• Report: #15073
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Mon, February 25, 2002
  • Updated: Mon, July 27, 2009

  • Reported By:Lebanon CT
Tri City Plaza Vernon, Connecticut U.S.A.
  • Phone: 860-871-9722
  • Web:
  • Category: Opticians

Lenscrafters Coupons Gimmicks Deceive *EDitor's Opinion

*Consumer Suggestion: It's Your Vision, How Many Corners Do You REALLY Want To Cut???

*UPDATE Employee: Read the Disclaimers

*Consumer Comment: Go ONLINE - and Buy Glasses?

*Consumer Suggestion: FTA section 456.2: Separation of examination and dispensing

*UPDATE Employee: Dr's are an INDEPENDENT business

*Consumer Suggestion: Coupons may be a rip-off, the eye exam is NOT!

*Consumer Comment: Read the Fine Print!!!

*Consumer Suggestion: Customer and editor are wrong

*Consumer Comment: Refund Eye Exam??

*Consumer Comment: Too good to be true coupons

*Consumer Comment: The Editor's Response is an Inane Example

*UPDATE Employee: All coupons have restrictions!!!

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Lenscrafters advertised on TV $99. 00 complete pair of eyeglasses.
Their coupons also, in big letters, said the same.
I verbally verified all of this, by phone, when I made my appointment.
I showed up, & showed my coupons. I was charged $50.00 separately for the eye exam. Came time for the eyeglasses, I let the young lady select the cheapest frames. I don't care what the frames look like, I just want to see through the frames. I reminded her of the coupons. My bill said that I had gotten Premium Plastic frames $59.95 (their cheapest frames), & that, after the $60.00 coupon, I still owed $169.93.
I showed all the coupons. It clearly said $99.00 complete pair, any frame
On the next line however, it said up to $60.00 for the frames.
I still was within that scope...
I asked to speak to the supervisor. The person in charge was very YOUNG. She informed me that I still owed $169.93,
after paying the $50.00 eye exam,
& despite the coupon,
I still owed $169.93....... for my $99.00 eyeglasses.
I argued, and we stared at the $99.00 complete pair coupon...
She then proceeded to point out that in tiny prints, it read $129.00 for bifocals.
Since I need eyeglasses, why in tiny prints deceive me, & contradict the BIG prints???
Also, how is $129.00 the same as $169.93???
So, I asked for a refund.
She pretended to do it. She seemed to have done it, but, my credit card bill arrived today, & it never had been done at all.
An eye exam LEADS to glasses. If an eyeglasses deal misleads, then, the eye exam also must be refunded.I only need the 1st to get the 2nd.
I need my money back. I expect honesty, and ethics.
Thanks. Stella
Lebanon CT

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/25/2002 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/lenscrafters/vernon-connecticut-06066/lenscrafters-coupons-gimmicks-deceive-editors-opinion-15073. 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 Consumer Suggestion

It's Your Vision, How Many Corners Do You REALLY Want To Cut???

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

I work for a very popular optical store. We have specials all the time. Our advertisements work the same way as any well-devised marketing tool. Coupons are to invite customers into the store to find out more. What you all as the customers don't seem to understand, is that glasses are expensive, wether you get the cheap stuff or the expensive stuff. You must always read the fine print and have enough common sense to know that if it is too good to be true, it probably is. I seriously doubt that a optical machine such as Lenscrafters would fail to properly word a "coupon" that could seriously cause them a false advertisement issue. I deal with people all the time that want to come into MY store and tell ME how OUR promotions should work. It just doesn't work like that. Be smart and think when you go eyeglass shopping. Not everyone is always trying to rip you off. Be aware of your optical needs and the benefits of the product offered. Quality always beats quantity....
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Read the Disclaimers

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

while I sympathize with the customer and agree her experience should have been much better..whenever you see a sign advertising something..check out EVERYTHING before submitting payment..Ive been an optician for 16 years..5 and 1/2 at Lenscrafters..and know this isnt the way my store does things..we carfully show where everything is printed and explain completely. Usually in a case like this.. we have a base line no frills product with a certain amount of frames to choose from. The lenses would be single vision plastic only.

