Eyeglass Wars: Lenscrafters vs. Costco

Unlike the Coffee Wars below, where taste is clearly an issue and ultimately you have to decide for yourself between Nespresso, Keurig, Peet’s, or (gasp) Starbuck’s. Degustibus, after all.

But eyewear, at least by me, is a no-brainer. Here’s my story: Last March I bought an expensive pair of prescription (progressive lens) Ray-ban glasses at Lenscrafters. I didn’t pay too much attention to price because my generous WGA insurance pays $500/yr for what they call “vision care.” The glasses, however, were semi-defective and one of the lenses fell out intermittently. I kept putting it back in myself until, last week, I couldn’t do it anymore. I headed down to Lenscrafters, assuming they could repair. Nope. Their technician said the groove in the lens had worn out. Since it was only seven months, I then assumed they would give me a replacement. No such luck. Their glasses, evidently, are only guaranteed for the first three months, but they would give me a “discount” on new lenses. I waited patiently as they took an inordinate amount of time to compute the price on their computer. Result: $752!

Outrageous,I thought, and decamped immediately for Costco where the polite technician offered to replace my complicated progressive lenses, with UV and, for $25 extra, that tinting that varies with the sunlight (I didn’t have this from Lenscrafters) for a grand total of $178.

Never will I darken the halls of Lenscrafters again. A quick Yelp search indicates that I am not alone. (Yes, this is the same branch I went to. BTW, someone from that store left voicemail on my cell that night asking if I was now ready to order the lenses… sheesh.)