Providence, Rhode Island
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After receiving a pair of replacement glasses from lenscrafters with Featherwate polycarbonate lenses, I quickly noticed that I saw weird color fringing from side to side, also known as chromatic aberration - it was very very noticeable. This made any amount of periphery vision very blurry, so I would have to turn my head and look directly at something to see it clearly.

So I went back to the store after trying them out for a week and told one of the "opticians" the problem I was having. They said they had never heard of that before, and quickly walked me next door to the affiliated optometrist in the mall to re-examine my eyes. After an hour I was able to get in to see the doctor, who also said that this was new to him when I was describing the color fringing on vertical lines of high contrast, and overall blurriness in the periphery. He checked my prescription and adjusted the left eye by .25. His only possible explanation to my problem was that I didn't have the anti-reflective coating on the lens. I thought that was a little unlikely but saw it as my only hope for getting a decent lens at the time. So I went in and paid 87 dollars more for them to give me lenses with AR.

After a few days the lenses arrived and were replaced with the new ones. Only after an hour when I came to pick them up I was told the new lenses had a defect in them so they had to put the old ones in and re-order the lenses. So a few days after that I was called in again, and I had the new AR polycarbonate "featherwates" put in. Well I quickly realized that the chromatic aberration was not better in the slightest and I told this to the man who was helping me. Again, another confounded look on his face, seemingly surprised that I still had a problem. I told him how I couldn't see anything out of my periphery, even a little bit without getting color fringing and blurriness. Another sales lady standing nearby chimed in telling me that the lenses are made to be looked through the center and not out the side. Well thanks a lot for that!! So helpful, they must think every customer is an *** and are trained accordingly. Anyways, the man finally offered the term chromatic aberration to me, which I hadn't mentioned to him yet because honestly I was trying to offer it in as simple of terms as possible, since they never tell the customers anything in technical terms. So finally I thought I was getting somewhere when he mentioned that and I said "yes thats exactly what I'm talking about", thinking he might have an idea what the problem may be. But no, that was it, he knew what I was talking about, but had no solutions for me. So I left, frustrated again.

Well after I got home I did some googling on lenses, chromatic aberration, etc. What I learned in about 2 minutes explained why I was having this problem. Apparently polycarbonate lenses have very poor optics compared to plastic lenses, which is apparently what I was wearing before. There is something called the ABBE number, which specifies the dispersion of the lens material. The higher the ABBE number, the less chromatic aberration you will see. Polycarbonate lenses have an ABBE value of 30, and standard CR-39 lenses have an ABBE value of 59.3, almost 2x as much as polycarbonate lenses.

After discovering this I was immediately convinced that this was my problem, and I was very angry with Lenscrafters for pushing the Polycarbonate lenses on me, and making plastic lenses seeming like they were an inferior product. And I was more upset by the fact that I discovered in 2 minutes what they could not or would not tell me from 2 different sales persons, and one optometrist. Either they are incredibly poorly trained, or they are told to lie to the customer, or both.

Yesterday I went in to ask them to put in plastic lenses, telling them about my problem and why this was happening, and that I wanted plastic because they have better optics. Of course, the new guy I haven't seen before also played dumb, and tried telling me that there was no difference in optical quality between the two lens materials. I don't like to argue with strangers, and I avoid confrontations when possible, but I told him that I've actually done the research and I know for a fact that plastic lenses have better optics.

H sat on the computer for about 5 minutes looking stuff up, but have no idea what. He was a little slow. Finally he went over and talked to the manager for a minute and then told me that I could get the plastic lenses put in and they would credit me back something like 26 dollars. Well hold on a minute! I paid 200 dollars for my frames, and after a discount for having Blue Cross insurance, paid a total of $156 for the polycarb lenses with AR. And they sale that they were having is that if you spend more than $169 on frames then you get basic lenses for free. So I should sure as heck be getting back a lot more than $26!

I spent about a minute trying to explain this to the guy, and when he got frustrated he went back to his manager, and she came over to talk to me. She was nice and after a few agreed that I should be getting back $156 because I am now switching back to the "free" plastic lenses.

But then I asked if I could get an AR coat on the plastic lenses and she said that was not available. After asking again she said she'd look it up, but not even be the same type of plastic. I think she was referring to the high index lenses, but she didn't say so. She must have been because she said to get an AR coat on my lenses would cost me $250. I didn't want to argue anymore so I said just give me the free plastic lenses.

So after about an hour I had the new lenses put in and when I put them on I could immediately notice a huge difference in my vision and the horrible color fringing was gone almost completely. Finally some relief.