Most people dont like plastic because for other than the simplest prescriptions..its too thick and heavy..so polycarbonate lenses are the way to go. However..that will upgrade the price some.Also..any tints or Anti-reflective coating will cost more.(If your car didnt have A/C and you wanted it..youd be willing to pay more.)However the customer wasnt treated with the respect she deserved..and I am sorry that was so.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Go ONLINE - and Buy Glasses?

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

the suggestion of going online to Frames site - or where ever - is all fine - however - just be prepared for some of the following issues -
1- you get what you pay for - granted we should all know this - but those price folks - don't seem to recall this - when something goes wrong !
2- dont expect someone else to fix the problem - what drives me nuts - is those folks that may buy online - or even at another optical shop - yet when they need a nose pad or an adjustment - tehy feel that going into their local optical - they shoudl get this service - and usully the expect this for FREE -

i can not even count - how many times i have heard - "oh i bought these not from you - but either they have bad hours - or they don't do adjustments well - can u do it ? then they get upset if something goes wrong - like FRAMES SOMETIMES do break adjusting them - even new ones - do - and once we try to adjust them for u - and they break - YOU ACTUALLY EXPECT us to replace them - GO FIGURE -

and when that nose pad falls off on your -10.00 rx - and you need one - and i say the charge is over 5 bucks - you look at me - like i am ripping you off -

this also goes for you contact wearers - that do mail order - ! you run out of contacts - or you ripped one - and you do not buy them from us - however you see no probelm coming in and asking for a free pair of trials to hold you over - that are actually in the store for paying customers - so in your eyes - we should give the pr to u - and tell our next customer - we don't have them - and they have to wait ------ UNREAL ! this is a chance you take when all u are concerned about is getting the cheapest price -

what it all comes down to is this -
there is NOTHING wrong in price shopping - however everyone must look at the service level - provided - THE KNOWLEDGE - of the staff - to fix or trouble shoot your issues - and also the convienance of the hours - and wait time - alng with who you want to support ! a mom and pop shop like ours or even another company located overseas -

many of these larger retailer - may be more pricey - but when you look at the level of service - you can not compare them - hands down-- take for instance -

#1- some larger retailer ( not ours but even ours - we try to help make things right for a new purchase by either disocunting them the lenses by 50 % - as long as we can resell the frame - just to help

but others do it for free because they can afford to eat the cost ( unlike us)--their 30 day return policy - you may think the frames and lenses are free to them - or they get money back - somehow - but no - these folks eat the cost of the product - and let me tell you - some progressive lenses can run over 200 dollars - wholesale - so they are willing to change your frame - order new lenses - to make you happy - what kinda online place will do that !ALL SALES ARE FINAL THERE ---
NONE and they do this - because YOU could not make up your mind on what frame you LIKE ! or you have buyers remorse --- this is unreal
#2- payroll - and benifits - are huge - you are prob. ordering from these onlines - that are located in someones basement - compared to a retail store that may pay 5000 per mnth for rent - and empoy 20 staff - that are either lic. in their state - or are certified opticians

#4- AND THOSE THAT COMPALIN ABOUT not getting their DISCOUNTS - they always expect to - this drives me nuts also - i worked for both big retail - and priv offices - and yes - prices vary allot - however - most priv office like ours - WE DON"T HAVE discounts - ! none - ! and folks that come to us - do it for the service and also SUPPORTING their local buinesses - ! i do the same myself - i rather help out a small mom and pop shop -then shipping my money overseas - or into a big company - so they can pay their shareholders -

#4 - those wanting the 99 dollar special - that think this frame should last more then 1 or 2 years max - and when they don't - they think they are getting ripped off - esp those pal wearers - now if you want OLD lens tech. that has blurr on the edges because they are buying sheap china - lenses - thats all well and dandy - but personally - all of our pts -a nd myself included - want the BEST - esp for my lenses - I want the best viewing area - the best material for me to see out of - but those VALUE shoppers ( LOL - i am not sure if they really think value = lowest price - no matter what - or value = the best product for the $ - They are not the same - ) - almost have a heart attack - when i tell them their 1.67 varilux ellipse 360 or any freeform lens with alize coating - is 750 dollars -and there designer frame - such as cartier - run 800- to 1200 dollars - i almost think i need to call 911!

