It has been a long, disappointing quest to order a new pair of eyeglasses. My current ones are several years old, and I started to notice that my prescription must have changed.
It started with the realization that I was having to hold my book at arm’s length to read properly. Then there wasn’t enough light, and I had to aim the lamp more directly onto the page.
An eye examination proved that my eyes did, indeed, need a stronger lens. I had found an inexpensive exam, and I picked out a frame that was reasonably priced and asked for an estimate of cost for the complete glasses. I figured that it should be a good price, based on the location and the cost of the exam. I was quite wrong.
I got photochromic (light-adjusting) lenses last time, and I love them. I’ve used clip-ons, a big pain, and have also owned prescription sunglasses, which I liked while I drove but kept forgetting to change when I got out of the car. I’ll never forget the time I stopped at a store to use the ATM. I couldn’t read the screen, and I thought something was wrong with it. When I asked a passerby for help, he said he could read it fine, but somehow I was on the Spanish screen, and he knew the language, so he told me what it said and I entered the correct things as indicated, finally getting my money. I was lucky he was a good guy, not out to rip me off. When I got back into the car and told my husband about it, it dawned on me what the problem was: I took off the sunglasses and realized I’d worn them inside the store.
I can do without the photochromic lenses and use clip-ons again, but it turned out that the cost, if I took into account buying clip-ons for the next couple of years as they got lost or broken, is about the same, so I opted for what would be best for me.
The price at the optical shop was shocking: nearly $350! This is the first time in many, many years that I have not had vision insurance coverage, and there’s no way I could pay that much. I went looking on the Internet and querying friends as to where they bought their glasses.
One web site looked promising; I can’t say now why it did. It had a lot of features that many of the sites did. You could upload a photo of yourself and “try on” the various frames, and the one I chose looked pretty good, I thought.
In reality, when the finished glasses arrived in about two weeks, they were huge, far too big for my cute little face. I knew what the return policy was, only a 50% refund, but I hadn’t seen anything better, because I didn’t read a different web site well enough. I had no choice but to send them back and take the paltry refund. It was so low because the entire price was less than $150.
Calling the company was agony. The connection was just a voice mail, and I got no return call from my message, so I called and left one again two days later. Still receiving no callback, I sent an email message from the web site. The reply gave me the name and direct number of a Customer Service person, whom I called. She confirmed that the refund would be just 50% of the purchase price, and apologized for the policy, but could do nothing for me but ask me to send them back. Then, surprisingly, I received an email from her saying that she was issuing the refund, even though they had not yet received the return, and that made me feel better about the whole thing, but I would never use them again.
I needed to order somewhere else, but this time I carefully read over the policies at the web site recommended by several people; they offer either one free “do over” or a 100% refund, probably minus shipping, but that’s OK. In my attempts to phone them, I got the same thing as the other one: voice mail and no return call. After I left a second message, someone called me and I was able ensure that I understand the full refund policy correctly, and I did. It was amazing that I was happy to get a response from only two phone messages and not having to do the email thing! Service sure has taken a beating.
I researched the info on the earpiece of my current frame, and could not find anywhere to get that particular frame, so I did all the measurements. I chose a frame online with almost identical numbers, so the next ones should be nearly exactly what I have now. Because my husband said that my current glasses are the most attractive ones I’ve ever had, I was pretty determined to get something that will look as good.
Ready to order, I created an account and began the process. I had chosen several frames to My Favorites, and had to make a final decision, only to find that when I clicked on “My Favorites”, it was empty. I had to start again, making an old-fashioned written list of the frames that satisfied my requirements.
Once I decided on the frame, I entered the prescription information and continued; the page hung up and finally timed out. This happened over and over, so I tried from another connection in case it was mine at fault. Finally I had no choice but to call again, which actually garnered a call back, but I could not answer and no message was left. I had told them they didn’t have to call back unless it was to tell me the web site was working properly, so I hoped I could finish up, finally.
Several days ago, my current frame broke on the right side just above the hinge. I was able to – hahaha! – put tape on it to hold it together. The only way to keep the lens in is to tape it to the frame, so about 1/5 of the lens has “invisible” – not! – tape on it. I’m sure it looked really classy to the people I saw when we went out last night.
Multitasking here, I just spent a couple of hours trying to get my order to go through the right way. First it would not take the code I thought I should use for a discount from another user. I finally got that straightened out and the discount applied, but then it wanted to charge me shipping when on the home page it says that shipping is free for orders over $99, which mine is.
I aborted the order several times for things like that and also because the pages kept timing out, and now it tells me that I have used the discount code the maximum number of times. What??? I haven’t actually “used” it yet, as I have not completed an order, and now I really can’t. I hope someone can give me some good news in response to the email I just sent.
In the end, I still don’t have any on order. I will have to wear these taped-up glasses on a trip home, which is why I started trying to do this two months ago, unless I want to pay an extra $20 for expedited processing, and that’s not going to happen. If I had about $400, I would just go over to Lenscrafters and have them in an hour.
Still, I am thankful that at least I have the funds to order online, if only I could. Sigh.