• Report: #108978

Complaint Review: Lenscrafters

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  • Submitted: Sat, September 18, 2004
  • Updated: Fri, November 18, 2011

  • Reported By:Ashland Massachusetts
Lenscrafters
Route 9 Natick, Massachusetts U.S.A.

Lenscrafters just bad business. They are very slick with a nice store. Premature Planned Product Obsolence Natick Massachusetts

*UPDATE Employee: Protect Your OWN Investment

*UPDATE Employee: Why you ask, am I still here

*UPDATE Employee: Why you ask, am I still here

*UPDATE Employee: Why you ask, am I still here

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Tim is right

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Lenscrafter's is like the twilight zone of opticals

*UPDATE Employee: LensCrafters employee

*UPDATE Employee: Here is the real truth

*UPDATE Employee: Wording could have been better, but service was fine

*Consumer Comment: I guess they've changed their policies.

*UPDATE Employee: In response...

*Author of original report: Customer Service the tradeoff between "their numbers" and "customer satisfaction".

*Consumer Comment: Not to discount your impression...

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I purchased a pair of glasses from Lenscrafters 1 year and 3 days ago. The bow (side peice) broke, so I went to buy another.

I was told:

1. Lenscrafters does not stock bows for frames, nor will they order them. If this part breaks out of warrantee, the customer is expected to purchase an entire new set of frames.

2. They are aware that some other optical shops deal with replacing parts, but Lenscrafters does not.

3. The clerk looked at my record and stated "It's only out of warrantee 2 days, so we'll take care of you anyhow" ... and then told me she would sell me a new pair of frames or complete glasses for 50% of full retail. This prices represents a very modest discount over the AAA discount, and still represents a profitable sale to Lenscrafters - so it was not as if they were really doing me a favor.

Although I do not expect warrantees to be extended beyond the stated term, I found the "well take of you anyhow" (implying an extension) followed by quoting of a modest discount to be a tactic unworthy of a professional operation.

4. The clerk had the attitude that it was completely reasonable to tell a customer that they would not stock or order parts on a product, because they covered the first year with a full warrantee against breakage. It was as if I was being unreasonable expecting to maintain the glasses to obtain a service life greater than one year.

I was "stuck" because these were "house brand" frames I could not expect find elswhere.

I bought a new set of glasses from a small optical shop which had a brand I can find at many shops, and there are even web based vendors selling parts so this will not happen again.

I am not alleging unlawful conduct on the part of Lenscrafters - just bad business. They are very slick with a nice store, polite staff, as many "sales and specials" as your typical "nothing under 50% off jewelery store" - but when it comes down to it, they apparantly consider stocking parts to work against their desire to "replace rather than repair."

Robert
Ashland, Massachusetts
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/18/2004 05:58 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Lenscrafters/Natick-Massachusetts-01760/Lenscrafters-just-bad-business-They-are-very-slick-with-a-nice-store-Premature-Planned-P-108978. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 13Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Protect Your OWN Investment

AUTHOR: Falecia0810 - (U.S.A.)

First off, it's called a "temple piece", not a "BOW" and these items are NOT stocked. As an adult, you are expected to treat "pricey" items with care (because you know better) OR make a wise decision and purchase some sort of protection plan for your investment. It is ridiculous that ADULTS come in and purchase 500/600 dollar glasses, but doesn't want to purchase a 29.99 protection plan. The company is NOT in the business of giving away FREE glasses! Secondly, NOOOOO optical retail chains sells "spare" parts! That depends on the brand of frames. Some vendors offer that option and it's usually up to the optical store whether or not they want to charge the customer. Thirdly, the warranty is more like insurance. There is a company that Lenscrafters outsources to provide insurance on the eye-wear that they sell, much like Asurion does with cell phone companies. If that warranty is honored outside of that period, the store will NOT be reimbursed and you will have just gotten free glasses...UHHH NEGATIVE! And really...the clerk had an "attitude" about not wanting to help you (in so many words)??? It was beyond their control! You people kill me. You want the world handed to you for your negligence. We don't know what you do to your glasses outside of that store. It's not our job to babysit an ADULT while they wear their glasses! Get over yourself! Furthermore, IT IS A BUSINESS!!! People are so ridiculous when it comes to getting new glasses that if the company stocked replacement parts, it would CLEARLY turn into a repair chop shop. I don't care what anyone says, if you take proper care of your glasses,  they will last a fair amount of time. I hear this type of malarkey day in and day out...obviously the company has been successful for a reason and I doubt that reason has anything to do with "running off customers"
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Why you ask, am I still here

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

I am still working for the company because I enjoy doing what I do. Being able to help people see, to troubleshoot why everything is blurry, the interaction with the patients. Schooling also plays a part in it, I paid pretty good money to get where I am today.

