As you can tell by the title of my post, I'm a bit perturbed at Eyecare Center, and after a brief internet search, I see that I am not alone. However there is something very distinctive that separates me from the other dozens or so people who have had bad things to say about Eyecare Center; this lil' ole blog. See, if you're going to attempt to screw over your customers, you may want to ensure that they don't have a blog where they can very publicly air their grievances and frustrations, thus warning potential customers of just how shady your practices are.
Anyhow on to the story. A few months back I was in desperate need of some new glasses and was perusing Groupon when I happened upon an awesome deal. My student insurance had just lapsed and as you guys know eye exams aren't cheap. So when I saw that I could get an eye exam and $100 off my new pair of glasses for $60, I jumped on it.
A few weeks ago I finally went in to redeem my Groupon. The doctor who examined my eyes was polite and friendly, and even the ladies working at the front desk were awesome. Because I'd had my eyes dilated during the exam it was difficult for me to pick out a pair of glasses that day, so I had the sales rep make a notation in my paperwork so that I would know which ones I was interested in when I came back in to place my order. I should mention that at the time I was majorly dressed down and this was the super ritzy part of time. Bad move on my part. Since the sales rep was so curt with me, I assumed it was because he believed that I couldn't afford the glasses, and had no intention of returning.
At the same time, I was entering into contests from other bloggers for a $20 credit to Firmoo like crazy. I actually won three different contests. So I figured hey, I'll just get another backup pair. However after reading up on it a bit, I discovered that along with my prescription I would need something called pupillary distance (PD) as well. I gave Eyecare Center a call, and was told that in order to get my PD I would have to either purchase a pair of glasses first (apparently they measure it when you're getting fitted for your glasses) or pay an additional $30. I figured, hey no biggie, I'll just get the information when I go in to place the order for my glasses.
I went in a few days later and picked out a pretty cute pair of glasses, and on my way out I received a copy of my prescription. It wasn't until I left that I realized that they had neglected to give me my PD number. I assumed it was just an oversight and figured I would get that number when I went in to pick up my glasses.
Yesterday, I was finally able to go in to pick up my glasses. I was actually pretty excited (considering it had been almost 5 years since my last pair and my eyesight was terrible.) After I picked up my glasses, I asked for my PD number. Imagine my surprise when I was told that "We don't give out that information. That is for our personal records." Ummm excuse me. Pump your breaks turbo. How can you, as a medical professional, withhold my information? Later, when I called back to readdress the situation, the rep I spoke with was the same one who had helped me find my glasses. He was so disgustingly rude to me I actually had to hang up and call my fiance to relay what he had just said to me.
Nasty sales associate aside, I could understand if I weren't purchasing glasses at your store so you were going to charge me an additional fee for that information, however I just spent a nice bit of money there, and now you're telling me that I can't have access to my own information. Not to mention that you previously stated that I would receive that information when I had my glasses fitted or paid an additional $30. So if you don't get glasses from their store, what is the point of paying the $30 to get your PD if they're not going to release that information to you?
If this is there way of trying to retain customers, I'm almost 99.9% certain that they are going about it the wrong way.
After speaking with the NC Board of Optometry, and reading over a few of the regulations regarding the release of information, I definitely have grounds to file a complaint, which I will be doing. The funniest thing about this situation is that I can actually measure my own PD, it's really not that difficult, however I don't like being lied or misled. So Eyecare Center, you guys just made your last dollar from me. I'll be taking my business elsewhere and I truly encourage my readers to do the same.
Now, excuse me while I measure my PD real quick and order my glasses online ;)
*Update 12/8: So I just HAD to share this with you guys. After attempting to contact/ inform Eye Care Center about the horrible customer service that I received in one of their stores via facebook, they not only removed my comment, but banned me from making subsequent posts on their fan page. Had I been irate and called people names, I would have understood this decision. Having worked in social media before I can tell you that this is NOT the way to handle complaints. This only further solidifies my thoughts about this company and leads me to believe that they have been ripping off their customers for quite some time. Also, just FYI, I went to Firmoo last night and ordered an adorable pair of glasses for $6.00.