Specsavers Don’t Quibble

We’re just back from Specsavers, getting our new glasses sorted out. As I wrote earlier in the week, I was having problems with my new glasses, with one eye having problems focusing, and also issues with fringing. I went in yesterday morning, and spoke to the assistant manager who confirmed that the lenses matched my prescription, and then without any prompting offered to retest my eyes for free this afternoon. When I got home Beth said that she hadn’t adapted to her new glasses, and since she was tested at the same time as me, thought that she would like to have hers double checked too, so I phoned and they booked her in too.

Anyway, we arrived today and there was a guy not in uniform who I assume was the senior optician who retested both our eyes. He found that both our prescriptions were slightly different from what had been tested last time. In my case the distance numbers were correct, with one eye 0.25 out, but the angle of my astigmatism was wrong – hence the bluring.

On top of replacing the lenses, which could be argued was down to mistakes on the original test, I also discussed the fringing problems, and also the choice of frame, and whereas last week I doubted whether they would they allowed me to pick a different frame.

We had a discussion about the lenses, as they still recommended putting in the 1.67 high index lenses, as opposed to the 1.6 lenses, which were half the price, the argument being that I would get better vision with the 1.67 lenses. However I did get an assurance that if I still had problems with the 1.67 lenses they would replace them with 1.6 index lenses.

All in all, I’m really quite pleased with the whole experience. Producing an eye prescription is a pretty tedious process as it relies on asking questions, and half the time I’m saying that I really can’t see much difference, so I’m not too upset about the problem with the original test. What made the difference was that they were willing to put themselves out, even to the point of allowing me to change to a different set of frames.

Whilst I’ve seen a number of people grumble about poor experiences at Specsavers, I’m glad to report that in Lower Earley they are honouring the promise:

We want you to be completely happy with your purchase at Specsavers Opticians.

If you have any concerns within six months of the date of purchase, we will put it right. No quibble, no fuss.

96 thoughts on “Specsavers Don’t Quibble”

  1. Really interesting post. As an optical assistant (ahem) and a ‘blind person’ as well I can see both sides of it, it’s really hard sometimes to get things correct where specs are concerned and yeah, errors do happen. But it’s amazing how many people who have had complaints get really angry, say how crap we are at dispensing, demand monetary compensation as well as free specs, etc etc. Not to mention those who we have to say no to a certain request to, because of UK optical rules–but the person rants and raves and can’t accept that. SIGH. I hate working in the retail/service industry for that reason. There’s complaining and voicing a problem and then there’s being obnoxious. We like it when customers like you treat us with a bit of respect. Then we’re more willing to help put it right. Unfortunately, that happens not enough. It’s the whole ‘customer is always right’ mentality and sometimes the customer is not always right. Blimey, didn’t mean to rant so much. The sleepless nights because of Junior are definitely taking their toll on me! 🙂

  2. You may be right there but what about when you give a pair of specs to someone (by that I mean pay) and to cut a long story short after 7 visits (only one by myself would they now be ready) and numerous calls eventually they are ready. Wrong prescription written down first time by assistant.
    They have now come back with a magazine which has an offer for rimless cheaper than his were and offer of 30% discount for students.
    What is more annoying is they do not accept complaints by email.

  3. Yes, two branches of Specsavers in Birmingham have given me grief – Kings Heath and Central. I agree with Carla to a degree, but it seems you’re not allowed to get angry these days – or even a little miffed, with consistently poor service.

    Yes mistakes do happen, but from my experiences, these have been particularly commonplace at both specsavers I’ve been to. And given eyesight is a matter of health and not just about business, there is a need to understand that mistakes in such a profession should NOT be commonplace.

    I ordered my BOGOF pairs from Central Birmingham after an assistant started arguing with me for merely requesting I dealt with a manager instead of her over a perfectly reasonable request. Then when the glasses finally arrived at my Kings Heath branch, they were of the wrong prescritption only to be told by Kings Heath they were correct. Only after insisting that a manager took control of the measuring equipment did they finally concede the precription was wrong.

    Then a second pair of goddwill prescription sunglasses was prescriptively incorrect. Then my original pair broke whilst gently cleaning them at the bridge. Then they later broke at the arm.

    After complaining to Specsavers Head Office in Guernsey, the manager at Kings Heath branch wrote to me offering my family free eyetests after which my wife decided to take on the offer but had to fight for the offer. And today, my wife went in to the Kings Heath branch only to be told that she is banned for being associated with me.

    Now please, I don’t ball and shout when complaining. I don’t abuse assistants, swear at them or threaten them. Instead, I tend to write letters detailing the complaint. Birmingham Central didn’t even respond in the first instance, and have never responded in writing since.

    I’m sorry, but we’re told all the time to complain about poor service in order that industry can improve quality and level of service. However, from my experience many managers don;t have the ability not to personalise issues and respond by increasing productivity and levels of quality. Instead they ban, deny the reality and conitnue on their doomed course to short term retail profits.

