LensCrafters. Count your fingers when leaving.

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

25 February 2016

LensCrafters. How very crafty.

What is wrong with LensCrafters?

Remember 1987 when LensCrafters upset the eyeglass applecart by promising quality lenses in about an hour?

Boy, have times changed. Sure, LensCrafters still delivers your new glasses in about and hour but it has succeeded in that hour of making me feel as though I am purchasing a used car from a slimy car salesman. Actually, that might be giving the car salesman a black eye.

LensCrafters promises your new glasses in about an hour.

That’s how long it takes to figure out the DEAL they offer you

Like most of the rebranding garbage out there, Belk ended up with a new logo and color palette and not much more (smells like politics to me).

Navel gazing has never helped anyone and it has not surly not helped Belk either.

Great branding has a clear and emotionaly important single idea. Obviously, Belk could not decide what that was so it settled for three ideas.

“The price tag of new lenses blew me away. As did the sales techniques. My optician took my prescription and started entering the data on my record. I am not privy to all that he is entering as I sit opposite him at a desk. All I know is that it seemed to take forever to enter the data and even longer to tell me the price.”

I knew it was time to get my eyes examined because my glasses were not working as well as they used to. I have an ophthalmologist as part of my roster of healthcare providers and I checked in to get my eyes dilated and my retinas checked.

There was good and bad news. The bad news was that my prescription had indeed changed. The good news was that my right eye had actually improved in its distance vision. Who knew?

I don’t know if most guys are like me but I never seem to know what glasses look best on me. I have to ask the salesperson for their opinion. Then, in an effort to save face, I agree with them and buy their selection.

A year ago, the salesperson could not decide which pair of glasses looked best on me (I was down to two pairs), so I bought them both. One pair had progressive lenses built in because of my need for reading glasses only and the second pair was what they call a transition lens (that darkens when outside) but was for distance only.

My reasoning was that I could wear pair two when outside and I rarely read while walking and hiking.

There is a permanent sale always going on at LensCrafters.

Reminds me of the permanent Going Out Of Business signs.

It stood to reason, therefore, to keep both pairs of frames (to save me the embarrassment of having no idea what looks flattering) and just get new lenses for both pairs. I decided that lenses completed in about an hour sounded good so I left my ophthalmologist’s office and his ubiquitous optician store, and headed over to LensCrafters.

LensCrafters Discounts

LensCrafters. The key words here are “SEE CONDITIONS.”

LensCrafters opened my eyes wide

The price tag of new lenses blew me away. As did the sales techniques. My optician, a very pleasant guy named Steve, took my prescription and started entering the data on my record. I am not privy to all that he is entering as I sit opposite him at a desk. All I know is that it seemed to take forever to enter the data and even longer to tell me the price.

The fee for just the LensCrafter lenses was almost $600. I was shocked. “Don’t worry,” assured Steve. “We will give you a 25% discount.”

What about the coupon and advertising that says I save 50%, I asked. “That only applies if you buy new frames.” Steve said firmly.

“So”, I said, “It would cost me less to buy my lenses with a new set of frames than it does for me to buy just the lenses?

“Well, that depends on the frames you choose”, said Steve. “It might be cheaper.”

He did not know that there was no way I was going to go through the process of picking out new frames. How could he? I pretended to be confident and reassured.

“Steve,” I asked, “I think my health insurance pays for some of this too.”

LensCraftersSteve took down my medical insurance information and miraculously entered it into his dark hole of a computer.

“Tom, it looks like your insurance qualifies you for a 20% discount.”

“Great!”, I said. “That’s almost the full 50% off that you promise with the purchase of new frames.” Hey, I can add that 20%+25% is a 45% discount.

“Sorry,” said Steve, adding. “You can’t combine discounts, so the price I gave you at the beginning is still the best price.” He looked down and went back to entering more stuff on his computer screen.

“Let me get this straight,” I said. “The discount offered by my insurance can’t be added to your own discount even though it feels like it should be applicable?”

