Tuesday, October 1, 2013

'LensCrafters' And One Consumers' Questionable Experience

One consumer's experience with LensCrafters - And it disappointed

This is one consumer's experience with LensCrafters and a lesson that says just because a franchise might appear to be your best financial bet, may only be relying on image and advertising and not actual facts!

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My wife has been using the LensCrafters, Menlo Park location for quite some time now and never had anything to be concerned about.  We'd go, she get her (required?) eye exam, and later, we would end up picking up the glasses she picked out.
But a few years ago we had a bit of a poor experience with one of the help who found himself getting very snippy when we started asking questions outside the norm.  It was pretty disconcerting, but we moved on from that.  The glasses were procured and that was that.

But this time around, (in the month of September, 2013), something fascinating took place.

My wife's lens coating started to peel up off her mid to top-of-the-line glasses (*That's an important aspect to carry forward in this consumer experience) and so we thought, hey, just go back to LensCrafters in Menlo Park where we got them and they'll take care of this.

Oh, but were we in for a surprise.

First, my wife's prescription never changes.  So there's that.  Besides, we were just looking to have the protective coating issue fixed.

But our first surprise was that LensCrafters would not cover their product with the coating that had started to peel off.

They insisted or required that my wife get another eye exam first.  That and they also made note that the protective coating on the glasses was the bottom of the line and there's better coatings.

(That might have been nice to know when we purchased these mid-range expensive glasses.)

Hence, by the end of her visit to the store, she knew that,
She required an eye exam (regardless)
They don't cover their product indefinitely (like some other store chains might)
And that "her glasses," once fixed, would cost over $220.

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My wife was miffed and adding this to her troublesome experience the last time we were there, decided to try a different franchise.
Sure, she would have to get an eye exam as a new client, but apparently there was no getting out from under that perspective.
But what caught our attention was that while she was at "For Eyes Optical" in Palo Alto, they made an interesting observation.  That observation was that the lenses form LensCrafters were the bottom-of-the-line plastic, and not the mid-line glass we thought we had acquired from them.
So it seems we were ripped off by LC.

Secondly, the very same work/fix/repair that was going to cost us $220 at LensCrafters, would only cost $160 at For Eyes Optical..
WOW.

This reminded me of a few discoveries we had made as consumers of other franchises over the years. 

For instance, that just because you think COSTCO is cheaper, doesn't always mean that it is. 

And that my wife discovered that not all TARGET's are created equal, as we discovered that the Redwood City Target charges much more for some of the same commodities that the San Jose Target charges.  (If, in one example, $2 more for the same tiny deodorant gets your attention.)
The bottom line was that we got comfortable as consumers with our consumer provider.  But we had no personal allegiance to the franchise, but rather, it's where we've gone before and where we kept going.

But thankfully, due to a few unsettling experiences with this LensCrafters, we located a much better optometry provider.  And for that, we have to thank LC!!!

So stay alert, stay smart!
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Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce