America’s Best Makes Four-Eyes See A Blurry Kind of Red

With our retinas conjoined by the royal ‘Consumerist’ we, Ben and I from a grotesque octo-occulus. That is to say: we’re both four-eyes…es. But while Ben dashes off to network interviews clad in dashing Gucci frames, my glasses have two different ear pieces and sit crookedly upon my face. One ear piece is superglued to the joint; the other floppily waggles back and forth on the left side of my cranium. A mere nod sends them rocketing off of my face at high velocity to maim innocent by-standers around me.

So my heart reached out to Melinda when she wrote us, telling us about America’s Best glasses store. When one of the springs in her Tommy Hilfiger spectacles burst, America’s Best told her that the only way to fix them without replacing them was to Superglue the earpiece in place. More astonishingly, this advice was reiterated on a corporate level.

Poor Melinda. You’re right: don’t Superglue them. If you do that, you might as well just wrap duct tape around the nose bridge and be done with it. Her email, after the jump. Read it, because she wants repair advice from you DIYers.

This is actually a complaint about service at America’s Best eyeglasses stores — you know, the place with the “two-pair-for-$69.99” gimmick. I bought two pairs of glasses there in spring of 2005, and paid more than just the $69.99, since I selected slightly more expensive frames, and my prescription is strong enough to require lightweight lenses. I bought one pair of Tommy Hilfiger semi-rimless glasses, as well as a more generic pair with lightly amber-tinted lenses. I was mostly happy with my purchases, until recently. A week ago, one of the springs on my Hilfiger frames gave out, leaving me with a floppy glasses arm. They don’t sit straight on my face because the tension is gone, and it feels like the arm is going to fall off at any moment.

I went to my local America’s Best to see if they could fix them. The tech I dealt with tightened the screw a little bit, which helped a little bit. Then she helpfully suggested I buy some Super Glue, apply it to the temple, and never close the arm.

I headed for the company’s website, http://www.twopair.com, and used their customer service form to ask if that was the only solution. This is what I sent:

I visited my local America’s Best, from which I had purchased glasses in April 2005, to see if I could get the spring temple in my glasses fixed. The spring seemed to have given out, and the arm of the glasses was “floppy” and didn’t stay in place correctly, though it hadn’t fallen off. The tech who I spoke to about it tightened the screw, but stated that she couldn’t do anything further for me. What’s more, she suggested that I buy some Super Glue to apply to the temple, and just never close the arm. If I were closer to my bi-annual exam date, when I’d be replacing the frames anyway, I wouldn’t be worried about the frames so much; however, I have a pretty strong prescription, and I can’t do much without my glasses. My second pair was a pair of prescription sunglasses, which can only sub for my regular glasses under certain conditions, lest I look ridiculous, so they’re not of much help right now. So is Super Glue the best that can be done? If they don’t have the means in-store to repair the frames, is there a place that I can send them out to? Any non-Super Glue suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

I got an e-mail response within the day, so they get points for speed. They wrote:

This email is in response to your complaint on the **********, ** vision center. I do apologize for the lack of assistance with your glasses. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lab on site therefore when frames are broken we just order a new frame. Our stores are not allowed to order parts and keep them in stock. I would not recommend applying Super Glue to your frames. You may consider contacting the store manager and see if he is willing to offer you a discount on a new frame. Feel free to contact me if you should need any further assistance.

Maybe I’m just expecting too much from any eyeglass store, but I was kind of hoping they’d have a better suggestion than, “Tough shit, buy a new frame,” or, “How ’bout Super Glue?” I’m not really that hard on my glasses. I don’t fall asleep or play contact sports while wearing them. I was really hoping they’d make more of an effort to fix my existing frames, which simply wore out as a result of normal wear and tear, especially since I can’t really afford to replace the frames at even a discounted price right now. Don’t most places try a little harder to fix glasses? Should I lower my expectations because I went through a cheapy-cheap discount place?

Does anyone at the Consumerist or in the readership have a suggestion for me? Making like Corey Hart and wearing my sunglasses at night as a substitute has gotten really old, really fast.