About six years ago, I went for a routine eye exam. The optometrist’s office was part of a well-known chain of eyeglass stores. Immediately following the exam, I was fitted for a new pair of glasses. I liked the glasses but within a couple of days I realized I couldn’t see very well. I squinted and blinked and tried to get my eyes adjusted but it didn’t help.
I returned to the office and explained that I couldn’t see properly with my new glasses. The office assistant was a nice lady who was quite accommodating, offering to clean the glasses and make tiny adjustments to the frames, explaining that it would take a few additional days for my eyes to adjust to the new lenses. I tried again for a few more days but I still couldn’t see as well as I had with my previous glasses.
For the next several weeks, and then months, I repeatedly asked for help. I phoned and visited the optometrist’s office, each time being reassured that it was definitely my lack of trying and not the fault of the lenses. They checked the lenses against the prescription on a couple of occasions, reassuring me that the lenses had been made correctly.
More than once I questioned the staff if it was possible that the prescription itself was wrong. That suggestion met with a strong defense of the doctor and his expertise. The staff quickly and resoundingly assured me that the doctor would never have written an incorrect prescription.
Eventually, it became obvious that the staff was sick of hearing my story. They pointed out that it is sometimes difficult for people in my “age group” to adjust to new glasses. They embarrassed me enough that I didn’t want to pursue it further. I reverted to wearing my old pair of glasses much of the time. And…I never forgot the way they treated me.
Fast forward six years. A new eye exam was performed by a different optometrist in a different office of the same chain. I mentioned to my new eye doctor that I had never been able to see very well with my previous glasses. He checked them out and said, “Well, it’s not surprising that you couldn’t see with them. The prescription was written with a rather significant correction for astigmatism, that you don’t have.”
Finally, I felt exonerated! I could have let the whole matter drop since it had been almost six years but it was really the principle of the thing at that point. I contacted the corporate office and lodged a complaint. The former doctor is long gone, along with his staff, however, the regional manager acknowledged that I had been right all along. They offered me a brand new pair of glasses – free – with my new (correct) prescription. Persistence and a long memory can sometimes help right a wrong.