Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

LensCrafters: Change of ‘Used’ Glasses Policy

December 5, 2009

Robert Forbes has been traveling around the world offering used eyeglasses from LensCrafters to people in the third world.
In Tunisia, he managed to hand out about 40,000 pairs of eyeglasses. However, recently, the distributor raised concerns about the company’s business practices. He said the company declined to renew his lease in an office attached to a LensCrafters store.

According to News 8, LensCrafters issued an internal memo which reads:

“Frames that have been briefly worn by a customer and are deemed ‘Like New’ by passing the ‘Frame Review Process’ should be returned to retail stock at full price.” Thus, the company intends to deceive its customers by presenting a used pair of glasses as a new one. Texas law agrees with Forbes that a consumer has the right to know what he’s buying and paying his money for.

The Deceptive Trade Practices Act reads “It is illegal to represent that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand.” And the eyeglasses are not an exception.

LensCrafters is a subsidiary of a large multinational company known as Luxottica. Luxottica also operates such optical shops Sears, Pearl Vision, and Target. According to the Luxottica’s representative, those outlets did not receive this memo. However, in its written statement LensCrafters claims to have reversed the new-introduced policy of selling used frames as new without telling customers.

The LensCrafters statement reads, “Returned frames that are in new condition will be identified and sold in the Clearance section of our stores, eligible for Clearance promotions. We have asked our associates not to sell any returned frames while we prepare stores for the sale of these frames.”

But for Dr. Robert Forbes has already suffered considerable damages. As the company changed its policy the customers will suspiciously treat the offers and products provided by Dr. Robert Forbes. He said, “I understand that business is business and profits need to be made, but I don’t feel they need to be made in that manner.”

And he is right. To keep the customers satisfied and to retain the demand on the proper level the company has to introduce such changes slightly and practically invisibly. Otherwise, in the situation of economic recession customers will find other beneficial offers and products at huge discounts. However, LensCrafters know what they are doing. As they say, marketing strategies are “inscrutable”.