so if you feel better getting your AAA discount or 99 dollar special - - by all means - go ahead - but don't expect it everywhere close to getting the best - or even the standard - -and look at teh big picture - the end price - the end result ! why would someone want to have a lens that doesnot protect them from uv exposure - or esp with kids - why do parents not want the best - i see this over and over - with non glare or antirefective lenses - its good enough for the parents - but i hear - oh my kid does not need that - but its ok for me - ! listen i have 3 young children myself - and i know how they can be - but come on - you know something is the best for them -yet - you dont wnat to forl over the $ - so they can get it - esp when you drive up in a BMW - or Lexus -

So in the long run - u get what you pay for - and let me tell you there are HUGE qualitly differances - when comparing products - as well as those times - you are in a pinch - really need the help- those wanting to shop online - dont' expect us - in the stores to help and bend over backwards - when you need it -
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

FTA section 456.2: Separation of examination and dispensing

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

On May 1st 1992 the United States Federal Trade Commission declared (section 456.2) that optometrists be required to provide the patient with a complete prescription immediately following an eye exam, effectively giving the patient the choice of where to purchase their glasses from. In other words, consumers do not have to purchase from where they received their eye exam. Furthermore, once they have their prescription they can choose to purchase directly from manufacturers via sites such as FramesDirect.com and EyeBuyDirect.com (complete prescription glasses - $20). LensCrafters makes a lot of money on dooping the consumer into purchasing eye exams AND glasses from them, both of which are overpriced. Just get your prescription and go direct.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Dr's are an INDEPENDENT business

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

I know that the original complaint happend years ago, but I want to make something clear in regards to the eye exams. The Dr's that are located next to LensCrafters are Independent Dr.'s of Optometry (Except in CA and Chicago). They basically just rent the office space from Lenscrafters and the business is their own. It is not run by Lenscrafters. In fact, here in FL, we cannot "direct" our patients to go buy their glasses anywhere in particular. We must give them their Rx and let them know that they may fill it anywhere they choose. I don't know the regulations in other states but I'm sure they're about the same. It is not the Dr's responsibility to give a refund on services rendered just because you feel that the place you chose ripped you off.

Also, you do not ONLY need an eye exam to get glasses. You also need one to check the over all health of the eyes, as some diseases that lead to blindness have no symptoms and can ONLY be caught by having routine exams.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Coupons may be a rip-off, the eye exam is NOT!

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

The comments by the author of the original complaints sum up the problems inherent in discount shopping for eye care or any other type of health care.

As an optometrist, I know that providing an exam and prescription is totally separate from selecting and purchasing eyewear. Any valid prescription can be taken to any optical shop in the country to be filled.

Discount shoppers tend to consider the professional services of the doctor as just another "commodity." I am glad that I work in private professional practice so I don't have to deal as much with the "bargain shopper." Don't get me wrong. I believe in paying a fair price, but when you put cost before all else, you are bound to suffer whether you are purchasing a car, a computer, or a pair of glasses.

There is no way I would ever give away my examination time and expertise for nothing, unless I am working in a charitable capacity.

If I made a mistake, perhaps I would consider reducing my fee to compensate for the trouble, but I usually find that being upfront and honest with the patient and giving a sincere apology is all that it takes to satisfy a person.

We all know that you get what you pay for. If a person seriously expects to get a decent pair of multifocal glasses for under 100 dollars, he or she will be setting themselves up for disappointment.

The consumer in this case had and still has every right to take his or her prescription elsewhere to get the glasses. It is ridiculous, however, to expect the doctor who performed the exam to relinquish his fee for the service if it was adequately performed.

That's my opinion...
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#7 Consumer Comment

Read the Fine Print!!!

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

First, I suggest that you read the fine print and ask questions if you are not sure about the details of the coupon, sale, or any transaction you engage in. Do you apply for a credit card without reading the fine print? Do you sign a lease for a car or buy a house without reading the details of the contract and asking questions?

Next, as someone already stated, the doctor is not affiliated with Lenscrafters. Even though you may not be happy with the cost of the glasses, you are not entitled to a refund from the doctor. When was the last time you saw a doctor and asked for a refund on professional fees? Besides, when you visit a doctor, there is usually a disclaimer that you sign off on stating that the professional fees are not refundable. Oh, I almost forgot, you do not read the fine print so that must not apply to you.