    There are two countries that are going to annihilate us on this; they are China and India. I’ve been to China this year and can safely say that the attitudes exhibited by the two Specsavers above would bankrupt them in a matter of days. There glasses are sorted within hours, not days, and within reasonable parameters of quality, whilst the prescription i had was perfect.

    I my case, I do concede that I’ve had two pairs of glasses, on top of my original two, given free as a matter of courtesy. A clear admission on the part of Specsavers as to their guilt. However, all are of poor quality and regardless of their so called designer marque, none of the lenses fit properly and would easily pop out – apart from the rimless which would just break. But in the end, you know, they replaced a pair of Menrad titanium rimless which lasted 7 years without a single issue from Boots. I’d rather pay slightly more, get one pair I’m satisfied with than end up with the multiple dross I’ve got now.

    Specsavers? Never again.

  4. I feel that the original poster is somewhat a little to knowledgeable about the whole experience. as a specsavers(sausage factory), optician. The post smells to much of an insider promo.
    As a sausage factory optician we get paid to sell glasses not to test oculr health.
    This poster has paid extra for something that she didnt require!. higher index lenses have greater chromatic abberations, therefore causing more fringing. The original prescription was probably wrong, , the Optician that done the test gave a prescripition change to get a sale. now your back with your old prescription, your ok.But would you have bought new spexs if there was no change?

  5. You have to read my other posts – this was just the start of the story, if you read everything in the Specsavers Saga you’ll see that about the only thing I was satisfied with was the no quibble guarantee…

  6. i have been back to huddersfield specsavers twice in the past 2 wek ..the spectacles they have provided are useless ..i think i will crash when i drive if i carry on wearing these ….they insist my prescription is correct , but i can see very well with my old glasses ,but not with the new ones …what can i do ?

  7. I am furious with specsavers –my wife had to renew her lenses prescribed by specsavers about a year ago.

    She requested that new lenses to be put in her old specsavers frames. She was quoted aprox £240 fot two pairs including verifacol lense. When queried they offered a reduction of £20 if I purchased two pairs of similar new frames. .

    When she requested one pair only to reduce the price . she was quoted £149. wether or not she used her own frames or theirs
    How can it be more expensive to use your own franes as compared to purchesing new ones.


  8. What is the actual returns policy for specsavers? I had some glasses a week ago from them and i know that my sight is poorer with my new glasses as oppossed to my old.
    I therefore now have no faith in the original test that was carried out and simply wanted a refund and to return them. This was point blank refused until i spoke to the optician. I pointed out i had no faith in the optician and simply wanted a refund this was taken as some kind of personal insult by the assistant and she just referred me to my reciept – which says nothing about returns.
    Are opticians exempt from basic consumer law?

    Does anyone know?

  9. Specsavers are pretty clear on their website:

    Customer promise

    We want you to be completely happy with your purchase at Specsavers Opticians.

    If you have any concerns within six months of the date of purchase, we will put it right. No quibble, no fuss.

    Your statutory rights are not affected.

    Please ask in-store for full details.

    Of course, the key thing to note is that they say they will put it right – no specific mention of refunds. In our case it was only when we’d been round the loop of trying to get them to fix the problem a number of times when they gave us a refund I think perhaps to get rid of us! There is an independent body called the OCCS (Optical Consumer Complaints Service), but they will only help if you have tried, and failed to resolve things with the practice itself.

  10. My experience of Specsavers so far is mixed. About 10 days ago I had my eyes tested at Specsavers in Birkenhead,Wirral. I havn’t had an eye test for about 10 years and now at the age of 46 I am just starting to experience problems fucussing whilst reading or working at a VDU but my distance vision is 20/20, one could say eyes like a ‘Bog House Rat’ ! Anyway, I was prescribed a new prescription and after choosing two pairs of frames made an order. Last Saturday I went to pick them up and whilst trying them out realised straight away that they were alot different and stronger but decided to allow some time to get used to them. I have now had them for a week and realise something is wrong. When I shut my left eye, the right lense appears fine but when shutting the right eye, the left lense is slightly blurred and seems to draw the eye to the centre….most weird. I called at Specsavers today and when they were rechecked against the prescription they have been made up the left lense wrongly. The specs are now being sent away to be rectified and I will post another message on here when I get them back.

  11. I am glad to say that I have now collected my rectified spectacles and when I tried them I couldn’t believe the huge difference this made. The Optician tried to explain that this was a clerical error and it shouldn’t have happened at all – I think I was a bit slow in requesting some sort of compensation and only glad that I now have an excellent pair of spectacles that do the job !

