Luxottica Customer Service Is Just As Broken As Your Sunglasses

As we noted last week, Luxottica is the company behind pretty much all eyewear on the market these days, and you know what that means when it comes to customer service: if you don’t have to compete to keep your customers happy, why bother? That’s why Patricia is facing a ridiculously high repair fee, but can’t get through on the provided phone number to tell Luxottica to cancel the repair. In fact, every time she calls she’s put on hold and then disconnected.

I never thought this day would come, but I have found a company with worse (worse because it’s totally non-existent) customer service than Verizon. The lens on my new Ray Bans cracked after wearing them once or twice, so I sent them in to Luxottica for repair. The non-refundable processing fee is $12.50, and I had to pay for insured shipping, which cost an additional $6. I received a letter in the mail that my repair would cost $80, almost half of what I originally paid. I have tried to call the number 800-343-5594 as directed by the aforementioned letter. I have tried multiple times, never reached an actual person, and was disconnected each time after approximately ten minutes without fail. I know it is not my phone as I have tried both landline and my cell phone. Has anyone else ever written in with this problem?

If I can’t reach anyone and I’m too poor (unemployed) to pay the $80, would it be OK for me to dispute the transaction on the credit card? The purchase was made a couple months ago.

I think you can dispute any repair fee that Luxottica slaps onto your card. As for getting a full refund, if you can get the glasses back in their broken state but you’re beyond the store’s return window, you should see if your credit card has an extended warranty for purchases and exercise that.

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  1. xspook says:

    My experience with RayBan (in the past) has been exceptional. I sat on a pair of Clubmasters – obviously my fault – that were still within warranty. I sent them in and they sent me a new pair.

  2. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    Luxottica’s phone system is pathetic. I was disconnected several times before I finally was able to speak to someone who sent me replacement screws. The sunglasses eventually broke, and once I mailed them to Luxottica to see whether they could be repaired, I never received any reply, even after writing them several times to try to find out what happened to my glasses.

    • sleze69 says:

      You could claim they stole your glasses and try the cops. Or better yet, go to small claims court and serve Luxotica with a summons at one of their many locations (PearlVision, Lenscrafters, Sunglass Hut, etc.).

  3. PupJet says:

    And thus why I NEVER purchase expensive sunglasses. I figure if they’re cheap and they break, then it was no big loss and I don’t have to deal with messed up companies like this.

    • hmburgers says:

      A girl at work was recently showing off her new Lois Vitton bag, when I asked if was as expensive as Coach bags she said, “Oh it’s much more! Probably double at least”… knowing someone who is in love with Coach and that the average cost per bag for her is $500, I asked this girl “So you paid over $1000 for that?”, she said “Yeah, it was $1500″.

      This is a BAG… seriously… a BAG… when I asked her what attracted her to that bag, and why she was willing to pay so much, she really had no answer, but said that the bag was really high quality…

      So I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who will defend expensive sunglasses as being of higher quality then the drug store variety… and I have no doubt that they are correct, but the question is, how much higher quality does it have to be to justify the crazy price? I can buy 10-20+ pairs of drug store glasses for what you might pay for Raybans. So really, the only acceptable answers in my mind are that you want to be stylish or what the brand name–I question those motives when it comes to spending crazy amounts of money on something, but that’s subjective and what makes freedom of choice and capitalism great.

      • captadam says:

        The price IS the reason for the purchase. It makes the product exclusive. It allows the owner to feel he or she belongs in a little club. I guess that’s all right if the person has the money to blow. But the aspirational nature of these products so often separates people from money they actually need.

      • DavidCopperballs says:

        I got my prescription Ray-Bans for free after my insurance benefits. Only reason I bought them. I wear contacts sometimes and buy my regular sunglasses at Marshall’s.

        That said, I had my Ray-Bans for 2 years – until I lost them. I’ve never held onto a pair of sunglasses for that long without breaking them.

        Luxottica may own Ray-Ban, but my perception/assumption was that Ray-Ban is still making higher quality sunglasses, not just putting their name on frames that Luxottica makes. I know that’s what the designer names (i.e. DKNY, Versace, et. al) are doing.

  4. hmburgers says:

    “The lens on my [b]new[/b] Ray Bans cracked after wearing them once or twice, so I sent them in to Luxottica for repair. The non-refundable processing fee is $12.50, and I had to pay for insured shipping, which cost an additional $6. I received a letter in the mail that my repair would cost $80, almost half of what I originally paid.”

