STANTON OPTICAL CAUGHT SELLING USELESS EYEGLASSES TO UPSTATE SENIOR
No one enjoys being duped, especially folks on a fixed income. A Spartanburg area elderly person was drawn to Stanton Optical’s buy one get one free deal. The ad, like most, comes with restrictions that can only be found in the ‘fine print’. Said senior was also told that the eye exam was free. It is not. The cost of the 2 pairs for $69 ballooned into $258.00. We suspect some of the inflated cost for the second pair is to cover the eye exams.
Now, besides the false and very misleading statement ultimately used to lure customers, additional and equally disturbing red flags surfaced. When Consumer M. complained that she was unable to out of the eyeglasses she was sold, a staff member stated that there was very, very little medicine in them. So, in essence, in the end, “Consumer M” was sold two pairs of eyeglasses that the staff, expressly the Optometrist, knew would not benefit ‘Consumer M’.
A second eye doctor unrelated to Stanton revealed that Consumer M, had protein deposits to build upon both of her eyes, one more than the next, but this significantly impacted her vision. Instead of Stanton explaining to Consumer M. that her vision would only worsen due to the pile-up, that glasses would not benefit her. Stanton’s staff, later on, admitted that there was very, very little medicine in the $258 eyeglasses.
Regarding the dicy advertisement of a free eye exam. That is indeed false. The eye exam is not free. It is paid upfront by the customer, then supposedly deducted from the cost of the eyeglasses is paid by the consumer upfront. Though that amount is listed as $45.00, Stanton’s staff explains that it is free in that after the initial $45.00 is paid, the same $45.00 is then taken off of the price of the glass on the back end. Still, Consumer M also had medicare which Stanton billed them for a whopping amount of $300 plus, using insurance billing.
A member of IATD contacted Stanton about the consumer’s experience and was informed that they do not offer refunds. Well, well, well. That bit of information was not disclosed to the consumer before hand, and especially not in a conspicuous way so of course the customer had a problem with owning two pair useless glasses on top of being charged far more than the two (2) for $69.00.
The consumer was then informed that she would have to wait 7 to 10 days for a check to come in the mail from Stanton’s corporate offices. That of course is unacceptable. As a retail company, Stanton’s refund policy should align with the norm in that a refund in the manner of which the item was purchased should occur.
After some discussion, Stanton did provide a quicker solution to the consumer in that a refund was placed back on her card, one that she hadn’t use for the purchase. We waited a certain bit of time to ensure the refund was given. The consumer contacted us on yesterday to let us know she was refunded via her credit card.
Yet, the problem remains, Staton is willing to sell useless glasses to unsuspecting consumers, especially those who are most vulnerable to such consumer shenanigans as what Stanton was comfortable in doing. We must now wonder how many other seniors on a fixed income have been taken advantage in this instance. If you are unable to see out of your glasses once they come in, please document it when you share your inability to see out of the prescribed lens.
Also, if your $45.00 co-pay is billed to your insurance company please ask for a copy of the actual amount your insurance company is actually billed.