  12. I had an eye test at Specsavers in Kingston-upon-Thames. This is the 2nd one and the first time everything was fine.
    When I got my 2 sets of glasses they felt a bit strange, but they always do when a prescription has been changed. Anyway – 2 weeks later I am still running into door posts and feeling sick. I went back to the shop and they told me the lenses had not been centred correctly. Mistakes happen. A week later I got my glasses back and they seemed to fine. A few days later I noticed that one of the lenses hat tiny cracks so I took them back. When I got them back the whole sickness/dizzy thing started again. I went back again and the lenses had not been centered correctly. The optician measured the distance of my eyes or whatever they measure again and told me that the glasses I am wearing are not correct either. No apologies or anything. I felt rather like a nuisance. I wish I could have my money back. The trust is gone. It all seems very hit and miss. I found out that all lenses are done locally, so at least I can go to a different shop next time. They do sell nice frames. All in all it is worrying. I cycle to work in London every day and feeling as disorientated as I did….

  13. Just to let you all know: After the saga above I went back on Saturday to pick up my glasses and they were wrong again. Only out by a millimetre…
    So this is the 5th time for this pair. It is worrying.


  14. Sorry if this seems like a rant. The saga continues: Went to pick up my glasses on Saturday again (see above) and my right eye felt like it was looking to the left. So they had got them wrong again. Also the frame was really creaky. The optician disappeared to get the spectacles measured and didn’t return. Instead the supervisor turned up. I told her the saga and she was very nice (not terribly apologetic though). She measured my eyes again and they will be redone. It is now the end of June and the whole saga started in February.

  15. I agree with your comment, they gave me two pairs of glasses at the same time and I felt that they were different, got lots of headaches kept going back in etc etc etc they said there was nothing different about them then after 2 years I find they have given me 2 pairs of glasses with different prescriptions – how goo is that NOT!!

  16. I think this will be my last one: After all the things happening – see above – they got it wrong twice more. Went back, the usual. The glasses felt wrong. The optician measured them, they were out by 4mm. Apparently the lenses were difficult to fit into the frame so they just centred them anyhow. They were sent back to be re-done. Went back next week, they still felt wrong. The optician promised me they were correct. I am working in a hospital in London, so I went to the eye clinic and had them measure there. They were out again. I spotted though, that the shape of the frame looked different. Instead of fixing the arms to tighten the frame they bent it on the bridge. So I just straightened them out, and they were fine. It was a different frame from the one before. It took them 8 gos. apart from the incompetence what really gets my goat that I have felt like a whingey annoying person all the way through. Not the way you want to feel when you have spent quite a bit of money – apart from them messing with my eyes. I know how you feel, Annie.

  17. Hello once again. I think my saga is about to end. I hope it is. I sent a letter of complaint to Specavers in Kingston upon Thames, and received a reply. They are worried that my glasses had to be re-done 8 times (!!!) and have had words with people in the lab and in the shop and as an act of goodwill they have reserved another frame for me for two weeks so I can go back and have my lenses taken out of my bent frame…. I declined the offer and told them I will write the one unwearable pair off as a very bad experience. If you think of getting a pair of glasses from the Branch there please think again. The word amateur springs to mind. I am tired of arguing with them now. Anyway after 7 months of complaining I will probably need new prescriptions anyway. Oh, I spoke to an ex employee and apparently most people there just had a brief training and are not opticians.

  18. I was tempted by the two for the price of one offer at Specsavers. As soon as put on my new pair I knew that they were wrong. I was told to persevere with them but after about a week I took them back and upon examination Specsavers told me that there was a problem with the left lens. Two weeks or so later they were ready and when I put them on although there was a marked improvement my vision did not feel quite right. I was told I would get used to them, needless to say I never did. Quite frankly if I wore them for too long I felt ill. I basically reverted back to my old frames. Eventually I went to my old opticians and he tested my eyes. The results were different. For this I had to pay £21 for the test and about £350 for the new glasses. When I went to get the new glasses I was very anxious but was delighted when I tried them on. I could see very well with them. I went back to Specsavers who argued that the variation in the prescription was marginal and therefore of no consequence. I argued that I would hardly pay for another test and part with another large sum of money if I had been happy with their glasses. Today they left a message on my answer phone for me to take their frames in and that they would replace the lenses with new ones to the latest prescription! The problem is that quite often one does have to get used to new lenses but it is also very easy for the opticion to send you on your way out of expediency. I am not wealthy and already feel out of pocket over this in view of the fact that I have had to pay for an eye test and buy a new pair of spectacles to prove a point. That is countered by the fact that I was only too relieved to get a pair of glasses that I could see properly out of. When it comes to wearing new galsses I would say people usually have a gut feeling when it comes to their health in which case keep going back or do what I did, get a second opinion. Your eyes are too valuable, even proffessionals get it wrong sometimes!

  19. My 73 year old mother had her eyetest at Specsavers in Stockport, who have now stop doing a Glaucoma test. After picking up her glasses and wearing them for a day or two, she said they didn’t feel right. On return to Specsavers, they told her there was nothing wrong with the perscription, in a not too friendly manner.

