Optical Express: When sales are more important than service

We look often at customer service on Moneysucks and this is one of the worst examples we have come across. Aynsleigh Hollywood, who is going to be writing some guest articles for this site, explains why she thinks Optical Express were more interested in her money than the provision of a decent service.

“The reality of making a big ticket purchase when you are young is that you can often be talked down to and taken advantage of because of your age. Here is an experience that all young people could learn from when it comes to dealing with high value transactions. I decided to get myself laser eye surgery as a treat for finishing university. It makes perfect sense, it is a purchase that is going to serve me well for the rest of my life. However, after going through all the standard tests to determine suitability I was quoted £4,500 for the treatment.

Now, to get a sense of how ridiculous this is I will tell you that my father whose prescription was -11, was quoted £3,400 and that included a £600 guarantee that if his eyesight decreased they would redo the procedure. My prescription is -5, so minus the guarantee I was quoted £1,700 more than my father whose eyesight is more than twice as bad as mine. I was thrown by this quote, especially since I was quoted £2,300 in a previous consultation four years ago. When I mentioned this I was bombarded with techno jargon about the updated lasers which in four years have apparently become £2,200 more expensive and told that I could be offered a discount. The sales advisor left the room to ‘see if they would agree’ to 15%. She came back in and said that they would but only if I left my deposit today.

Fearing that I would lose the discount and having never dealt with this kind of selling before I left the deposit only to get home and see that they were offering 15% to all customers on their website.

Feeling very annoyed and quite frankly, tricked, I called up to cancel my surgery and tell them that I thought I was taken advantage of. It was at this point that I encountered the most degrading patronisation I have ever experience in my life. I was getting upset as I referenced my father’s experience, the amount I was previously quoted and how I believed this equated to me being treated unfairly in this instance. The male customer service advisor said, “Would you like me to speak to an older, more mature adult? Is your father there?”

He then proceeded to give me the same techno jargon about how the lasers have been updated and this somehow equated to me being charged £1,700 more than someone who eyesight is twice as bad. After mentioning this I was told, “With all due respect, we don’t need your business. We are providing you with this discount because you have been a customer with us for 13 years.”

Put aside the fact that this was patronising, it was also completely unprofessional.

One thing you may encounter as a young adult is being taken advantage the important factor in combatting that knowing when it is taking place. So next time something like this happens I will know exactly what to do and say.”

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