Reporting Kurtis Ming
MANTECA (CBS13) — A Call Kurtis investigation exposed some Stanton Optical locations making blurry glasses. The company promised to offer better customer service and change its refund policy. But now even more viewers have called Kurtis, including a Manteca mom who says after getting three sets of blurry glasses, Stanton told her they don’t do refunds.
“Here I can’t see,” says Diane Lazzaroni, sitting on her sofa, watching TV.
“I sit here, then I can see,” she says, sitting on the floor just a few feet away from her TV.
Lazzaroni was having a hard time just watching TV with her newest set of glasses from Stanton Optical in Modesto.
“I don’t think I could drive and be safe with them or walk anywhere around my house with them,” said Lazzaroni.
That’s a big concern for the mom who says she’s now on her third blurry pair after seeing three different doctors at Stanton and spending nearly $400.
“That’s all I wanted to do was to see,” said Lazzaroni.
Sound familiar? CBS13 has now received 32 similar complaints in the last two years.
In November 2012, we spoke with a panel of viewers who complained of blurry Stanton glasses.
“I couldn’t see a thing. Everything was so distorted,” said Leonard Johnson.
“It was like looking through, looking through a glass of water,” said Greg Freed.
“After 20 minutes, the back of your eyeball feels like it’s ready to explode,” said John Becker.
CBS13 then put Stanton Optical to the test and our producer also got blurry glasses.
“The direction is off. It’s not even close,” said Optometrist, Donald Yee,
“That’s bad,” said Kurtis Ming.
“It’s not good,” said Dr. Yee.
Dr. Yee says the axis is off exactly 90 degrees. That means the lenses were turned 90 degrees, before cutting them to fit in the frames. In other words, if you turn the glasses vertically, our producer should be able to see clearly.
“If I rotate 90 degrees with the right eye, I can actually see when I do this,” said the CBS13 Producer.
After our investigation, Stanton promised to review its employees and quality control measures. The company also said it would offer refunds if glasses were made wrong.
But listen to what Lazzaroni says she was told when she asked for her money back.
“And he’s like, ‘Well we don’t do refunds,’” recalls Lazzaroni.
“By sending someone out with glasses that are not right, that they can’t see out of, that are blurry, you’re doing a disservice to the public,” said Cassandra Hockenson of the Medical Board of California.
The Medical Board regulates eyeglass stores like Stanton Optical and is concerned with what our investigation found. But they can’t investigate unless customers complain to the board.
“Your stories have brought this to our attention, but we need the people,” said Hockenson.
Lazzaroni has filed her complaint.
We contacted Stanton Optical, asking for an explanation. They issued the following statement to CBS13:
My understanding is that Ms. Lazzaroni’s prescription changed dramatically from the prescription that she presented to Stanton Optical on her initial visit. That led to multiple eye examinations and multiple remakes of her glasses as Stanton Optical worked to make Ms. Lazzaroni happy.
Ms. Lazzaroni never complained or appeared angry with Stanton Optical during this time period. She also never complained to Stanton Optical’s customer service department. She also never requested a refund.
Someone from Stanton Optical called Ms. Lazzaroni this morning after I alerted them to your email. They offered her a refund, she accepted it, and Stanton Optical will process it today.
I believe that the above resolves Ms. Lazzaroni’s issues.
Stanton Optical Counsel
Lazzaroni says she did bring in her old prescription from an outside doctor, but not until they asked her for it, for her third doctor visit at Stanton. As for the company’s claim that she never asked for a refund, Lazzaroni says she did in front of multiple employees.
“He told me that they don’t do refunds, that they do credit.”
Now that she has been given a full refund, Lazzaroni is satisfied, yet disappointed.
“If they want their patients to come back, then they should be more sincere, more sensitive to them,” said Lazzaroni.
We should point out, we don’t know where the problem lies with Lazzaroni’s case; if she was given the wrong prescriptions or if those prescriptions were filled incorrectly.
If you have a complaint against an eyeglass store, you can file a complaint with the Medical Board of California by calling 1-800-633-2322 or visiting this site.