    This time my mother went to ASDA, who did a thorough eye test. I waited 45 mins. It was worth every minute as they found that she now has started with Catarax in both eyes, and told her Specsavers should and would have found it!

  20. My eyes were tested by specsavers on 21/09/2007. Having heard all the complaints, I offered to pay when I had tried my glasses. Suddenly, they did not want to know so I can assume only that they expect problems and their main concern is getting the money.

  21. I’ve had trouble with Specsavers too and will not be going back.
    I wear contact lenses and am subscribed to their lensmail. I recently had a contact lens check to check the health of the eyes. A week later I rceived a promo letter saying new lenses had come out and to call them to receive a free trial. When I went into the Branch London Wall. They insisted on giving me another lens check. I’d only had one three weeks previously, mind. I hate my eyes being poked about. Anyway when I go up to the counter with the optician for the assistant to give me my trial. She says oh no we don’t have them in stock so you’ll have to pay for a months supply and we’ll order them in. Silly me paid, but I thought about what had happened and went back the next day for a refund and explained to the manager. The girl who served me was there and stayed on her word that SHE was still correct in what she’d done. I think Specsavers don’t know what they are doing.If a letter says FREE TRIAL then to me it’s free. I’ve been to two other branches regarding this and each time I am given different information. Get your act together specsavers. I certainly wont be going back or recommending. I am thinking of changing my lens subscirption also

  22. I went to specsavers, London, Edgware, back in august of this year, after having my eye test done, I found the general attitude of the staff extremly uncaring, I waited for about 45mins in total to be seen after my eye test, during that time I was choosing my frame, but the woman who was helping me had dissapeared to help other people, although she claimed she had gone to the stock room to find a pair which she thought matched the description of the style of frame I had described to her, eventually she did return, just to pass me over to a college who just finished off the sale for me, although admittadly in detail, but I was extremely surprised that their general attitude didnt seem as if they cared if I was there or not.

    I would have left if it wasn’t that I had booked the day off work for the appointment.

    Having previously only going to a private optitan, specsavers doesn’t seem to have the same level of customer interaction, it seems like you walk through the door, wait to be seen, then told to wait while they do something without telling you, and then eventually get you and discuss the problem, to which they seem largly clueless about as they are only sales assistants.

    My main problem is, that when I did get my glasses, I checked the lens later that day and found a large crack in the right lens, I returned the next day and they said it would be replaced in a week, I called the following week, and was told it will be ready the following week, so after that week I got the glasses again, at first I could tell there was a problem, as everything seemed out of focus, and immedtialty could tell they had gotten my presciption wrong, I rang them up and told them this but they said it WILL pass in a week and wouldn’t hear any of this.

    So after a week i returned, they then checked the glasses, and told me there was a problem with the right lens, so I accepted this and waited another week for them to return, and in a week I returned and basically the same thing happened again, so after a week of eye-ace, to which after a couple of days I just returned to my old glasses, I went back to specsavers, this time they gave me another eye test (finally!)and the optitan indeed told me that, her results were different to the one I had gotten back in august, and so they told me it will take a week to be ready, so after a week I called and they told me there has been aproblem so I need to come back next week…

    Well finally I came in, now being november to collect the same glasses I haddn’t even worn more than a day, and guess what the right lens feels just like its out of focus, and there is a scratch in the middle, I told the woman assistant, who insitied I was seeing things, I told her that I wasn’t asking if there was a scratch, I was telling her, and she told me it wasn’t important…

    Well as now I am so frustrated with them I just left, and thought well…the scratch doesn’t effect my vision as I can’t see it when Im looking through them, but the right lens itself is still blurry, whereas the left lens is pretty much fine.

    Although looking out of the corners of the lens everything is blurry, to which, when told, they said that it was normal and I would have to just turn my head and not look out of the corners of my eyes if I want to see something….

    Now I have to go back after a week of wearing them just to get more hassle, god knows what they’ll do, only thing is the left lens fell out of the frame cos some kids kicked a football on my head, accidently…

    Im gonna assume and say eventually it will be correct, and I might be happy, but by that time Ill probably need new glasses anyway.

    Simply put their entire attitude has been terrible, they dont care about me as a customer, and just want my money, once my glasses are correct and I hope that they will be one day, I will never go to specsavers ever again, Ive heard good things of boots.

    I was thinking if they mess me around anymore I would want a refund but I cant find what their policy is!

    Terrible experiance!

