The life of a vision therapy patient sometimes means taking one step forward only to have to take three steps back.
Below is my dilemma. I would appreciate advice from patients and optometrists about how to get my prism lenses made correctly and how to get Sears Optical to repay me for the costs associated to their defective product that made me drive with one eye closed lest I cause a car accident. (I am located in California.)
On May 15, 2012, I went to my local Sears Optical location to order my prism glasses which I'd been waiting for anxiously for over a year for my developmental optometrist to prescribe. (I've been in VT for 2.5 years.) The glasses were supposed to be delivered on May 27 but they didn't pass inspection at the Luxottica laboratory in Tennessee. Luxottica Corporation owns Sears Optical, Lens Crafters, Ray Ban and other major brands. I finally got the glasses on June 20, five weeks after the order. Upon my insistence, Sears gave me a 60% discount on the order.
However, the glasses they sold me at 40% of cost were defective. I had to drive with one eye closed because my left field of vision moved faster than my right field. The divider lanes on the left doubled at a 20 degree angle into my lane, causing me to get confused as to where my lane was. At night, the extra divider lane was not only at a 20 degree angle but it was sometimes elevated above ground. If you've ever had to drive with an eye closed, you know how hard it is.
I couldn't look down when descending a staircase because the end of the step would also double at a 20 degree angle, making it hard for me to see where the end of each step was. Other lines, whether they be on sidewalks or my kitchen floor, would double or be distorted.
After a week in the glasses, I called my optometrist and explained my side effects. He said they weren't normal and told me to come in immediately. But he had no appointments available for several days. He examined the specs and found that instead of a 6 diopter horizontal prism, I only had a 3 diopter prism. Upon measuring me in the new prism glasses with prisms he made me hold in front of the lenses, he asked me to come back in three days to measure me again to see if my measurements were steady before going back to Sears Optical to get the glasses re-done. I had to go to my VT doctor twice last week because of the faulty lenses made by Sears/Luxottica.
After paying out of pocket, as my VT visits are not covered by my insurance, I went back to Sears Optical with a note in hand from the doctor stating that the lenses were not made to specifications. Sears Optical said they'd redo the glasses and refund me all the money I had paid for the glasses. I asked them to reimburse me for the two optometrist visits I had to pay for last week to determine that the glasses were faulty. The optician made a copy of the receipts from my eye doctor. The optician and her regional manager told me that Sears would not reimburse me for the doctor's visits but would make me a 2nd pair of glasses for free. Given that Sears on two occasions couldn't make my glasses correctly, I have reason to believe they may not do it right the 3rd time. So a "free" pair of a possibly defective product that could cause me to be a danger to society while driving is no repayment for the money I have had to pay to my VT doctor, nor the inconvenience I've gone through with the prism glasses.
Given that Luxottica owns many eye lens labs in the US, I don't know which other company to go to that has a high level of quality and reliability. I saw on the Internet that there have been many consumer and employee complaints against Luxottica.
Also, what do I do to get Sears Optical to pay me back for my doctor's visits?
By the time, I get my new prism glasses, it will be 2-3 months after my doctor prescribed me the lenses, setting me back a couple of months in my already super-long VT process. (I am leaving on a trip in two and a half weeks and will be out of the country for three weeks.)
I am really frustrated and would appreciate advice.
That sounds awful, I would have been so frightened to need to drive with an eye closed. Obviously Sears Optical has done a terrible job for you. That said, I doubt very much that you will succeed in getting them to pay for the cost of your doctor's visits. I would focus on getting the full refund for the amount you have already paid. And although you might not trust them, I would take them up on their offer to make you a new pair, since (if I understand your post correctly) they will be free. In the meantime you can look for other opticians/manufacturers. I don't have a recommendation, unfortunately. But if the Sears ones are actually correct they will be a free spare. Good luck, sorry I can't be more help with the glasses labs, I only just started wearing glasses myself.
Yes, Sears refunded me all of my money for my glasses. But I am still afraid they'll screw them up again, for the 3rd time!
Are you in the Bay Area? Mine are from UC Berkeley Optometry, http://cal-eye-care.org/
They turned out well, also 6 diopter horiz. correction. I have since been given an updated prescription that includes a 2 diopter vert. correction in one lens, so I am having another pair made, I just went in yesterday and they should be ready in a couple weeks. This time I selected a different type of frame and higher index plastic lens, hoping that they turn out lighter - the current lenses are too heavy. I'll check back here when I get the new ones and let you know how they turn out.
Robert, Yes I am in the Bay Area but Berkeley is at least an hour's drive and I hate driving even though I can use both eyes now. But you're the second person today to recommend the UC Berkeley Optometry School eye center.
A quick update, I received my 2nd pair today from UC Berkeley Optometry. They turned out great! I chose the high index lenses this time and they are much, much lighter than the last ones. I knew the last pair would be temporary and got the basic lens, and they were almost unbearably heavy (6 diopter horiz prism in each lens). Also went with a plastic frame which is a better choice due to how they rest on the nose, especially for heavier lenses. I can post pics if anyone wants to see the difference between the regular and high index 6 diopter lenses.
I am in Oklahoma, and had mine made at Eye Masters, which I think is a national chain. I had no problem with the proper prescription on the prisms. It doesn't seem right that your optometrist would charge you extra to check the lenses. If he prescribed the glasses for you, it should be follow up to assure you have the right prescription. I suggest asking your optometrist to waive the additional charges.