Be wary when someone offers to clean your glasses for free. Two different readers on opposite sides of the country wrote to us in one 24-hour span with Lenscrafters horror stories. They describe perfectly good glasses ruined after an offer of a nice cleaning from the eyewear giant.
A few weeks ago I finally decided to try contacts. After considering my
options I decided upon LensCrafters as I have been using them for years and
always had great experiences. At the end of the appointment, I was about to
leave with my contacts on and I was stopped by the store manager who
insisted on doing a free cleaning on my glasses. I agreed because they had been
very helpful before and I trusted them. The manager handed over my glasses
to an assistant who cleaned them. After the cleaning, my glasses were put in
a case and I was sent on my way.
The next morning, out of force of habit, the first thing I did was to grab my
glasses. In the dim light they looked a little off but I was not concerned.
About an hour later, I was looking at my glasses under better light and
discovered that the paint had been worn off the sides of the glasses and
there were visible marks. I attempted to call the store and could not get
through to anyone so I called corporate. After speaker with them I was
transferred back to the store and a lab technician picked up. I explained the
marks and the cleaning and the technician said “Do you have Ray-Bans?” The
first assumption he made were the brand of glasses that I was wearing. I
asked if it was common and he replied “Something in the chemicals we use to
clean the glasses can have an effect on Ray-Bans.” After a brief discussion,
he told me to come in and talk to a manager to get it resolved.
I went in and explained to an assistant manager what had happened, and the
conversation with the lab technician (who I later found of is the supervisor
of that department.) She was very polite but said that the most she can
offer me is %50 off of a new pair. I declined the offer on the grounds that
I had perfectly good glasses before I went in and now they do not have the
same value. I explained that I should not have to pay out of pocket for a
mistake that was not mine. I was then referred to the Store Manager.
After speaking back and forth and returning on multiple visits to try to get
this corrected, I was still only offered %50 off. The manager claimed that
they use only soap and water, and that she personally cleaned them herself.
I knew that I was being lied to and stopped communication with
As a former LensCrafters patron I will no longer be able to buy from them as
I have simply lost my faith in them. I urge other readers at the very least
to not accept “free” cleanings. As a Consumerist reader for years, I should have
known that free comes with a price.
The next afternoon, Tracey wrote to us:
I took my Dolce and Gabbana eyeglasses to Lenscrafters Saturday night to be cleaned and adjusted, then hours later they fell apart. These glasses are 1 Â½ years old. They told me they are unfixable, no longer under warranty, and that the style is discontinued. So they will give me a 50% off discount off of a new pair. That they broke.
Cleaning customers’ glasses and breaking them on purpose to encourage sales would be pretty shady, rather illegal, and downright evil, so no one wants to accuse Lenscrafters of doing that. Still, the coincidence was too strange to ignore, and we have to ask: has anyone else had an experience like this at Lenscrafters or another optician?