    “If I can’t reach anyone and I’m too poor (unemployed) to pay the $80″

    I’d just like to point out that it’s asinine to cry poverty/unemployment over the $80 repair bill when you apparently recently paid over $160 for the glasses by your own admission.

    Feel free to say it’s an outrageous about of money for a repair (which I agree with)… or that it’s insane that they charge $12.50 only to them bill you for a repair later (which I also agree with)…

    Of course… if someone said “Who the hell pays over $160 for sunglasses? That’s outrageous!” I’d also agree with them… and I’d do it as I slipped on my $9.99 pair of Walgreen’s sunglasses.

    • tbax929 says:

      This was my thought while reading the article. You can spend what you want on whatever you want, but your priorities are jacked up if you can’t afford to repair your expensive sunglasses.

    • Niphil says:

      Where does it say that she bought them, or that she bought while unemployed?

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        “almost half of what I originally paid”

        That means she bought them.

        And: “The purchase was made a couple months ago.” During that time she was able to wear them twice , break them, ship them, wait for a letter from the company, and then respond.

        Unless she bought the sunglasses, and then received a pink slip the very next day, chances are extremely high that she bought them while unemployed. Also she refers to herself as “poor” – recently unemployed people wouldn’t refer to themselves that way.

      • NeverLetMeDown says:

        Where does it say that she bought them

        “…my repair would cost $80, almost half of what I originally paid.

        or that she bought while unemployed?

        “The lens on my new Ray Bans cracked after wearing them once or twice

        (although I suppose she could be very recently unemployed…)

  5. nobomojo says:

    OP, where did you purchase your sunglasses? If you purchased them through an optical shop, try calling the store and have them call Luxottica on your behalf. I used to have to deal with them a little back in the day when I worked in optical boutique.

  6. El Cainos says:

    This might sound unsympathetic, but if you’re unemployed and poor, why did you buy these? I mean, you can’t afford $80 for repair, but you can afford ~$160 to purchase them?

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      It doesn’t say when she bought them or whether they were a gift. I’m a broke ass unemployed student but I have a couple of nice things I got as gifts from family members. Besides, that’s not really the point here, is it? Regardless of whether her purchase was ill advised she should be getting a response from Luxottica. Nor does she have to pay for an ill advised expensive repair just because she bought an ill advised pair of glasses.

    • aloria says:

      Perhaps she purchased the glasses before losing her job?

  7. milad32 says:

    Why would you send a pair of glasses in for repair when it’s simply a cracked lens? One of my lenses cracked, so I called Luxottica and $20 and a week later I popped in the new lens and was good to go.

  8. JGB says:

    Really? I have two pair of ray-bans, one with gray lenses and the other with brown. For some reason, the ear pieces on one set just fell apart. UV damage would be my guess. They were way out of warranty, but I called, got right through, gave them the model number, and they sent me a replacement set for free. Two years later, the same thing happened and I got another set for free.

    • Sudonum says:

      I’ve had the exact opposite experience with Luxottica brands. Bought a pair of Revos ($300, never do that again). Within 3 months the frame was broken. Sent them in to Luxottica, they sent them back to me with a letter that said basically “sorry their discontinued, can’t help you”. Bought a pair of cheap Maui Jims ($80) to replace them, hinge breaks on them 11 months after purchase. Send them in, I get a letter back with a copy of their catalog that states “sorry discontinued, pick any other style you like to replace them” Received a pair of one of their most expensive glasses within 10 days, no charge. That was around 10 years ago, the wife lost them last month, damn her.

      Nothing but Maui Jim or Costa del Mar ever since.

  9. idx says:

    I bought some persols because I was tired of losing my sunglasses and not caring. I’ve had them for 4 years now which is about 3 years and 8 months longer than any other pair I’ve owned.

    Luxottica fixed them for me once and I didn’t have any problems with the customer service.

    • MattSaintCool says:

      I got a pair of Persol sunglasses as a Christmas gift a few years ago and they’ve definitely outlasted the usual life of my cheap sunglasses — usually a few months or less before something breaks. Plus I look stylin’.

  10. xmrblondex says:

    I am so glad that I get my glasses from zenni optical. Such a better deal.