“Afraid so,” Steve said confidently.

Meanwhile, I heard an optician who had another customer behind me telling her about a 5% AAA discount. But he added the AAA discount that was not as good as the 25% he initially offered too. I guess no one pays the full price at LensCrafters because the full price is 25% higher than the REAL price.

What a shell game. One thing is for sure. I see much more clearly now. And all this in under an hour!

9 Comments

  1. steven rogers

    I scratched one of my lenscrafter lenses less than 5 months after getting the lenses (I paid for scratch resistant coating but it didn’t seem to do much). I asked to get a replacement right lens. Lenscrafter told me that they had to make 2 lenses, not just 1 so that’s $600. I said that’s crazy, i didn’t need 2 lenses, just 1. They said it’s store policy. I said I didn’t care about store policy when I only need 1 item. I asked if there was a medical or legal reason for this. The manager told me no, that it was just store policy. What a rip-off.

    Reply
    • natasha

      The lenses come together. Lenscrafters would want to be sure you have two “fresh” lenses free from scratches or any other damage. Additionally, you may have declined the eyewear protection program. For 34.99 it protects your investment. $600 is an expensive product so why would one not protect it? Had you purchased the protection if anything happened to your eyewear over the course of a year, you would receive replacement lenses for only $25. It pays for itself.

      Reply
  2. Mackie

    They tried the no- combining-discounts thing on me, too (with my insurance). What a ripoff! Instead, I took their best discount and filed the insurance claim myself. I’ve ordered my next pair online, saving $700!

    Reply
    • Yaritsa mendez

      how did this work for you? i literally just paid 550 for a pair of glasses. Its crazy!

      Reply
      • Natasha

        If you were to break your glasses, Lens Crafters could replace your eyewear in just about an hour. I would like to know how the online providers, clean, adjust and maintain your eyewear? Vision is so important. Why risk your eyes to lenses that could be wrong (which could happen anywhere) However, who want’s to mail in there glasses when they have a concern? $550, in my opinion, is not bad for a designer frame, quality lenses, and access to a reputable company that you can walk into when you have a real concern. Those things cost, building cost, associates cost, machinery cost, Oh did I mention no one gets’s electricity for free? No one takes the time to think about the cost it may take for a business to run efficiently and effectively? We charge our customers a fair price so that we can be around to service our beloved customers.

        Reply
    • Natasha

      Digital technology and digital measurements cost. I think it’s great is one want to risk their eyecare needs just to save money with an online service. An optician once told me “Natasha, would you rather lose a pinky or your eyes?” “He then said would you rather lose your hand or your eyes?” He then said “would you rather lose your arm then your….. Ok ok, I get it. We don’t put any value on our eyes until it’s too late? Quality eyewear is essential. Lens Crafters provides cutting-edge innovations and craftsmanship to our beloved customers, so they can continue to see-and-be-seen in the best ways possible. That’s been our passion and our legacy for over 30 years, and we don’t think you can put a price on your eyes. Eyewear is not a toy. They must be properly fit, adjusted and maintained. Good luck getting those services online? Additionally, $700? Over the course of 2 or 3 years (the length of time one usually keeps their glasses), It’s relatively a small investment considering it’s your eyesight we are talking about?

      Reply
      • Steve

        Nobody will lose their eyes if prescription lenses are not correct. If they are seeing an eye doctor and have their eyes examined to get the correct prescription there is absolutely no risk. Ordering glasses outside of a retail store WILL NOT cause you to lose your vision.

        That statement is utterly ludicrous.