Unfortunately, Luxottica owns practically EVERYTHING. So there is no place TO GO per say. As for the pay, nah, I can't say that I stay for that either, it's just a mere 11.17 an hour. So again, it has to be that I enjoy what I do, god does it have to be.

I think you states it pretty well in your reponse. THEY PROTECT THOSE WHO RESPECT THEM. And those of us who don't are out the door. Sometime soon I expect the axe will fall on me, as I am sure you have already called corporate and they are working on hunting me down.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Why you ask, am I still here

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

I am still working for the company because I enjoy doing what I do. Being able to help people see, to troubleshoot why everything is blurry, the interaction with the patients. Schooling also plays a part in it, I paid pretty good money to get where I am today.

Unfortunately, Luxottica owns practically EVERYTHING. So there is no place TO GO per say. As for the pay, nah, I can't say that I stay for that either, it's just a mere 11.17 an hour. So again, it has to be that I enjoy what I do, god does it have to be.

I think you states it pretty well in your reponse. THEY PROTECT THOSE WHO RESPECT THEM. And those of us who don't are out the door. Sometime soon I expect the axe will fall on me, as I am sure you have already called corporate and they are working on hunting me down.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Why you ask, am I still here

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

I am still working for the company because I enjoy doing what I do. Being able to help people see, to troubleshoot why everything is blurry, the interaction with the patients. Schooling also plays a part in it, I paid pretty good money to get where I am today.

Unfortunately, Luxottica owns practically EVERYTHING. So there is no place TO GO per say. As for the pay, nah, I can't say that I stay for that either, it's just a mere 11.17 an hour. So again, it has to be that I enjoy what I do, god does it have to be.

I think you states it pretty well in your reponse. THEY PROTECT THOSE WHO RESPECT THEM. And those of us who don't are out the door. Sometime soon I expect the axe will fall on me, as I am sure you have already called corporate and they are working on hunting me down.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Tim is right

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

Lenscrafters has one goal - profit. I also worked for this company, and while they treat their employees okay (benefits etc.) customer service AFTER the sale is of little importance.

I was an Optician in the military for several years. After retiring I went to work for Lenscrafters. I no longer work for this company as employees were encouraged, pushed, bullied and pressured into selling products customers did not need - solely to allow company profit and managerial bonuses.

As example, I began working for Lenscrafters when "no-line" or "hidden" bifocals entered the market. There was enormous pressure to sell these to ANYONE who wore bifocals. Early in this market available lenses were very difficult to adjust to, especially for those who had been wearing standard bifocals for several years. Nevertheless, we were constantly pressured to sell these lenses. I finally quit after an 80 year old grandmother, who had been wearing standard lenses for over 35 years, fell and injured herself as a result of being "switched" to "better" lenses. Management's comment "Well we do warn customers of an adjustment period". This woman should NEVER have been offered or sold these lenses.

Additionally "scratch resistant" coating is somewhat of a farce. At that time scratch resistant coated lenses were sold for an additional cost. Unbeknownst to the customer there was not a SINGLE lens in the stockroom available that was not scratch coated by the manufacturer. Therefore, if you declined the scratch coating option, you STILL received the scratch coated lenses. I would not be suprised if this were still the case.

The prices you pay at Lenscrafters are astronomical, and their initial marketing strategy of "glasses in one hour" is so widespread through other companies now it is unfeasible for them to justify their pricing. I helped open several new stores for Lenscrafters and cost vs retail for the frames alone indicates a typical markup for this company of several hundred percent. This includes commercially available frames - the Luxotica brands have an even higher profit margin.

When shopping for eyeglasses keep in mind the average optical shop applies a 2.5 time mark up to a good quality frame and lenses. If the lenses cost the practice $120 and the frame costs the practice $70 the retail on the glasses would be approximately $475. This sale after the cost of goods will yield the practice $285. This industry is not losing money.

You are much better off going to a small, well established optical shop with a long track record in your community and waiting more than one hour for your glasses to be produced. With smaller shops you get better service as their repeat business relies on not only this factor but customer referrals as well.

A final note - frames were never meant to be taken off by grasping the temple and pulling them from one side. This is precisely why temples and frames become loose. It doesn't matter the quality or cost of the frame, if you remove your glasses in this manner they will become loose. Grasp instead the bridge (nosepiece) and pull forward from the center to remove the glasses. If you have very poor vision - buy a second pair. It need not be the latest or most fashionable frame with all the bells and whistles, however, you will have something to wear while waiting for your primary glasses to be repaired or replaced.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Lenscrafter's is like the twilight zone of opticals

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

To all of the people who have posted comments on this topic...

I have been an optician for about five years. I've worked for many companies, including for a short time, Lenscrafters. I know this industry inside and out and I've got to say that while Lenscrafter's is not the worst place to buy your glasses, it's pretty close to the bottom. Also, while it's not the worst place to work, it's again, pretty close to the bottom.