It still bothers me very much that either they do not offer an AR coat for standard plastic lenses, or she did not tell me the truth about it, or she just had no clue what she was talking about.

I think as a whole, Lenscrafters is a shady company to be avoided if at all possible. The staff is poorly trained, or very well trained at the art of treating their customers like complete idiots. They needlessly try to get you to pay exorbitant amounts of money on upgraded lenses when the cheap plastic ones will give you much better vision quality. One of they possible ways they could deter you from buying plastic lenses is by saying they can't get AR coating, but I'm not sure about that.

Overall, it was a very very poor experience with them, and I will never be caught in that store again.

Product or Service Mentioned: Lenscrafters Eye Exam.

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Anonymous
#1335904

It's not just lenscrafters. Warby Parker puts polycarbonate lenses in their glasses by default.

And even my local optician sells the "bargain" frames with polycarbs. They didn't even bother telling me about other lens options, which I found weird tbh.

They made the polycarbs sound great. Zero mention of optics, chromatic aberration, quality of scratch-resistant coating or anti-glare coating.

Anonymous
#1211874

I'm am dealing with literally the EXACT same problem right now with Lens Crafters. They keep acting like they have never heard of chromatic aberration when it's common knowledge for optometrists.

Anonymous
#935165

I had a very similar problem. Ended up just returning the glasses.

Anonymous
#883468

Lenscrafters used to be a great company but like all the rest they just hire anybody.

Anonymous
#947611
@nottoday

There are some good people, but it's a chain, and they mostly suck. I loved my optometrist, but she was out of town when I really needed to see her, so I went to a different Lenscrafters, closer to where I was on the day I'd be in Manhattan, I made an appt.

No complaints about the optometrist, but whoever gave me these ridiculously horrible lenses I will hate forever. The "anti-reflective coating"? It breaks down, and leaves your lenses a total disaster. When I called, they play dumb.

Never heard of my complaint before. Just like your rather very long-winded, but captivating story of bs that should never have happened. What a ridiculous waste of money. I will never shop at Lenscrafters again.

How I wish I had waited for my Dr.

at my store to get back in town. I highly doubt they would have foisted these defective, inferior lenses on me, as a long-standing client.

Anonymous
#974671
@Demi Monde

The person I spoke to likewise said they'd never heard this complaint before, either. My glasses are an unmitigated nightmare.

Never seen anything like it before. This anti-reflective coating has done horrible things to the lenses, to the extent they are unwearable. Give me good old plastic lenses any day. Far superior and at a fraction of the cost.

I wonder if yours look as bad as mine. And it's more than breaking down, though that is a good way to phrase it. I too had been a longstanding customer at the Lenscrafters on 5th and W.

45th, but my optemetrist, who I love, was out of town, and went to a Lenscrafters nearer where I was one day. Never again.

Anonymous
#844913

I had the same issue - chromatic aberration in polycarbonate - which I saw as purple and yellow fringing on every edge in the field of view (and of, course, on every printed letter). Apparently some people see this effect, others don't.

My experience was better - I took them back within the 30 day time period, explained the issue, and they replaced the lenses with plastic ones - no questions asked.

Anonymous
#825634

I am so glad to read all these complaints. It's not just me!

My regular optometrist was on vacation, so I went to a Lens Crafters closer to where I was going to be that Saturday. She was fine, good exam. What wasn't so good was going into the adjacent sales floor. I had bought my frames on line, which the sales guy didn't like at all.

Even said the frames weren't attractive on me. He never discussed different types of lenses with me, and I didn't think to ask. Well, they gave me polycarbonate premium ar, and they are without question the very worst lenses I have ever had. First off, they are impossible to keep clean, and scratch really easily.

More alarming, is the coating is coming off on my lenses, which not only obstructs my vision, but looks terrible! Talk about a rip off! I want to give a shout out for the long term, knowledgeable staff at the 5th Avenue and 45th Lenscrafters. Massive thumbs down to the 3rd Avenue and 49th.

Stay far away! And stay away from these dreadfully inferior lenses!

Anonymous
#816988

I haven't gone to Lenscrafters for years because of the uninformed staff and their outrageous prices. I purchase all my glasses at my opthamologist's office, so if there is a problem (which I have never had) my doctor is right there to help.

