, , , , , | Right | October 10, 2018

(I work as an optician at a doctor’s office. This woman comes up to me asking about an update on her prescription. She tells me that she wants to keep her frames and just get new lenses. It’s no problem; we do that all the time. I explain to her that we will need to send her frames to our lab off site, since she did not get her old pair from us and we need to install new lenses directly. I then tell her the total. Problems ensue.)

Customer: “What do you mean, you need to install new lenses? Why is it so expensive?”

Me: “In order to update your prescription, we have to send your frame to our lab. There’s a small fee for using your old frame, but the lenses themselves are bringing up the price.” *shows her the price list*

Customer: “Yes, I understand that, but why do you have to put in new lenses?”

Me: “Um… In order to update your prescription, we have to create new lenses.”

Customer: “But I already paid for these!” *pointing at her glasses*

Me: *considering the possibility that she was updating her prescription on the same order, which would be free IF she got them from us* “When did you get them?”

Customer: “Three years ago! I paid over $800 for these, and now you’re telling me I have to pay more to get them changed?”

Me: “Well, if you got them from us and let us know that the prescription was wrong, we would have redone them for you right away, but even that is a 90-day grace period.”

Customer: “You’re not making any sense! Why would it cost me an additional $300 to just get my prescription updated?”

Me: “Well, the materials cost—”

Customer: *interrupting* “THAT’S THE THING, THOUGH! WHY WOULD THERE BE NEW MATERIALS? I HAVE THE GLASSES RIGHT HERE, JUST CHANGE THE PRESCRIPTION!”

Me: “I… That is not possible, in order to get a new prescription in these frames, the lenses would have to be changed entirely. We can’t just add or take away prescription to your old lenses.”

Customer: “Well, why not?”

Me: *at a loss* “I… Have you gotten glasses other than your previous pair before?”

Customer: “No! They are my first pair! I am not going to pay more to just add a prescription to my glasses!”

Me: “Okay, let me put it this way. When you were a baby, you wore smaller clothes, right? And as you grew older and taller, you needed to buy new clothes that were the correct size. That’s kind of like how prescriptions work. We can’t just… add strength to your lenses without making new ones.”

Customer: “But I already have the glasses!” *shakes her glasses at my face* “JUST ADD THE PRESCRIPTION!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry; I can’t do that.”

Customer: “You can’t or won’t?! You’re just trying to weasel more money out of me! You’re a crook! I want a manager!”

Me: “I don’t know how else to explain to you how this works. To get an updated prescription you need to get new lenses entirely. There’s no possible feasible way to add a prescription to lenses that are already made. Also, okay, my manager is at a different location, but I am happy to give you his card.”

(The woman continues to argue for about twenty minutes about how I am just trying to steal her money, that I should be able to just add the prescription to her old lenses, etc. Eventually, I ask her to wait a moment and I go and grab her doctor. The doctors don’t usually get involved with the glasses, but he makes an exception. The woman then proceeds to scream at him as well as me, making a huge scene.)

Customer: “NO ONE TOLD ME I’D HAVE TO KEEP PAYING FOR THESE WHEN I GOT THEM! YOU’RE ALL A BUNCH OF LIARS! JUST ADD THE PRESCRIPTION!”

Me: “I would be happy to! But you’re getting new lenses one way or the other!”

Doctor: “Ma’am, she’s really the expert here. You can ask anyone wearing glasses in this waiting room, and they will all tell you the same thing!”

Me: “I’m wearing glasses right now! Whenever there’s a change in my prescription I have to buy new ones!”

Customer: “I’M GOING TO SUE YOU FOR FALSE ADVERTISEMENT! THIS IS RIDICULOUS!”

Doctor: *sees I am close to tears* “Go ahead, ma’am. Good luck with that. But you need to leave now.”

Customer: “WHAT ABOUT MY NEW PRESCRIPTION?!?”

Doctor: “Take it somewhere else.”

Customer: “FINE! BUT WHEN I FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN CHANGE IT WITHOUT CHANGING THE WHOLE LENS I’M GOING TO COME BACK!”

(She storms out, tries to slam the door, and cusses loudly when she realizes it’s a door that cannot be slammed.)

Doctor: “I’m sorry; I knew she’d be a problem when I was testing her eyes.”

Random Customer: “Dear, go take a break.”

Other Random Customer: “No one should be around that much stupid; I almost smacked her with my cane!”

(The woman did eventually come back — a lot more quietly — after a couple of weeks, since most other optical shops did not take her insurance AND she’d gotten the same response from literally everyone. She even had the guts to complain about how some of them laughed her out of the stores. I kept my best customer service face and just put her order through with a smile. She never apologized for her prior outburst, and still complained about the price, even though I offered her a healthy discount on TOP of her insurance benefits. Some people.)