I do not work for Lenscrafters anymore, I was consistently insulted by the pompous, self important corporate bozos, and the fact that as an Optician at Lenscrafter's, I was not allowed to be a real optician! Case in point, the Scotchgard Lens. Don't jump the gun, all of you out there that work for LC, I loved that lens! It's one of the best on the market. However, LC corporate will tell you that it's the first of it's kind and it's not available anywhere else. This is simply not true. The technology used in that lens coating is commonly referred to as Easy Care AR. It's anti-reflective, scratch resistant, hydrophobic and oleophobic (Resists oil and water). It also features and anti-static factor that repels dust and dirt. I won't get into the chemistry of it or Lenscrafter's would fire anyone who reads it 'cause you'd 'know to much'. Problem is that the first coating of this type came out two years earlier, was made by American Optical and was and is called Teflon Easy Care AR. A few months later Essilor released Crizal Alize. A dozen other smaller companies now make lenses that are exactly the same as ScotchGard from Lenscrafters. They also use three different types of progressive lenses and fit them all exactly the same way (even though their fitting requirements are quite different)leading to lot's of Progressive Non-Adapts, which is a shame, because progressives are very easy for patients (not customers, I quit LC after being reprimanded for referring to the people we served as patients and not as customers)to use, when fitted correctly. Basically if you work at LC you are forced to believe everything you are told, if you argue, even when science or simple common knowledge are on your side, you will be pushed out the door.

As for their warrantly policy, it's pretty stupid. Most patient's don't understand it and neither do I. First of all, any name brand frame sold at LC is available pretty much anywhere else, usually at a lower price. LC is owned by The Luxottica group which does produce most of the frames sold in the stores. What never made sense to me is that If a patient buys a Luxottica brand frame at a private practice, they automatically have a 1 year no-cost free replacement warranty on that frame. But if you by the same frame from LC, who made it, you have to pay 50% to replace it. Stupid, and bad business. As for the aforementioned Scotchgard lens, you would have the same warranty for that as the frames, 50%. Or you can go to any private practice, buy a lens with similar, or identical features (Crizal Alize with Clearguard is the identical lens to Scotchgard, just named differently, both made by Essilor)Pay less money for it, and get a two year free replacement warranty.

Lenscrafter's is a joke, there's a reason why it's referred to most often as LensCrapper's. You go in, you pay twice what you would anywhere else and in an hour you get a nice expensive piece of crap.

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#7 UPDATE Employee

LensCrafters employee

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

This message is mostly for Janet who thinks she is an expert. First of all LensCrafters is a good company to work for. They protect those who respect them. I started with LensCrafters 13 years ago. I have a 401K that matches 100% up to 3% and a pention plan. Now, not all LensCrafters doctors are independent. Some ARE owned by LensCrafters and our prices are the same as other companies that produce quality like LensCrafters. Janet, if you do not like who you work for please leave. What keeps you here? The better pay? The benefits? Why would you talk like this?
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#8 UPDATE Employee

Here is the real truth

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

Lenscrafetrs does have a great 30 day return policy. If for ANY reason you want to return your glasses in the first 30 days after picking them up, by all means do so. 100% of the purchase price will be given back.

NOW, comes the fun part. What we at Lenscrafters calls the BPP.....Breakage Protection Policy. In short it says that if anything happens to your frame and/or lenses as far as breakage is concerned in the first year... we will replace them at 50% off the retail price.

So unfortunately for the consumer, if it breaks you do have to pay. I know most places that wont even offer that. If it breaks, it breaks. On the flip side, I also know of places that offer a FREE replacement in the first year for the frames if it breaks. It all depends on where you go.

As for replacement parts. Good luck. The store I work for USED to have temples that we would occasionally use to replace broken ones etc. The corporate honchos found out and IMMEDIATELY put the hammer down and we had to get rid of them. What about replacement frames you ask. Another big GOOD LUCK. Lenscrafters does not have a system with which we can check to see if another store has a certain style of frame. If the particular store you are at has it, GREAT, if not, sorry. Up until about two weeks ago we would call other stores in our Region/distict to possibly locate one. Again, corporate nixed it. Actually sent out a company wide memo stating no more.

Lenscrafters will only offer a select few styles from a very narrow margin of manufacturers.....most of which Luxottica either owns or has investments in.

Bottom line, if you NEED your glasses in an hour and can afford the price...Lenscrafters is the place. If you can wait, and want to save money and get the same lenses, go elsewhere.

By the way. The doctors that are in each Lenscrafters are independently owned and operated. We have no control over their pricing, policies etc. You are not required to only fill your prescription at Lenscrafters. Just like any other place, you may take that RX and have it filled anywhere you would like.