Anonymous
#775320

I recently went to lenscrafter to do my vision exam, and I did not find the first optometrist who made my prescription lens. The first guy was a nice person he did not suggest me to buy from lenscrafters which I think was good to me.

but the second time, I went the all the people was new, and they are poor trained on how to treat customers, they suggest me to buy featherwater polycarbonate lens, which I did not like. so I did not plan to buy my glasses from lenscrafters because they try to sell Luxottica products that controls all lens and glasses in the world.

I am kind of tired by judge by yourself in this video about why lenscrafters is not a good place to buy your eyeglasses because they try to sell their products that are not been sold. so Here is the link: http://youtu.be/VxPLGPO2q3E

Anonymous
#743655

I had the same issues at Walmart because they pushed polycarbonate lenses on me. No peripheral vision and I couldn't drive or take a walk with them on.

Currently I have my old lenses back in my glasses until I can work out these issues. Why would they sell these lenses to a 66 year old with the beginnings of cataracts?

Anonymous
#702013

I'm surprised that they were even willing to replace the lenses a second time. I had to just ask for my money back because they refused to replace the lenses a second time. LensCrafters is a joke, and a ripoff.

Anonymous
#636053

I had the same exact problem!!! THey are just wasting my time and money! I will go again to get out of this polycarbonate lenses!

Anonymous
#626097

First, I agree that they absolutely should have known what was going on. Anyone with basic optics training could have told you what you were experiencing when you explained the color distortion and peripheral vision distortion.

I have been a lab manager with Lenscrafters for 16 years and that store obviously needs to be retrained. Also standard plastic lenses absolutely DO come with a/r if you wanted them. I would have called customer service and reported them. Not sure what they were talking about saying you can't get it with A/R.

With that being said, please do not judge all of Lenscrafters due to your experience with one store. I have been with this company for 16 years and am board certified and have had many offers from other companies that I continually turn down because Lenscrafters is the #1 optical company in the world! We are next to NONE when it comes to quality. And as a lab manager, I can tell you that I take quality SERIOUSLY!

I do not send out anything that I would personally not wear or would not give my family members! Our quality is next to none and are more stringent than ANSI requires. Overall, we have the best training available, thus the reason most optical companies recruit our employees.

From what you experienced, that particular store may need to go through basic optics again, including the managers. Chromatic Aberration is basic optics and should have been picked up on immediately...

Anonymous
#537774

You just needed to say that you were poly intolerant, if they put you in the wrong material then they will exchange the lenses for you. if you go with basic plastic they will refund you the difference if you go hi index they might ask you to pay for the upgrade, ask for a discount off the upgrade, they will give it to you. they were most helpful when i had this problem, yeah i had a bunch of time wasted but the sales people worked hard to find out what the problem was and then fix it, to no cost to me.

be reasonable and polite and people will bend over backwards to help you.

Anonymous
#626099
@carol

you hit the nail on the head...if you come in and are polite, I will bend over backwards and do everything in the world to you, even if something was not our fault. If you come in rude and demanding, I will give you the company policy!

It's amazing how many people do not understand this concept. Remember, honey works better than vinegar....

Anonymous
#702017
@Dave

Good customer service means doing your best in every situation. Not all customers are going to feel warm, fuzzy, and smiling when they come to you with their problems. It's frustrating to pay so much for glasses, wait more than a week to get them, and then have them not work properly. Also, lab techs are not typically the first employees that customers interact with when they return with a problem. Often, they are passed over to the tech AFTER the salesperson has treated them horribly.

I had your company's policy shoved down my throat by the lab manager, and as a result, LensCrafters had to give me a full refund (over $500), and lost a customer for life.

Is it really worth it, to meet a pissed off customer with *** and vinegar???

Anonymous
#464366

Going thru the same thing with Vision Express in Hesperia,Ca.got them today I told her I dont care much for these still blurr in spots she said i just have to look straight an tilt my head a lil I said What??? didnt have this problem before she said its the size of my glasses I told her my others are the same size pulled them out of my purse and showed her she said hummm well its just that i need to get used to them i said if im not happy in 2 days ill be back and she told me to wait a week give it a chanceso well see

Anonymous
#457339

i agree. i think these people are crooks.

i dealt with them about 5 years ago. I finally DEMANDED My money back. Horrible glasses. doesn't matter how cheap they are.

to me vision is very important.

i've been pricing lenses today. costs ranged from 450 for 2 pair to 980 for 2 pair.

i think lenscrafters were about 250. get what you pay for.

Anonymous
#626101
@birdie

lol...if you think we are the cheapest in price, you would be the first person to ever say that...lol. We are definitely not he cheapest...there is no way you got two pairs of glasses for $250 unless you have insurance....you are probably confusing us with another company