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The Glasses Will Get You Halfway There

, , | Right | May 30, 2018

(I’m the idiot customer in this one. I’m with a scheme at my optician’s office where I pay a set amount a month and get contact lenses sent to me. One of the perks of the scheme is that I get free glasses below a certain price every time my eye exam is due. I got free sunglasses for my last exam as my eyes hadn’t changed that much, but six months later, I find myself needing a new pair of glasses.)

Me: “Hi, I’m on the contact lens scheme and got my last pair of free glasses six months ago, but I need a new pair and I was wondering if I got this £45 pair, if there would be any extra I needed to pay.”

Assistant: “No, nothing extra, but since you’re on the scheme and you’re getting another pair of glasses, you’re eligible for half-price frames on any of the £69 range or above.”

Me: “Oh, no, they’re too expensive for me. I’ve seen this £45 pair, and these are what I want.”

Assistant: “Okaaay…”

(She carries on going through everything with me, but still looking at me in a bit of a funny way. I try the frames on with the sizings, and she says to me that she doesn’t think the frames suit me that well, and would I like to have another look.)

Me: “But there weren’t any others in the £45 range that I wanted, and I can’t afford to… Wait a minute. Half price of £69 is less than £45, isn’t it?”

Assistant: *glad that I’ve finally twigged* “YES! And there are some much nicer ones in that range.”

Me: “I’m an idiot, aren’t I?”

Assistant: “Not even the worst we’ve had today!”

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Eye Think Eye Have A Problem

, , , , , | Healthy | May 25, 2018

(A woman comes into the ER.)

Woman: “I got bleach in my eyes.”

Me: “All right, ma’am, we have a flushing station over here, and then the doctor will check you out.”

(She’s uncomfortable for an hour, but we get her eyes clean, the eye doctor gives the all clear, and she leaves. Two days later, she comes back.)

Woman: “I was gardening and a palm frond stabbed me in the eye.”

(I’m starting to wonder how good our eye doctor is.)

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Eye See Death

, , , , , | Healthy | May 21, 2018

(A customer and her husband have walked in and I go over to help them find some glasses. During our conversation, I ask the wife if they’ve seen an optometrist, as we have one on staff that accepts walk-ins.)

Customer: “Yes, we’ve already seen an optometrist. Several, actually. It took us a long time to find one that we like.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. I’m glad that you found one that you liked.”

Customer: “Yes, they were all so awful. One was so bad that we had to report him to the Board of Optometrists!”

(I usually avoid getting into the politics and gossip regarding other optometrists, so I try to keep my response vague. The wife seems to be getting more agitated the more she talks about it.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear about that.”

Customer: “Well, I heard he’s dead now, anyway, so that’s good!”

Me: “Wow… That’s actually really horrible.”

Customer: “Oh. I guess I shouldn’t say things like that, should I?”

(The customer shrugged and turned to ask her husband a question, completely unfazed. I’ve worked all kinds of retail over 15 years now, and I’ve never heard something so awful come out of someone’s mouth before. I left them alone to look and never helped the couple again.)

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Enough To Bring Tears To Your (Infected) Eyes

, , , , , | Healthy | January 16, 2018

(A customer comes in for a contact lens appointment. Their last appointment was nearly two years previous. They have an eye infection, so we bill them for a medical treatment visit.)

Customer: “What is this charge here? I wasn’t charged for this last time.”

Me: “Last time, you didn’t have an eye infection. We had to charge you a copay for that because of your medical insurance.”

Customer: “You didn’t ask me before doing all that; you can’t charge me for it.”

Me: “But you did want contact lenses, right?”

Customer: “Obviously.”

Me: “The doctor can’t give them to you until that eye infection is cleared up; that’s why this was a medical visit.”

Customer: “Well, the eye infection was your fault, anyway.”

Me: “Umm, but it was from over-wearing your contacts, correct?”

Customer: “Yes, but that’s your fault.”

Me: “Ma’am, you made a three-months supply of contacts last 20 months. I’m quite sure we didn’t recommend you do that.”

Customer: “Well, the contacts are too expensive! I couldn’t afford enough of them.”

Me: “Then, might I recommend you get glasses instead? We have a large selection of frames to choose from.”

Customer: “Glasses make people look stupid.”

Me: *laughs awkwardly, as all the other employees wear glasses, as do I* “Well, actually…”

Customer: “I don’t want glasses; I want contacts, and I’m not going to pay for things I didn’t ask for. If you don’t want people to get eye infections, you need to sell contacts cheaper.”

Me: “Ma’am, if you don’t pay for your visit, we cannot provide you with a prescription for contacts.”

Customer: “That’s just unprofessional!” *pays and then flounces out of office*

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