  23. And I thought I was the exception! 8 months ago I tried on my new glasses and said the left lens seemed blurred. The girl at Specsavers said my eyes were probably tearing up because of the cold wind outside. Because I then became a carer for a relative, I ignored the headaches for as long as I could. Went for acupuncture, osteopathy…..then I started taking Ibruprofen for the headaches….not every day….just when I could not cope…became light senstive….began wearing my prescription sunglasses even in the house on bright days. Went back to Specsavers….asked if my glasses were causing my headaches. She looked up my prescription…there in black and white it said that the lens was 90 degrees different to my prescription. For 8 months I have been struggling with the wrong left lens. Specsavers took the glasses and changed the left lens. When I picked them up and asked for a copy of my prescriptions they said I could not have one…not even a photocopy. The information was for their records only!
    Now my acupuncturist has discovered the Ibruprofen I was taking to cope with the headaches has affected my liver….I am going for liver function test next week. The GP agrees that the headaches would have been caused by the lens being out.
    Specsavers rang me yesterday offering me a free eye test (big deal)
    and saying categorically that my headaches have NOT been caused by their mistake.

  24. Hi guys, well let me try and see what I can help you out with here. Lets get to the basics Specsavers is a Franchise majority of the time its 2 partners but sometimes its 1 and the remainder of the share is split with Specsavers Optical Group.

    Know I noticed alot of you are been fobbed off in situations like refunds etc, that should not be the case. As you see it and read it no quibble no fuss if you feel you want your money back you have every right.

    The best tactic to use is to report the STORE to the head office the number 01481 236000 and ask for Operations depending on what area the store islocated I would speak to a lady called Susanah Hart or a gentleman called Neil Lunn. They will pretty much authorize the store to refund your money asap or rectify whatever problem you are having.

    If the store fails to comply then the matter will be returned to the above named and the store will be charged sometimes in the region of 2K.

    Know on to the staff not knowing, well this is a tricky one and I do feel the problem lies in the offers that are submitted and changed so often. I myself will confess to mixing up one offer or the other and in all fairness it does become a bit much. At times we had 6 consecutive offers running and a long que standing till the door so yes pressure can get the best of people.

    Regards to contact lens free trials well you really should check Specsavers website before you go in that will give your more information prior to been told its not available. At present there isnt any real proper pricing structure some stores are doing the free trial others have there own setup again check the website and quote it back to the director that will pretty much shut them up or use the above mentioned.

    You have 12 months know on no quibble no fuss so you can take the glasses back anytime in that period no matter what no questions should be barraged on your just the normal how did it happen etc.

    Regarding 1.67 and 1.6 lenses that is a tricky one, and as someone pointed out earlier the curvature of the lens gets worse the higher the index but remember the smaller the frame the thinner it will be, also something that parents should make sure children with high plus prescriptions are entitled to have the lenses what we call knife edged (free of charge) to make them thin so dont get caught in a muddle and be told you have to pay £60 for a high index lens that a knife edge will make look just as good.

    Anyway if you have any questions please post them here I will try and asnwer as much as I can, I have just tried to put this in abbreviated form as much as possible. Goodluck

  25. You get what you pay for, if you pay specsavers prices, expect a poorer quality product and service.

    I used to work in a specsaver lab, and the glazing was so poor even the boss got his glasses from a different optician.

    Go to an optician which has a good reputation and ask them to explain the pricing and you should end up with the best value.

    IE a good product at a decent price, compared to specsavers poor product for a cheap price.

  26. That post written by “a former specsaver director” does no favours for specsaver confidence:- know instead of now, there instead of their, que instead of queue; plus the fact that it has been written in a colloquial manner, perhaps proving that attention to detail is not what it should be?

    My personal experience with specsavers has been fantastic, but for those of you living in areas where the store is not giving a good service take heed of what Ahmed says, he sounds like a sensible chap.

  27. “does no favours for specsaver confidence” Probably not the best thing to try and correct statements when you yourself forget to put an S at the end of Specsavers, miniscule isn’t it? Guess your attention to detail is not what it should be.

  28. I’ve had to go back to the main branch in Birmingham City Centre many times. However, my rimless pair right lens broke/cracked just before the 12 months warranty but I just couldn’t face going back there again until I built up my confidence to face their incompetence. So last week I paid £62 for the repair and got a call for “fitting” yesterday. Turned up, put them on and immediately felt disorientated and sick. The operative checked and said nothing was wrong (yeah I’ve had that before) and although I asked them to ensure the same centre-of-focus was applied to the new lens I noticed that the thickness (top and bottom) didn’t match the very thin top of my original lens where the centre-of-focus had been adjusted. This is the second day trying to get used to them and I still feel sick and weird. If I carry on like this I will have to have to revert back to my other BOGOF What should I do?

  29. Hi Ian

    Firstly I suggest you get a refund back from the store for the £62 that you paid to repair the glasses, the reason for this is simple. Rimless glasses require 1 of 2 types of lenses a)polycarbonate or b)1.6 high index if you had any other lenses supplied (they normally put in plastic or reactions) then I rest assure you they will crack again by the joints in months. If the lens was higher than a 1.6 index eg 1.67 or 1.74 then that is too brittle for rimless.

    If you can supply me with a bit more info on your prescription details I can advise you further.

