View Full Version : In which I pit Boots the Opticians for incompetance, and, more importantly, Myself.
11-24-2003, 08:34 AM
About a week ago, I stood on my glasses, breaking them beyond all hope of repair. I was annoyed, and fely like a complete idiot for incurring the expense. I went into my local Boots opticians, with my prescription, chose frames I liked and ordered a new set, charging the £170 to my credit card. The friendly assistant told me they would be here the following monday (today) and that they would call me when they arrived.
Today, I get a phone call from a very apologetic assistant, telling me there has been a problem (one of the lenses has smashed, either in transit or manufacture) and that there will be a delay of ONE FUCKING WEEK!! This is not the service I would expect, whilst I know that accidents happen, I would expect them to try to resolve a mistake on their part slightly more quickly than if I had walked off the street and ordered a new pair today.
Even more irritating than that is that I cannot manage to be annoyed with the shop staff, as I fully appreciate that mistakes made in the lab are out of their control, so I sit there, calmly talking on the phone with them, explaining about how I am suffering inconvenience because of this, getting headaches in lectures because I cant see the OHP slides properly, my spare set being from my last prescription and only just OK as a stand in for a short amount of time while I obtain a replacement set. So I sit there being patient, and reasonable, and the assistant is sympathetic, and apologetic, and I cant work myself up into a rage at them to become the Customer From Hell and actually get some kind of partial refund/goodwilll payment out of them.
So, Boots, although I am too polite and reasonable to tell you this to your face: Fuck You! Why cant you provide a service and demonstrate an ounce of competance, I mean, you are in an industry wher you handle delicate optical lenses daily, surely it is not too much to ask that you provide a product at the appointed time? Also, why does it take you anothe fucking week to sort out a mistake that YOU HAVE MADE?
And myself:Why are you too poilite and reasonable to tell this to them? Come on man, find yourself a set of fucking balls and give them hell, anyone else would, never mind that it isnt the fault of the person you are talking to, it's their fucking problem now and you deserve some kind of compensation for their inability to deliver on time. Stop acting like a timid sniveling maggot, go down to the shop and stand there speaking loudly at them until they give you money to make you go away!!
Thankyou, rant over.
11-24-2003, 09:15 AM
Optical shops typically don't stock a large number of lenses for any given presciption because it isn't practical. If your prescription is fairly strong, or they just had several orders for that lens that week, it's not strange at all that they would only have one in the ship. Since it broke, they need to order a new one from their supplier, which just takes a certain amount of time.
Consider yourself lucky; I typically have to wait a week for my glasses every time, because I have a very strong prescription and they always have to order my lenses in. If you think I get a discount for the inconvenience, think again! (Okay, full disclosure: I don't pay for my glasses; my husband is an optician, and one of his job benefits is free glasses for his family every year--but I still have to wait a week, dammit!)
I imagine that you have the option of canceling your order and going to a different shop, don't you?
If it's any consolation at all, at the hubby's shop, they always say it'll be a week, in case anything goes wrong, but it's usually just 2-3 days. YMMV.
11-24-2003, 02:27 PM
hybrid_dogfish , you realise you are confirming what other nationalities always say about us, raging silently at things, but being nice and polite outloud!
FWIW, don't see why it shouldn't take the same ammount of time as the original order, though. Unless they normally go slowly on purpose.
If you want to complain though, there's no need to rage at the shop assistants (who have no power to give you any compansation anyway). Either ring and speak to the store manager, or, probably better, put it in writing to the Head Office (in Nottingham IIRC).
11-25-2003, 03:17 AM
I guess it's reasonable to either cancel your order and head for a place with an onsite lab or ask for compensation. Phone the customer care number for the opticians - unless it's a very unusual prescription, they will have been processed at their own labs. I've not had a good experience of Vision Express or D&A, though.
I got my last pair from Boots and was happy with the service. However, I wear contacts mainly, so it wasn't a big problem.
Can you tolerate soft lenses? A free trial of disposables might tide you over until your specs arrive. I've certainly done this before.