Lastly, what does age have to do with your refund and your experience with Lenscrafters? Just because someone is young / old, it does not mean that they can't perform their job well. Maybe the manager should be upset with you for age discrimination.
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

Customer and editor are wrong

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

Customer, there are ALWAYS rules, regulations, and restrictions to any special purchases, whether it is a pair of glasses, or 0% financing for a new car. If you obviously needed bifocals, why didn't you have someone who could actually see read the coupon to you? If we in the optical industry, or in retail in general, had to print full disclosures about every detail about the promotion on every coupon, we might as well run a full page ad in the newspaper in type 8 font!Usually on the coupon it says, "Some restrictions apply. See store for details." (At least the company I work for does this). When they explained the details to you, you still see the need to complain? In your state, do you have a sales tax? If so, should they waive that for you,as to not decieve you in the price? Come on!

As far as the exam goes, the doctor who works in my practice does not refund exam fees,either,nor should she.Your doctor has performed a service for you,and deserves to be paid,especially if the exam was correct. If there need be a follow-up exam to determine any change in the prescription, then of course it should happen and at no charge. Don't hold your doctor responsible for something that happened in the "retail" area of that store.

Credit card refunds take time,depending on your billing cycle.Call your credit card company.Did you get a receipt for the refund? If you were smart you would have,to document the transaction.

EDITOR, to try and link this situation to organized crime is a crime in itself. You should be ashamed, and removed from your editorial duties.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Refund Eye Exam??

AUTHOR: Kelly - ()

As the wife of a private practice optometrist, I was astounded that you would expect a refund of the eye exam as well as a refund of the glasses. I can understand if you are dissatisfied with your glasses purchase, a good company will refund your money because they want you to come back. HOWEVER, your eye exam has nothing to do with the purchase price of your glasses, or the coupon mishap.

An eye exam is not just a means to get glasses, it is a measure of HEALTH. That would be like saying you only go to the dentist so that you can get fillings. Not only is your eye doctor measuring your vision, he/she is providing a screening of your overall eye health, which is ulitmately more important.

I can't tell you how many times my husband has found previously undiagnosed problems such as hypertension, diabletes, even brain tumors, all from a proper eye exam.

So, if you want your money back from the company for your glasses, fine. But don't expect to get your money back for the services provided by your doctor. He/she doesn't take a liability risk for free.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Too good to be true coupons

AUTHOR: A Licensed Optician in Ohio - ()

READ THE FINE PRINT PEOPLE. When an optical company offers a complete pair of glasses for 99.00, there are restrictions!!!! I have worked in optics for 12 yrs. A few of the companies I worked for ran similar promos. Y

OU MUST BE SMART AND READ THE FINE PRINT. Of course options such as bifocals, progressive lenses, tints, coatings, and designer frames are going to be EXTRA.

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!! I now work for a reputable company that doesn't run coupons or promos for "gimmick glasses". We get alot of people that come in and don't want to pay what we charge so they go to those gimmick places. Here's some friendly advice.

When buying glasses...expect to pay at least 150.00 for a decent frame, expect to pay the following for lenses :single vision 80.00, line bifocal 120.00, no line bifocal 160-180. Exams (spectacle-at least 50.00, contact exam -at least 100.00). Contacts range from 50.00 all the way to 300.00
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#11 Consumer Comment

The Editor's Response is an Inane Example

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

In no way should professional fees for a health related examination be refunded because of the unrelated consumer complaint above. The doctor's fee is in exchange for the services of his or her expertise and the staff's support services. The doctor gives recommedations and necessary prescription(s) which can be filled at any qualified dispensary.

Both the author of the original complaint and the editor show a grave misunderstanding of this process, which holds true with any healthcare provider, not just eye doctors.

Also, these doctors at LensCrafters are independent from the retail operations and cannot and should not be held accountable for a complaint about pricing, coupons, quality, etc. Would you ask your family practice physician to refund fees because the hospital he sent you to has deceptive billing practices or bad nurses? I don't think anybody would even think of it, yet that is a closer situation to the rediculous organized crime example than was the original complainer's situation.
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#12 UPDATE Employee

All coupons have restrictions!!!

AUTHOR: Amberly - ()

Why would you not read the whole coupon? You seemed to do so much researching on it when calling and checking on it......even a grocery store coupon for buying cereal has restrictions!!!

It has to be a certain size box or what have you... That is advertising.

I am employed by Lenscrafters and we do run the $99.99 sale, and it is exactly what it reads as long as you do that, read it. "$99.99, any frame up to $60 with our premium plastic, single vision lenses.
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