This is a quickie retelling of my consumer experience that I am going through at this moment:
Three years ago I obtained my second set of Silhouette eyeglasses from Avant Optometry in Menlo Park. My co-pay alone cost me a pretty penny because these were pretty pricey at Avant. But they are so light you forget you have them on.
When I walked out of Avant three years ago, I remember reveling in how my glasses were scratch resistant!
Recently I started thinking I had lost my touch in how to clean glasses. It does not seem that difficult to clean glasses, yet I was continually failing to get them clear and shiny. They were dirty and I could not clean them. Arg. So I headed out to Avant. They’re good people and will back their customer base if the can. But after visiting Avant, I learned that it was not that I am incapable of cleaning eyeglasses (good!) but that my Silhouette lenses had so many micro-scratches on them, that that is why is looks cloudy or foggy out when I look through them.
Look, I like fog, but this is just over-the-top.
Then I also discovered that my two-year warranty was up almost a year ago, so I was facing a bit of a double bummer.
They said they could get the lenses fixed. I asked how much it would cost without my insurance, and they ball-parked it at around $500 for the lenses only, since my “frames” looked fine. (Which seems odd, considering that some basic online research for what looks like my glasses show them being sold at around $250, with the frames. But I don’t know all the ins and outs of my particular set of glasses.)
Normally I would not question that a product had some kind of wear and tear issue.
But these, my newest three-year-old lenses have not survived my ownership/cleaning methods as long as my five/six-year-old Silhouettes, or my cheap eight-year-old Walgreen readers, or even my old prescription readers that are more than ten-years-old.
So I say to you, W.T.F? Is this another case of designed or “planned obsolescence?” (Planned obsolescence is where a company designs a product to work for a limited amount of time before it falls apart in some fashion.) I can’t imagine my eyeglass maker would do that, but since I don’t trust big name companies much any more after my harrowing experience with my Motorola smart phone.
Because my older glasses have fared so much better under the same treatment is why I ponder the idea of obsolescence. I treat all of my glasses the same way in how I clean them. I have old plastic lenses and glass lenses that have lasted all these years. All much longer and in much better shape than my three-year-old lenses.
That’s pretty disappointing and I have no idea why this pair wore out as fast as they did compared to the rest.
Either way, time to find new glasses. And being a shrewd consumer, maybe even start comparison shop to make sure I’m getting an acceptable deal in my present Optometrist. Right?
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