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Endless comedy of errors and poor service

Here is my saga of buying two pairs of glasses at Islington Vision Express. It's been a long time and I have forgotten the precise time-frame, but this is roughly right and it's still continuing six months on.

May: went to store for eye-test and to choose glasses (office-lenses, reduced price 2nd pair, cost £464). Told would be ready in 2 weeks.

Three weeks later, nothing heard. Rang up, gave my name. Told to wait a min, and phone put down. Rang up again, no reply (may have happened a few times). Rang up again, spoke to manager who said there had been a problem, and could I come to store. At store, to cut a long story short, it became evident they had simply forgotten to order glasses. Manager most apologetic, and said as compensation they would give me a free pair of reading glasses and lenses. Happy with that, I ordered those, again to be ready in 2 weeks.

After about 3 weeks or more and various phone calls as above I went to store to collect new reading glasses (still no sign of original glasses ordered). I put new reading-glasses on in presence of a helpful new manager, and said that they were worse than wearing no glasses at all. New manager inspected them, and reported that, instead of reading-glass lenses, distance lenses had been fitted, the exact opposite of what I had requested.

Another wait of a couple of weeks for delivery of the three pairs of glasses. Eventually, all three arrived. I went to store half-expecting lenses to be incorrect, but found that reading glasses seemed OK, if rather strong, and office-lenses also OK but might take getting used to. With fears allayed, I took glasses home feeling optimistic. Put them on for my partner, who immediately said one pair of office-lens glasses had large scratch on side. Inspecting the 2nd pair these also had a small nick on the bridge. I had been so concerned about lenses I had not thought to examine frames.

Weeks later (as some frames were out-of-stock), I took delivery of the two pairs of replacement office-lens glasses. Wore them for a number of weeks, and felt I was still having trouble adjusting to all glasses, including reading ones. It occurred to me, if they could make such basic mistakes with frames and fitting, could I trust the more-important eye-test and prescription. So I returned to my previous, and trusted optician (a small independent with less choice of frames) who gave me a new eye-test which confirmed V.E. one was incorrect.

Returned to friendly manager at V.E. who without hesitation agreed to make new lenses based on new prescription, and glasses would be ready in 2 weeks time, a week before I went abroad for a month. Three weeks later, they weren't ready, and I would have to collect on my return.

Current situation: phoned last week to arrange collection, but was told to wait several days to go in, as the "good" technician would not be there and it was better to wait for him. I hope to go in in a couple of days to collect, many months after first ordering the glasses and the day before the manager that at least I get on with leaves the branch.

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United Kingdom