    One way to test if the lenses are polycarb is to get an old pair (non rimless) take a coin and tap on the lens you will hear two distinct sounds (the polycarb making the lightest sound of the two)

  30. Hi Concerned, I’m not sure exactly. I sent my original prescription back to Guernsey in disgust about 18 months ago. I will take a look and get back to you

  31. Concerned, they simply told me to complain to the store and not them. I’m still trying to find the time to get into back into Brum. Interestingly, spoke to a woman at a party who is a manager at another branch and even she’s not that impressed with the setup. and told me that if I feel at all weird putting on glasses that a proper check should have been done there and then. Will get back to you

  32. Well if the pupil distance is off that can cause serious problems most significantly a prismatic effect causing some serious imbalance. I am surprised Guernsey said you should return back to the store without intervening.

    I suggest you send a complaint letter to the Optical Consumer Complaints, they are very effective in dealing with such matters.


  33. Concerned,

    Finally managed to get my prescription, (please translate of incorrect):

    Right eye -300 Sph, -050 Cyl, 80 Axis

    Left eye -325 Sph, 05 Cyl

    Lens index – “1.6 high index”

    I take it the lack of three digits on the Left eye Cyl and blank Axis means something? But it’s probably just a lack of consistency knowing this store.

    Anyway, I popped into the store to argue my case yesterday. Eventually they conceded (as I told them and as Concerned predicted) that the pupil centres were wrong. A manager of the store clearly saw how fragile I had become (I was losing the will to live) after nearly 2 years of this nonsense, and decided to take over and try to provide some customer service – which she admitted had been “incompetent”.

    So let’s see. I saw 4 people yesterday before the manager, and not one of them apologised for the store’s mistake!!! What does it take to get some customer service these days?!!!

  34. Hi Ian

    I am glad to hear that you finally got someone to admit fault, I am not sure why they left out the axis on the left eye but that is another thing you can take to the OCC if they are not wanting to play ball. Basically the Prescription HAS to be signed by the optician that did the test and not a member of staff, it requires his signature and GOC Number (General Optical Council).

    I would press to speak to the Store Director and have them compensate you for the iill health this has caused you.

    Explain to the Manager that if he is to make a new pair up for you to take the vertical heights as well as the horizontal heights of your pupil distance, as with high index lenses (1.6) there is a lot of distortion that can occur, basically tell him to mark the glasses up as he would a pair of varifocals.

    Good luck and remember NO QUIBBLE NO FUSS, just recite that back to them should they start to utter a word of negativity.

  35. Thanks for the advice Concerned,

    Well a week on and not a dicky-bird. This should prove interesting in the days to come as I lose my patience once AGAIN!!! I shall be back looking at the optical complaints site sooner than I originally thought I suspect.

  36. I went to my local Specsavers 5 years ago because a another local optician had given me glasses that gave me bad headaches when I used them. My eyes were tested at Specavers and I was prescribed glasses almost identical to my old ones and I was very happy. Two years ago I was retested and the prescription was the same and so I walked out without new glasses. This time I went because my husband nagged, not because my eyes have changed as far as I am concerned.

    I was surprised to see how much my prescription had changed, almost 50% stronger and other changes to my right eye that I didn’t have before and they are identical to the ones I have always had on my left. I collected my new single vision glasses this week and immediately found I could not focus clearly on the monitor and I use a computer for about 8 hours a day so it is essential. The letters are much bigger, but blurred and I quickly get a feeling of disorientation and I can feel a headache coming on. I went back and complained and was told that the perscription would be correct at the time, perhaps the lights were a bit low. But the glasses would be correct to the perscription, no checks were offered. I pointed out that there is no change in my eyes as far as I was concerned and they told me to go away and use my glasses and get used to them.

    I went to another optician for advise and was told to persevere for at least a week and not to use my old ones, but I am getting headaches and my eyes have a problem when I look at anything not through the lenses. So today I have gone back to my old glasses, its like having an old friend. I have done a rough test and with the old glasses I can see clearly for reading with a range from 8″ from my nose to about 18″ after that the small print is just too small. Anything middle distance and long distance is clear as long as I do not have glasses on.

    But with the new glasses, all of a sudden I have a middle distance correction in my perscription! I was told that this was because it would help with the varifocals, but I just need reading glasses.

    At the moment, because I’m a coward, I have put the new glasses away. After the atitude of the staff in the shop who could not see why I was complaining, or did not wish to see why it is important for me to just get reading glasses which work, I cannot face going back. I’m an OAP and I thought for quite a while about spending on the new glasses when the old ones are OK and I think I shall have to write it off to experience and not go to that place again.

    How can we trust opticians. Perhaps I was giving the wrong answers to questions during the test.

  37. Well, having had a discussion with my husband last night (he has had glasses for 50 years to my 10)it looks as if my usual problem of rushing everything is a major factor in getting the wrong correction.

