A D.C. woman went back and forth with an optical shop over a new pair of frames for two years before contacting NBC4 Responds for help.
Monica Lewis said she is very particular about her eyeglass frames.
“I'll see some nice frames, and like, ‘Oh, I gotta get them,’ and I'll get them,” she said.
She usually buys them from various stores and then takes them to an optical shop to get them fitted with her prescription.
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“Never had a problem,” she said. “I've been a satisfied customer. That's why they got my repeat business.”
But during a repeat visit, things didn’t go as planned, she said.
She said she dropped off a new pair of frames at a local optical shop in January 2021 and prepaid to get them fitted with her prescription.
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“They were either too dark at one visit,” she said. “Another visit, they’re too light. Another visit, the prescription was wrong, and there's a lot of back and forth.”
She was then told her pricy frames broke, and because she signed a waiver, the business was “not responsible for replacement or compensation.”
But Lewis said she doesn’t remember signing a waiver.
“I want it to be refunded for both, and that's when, you know, they didn't respond back,” she said.
That left Lewis about $600 in the red for the broken frames and prepaid service.
She said she tried several times to resolve the issue but kept getting radio silence from the company and almost gave up before calling News4.
NBC4 Responds contacted the optical shop, and it agreed to make Lewis whole.
When doing business with optical stores there are protections in place for consumers. The Federal Trade Commission’s eyeglass rule requires ophthalmologists and optometrists to:
- Give customers a copy of their prescription right after the completion of an eye exam.
- They can’t require customers buy eyeglasses from them, pay additional fees, or sign a waiver or release as a condition of getting the prescription.
- They also can’t condition the availability of an examination on a requirement that the customer agrees to purchase any ophthalmic goods.
As for the responsibility waiver, a company might ask a customer to sign one when not buying frames from them, but don’t feel obligated. If the company does, find another shop that doesn’t require it.
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