Also, if you want to cause havoc at a lenscrafters. Keep walking in and out of their entrance. Inside each door is a traffic counter that counts every person who walks in. From that number it converts the daily/weekly sales into a number that each store gets graded on. The more you walk in and out, or just move your hand up and down in front of the light sensor, the more the managers head will begin to explode. Try it, see if they kick you out.
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#9 UPDATE Employee

Wording could have been better, but service was fine

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

The person who handled the original poster's transaction could have worded what she said in a more polite manner.

She could have said, "I'm sorry we don't keep temples in stock, but I'd be happy to extend the warranty of your glasses and replace the frame for half the cost." She didn't, and that's unfortunate.

Because of the wide variety of frames available at Lenscrafters, it would be difficult to keep specific temples in stock for such occassions. Styles change, and temple issues generally happen down the road.

To say that the associate was not doing you a favor is being a bit cruel. She DID extend the warranty, even if you don't think HALF off the cost is a good deal (although I do- that's our employee discount).

AAA is only 30%. Most people jump at 50% off sales, so saying it's a modest discount seems a bit much to me. In general, Lenscrafters employees really are dedicated to their jobs and truly believe in their products and the services they provide.

As for the person who didn't like the fact that they wouldn't sell him glasses on an old prescription- This is to protect both you and the licensed optician who approves the sale. If your prescription is not up-to-date, your glasses might not be providing the vision correction that you need.

If your prescription had changed and you had gotten into an accident as a result, the optician could be sued for not protecting your vision (and therefore your safety). The policy has been changed so that your prescription must be current before you can buy new glasses. A pharmacist won't sell you medicine for an expired prescription, and an optician won't either.

I also hope you weren't told you HAD to go to the doctor next door and that it was suggested that you go to the doctor next door for convenience. That's not company policy, and I'm pretty sure it's against the law. The customer service has not "gone to hell." If anything, it has gone up to protect your vision and health.
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#10 Consumer Comment

I guess they've changed their policies.

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

Years ago I returned my broken glasses to lenscrafters and they repaired them on the spot, and I also bought a new pair of sunglasses using the prescription they kept on record.
Last month, I did the same thing, but this time they told me they didn't replace lenses on the very glasses they had sold me earlier, and said I couldn't get glasses unless I had an eye exam performed by the shop next door, for an additional fee of $95. Also, they only had two other frames that would fit, and they looked like crap. I walked out and won't return. Their customer service has gone to hell.
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#11 UPDATE Employee

In response...

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

Hey, I'm an employee at a lenscrafters and I can tell you from experience that we are not allowed to raplace parts other than like screws, temple pieces and nosepads. We do not get in replacement parts and would therefore have to take them off of glasses set aside for gift of sight (glasses that people have donated because they no longer wear them to go to people overseas who have poor eyesight.) Do you really want a used temple?? Also, on the 50 % discount that you recieved, that is the policy for the one-year warranty. So they did extend the warranty for you. Instead of complaining, you should be thankful you didn't have to pay full price. One of my aunts went to a competitor for her glasses a couple of months ago and she not only paid more for her glasses, but once she paid and they placed them on her face, they were hers to keep forever, no return/exchange policy whatsoever.
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#12 Author of original report

Customer Service the tradeoff between "their numbers" and "customer satisfaction".

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

If I had been treated as Darren was, I too would be singing praises of Lenscrafters.

The part in question is, by its nature, easily replaced if spares parts are available. The fact that the Lenscrafters Darren went to had to raid the part off another pair of frames is consistent with (but does not prove) what I was told about them "not stocking parts".

I guess it all depends on the individual store, and the choices their staff makes regarding the tradeoff between "their numbers" and "customer satisfaction".
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#13 Consumer Comment

Not to discount your impression...

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

Robert,
I don't want to say that you are wrong with what you percieve as the issue with Lenscrafters... that is a value judgement and each is entitled to them. I don't know if a 50% discount is typical or was an actual good faith offer.

For me... my son got his first pair of glasses over a year ago and we had to take them in on a weekly basis because he continually broke them. Each time the technicians were wonderful.

They never asked for a receipt or proof of purchase from their store. They always would have a line of people waiting to get their glasses fixed for free. I would sometimes see one salesperson and two people fixing/adjusting people's glasses. That is a huge committment to their customers, I thought.

Each time the fixed them, adjusted them, cleaned them and made sure my son had a glass case (give/offered freely).

He finally got used to taking care of his glasses and we were fine for about a year. Last week the part that goes over the ear broke. When I took it in they again didn't ask if we bought it there or anything else.

They found a new pair of glasses with a similar part, took off that part and put them on my son's glasses. $20 to fix them.

Personally, I always tell people that the Lenscrafters I go to is the perfect example of long term relationship versus short term profit.

I would have to say that just by the nature of the design, somethings can be easily replaced and some can't.
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