    • perruptor says:

      Yup. Except that the only polarized sun lenses they offer are the clip-ons, either the ones with the clunky little fingers or the much cooler magnetic ones. Zenni will tint lenses for you, but they won’t be polarized, and what good is that?

  11. cosmic.charlie says:

    Chargeback. There someone said it!

  12. pantheonoutcast says:

    I got a pair of Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses once as a gift – I had them for almost seven years and they went through every hellish travel experience I put them through. Never once had a bent frame or even as much as a scratch on the lens. They would still be perfectly functional today if I didn’t mistakenly leave them at an ex’s house. Yet the OP cracked the lens after wearing them twice?

    There are two explanations: 1) Ray Bans’ quality has gone down significantly in the past decade or so and they have become more fragile and prone to breakage during normal use, or 2) She is as irresponsible with her belongings as she is with her finances.

    The OP should have gone directly to the store from which she purchased the glasses to see what they could do to expedite the warranty process (assuming she bought them from a B&M store, of course).

  13. hicks says:

    Go to a local optometrist’s office–they certainly have a Luxottica account–and ask them to order you new lenses. When they come in, they’ll pop them in for you, and Ray-Ban lenses (unless polarized and/or mirror-coated) are typically super cheap.

  14. mopar_man says:

    I’ve bought drug store sunglasses in the past. The lenses suck as does the build quality. I’ve had a couple pairs drop off the top of my head and the hinge snaps or the lens pops out. Once the lens is out, there’s no way to get it back in as there’s no screws to separate the frame. I’ve got a pair of Oakley Crosshairs now that I bought gently used off of eBay for $30. I’ve dropped them a few times with no problems at all. The lenses are also much clearer. And guess what? If I scratch a lens, I can buy a replacement. Just about everything on them is serviceable. You can make the argument that these have metal frames but I’ve had quality plastic-framed sunglasses in the past without any issue either. You get what you pay for. It’s like buying a TV from Walmart and complaining it doesn’t work 6 months later.

  15. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Last year, I spent just over $160.00 on four pairs of glasses, two of which were progressive bifocals, two of which were single-vision sunglasses.

    We (my husband and myself) started buying our eyeglasses online last year and will probably never buy glasses locally ever again. I first read about buying online on Slate ( http://www.slate.com/id/2198746 ), and after seeing several other news articles, decided to try it. My pair the previous year had cost nearly $400.00 and I simply cannot afford that every year.

    We did research on how glasses are fitted, what the numbers on the prescription mean, how frames are measured, how to measure the PD (Pupillary Distance in mm), and reviewed several companies. It’s caught on quite a bit in the last few years and now there are a bunch of websites out there that explain these things, and which review online eyeglass companies.

    We got full eye exams locally, which you really can’t/should never skimp on, then took the prescriptions home and ordered. I have a rather complicated prescription, but everything came back perfectly. It took about 3 weeks, which is about what I expect locally, as the lens for my glasses usually have to be ordered in. My husband’s took about 10 days to arrive, Next up: sending my old pair of Ray-Bans to have them retrofitted with new lens. The entire process will cost about $40.00.

    Our new glasses fit perfectly and I can see no difference in the quality of the frames.

    It takes a bit of research and reading, but there are real alternatives to Luxottica.

  16. Lereas says:

    I have a pair of RayBans I got for my birthday from my parents that I have been trying to get repaired literally for years. I randomly got an email response to an email I sent them over a year ago the other day, and plan on following up. I am guessing I’ll just end up with some insane fee to repair them, though.

  17. LeftCartridge says:

    I’ve owned 3 pair of RayBans – all the same model.

    I sat on the first pair and cracked them. I sent them away for repair. I received – via FedEx – a brand new pair. It cost me nothing. I lost those.

    The next pair was stepped on by my son. I sent them away. The cost to repair them was very high – almost the same (around $85) as the glasses. Why the difference?

    Luxoticca about RayBan from Bausch & Lomb. B&L’s customer service was EXCEPTIONAL. Luxottica? Not so much.

    Did B&L really need to replace them? No, but they did…probably figuring I’d lose them and buy another pair. I did.

    When I lose the Luxotticas? Meh. Maybe I’ll buy again, maybe I won’t.

  18. frak says:

    My Visa and my MC both add a 1 year warranty to any product (1 year beyond the original warranty). I replaced a $300 kitchen aid that way last year. Check your CC to see if yours has similar benefits.