        Reply
  3. Rick Goldman

    What is it with Lenscrafters, the have like NO RESPECT. I purchased two Pair and had my Eye Exam there. I started having odd feelings when putting on my glasses and noticed my non-dominant eye was fuzzy. Look a person can have a cataract in a non-dominant eye and go on noticed for a very long time, that’s how the brain works. I returned and “Paid” for another exam, fine and clearly the first one had an error. I take some responsibility but I too am medical and testing is a two way street. In Eye Exam they rush you through at times. I thought I could get the Lens replaced, I did not expect it free but I thought a couple hundred bucks was fair. NOOOOOO! They wanted $800 !! But “Special” Deal buy the frames and get lenses at 50% off. Come on, really! That “sale” has been going on for a decade. I was told to call the Corporate Office, ever try to find that number. After getting in touch I was told there was nothing they could do. After complaining (always polite) I was told they would send me a link and someone would respond in 24 hours. First, no link came until my third call. The NO Response. I hit up the link three more times and finally. Still no good, each response took several days. Then the told me the “Same” get new Frames and the Lenses are half off. What a deal only $736 these guys are just SCAMMERS

    Reply
  4. Sam

    I just purchased some Oakley sunglasses with perscription lenses in them. I told them I wanted to get polarized lenses which they said wasn’t a problem. When I got home I started looking at my receipt in more detail. I noticed that I was charged $150 for Single vision lens, $95 for Poly Oakley true Digital Plrzd 9999, $120 for Polarized Oakley, and $70 for Oakely AR BK. I think I am being charged double for the Polarized lens. I called and asked about it and they gave me some excuse that is how they charge for the lens. The first charge of $120 is for the lens material. If that’s the case then why does it say Poly Digital Plrzd? They should change it and say $120 for the poly lens. Then I asked about the $70 charge for the AR (Anti-Reflective). I was told that used to be an option from Oakley, but now its not an option. It seems to me like that should be something that is included, not an extra charge of $70. So in total I am paying $435 for the lenses when I really think that it should be $190 less.

    Reply

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It stood to reason, therefore, to keep both pairs of frames (to save me the embarrassment of having no idea what looks flattering) and just get new lenses for both pairs. I decided that lenses completed in about an hour sounded good so I left my ophthalmologist’s office and his ubiquitous optician store, and headed over to LensCrafters.

LensCrafters Discounts

LensCrafters. The key words here are “SEE CONDITIONS.”

LensCrafters opened my eyes wide

The price tag of new lenses blew me away. As did the sales techniques. My optician, a very pleasant guy named Steve, took my prescription and started entering the data on my record. I am not privy to all that he is entering as I sit opposite him at a desk. All I know is that it seemed to take forever to enter the data and even longer to tell me the price.

The fee for just the LensCrafter lenses was almost $600. I was shocked. “Don’t worry,” assured Steve. “We will give you a 25% discount.”

What about the coupon and advertising that says I save 50%, I asked. “That only applies if you buy new frames.” Steve said firmly.

“So”, I said, “It would cost me less to buy my lenses with a new set of frames than it does for me to buy just the lenses?

“Well, that depends on the frames you choose”, said Steve. “It might be cheaper.”

He did not know that there was no way I was going to go through the process of picking out new frames. How could he? I pretended to be confident and reassured.

“Steve,” I asked, “I think my health insurance pays for some of this too.”

LensCraftersSteve took down my medical insurance information and miraculously entered it into his dark hole of a computer.

“Tom, it looks like your insurance qualifies you for a 20% discount.”

“Great!”, I said. “That’s almost the full 50% off that you promise with the purchase of new frames.” Hey, I can add that 20%+25% is a 45% discount.

“Sorry,” said Steve, adding. “You can’t combine discounts, so the price I gave you at the beginning is still the best price.” He looked down and went back to entering more stuff on his computer screen.

“Let me get this straight,” I said. “The discount offered by my insurance can’t be added to your own discount even though it feels like it should be applicable?”

“Afraid so,” Steve said confidently.

Meanwhile, I heard an optician who had another customer behind me telling her about a 5% AAA discount. But he added the AAA discount that was not as good as the 25% he initially offered too. I guess no one pays the full price at LensCrafters because the full price is 25% higher than the REAL price.

What a shell game. One thing is for sure. I see much more clearly now. And all this in under an hour!

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