Had not realized how scammy the retail side of the industry really is [RANT]

Jake has a funny video where he compares Essilor EyeZen lenses to Vitamin Water. I pretty much agree with him about Vitamin Water. But, I’m a sucker for plus lenses right now and the EyeZen concept sound kind of cool so I thought it would be fun to make up a pair of computer glasses with some cheap frames and try out some of the fancy lenses and coatings and see what they’ve come up with. So I called around to some of the local retail optical places with my wallet out ready to spend money.

OH YOU NEED A PRESCRIPTION.

I don’t need a prescription, I want to make a pair of reading glasses. I don’t wear glasses. My driver’s licence doesn’t require me to wear glasses.

THAT’S ILLEGAL. WE COULD LOSE OUR LICENSE.

It says right on Essilor’s website that EyeZen is for everybody, no prescription required…

NO NO NO WE CANT SELL YOU ANYTHING UNTIL YOU HAVE AN EYE EXAM FIRST

Well, I have an eye exam, it says I have 20/20 vision, can you sell me some Plano glasses with the Eyezen 4? I’m just interested in using them in front of the computer, I don’t even care what the frames look like.

FRAMES START AT $100

Balpark total cost if I went with the cheapest frames you sell?

WE COULDN’T SAY! AT LEAST $875… plus tax, YOU WOULD HAVE TO COME IN, YOU WOULD NOT LIKE THE $100 FRAMES

So far nobody has been polite, curious, knowledgeable, helpful… No one returned even a single one of my phone calls… it’s like an industry that’s determined let the world destroy it forever. I’ve ended up buying Essilor Crizal lenses for about $10 on eBay and I’ll either pay somebody to cut them for me or I’ll cut them myself at this point. I think I’m going to declare myself a whiolesale optical professional and just open a business account with a lens cutter or one of the Essilor Pro Labs in NYC.

I thought, well @jakey is kind of a quirky guy. He’s softened his rants up a lot over the years. I’ll find one of these cool mom and pop retail shops like they have in Germany and pay someone for premium service… lol. The people I’ve run into so far at the retail level have been much worse than what I had imagined. I haven’t even been asked a single question like “what brings you in today, can I help you find something?” It’s just predatory and hostile here. The only place so far that hasn’t been outright obnoxious is Costco, and they are fine for what they are (pick from the choices they have and get your glasses back in a week) but they have a pretty limited selection compared to what I know is available.

It’s just strange to be walking around with money, and an exact list of things I would buy today right now, and have nobody even try a little teeny tiny bit to make a sale other than “we’ll tell you what you’re going to get.”

I don’t know how they stay in business at all. Might as well be offering VHS Video Rental. I guess the margins are so high they just need a few insecure suckers to buy a few thousand dollar pairs of $20 glasses every week. I haven’t even seen another potential customer yet.

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I totally agree with you about the level of scammy at most places and the spectacularly rude dispositions of many of them too. But I think you are going to a lot of trouble (not to mention potential expense) for something that has a great deal of room to backfire. It seems to me a great deal of people who play with plus lenses get themselves in trouble… Also I don’t put much stock in blue blockz. But best wishes just the same in accomplishing your goal.

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But they will be very “courteous”. I received a text on my cell from my optometrist office, addressed to my child (who is 5 mind you). "Happy Birthday, we wish you the best, bla, bla, bla… Come into the office and we will give you a 10% discount on frames as a gift for your birthday. My child is 5 and never wore glasses. Sigh…

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I’ve softened only because I realized how much I sound like a crazy person ranting. Fun as it is, probably ok to put people off a little bit less.

But yea … your experience is definitely about on par with a lot of mine.

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I actually like the people in my local optometry. They seem unaware that they are doing the work of Satan. Such nice people can be perfectly courteous and friendly as they say the ophthalmological equivalent of “You want fries with that?”

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Dubness is malice. Words that sounded stupid to me from highscholars when i was little…a part of me hoped that they are stupid, that would require less from me. But no, i think they avoid feelings of guilt by playing dumb.

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