Visionworks Customer Service Gets it Right on Second Try

Visionworks

Good customer service goes a long way and I commend businesses that realize this, even if it takes a couple of tries to get it right. Such was the case for Visionworks, which recently righted a major wrong I wrote about back in June.

The Backstory

To sum up: The scratch coating on the glasses I purchased there in the spring of 2014 was starting to flake off for the second time in 1 year. I had already replaced the lenses in the same pair of glasses in late 2014, after the first time this defect occurred. However, because this time it happened after my 1-year warranty on the glasses had expired, the eye care chain told me I was out of luck – I would have to pay for the replacement lenses this time around.

An important part of the story to note: A Visionworks employee at one of the company’s Chicago stores admitted to me that its suppliers sometimes create defective batches of the scratch coating. Looks like my lenses were treated with those “defective” batches not just once, but twice.

Customer service also told me Visionworks could not replace the lenses at no charge. While I was obviously upset Visionworks was not taking responsibility for giving me another set of problematic lenses, my biggest takeaway from the experience was that the company knowingly works with suppliers that produce sub-par products and this scratching of the scratch coating was a problem it knew of.

Customer Services Gets a Second Chance

Shortly after my rant about the experience published on Spend Matters, I received an email and a phone call from a Chicago territory director of Visionworks. Unlike the employees at the Visionworks store or the online customer service, this company representative offered an actual solution and a sincere apology.

He noted while it was extremely rare for 1 customer to receive defective coating on her lenses twice, Visionworks takes full responsibility for the problematic lenses and should have swiftly replaced them. He added the specific store I had visited was in transition with general management, and it had handled my situation poorly.

The representative instructed me to go back to the store anytime, where I would be taken care of and the company would replace my lenses at no charge. This was what I was hoping for and expecting when I first went into the store back in June. The Visionworks rep even offered up his cell phone and said he could meet me at the store in person if I would like, to ensure everything went smoothly.

Everything has so far. I dropped off my glasses recently at the same Visionworks location, and it will be replacing the lenses at no cost to me. The new manager at the store was extremely apologetic and kind. He even threw in a lens cleaning kit. Nice touch.

Takeaways

Does good customer service (eventually) make up for a company dishing out defective products? No. Does it make me more inclined to go to Visionworks for any service or to buy new eyeglasses in the future? No. I can’t say the company has shown it produces and sells products of value. It has failed there. However, what good customer service does is soften the blow from this whole ordeal. It’s makes the first “tough luck” response I received hurt a bit less.

I do thank Visionworks for ultimately fixing this problem. As frustrating as it may have been, even if I have needed to take the same pair of glasses in twice for repairs in roughly 18 months, at least the company took care of the situation properly in the end. The first time Visionworks got it all wrong. But hey, everyone deserves a second chance, right?

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