A few months ago I started a blogpost about my displeasure of Boots Opticians which I never finished writing and subsequently never published.
In April 2011 I got two pairs of glasses from Boots Opticians after my previous ones of over three years had broken. It was the first time I had used Boots Opticians and I was already displeased with the service back then after they had neglected to inform me that my glasses had arrived and, even earlier, when I had an eye test lasting two hours. Granted my prescription had changed most peculiarly and the test was thorough, but waiting times of 40 minutes when I had a scheduled appointment isn’t that great.
The problems with my glasses started about 1.5 months afterwards. They didn’t sit properly and I had to go in far too often to get them adjusted. One of the lenses started chipping off around August or September time which, when I pointed it out to the technician, was brushed aside as normal wear and tear. As someone who has been wearing glasses for at least 1.5 years a time since she was six years old I wasn’t impressed, but, seeing it didn’t seem to be that bad at the time didn’t insist much. This also coincided with work stress and then the knee injury.
Another time after that both arms actually got bent intentionally at the screw bit meaning they wouldn’t close as well as they did before. I pointed this out the next day after inspecting them and again was told this wasn’t an issue and it made them fit better. They are so bent that when closed they would not be able to fit in even a large glasses case.
Fast forward to now and one of the lenses is showing several millimetres of chipped glass on all sides where the arm is connected and, worried they’ll break one day, I decided it was time to yet again visit Boots Opticians for what is already the third time this year.
When I pointed out the issues I had and the numerous times I had visited both of the two Boots Opticians stores in Reading [Foursquare now tells me this was 14 times since I bought them though I do remember not always checking in], I had to argue my point for over half an hour in total. The technician spoke to his manager eight times in total, each time claiming that because the frames were fitted with an different set of arms than the standard, as requested by me during purchase, there was nothing they could do. This is despite my insistence that this was a manufacturing and aftercare fault and something that was not explained to me at the point of sale. Seeing I had no proof of any of the times I had come in to get them fixed it was pretty much my word against theirs and I really don’t think they would have accepted Foursquare check-ins.
After checking with his manager three times I was made the first offer of a free eye test with 20% off my next pair of glasses which is ludicrous. An already far too long story cut short my saving grace appeared to be the bent arms at the screws as this was evidently done professionally [at one point he suggested I should get those fixed at the other Boots Optician where it originally happened] and finally I was offered a new pair of glasses if I would purchase a £25 Boots cover covering me from the moment I get those glasses through.
Whilst I am not particularly happy about having to fork out an additional £25 for a pair of faulty glasses costing me several hundred pounds under a year ago I feel that it was a compromise I should agree to. My downfall was the lack of evidence, as well as the need for new glasses.
The blogpost I had written several months ago was very negative to Boots Opticians. I was unhappy at the poor level of service I received on the majority of my visits and the fact that the aftercare generally was unpleasant with staff trying to quickly get me back out of the door. Granted I was spoilt by having a previous pair of glasses from a more upmarket optician which delivered excellent care even after warranties and cover expired, but Boots is a big name company. They dominate the market in many sectors and by pushing cheap glasses solutions on customers they are probably quite successful.
I’m glad I am getting a new pair of glasses, but I will not be using them for any future glasses I will need to get.