned by the same people that own Eyeglass World. He was surprised to see the tape of his South Florida interview about that same company. He later found that the Miami station had killed his story and the reporter (probably frustrated and angry) had sent the doctor's interview to a station in Las Vegas. It might be very interesting to find out why the story was killed in Miami. Was there some corrupting influence?

I recently I searched the internet to try to find the source website, but was unsuccessful. However, a printout of this story was among the documents I sent to the Florida Attorney General.
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