Saturday, January 17, 2015

Oh, screw you, Sterling Optical

I had an appointment for an eye exam, since it had been four years since my last one *cough* and I could tell that my eyes were getting worse, and since I wasn't really happy with the LAST place I had my eyes checked, I decided to give Sterling Optical a try.

(Sterling Optical is a chain/franchise eye place, if you don't have it in your area.)

So, I go to my eye exam, and everybody's all nice and friendly and attentive, which is a change from the last place I went, and I get my eyes examined, and pick out a new pair of frames, and it's time to pay up.  My insurance covers the exam itself, but not the glasses (or contacts).

And the woman helping me is all nice and friendly, and she's discussing the different options for lens coatings and blah blah blah, and I'm all,  how much do these different options cost?, and she's all, well, let me add it all up here, and she comes up with a price of eight hundred bucks and change.

And I LOL'd.  (I'll have you know that I have been waiting a long, long time to be able to type LOL and have it be accurate, and TODAY IS FINALLY THE DAY, because I LAUGHED OUT LOUD when she told me the price.)

"Yeah,  no," I said.  "I cannot pay eight hundred dollars for a pair of glasses.  I paid a little over three hundred for the pair I have on right now, and I understand inflation and all, but I am not paying eight. hundred. dollars. for a simple pair of bifocals.  The frames are one-thirty, so add some basic lenses, and let's do that.  Take off the extras, please."

"Oh, okay!," the woman replied.  "Well, let's see, the thinner lenses are nice, but we can make the glasses with regular lenses.  And we can take off the blah-de-blah and the what-de-what and ... seven hundred dollars!  That gets it down to seven hundred."

I will tell you right now, I am ALWAYS polite when dealing with retail workers.  ALWAYS.  And today was no different.  This woman was obviously working on commission, which I wish I had known before I walked in the door, but live and learn.  Here I was, chipping away at her bonus pay, and  I was about to keep right on chipping, BUT I WAS POLITE WHILE DOING IT.

"Okay," I said.  "We're getting there!  What else can you take off?  Let's get it down to the frames and the basic lenses and nothing else at all."

"Well ..." she says, tapping away at her keyboard.  "We CAN sell you the glasses with out the extra lens protection warranty and blah blah blah ..."

"Fine!" I said.  "What are we down to now?"

"Five hundred and sixty-four dollars!", she said.  "Isn't that great?"

"Well, it's a lot better than eight hundred," I said.  "You've got a deal."

So she keeps tapping away, doo doo doo, and she hands me the credit card receipt to sign, stapled to the itemized bill.  And I'm looking over the itemized bill, and I see a charge for Christal anti-glare something-something.  And it's a hundred and seventy bucks.

"Ummm ..." I said.  "What's this anti-glare thing?"

"Oh, that's what  I was telling you about!" she said.  (She had been telling me about all kinds of awesome super-duper lens options.) "You know, for when you're driving at night and stuff.  I've got it on my own glasses and I love it!"

"Take. it. off."  I was STILL POLITE, I will  have you know.  "Take it off, please.  The glasses I'm wearing RIGHT NOW don't have that special coating, and I've been getting around just fine, thanks anyway."

At this point, things became a little ... frosty.  I had just taken  away the last little bit of commission or bonus or whatever that she was getting from the sale.  She had just about HAD IT with me, and I understand that.  I also understood that I would take my prescription and walk out before I paid for one flippin' thing I hadn't asked for.

"Three hundred ninety-four!" she said.  "You're getting the deal of the day!  Oh, but wait ..."


"I forgot to add the fitting fee!" she said.  "I totally forgot! Oh my goodness!  So the total will be four thirty-nine."

Holy Mary Mother of F*CK, I paid the four thirty-nine and got outta there before the price could start going back up again.  And I'll pick up my new glasses in a couple of weeks, and hope to GOD that it's a long time before I need to get my eyes examined again.




the queen said...

I got glasses at a place called Amercias Best Glasses or something. SOOO cheap. There weren't even any nose pads, so there was nothing TO adjust.

spiffikins said...

oh my god. I would have walked out at $800. Actually, I did walk out the first time I looked at glasses :)

I went into the eye doctor, he did his thing, then led me to a table in their waiting room area, and a woman sat down to show me frames. This was the first pair of glasses I had ever needed, so I wanted to try a bunch of things - but she looked at me, turned around and opened one drawer and picked out ONE pair of frames for me to try on.

I was all, ummm...that's ALL you have? And she was upset with me - apparently I insulted her amazing ability to pick out frames or something? And the price on these was something ridiculous, so I said thanks but no thanks, can you please write out my prescription so I can go try some frames on myself?

If I recall correctly, I ended up with 2 pairs - regular and sunglasses - for less than $300. And I did get the antiglare coating - and it was TERRIBLE - it wasn't done right. A year later I go back into the eye doctor and he's all "how do you like glasses?" And I'm all "OMG they are CONTINUALLY FILTHY and I cannot keep them clean!" He looked at them and said, oh you didn't get your lenses with us eh?" and explained about the antiglare smearing - they put new lenses in the same frames for me - can't recall how much that was - but like $100? maybe? and those lenses are still good years later.

Of course, in the meantime, I switched to contacts for a year, and then just ...stopped wearing glasses OR contacts - my prescription is really weak and it was just annoying :D

fmcgmccllc said...

Have to make an appointment soon and I am taking in my old frames, if not able to put new lenses in will use them as"this is what I want".

Becs said...

I always cough up the $800. I've been going to the same place for 20 years, have been fitted by the same guy who takes great pains to get my wonky Rx just right. He works with me when things don't go right. And my glasses are always perfect, which I need because my vision is 20/400, 20/450.

rockygrace said...

queen, glad you got a deal!

spiff, it cracks me up that she would only let you try on one pair. whaaaaa? And now I'm REALLY glad I said no to the anti-glare. For a hundred and seventy bucks, it'd have to make UNICORNS appear in my vision. God.

fmc, you know, it never even crossed my mind that they could just re-use the old frames!

and Becs, I'd gladly spend the moolah if I had a complicated prescription and an eye doctor I really liked. These people were just trying to up-sell the crap out of me. Sounds like you're getting a good deal, considering your bad vision. (My eyes are bad, too, but not THAT bad. Yikes.)

Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

I bought mine online for $25.. I was curious how it would go, so I went with cheap options. It went pretty well so I intend to go back and get the antireflective coating and what not.. and I doubt it would cost me more than $100. (unless I bought $200 frames)

rockygrace said...

Tails, I thought about buying online, but how do you know how the glasses will look on you until you try them on? There were frames at the store that I thought were AMAZING, until I tried them on and they were totally wrong for my face.

That said, TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS? Sign me up!