My glasses broke on Friday night. They were 3 years old and a frameless style that had no hinges on the limbs. The frames were made from titanium and were flexible. One of the limbs of the frame is actually what broke. Just a clean break. I had put no extraordinary amount of pressure on them or anything; just took them off of my head and they just snapped.
So today I go to the place where I bought them - Eyemasters - to see if they can repair or replace them and to see if they are still under warranty. I still had my paperwork from when I bought them 3 years ago and I had some notes about a 3 year warranty. I go into the store and someone named "Fashun" "helped" me. The long and short of it is that 1) they do not do any sort of repairs, 2) my glasses were not still under warranty. Not altogether unexpected. Only mildly annoying except that they give out business cards of this repair shop where they direct all of the requests for repair that they get.
I need to back up a little and explain a little more of the leadup. My vision isn't all that bad, but I'm not comfortable driving without my glasses and I can't comfortably read my computer screen at work without them. I have two pairs of prescription sunglasses, which is how I was able to get through the weekend. One of the pairs of sunglasses has interchangeable clear lenses, which I used at night during the Safari. So this morning, in order to be able to see my computer screen and work effectively, I wore my Oakley frames with the plastic lenses. I looked ridiculous in my dress clothes and sports sunglasses and EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. in my office asked me about "my new glasses." Okay. Fine. All expected. But this little shit starts building up, you know?
I had two choices once Eyemasters wasn't able to offer any sort of solution. The first option was to try to have them repaired. The second option was to just get new glasses. That depended on how much my vision insurance was going to pick up. I decided to check out the repair place. I figured that new glasses, even with insurance, were going to cost me more and I liked the glasses that I had and wanted to keep them if I could. So I call the repair place just to ask if they can replace a limb on the type of glasses that I have. So I call and tell the guy who answers the situation and he tells me confidently they they can fix them. So I drive down there.
The place is called All American Eyeglass Repair. I go in and the place has something of a pawn shop feel to it. Nothing too remarkable, really, except that there was a small 8"X8" window cut into one of the walls at about 6' high with a little wooden door that was partially varnished. There also appeared to be maybe a doorbell(?) mechanism on the inner jamb. You could see into the room on the other side of the wall through this little window and I have no idea what purpose it could serve.
So I go up to the counter and this pudgy young guy waits on me. His name is Christian, but he looks vaguely Arabic. Light complexion though. He's also wearing a t-shirt that says something like "Don't say no to Jesus." So maybe Lebanese? I show him what I have and he tells me they can either weld the frame back together or replace the limb. The welding costs $79, takes an hour and he doesn't seem all that confident in its durability. The new limb is $109 and takes 15 minutes. I tell him I want the new limb. He goes back into the shop area to see if he's got the right color and type. After ten minutes he comes back out with the limb and tells me he's got it. I tell him to go ahead and replace it. I'm thinking this is a win because I get what I need relatively quickly at a price that is probably the least amount I could possibly pay for my solution. I am pleased. Christian tells me to fill out this form with my contact info and then sign it. On the form are several disclaimers. Whenever I'm asked to sign something like this I'm always conflicted. Being a lawyer, I feel guilty about just signing things because I don't have the excuse of ignorance. But if I don't sign it, I don't get the service that I need. So I signed the goddamned thing thinking that the odds of it coming in to play are pretty minute.
They have a little waiting area with some magazines where I sit down to wait. I pick up a copy of ESPN the magazine with The Messiah VY on the cover. I read about 3/4 of the entire magazine and start to wonder what is taking so long. It's been over 30 minutes. There was one screw. I'm not kidding about that. I honestly don't know what possibly could have taken 30 minutes. The only thing I can think of is that they might stretch the time out to make you feel like you got your $109 worth. But it's still just one screw. I'm in a relatively good mood though, because I am getting my solution. The overage on time detracts a little from the level of solution I'm getting, but we're still within limits so I'm happy.
The guy calls out several times that it's just going to be a couple more minutes. After the third time I was very close to just asking him why it was taking so long. I was curious more than anything. After the guy said, "Just one more minute" he started making small talk about all the rain we've been getting. This makes things slightly worse, but whatever.
So he finally comes back out to the counter with my glasses with the new limb. He's shaping it to match the other one but I can clearly see that it is a different shape and shorter. He makes some excuse about how it's a slightly different shape than the original. I think it might still be okay if it can just be shaped to match the other one. I take the glasses and turn them around in my hands, inspecting them. Not only is the shape and length so different that no amount of shaping is going to make them the same, but THERE IS A HUGE FUCKING SCRATCH DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE RIGHT LENS. Immediately when I saw the scratch I started writing this blog post in my head because this is exactly the kind of scenario that I always find myself in and that people think is funny. I almost don't want to acknowledge it and I grab my temples trying to will the situation away or to convince myself that this is no big deal. I tell Christian, "The new one is shorter than the other and that's just not going to work." He admits that but then tries to tell me that they will fit the same. This defies logic and my ability to remain calm leaves me. "Not only that, there is now a huge scratch that wasn't there before." He tells me that there is no way he could have done it. So I explain to him that the HUGE scratch was not there when I brought them in to his store but it is there now. That leaves only one possibility - that in the forty fucking minutes he was back in his shop doing who knows what to my hglasses that he scratched them. What he couldn't know is that last night I tried to wear the glasses to watch TV. It didn't work because with only one limb the tension was only on one side and they kept getting lopsided on my face. In fact, they would slip off my nose from the pressure of the one limb and make contact with my face. I have oily skin, so the lenses were covered in oil from my face. Before I took them into Eyemasters to try to get their help, I cleaned them spotless because I didn't want them to see all the oil on them and think that I didn't really care that much about them or that I didn't take care of them. When I clean my glasses I hold them up to the light to look through them. I had cleaned them again before going into All American and the scratch had not been there. It was so huge I would have seen it.
At this point I don't know what to do. Gone is the possibility of getting my beautiful solution. Now, I can only get my now nearly ruined glasses fixed for $109 or getting new glasses altogether for several hundred. Both imperfect solutions by far. What I really want to do is scratch Christian's corneas and then demand $109 for my trouble.
I keep telling him that he scratched my glasses and he keeps denying it and coming up with all of these explanations - "my tools didn't come in contact with that lens," "I only held them by the nosepiece," etc. Then he tries to bring up the paper that I signed waiving all my rights in the event they damage my glasses. I tell him that I know about the paper and what it says but that it doesn't mean that I can't get pissed off about it. We go round and round about it. He keeps trying to explain how there's no way he could have done it and I keep explaining that there's no other possibility other than he did it. He raises the paper again and I tell him I know they are under no obligation to make things right but that doesn't mean I can't be angry and tell him about it.
The whole thing was pointless. What was I going to do? Sue the company? Physically assault Christian? Talk to the manager? Pfft.
Someone please tell me that this kind of shit happens to them too.