Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Last Straw

I haven't bought glasses at Lenscrafters in years.  I had an unfortunate customer service issue with them years ago, so switched to my local optician.  Who takes my insurance and everything.  

The problem is that the glasses I bought from my local optician crapped out on me after just about a year.  Twice.

And it's a somewhat urgent matter that I get new ones.  The frame on my current glasses is so bent out of shape, I get headaches every night.  (Not from a bad prescription, from the shitty frames.)  So, I'm in something of a hurry, and I figure that the sooner I get new specs ("about an hour") the better.

So, I scared up a copy of my prescription (Thank you, Doctor Velez, for checking the "good for two years" box) and headed over to the shopping mall after work, to try Lenscrafters again.  (I purposely chose this branch because it was not the one I had the customer service issue with, all those years ago.  And this one couldn't even find me in their computer, so I know there wasn't a "dick with this customer" note flagged on my account.)

OK.  So, here's me with my prescription, at about 6:30.  First thing I notice is that I can't get frameless glasses here.  My prescription is too strong.  Other places will give me frameless glasses, but not Lenscrafters.  Whatever.  I can get the half-frames.  They don't look all that bad.

Takes about 45 minutes to find decent half-frames.  They aren't exactly what I want (and they aren't frameless) but they'll do.  They're also something like $240.  But they have a 40% off sticker.

Fine.  I sit down with my Lenscrafters Associate to buy them.

She's new.  She keeps having to run over to her manager (or the guys in the lab) to ask questions, but I'm cool with that.  New people gotta learn some time.  I put on my encouraging face and laugh with her when she can't make the computer do what it's supposed to do.

She types in my info, my scrip, and the frame info.  She gives me the 30% AAA discount.  She uses this weird digital camera thingie to take my picture so the frames will align perfectly on my face.  This takes a great deal of time, as it's new to Lenscrafters, and therefore does not want to behave.  I discover this new tech with her.

She asks me what type of lenses I want.  I tell her to tell me about the different types they have (go on, make a sale) and she can't entirely do this.  Somehow, she muddles through, and we manage to select the Featherwates (whatever) with normal AR, and brown transitions.  

The whole thing is over $400 -- inclusive of the 30% discount.


It is at this point that the Sales Associate informs me that their lab closes at 8:00 (even though the mall closes at 9:00) so, since it is now 7:30, they won't be able to get my glasses until tomorrow.

Let's review:  $400 for glasses I don't even like, and now they won't be ready until tomorrow?  Sheesh.  I am annoyed, but resigned.  (It's late enough for my current frames to be starting on their headache again.)

Reviewing the order, I ask if the AAA discount is on top of the 40% frame discount.

She had missed the "40% off" sticker on the frames.

Turns out she can't stack discounts.  But the 40% sticker would apply to the frames and lenses, and she knows that 40% off is, as a general rule, better than 30% off.  She'll delete the AAA discount and go with the 40% off.

She can't delete it without redoing the whole order (with the digital photo and all the rest).  Eventually, the manager has the bright idea of whipping out a calculator, figuring the difference, and just applying it as a "manager's discount" at the end of the sale.

We're under $400 now.  I still can't figure out why I am being charged BOTH for photo coating for the lenses AND for Transitions (as Transitions IS a photo coating).  Sales Associate can't figure it out either.  Manager says "That's just the way we bill it."  Whatever.

Sales Associate is at the stage where she prints out the ticket.  She disappears into the lab for five, ten minutes.  Returns to inform me that "the brown Transitions are a special order; we'll have them for you in seven to ten business days."

I make the "Pardon me?" face.

She says they have the grey ones in stock.  Of course, that would look pretty stupid on copper frames.

OK, let me review:  
- These are glasses I don't really like
- You won't take my insurance
- I have to pay nearly $400
- AND you can't get them for two weeks??

I apologize to the new sales associate profusely, and cancel the order.

Screw it.  I'm going to Costco.

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