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Visual Acuity

05 Feb

Last week I had an eye exam and got my new lens prescription filled. I decided to reuse my old frames to save a bit on the new glasses. The woman who sells the frames and lenses was pushy and irrational as usual. For example, consider this exchange where we discussed the anti-reflective coating for my lenses (the woman’s name is Pat):

Pat: Ok, so you can either get the anti-reflective coat put on my the manufacturer, or you can get ours.

Me: Oh ok. What’s the difference?

Pat: They are totally the same.

Me: I see. Is there a cost difference?

Pat: Oh, well ours is just $8 more.

Me: Well, since they’re the same, I guess I’ll go for the cheaper one from the manufacturer.

Pat: … but the warranty on ours is better.

Me: Huh? Howso?

Pat: Yeah. It’s just better.

Me: That’s alright, I’ll go with the one from the manufacturer.

Pat: ooook. If you say so.

This nonsensical behavior is typical of Pat. The whole procedure of building the new lenses and putting them into the frames takes about a week. When I got a call from Pat this morning, I was expecting to hear that they were ready.

Pat: Hi this is Pat from Dr. Markowitz’s office.

Me: Hey Pat.

Pat: So as we suspected, your frames broke when they tried to put the new lenses in.

Me: I didn’t suspect anything like that, but ok go on.

Pat: So I remember that you had a second pair of the same frames. Would you like to use those or purchase new frames?

Me: Oh… welll, can the price I paid for the new lenses still be applied to the new frames?

Pat: Oh sure no problem!

Me: hmm… And is it possible to get a refund?

Pat: Well, they already made the lenses, and when you were here we discussed that the frames could break, because they are three to four years old, after all.

Me: We discussed no such thing.

Pat: Yes we did, I remember it very clearly.

Me: No, we did not discuss this at all.

Pat: In fact, you signed a release form saying that you understood that the frames might break. It’s right here in your file.

Me: Excuse me? No, I did not sign any release form. Do you have a copy of this form? Did you give me a copy of this form?

Pat: Well I’m looking for it in your file right now.

Me: I did not sign any release form, so you won’t find a release form in my file. I’d like a refund now please.

Pat: We discussed that the frames might break.

Me: ummm… Well, why don’t you give me the phone number of the company that produces the lenses, so that I can call them and get a refund.

Pat: You’d have to do a refund through us. I’ll have to have Dr. Markowitz call you back.

Me: Yes, please do so. *click*

The only paper I signed in their office was the receipt of services. It is possible that their receipt was also a release form in disguise, because they had me sign it while my pupils were dilated and I could not read anything. However, I have a copy of that receipt, and it’s just an itemized bill, so unless they did something unscrupulous to capture my signature onto a hidden second form, then they have no release form, and I want a refund.

The worst part is that I understand that these things happen, and I don’t really blame them (it’s not as if I’m asking them to replace my destroyed frames). If Pat had called and just told me what the deal was, rather than trying to scare me into buying their stuff by lying about a release form and a conversation that never happened, I would have been much more inclined to just give in and buy new frames.

Dr. Markowitz called me back a few minutes later. He gave me the same spiel as Pat, except with much less pressure and much more respect. I told him that I had already decided I want a refund, and he said he’d see what he could do. I also left him a complaint about Pat, and he half apologized and half defended her. I guess that’s the most I can hope for.

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