    There was only one young optician in the shop instead of the usual 2 and he was 45 minutes behind, so I waited 30 minutes then was out in between 15 and 20 minutes, I remember looking at the shop and thinking, that was quick. I didn’t allow myself any time for my eyes to adjust between changes! I wonder how much difference this can make. If I count to 6 when wanting to read small print, or look at the monitor, I can read but with as sharper focus as with my old glasses.

    Has anybody else run into this problem. Maybe we old people need to be trained to use the opticians time properly to get what is good for us.

  38. I have made a mistake in my report – I looked at the shop CLOCK for the 15-20 minutes consultation time and I can read but NOT with as sharper focus as with my old glasses.

  39. Maggie, surely your optician would give you advice on this at the time given the criteria you have supplied vis-à-vis age, prescription etc? I remember when I used to wear contacts and before any appointment I was told that prior to any testing I should leave lenses out for some 12 to 18 hours! But come to think of it older lenses may have affected corneal shape? Well that’s for optical professionals to advise.

    I’m completely dissatisfied with my Specsavers. It’s now well into the second week since a repair went in for repair, whilst 4 weeks have rumbled by since I forked out originally. I am now looking forward to sending a juicy letter to the manager requesting a full refund and the return of my glasses. The trouble is, this manager doesn’t respond to letters, so it should be fun!!!

  40. Hi Maggie

    I am once again sorry to hear about the trouble you are having but this could be 1 of 2 things, firstly it could be that you are border line to probably have Varifocal glasses ( Distance, Intermediate and Reading) but from what you state it is more a classic case of what Ian went through, wrong pupil distance (basically they need to have the pupil distance set between distance and reading) for you to use the glasses more effectively.

    I would not be concerned what they think about you returning back to get the matter resolved as it is your money at the end of the day.

    Once again it might help if we can have the prescription from the old and new glasses to give you better advise.

  41. Hello concerned,
    I think you are right, wrong pupil distance. I was told I needed varifocals but with the glasses I have on at the moment the keyboard is clear (distance from glasses 54cm) and so is the monitor (distance from glasses 75cm). Every thing is clear and sharply defined. I can read anything with these glasses clearly in different kinds of light and I do not need glasses to watch TV (approx 2m away)and I certainly don’t need glasses to garden, walk or drive. I can read a map in the car at night with very little light at all, with these glasses. I can look over these glasses and my eyes adjust to middle and long distance very quickly. Everything is clear and sharp when I look across the room and out of the window, all edges look straight and clean.

    I have just put on the new glasses and the keyboard is clear with the left eye but slightly blurred with the right & both, the letters are bigger. The monitor is blurred, worse with the right eye. Its about the same as no glasses on but the letters are larger – no clearer, and I find it a strain to concentrate when I’m used to an easy life.

    I must admit I have 2 pair of glasses I use. The very old ones (2001)have a +2.25 correction on both eyes and I can do anything, including reading in bed or the bath. These are not Spec Saver’s glasses, then this optician gave me a +3.25 correction, I don’t have the prescription anymore, and I could not get used to those, they gave me headaches. I just used the new ones for 2 weeks and gave up.

    So I went to Specsavers and this is the prescription for the glasses (2003 and the same in 2006)that are on my face at the moment:

    Right: +050 Sph +225
    Left: +100 Sph -050 cyl 160 axis +225 and the comment on the sheet is retest in 3 years.
    Older prescription for VDU + NV also +225——-
    +225 -025 150

    Now the new prescription:

    Right: +1.25 sph +3.00
    Left: +1.25 sph -0.25 cyl 140 axis
    +3.00 -0.25 140axis.

    I told the optician I needed the glasses for the computer and reading, but the reading distance with the new glasses seems to be much closer than I’m used to.
    Also, I have just notice the arm length on my current glasses is 130 and no the new ones is 140. The new ones slip down my nose is I shake my head and as I look down to use an electric drill that could be a problem.

    I am very happy with my +2.25 correction glasses, they do what I want and I never get headaches so why change if my eyes are still flexible enough?

  42. Hi Ian,
    You seem to be more persistant than me. When things go wrong I tend to walk away.

    I was so upset by the attitude of the young male assistant, he could not understand why I was upset that the glasses were worse than my old ones and was not prepared to do anything.

    I am wondering if its possible to find an freelance optician that is not tied to a shop. Is it possible to volunteer for an optical university training unit?

    Best of luck.

  43. The OCCS can only help when you have been dispensed by a qualififed optician. Everyone should demand to see a qualififed optician rather than an unqualififed, unregistered glasses salesman!

    1.67 lenses will not make your vision any better than 1.6. It may make the lenses thinner, but will increase colour fringing due to the poorer abbé value.

  44. Gleep

    I have to disagree with you, as the requirement by law states that for an unqualified person to dispense there has to be a Optom or Qualified Dispenser in the practice at the time who will supervise all jobs. So in theory the OCCS will deal with your query no matter if it was an unqualified person that did the initial measurements as it is been said that the Qualified person in the store has approved it.


