Question: After researching every online eyeglass site, I selected Globaleyeglasses.com for new lenses for my own $400 Oliver Peoples frames.
It was difficult to find a site that would put new lenses in my own frames. I needed progressive bifocals, sent a copy of the prescription and ordered Varilux polycarbonate Essilor lenses which the company assured me they had at a cost of $164, including $6 for shipping and $5 insurance.
I was nervous about sending my frames to an unknown location in Georgia, so I purchased the lenses via Paypal, thinking my purchase was protected. I sent them via UPS only to have UPS contact me a few days later saying that there was no such company at the address they gave me. I contacted the company via their 800 number and should have been immediately suspicious when there was no automated system or normal customer service assistance.
A man named Kevin told me that the address on their site was incorrect. I paid UPS an additional $10 to redirect the shipment of my frames to the correct address. By now a week had passed and when I finally received my glasses with the new lenses three weeks later, I was unable to see with them. My ophthalmologist confirmed that the prescription was totally wrong and the lenses were not Varilux, but a cheap imitation.
I tried to get a refund through Paypal but was unsuccessful. I then spent weeks going back and forth with Kevin, who agreed to send me a refund.
I sent the lenses back to them via certified mail only to have them returned to me a few weeks later stamped unclaimed. To this day I have not been successful in getting my refund and fear I never will. The company continues to send me email promotions but I have never been able to get any serious customer service satisfaction or my money back. If you are able to help me I would be very grateful. — C. Reed, New York
Answer: While there are a significant number of reviews that rave about Globaleyeglasses.com, you’ll also find a few that call the company “incompetent” for botching their prescriptions. Careful research would have revealed these mixed reviews, and might have given you a moment’s hesitation before ordering your lenses.
I can understand why you’d want to order glasses online. The markup on lenses is reportedly between 100 and 300 percent, and for frames it’s said to be as high as 1,000 percent. If you can save some money by doing business with a website, why not?
Well, now you know why not.
Although many people can save money by buying lenses online, you can encounter some real problems — insurmountable problems — when the product isn’t to your liking.
Let’s rewind to the start of your purchase and run through all the red flags. You were nervous about the transaction, there was no automated system, the address was wrong, the return package was unclaimed and the many promises of a refund were not honored. These are all signs of trouble, and if you ever encounter the same warnings with an online business again, don’t walk away — run.
Also, use a credit card, because you have some protection if your product doesn’t meet your specifications. With PayPal, not so much.
I contacted Globaleyeglasses.com on your behalf, but it didn’t respond. I’m afraid your money is gone.
(Photo: orangea cid/Flickr)