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:
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.
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.
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.
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Eye Glass World