    Wow that is quite a jump if I am reading your RX right, the right has a combined RX (RX = prescription) of +4.25 and previously it was +2.75 that is a 1.50 increase which will explain why things are so magnified.

    I would really go back for them to balance the two eyes out and lower the RX in the right as its coming as quite a shock to the eye to adjust to this imbalance.

    I am sure you can get away with just an everyday pair but you will be getting to a stage that might require varifocals eventually.

    And lastly to answer your last question there are what we call Domicilary Opticians.

    I hope this link will help explain and see if you can fall into any of the categories.


  45. Hi Concerned,
    Thank you for the link. I looked at it quickly and as I can get out and about very easily, I think the best thing I can do is firstly go back and try to explain why the lenses are no good for me. If they will not listen again I will just write the £85.00 off to experience.

    Is it possible that the prescription is incorrect, it seems strange that it is now the same as the left. I kept saying that the right was not clear, just larger. I walked into the local pharmcist today, took a pair of +2.0 corrections from the rack and I could read everything I looked at. Are my present glasses too strong? If I add my present correction together it is +3.25, that is a lot of difference.

    I went for an eye test because I needed to know that there was nothing wrong with my eyes medically. I do not have diabeties and have no prescribed medicines so it looks as though I am OK for another 2 years, then I will find another optician.

    I walked past SpecSavers today and they were very busy so I can see why one disatisfied customer can be ignored.

    Coming on this blog and your answers have helped me to understand what the correction figures mean. I just trust people, but humans make mistakes, often through rushing and not thinking ‘Does this make sense?’

  46. Hi Maggie

    I believe the problem stems from the powers that be (Specsavers HQ etc) and the time set by each optician to SQUEEZE customers into one day (10-15 min time slots) which I really believe is not sufficient to allow the customer time to really evaluate the questions (is it better with this or that)

    So on to your question, I would not write off £85 as an experience here is another option which you can do before you call it quits.

    Specsavers has what it calls “Store to Store Protocol” This means that if you originally had your eyes tested in Store A but you in the area of Store B, they HAVE TO correct the problem for you. I stress that again they HAVE TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM and not try and send you back to the other store. This means a completely new eye test and new lenses for the total cost of £0

    So if someone tries to utter go back to store A, just utter the words “store to store protocol” and if they don’t know what that means tell them to speak to their director.

    But in my opinion it is quite a dramatic jump and requires a re-test and a reduction in the rx.

  47. Well…here’s the latest: A couple of weeks ago I picked up my repair of already repaired rimless glasses (yes that’s a repair of a repair). I put them on and the vision was great. Clearly I was right to complain in the first instance and recognised the pupil centres were incorrectly aligned. The manager who served me was polite, pleasant and very, very apologetic BUT…..

    As a trained engineer I know why two nuts are used to secure the lens to the rimless frame at the nose stem and the arm stem of each side; basically it’s to lock the lower nut (which rests against the lens) so that it doesn’t loosen.

    With this particular frame, Specsavers use an open lower nut and a capped closed upper nut (for looks probably). On the arm stem, this works fine because the stem is short enough not to impede the closed upper nut as it sits on the lower nut to lock it. However, on the nose side, the stem is too long and the capped upper nut is impeded before it can reach the lower nut to lock it. I have included a link showing the gap between the upper and lower nuts of the nose-side stem thus: http://usts.co.uk/images/nuts01.jpg

    What happens is that after a few lens cleans and general rocking, the lower nut rattles away from the lens which becomes loose at that joint on both sides. It is this flexing which caused the breakage in the first instance and the reason why I needed to send my specs in for repair. The solution is simple; all you have to do is use open nuts for the upper nuts on these stems. These nuts will not then be impeded and will reach the top of the lower nuts thus locking them securely into position.

    Again, this was yet another mistake I highlighted to their staff previously but which was ignored or misunderstood. When I went to pick them up I just couldn’t give the manager any more grief and was resigned to fixing the problem myself as I knew their “Rimless Technician” only worked on certain days, thus delaying matters further. So I am in the process of ordering some open star nuts and a tool to do the job by going to http://www.spectaclesdirect.net/products/p03_03.htm. Now I just need to work out if the outer diameter of these nuts (about 2.2mm) is 2.0mm or 2.5mm.

    I could just ask Specsavers to send me these I suppose, but no doubt they’ll refuse or send me the wrong ones and for a few pounds it’s probably cheaper than travelling in, parking the car and taking on the trauma.

    SO! Here endeth, for now, my story.

  48. Hi Concerned,
    I have just got back from holiday and I have not been using glasses, new or old. In Spain, during the day, I could read anything without glasses. So today I went to a high street chemist and put on +2.00 correction and I’m using them now and its the clearest my vision has been for years! Both eyes are happy, no more blurring, clear black letters with straight edges.

    I will take your advise and go to Cambridge and try to get a re-test, I think that will be my nearest Store 2 and I’ll let you know what happens.

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