11-25-2003, 05:27 AM
As another one who could NOT cope without specs (or drugs and rock'n'roll:) no, not really. :) , I do think you deserve better treatment when it is Boots who are at fault in this case. And I do wonder how far their lab can really be from Durham - I’d understand it if this was one tiny optician shop on a remote island with irregular contact with the rest of the world, but.............:(
Methinks they should be pulling out all the stops to get this pair ASAP, since it is not your fault but it is you who will have a bloody miserable time waiting.
If you can't see the OHP slides, how about me guessing that your sight is bad enough to make it feel really awkward even to manage in the cafeteria, to see whether the fuzzy big object, roughly bus shaped, is going to be the *right* one, and oh, tons of tiny everyday things, that just get nasty when you suddenly can't trust your own eyes. Computer screens as a thing of mystery, which must *really* help when you are a student, and, heck, they must imagine you will navigate to the right bits of the supermarket by memory alone. GRRRRRRRR. Yeah - warn them that if you are malnourished or starved by the time they get organised, then they’ll be sorry! :)
:( Hell, when you can't trust eyesight, even going up and down stairs takes some concentration. And crossing the road gets bloody scary. :(
I'd say cancel, and cross your fingers and trust to one of those "usually same day" places (I thought they'd be dreadful, but........ ports, storms etc! BUT as you have paid Boots, already, I imagine you'd be worried about getting them to repay your money with the proper speed.
I think you should write or phone to make your feelings known, really. Heck, Boots being one of those companies that are practically iconic, or whatever the correct word is, like Marks & Sparks etc, one might think they ought to care a little about the impression they make on their customers.
However, that suggestion about getting a free trial of contact lenses has a lot going for it - good thinking, confusingly named Sir Doris! It depends, of course, whether you would feel ok trying that, which, if you have not tried lenses before, you might not.
Still, you can get used to those soft lenses comfortably and very very quickly safely at home, and when venturing out, of course, you'll have the security of the back-up set of old specs with you.*
(I mislaid my proper specs earlier this week, and, *of course* could ONLY find an old pair that were broken in the sense that one lens kept falling out. As well as being an old prescription anyway, of course. So, my feelings about eyesight are even stronger than usual just now.)
You would do well to write to them, though - after all it is not the same as feeling that you are harassing some poor sod who is having a bad day in the shop to start with. Plus, you coudl have quite a cathartic time of it, first writing what you think of Boots, and then, I suppose version “, which you later actually post. :)
*Important note - with contact lenses, it is generally best not to take them out for cleaning in the public toilets, then lose one in the washbasin, then dash off to nearest hardware shop for any implement that will let you do a bit of amateur plumbing. Not often I can be the voice of experience, but sometimes... :(
Hybrid That is why I went to Vision Express when I broke my glasses about six weeks ago. I'm blind as a bat without glasses, so I paid a total of £116.95 and got mine within the hour.
11-25-2003, 06:12 AM
Thanks for the sympathy folks:) . Fortunately, since I am shortsighted I have no problem dealing with computers or textbooks, and the halls I am in are catered, so not being able to see the food properly is actually a blessing (although it doesnt taste any better). I am, however discovering just how reliant I am on my glasses though, I never realised before how much it screws with my perception of the speed/distance of oncoming cars. Trying to find the aforementioned textbooks in the library is quite interesting, since I have to get my head within about 1' of the spines of the books, people must think I am trying to locate titles by smell;) .
Contacts aren't really an option, since I have never had them before, and everywher I asked said I would need a 'contact lens consultation' or something similar so they can check that lenses are suitable for me, (which they would be pleased to provide at additional cost) I suppose Boots might have been able to do me a deal on them to pass me by, but if they cant be trusted to handle a piece of glass without breaking it, I'm wary of trusting my entire eyeball to them ( I feel sorry for the poor saps visiting the laser clinic they have downstairs:eek: )
The problem with the OHP slides was solved relatively easily by a combination of sitting right at the front of the lecture theatre, and squinting through my old glasses.
I would also like to know exactly how far away the labs are, since the tiny independant optician in my home town seems to be able to get pretty much any lens/prescription/finish you want in three to four days.
I am currently writing a letter to their head office in Nottingham detailing the difficulties that i am suffering due to this delay.
Ah well, next time I'll just accept the extra £27 train fare home and go to the tiny independant where I at least dont have to hand over any cash until I get my hands on the goods.
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