Walmart Optical Sucks

[ music | Johann Sebastian Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D minor ]

I had an eye exam a week and a half ago at Walmart’s Optical center. Why there? Well, five years ago I had a good experience with them. This time the eye doctor was excellent. That’s when the good times stopped. They still have good prices on frames, relative to the insane prices most places charge. However, unlike 5 years ago, they don’t have the “bundle” prices anymore. It used to be the frame price included the base lenses, and you could upgrade for moderate charges depending on your choice. No longer. Now even the cheap plastic lenses are another $40, which I was told they didn’t even sell (I found out later was a lie, not that I was going to buy them, they’re terrible quality).

The set I was looking at ran $110 per pair, and that was the lowest of the three upgrades lenses. The sales lady of course tried to talk me into the $220 lenses, which I immediately told her I was not going to buy, twice. She proceeded to give me the sales pitch anyway, which consisted of her tellign me that basically their lens grinding process ruined the cheaper lenses, and only these super expensive lenses would actually work. I said a third time I wasn’t interested because if the lenses didn’t work, I would demand replacement sunder their warranty policy, and that it’s illegal to sell products you know are defective but still advertise as functional. She finished by saying she really recommended them to everyone with my type of vision (I’m nearsighted). I didn’t bother to mention that’s a lot of people to push pricey lenses on. So I settled on a mild upgrade to $140 because that set of lenses was significantly thinner, and had anti-glare coatings, etc.

Then I learned they no longer do the lens grinding in-house. It takes a week because it’s sent to their labs in Indiana. This really displeased me, but no one nearby does it any faster anyway, which is why I went to Walmart. So fine, it takes a week.

I went in Thursday to pick up my glasses. I put them on, and vision in my right eye was still quite blurry. I pulled of the glasses, they were clean, put them back on, still very blurry, but different from my normal vision. Immediately I knew what happened. They screwed up the prescription, or the lab used the wrong lens. The girl this time tried to tell me it was my eye that just needed to get used to the new glasses. “Excuse me? If any old lens worked, and my eye just needed to ‘get used to it’ then I wouldn’t be here spending $200 on these. This is wrong.” Another moment of arguing about it, and finally she conceeded and wrote on my chart “patient refuses to take glasses home and try them out for a while”. She went to go get the doctor, and I added to the chart, “because the lens is wrong, and he knows taking them home won’t fix the lens.”

Well, after a few minutes with the doctor, lo and behold I was correct and the lens is wrong. Whoever entered the doctor’s report into the computer ordering system introduced whatever the optical equivalent of an “off by one” error is. The lens was one power “notch” lower than it should have been, according to the doctor. So this time they double checked all the entries, and reordered the glasses. There’s no such thing as a rush according to them, and so I must wait another week. I was too busy, and too angry at the situation to deal with it, so I let them continue, although tomorrow I plan on having a word with a number of people about this. Especially the part about how my eyes would just “get used to it.”

On the brigh tside, I still have 20/10 vision with corrective lenses, and the doctor compared my prescription now to what it was 5 years ago, and my eyes have slightly improved from then. Apparently this is not unheard of to eye doctors, although it’s incredible news to me. I thought that my current glasses weren’t strong enough, but it’s that now they’re actually too strong, however so slightly.


  1. Suzanne had this to say,

    June 8, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

    To #16 Jessica-
    A CR-39 or plastic lens does not come with any type of coating, if you were refering to Polycarbonate material then yes…it has a SRC applied from the manufacturer. In addition the property of this material also protects from UV light therefore you don’t want to pay extra for that feature with this material either.

  2. Hankster58 had this to say,

    June 15, 2010 @ 2:39 am

    Well, it seems people have had good luck, AND bad at many places, according to the posts here. Service varies according to WHO the local people are, etc.. The only one thing I can see that is a GUARANTEED fact… is that this “Lee Scott” character is a web site TROLL!!!! Do you like, LIVE here??? Sheesh!! Get a life pal!! And let REAL folks comment.

  3. LoveWalmartVision had this to say,

    June 15, 2010 @ 6:36 am

    My parents started buying us all walmart glasses when I was 13,I’m now 32 and I still buy from them. In all these years I’ve only had 1 pair bad! They came back to walmart broke. Walmart just got me another pair and I had no problems with them. The vision center called me ro tell me they were bent badly and they emedietly sent for new. I got them within 3 days. My now 10 year old daughter had been wearing glasses since 4 years of age. She is almost leagely blind in one eye. Walmart told me how ro try to help that as well. By covering her food eye with am eye patch and making the other eye work. After a few months of this her eye has gotten better some. Eyes I’ve had Bad experence with a couple of stores vision centers. I demanded my money back and went to a differnt location. It was that simple! I’ve found a few I like. Depending on where I am because we move Alot. I’m visiting my parents so I am waiting for mine to come in here. I’ve Never been let down by this location so it’s a new thing. We go visit Grandma and Pappy every time in the summer and pick out or new glasses!! My daughter loves it because she gets latest fashion for kids and I can afford it. Without them I wouldn’t be able to see nor my child. I’m stuck to a budget. Like many people are especially now.

  4. Cindy C had this to say,

    June 26, 2010 @ 7:27 am

    Walmart ( that’s in my community) has some good service. The real problem is JCPenny. Go anywhere except JCP for glasses. It took them 11 months to make some glasses when they said they would have it ready in 4 weeks. I am a very patient person but looking back I know I should yelled at them. I was as nice as possible saying ” I understand” or “I can wait” yet they were still very rude to me.

  5. courtney had this to say,

    July 19, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

    I had my eyes checked at a local doctor’s office and decided that I did not want to pay $249.95 for a pair of frames. So I took my perscription to my local Wal Mart Vision Center where I proceeded to choose a cute, stylish pair of frames for $74.00 and had my glasses made. I now see better, my glasses are fit to my face, and my lenses are still in the frames. It’s sad that so many of you had bad experiences, but the woman who helped me on my inital visit was wonderful, as was the woman who helped me when I returned to pick up my glasses (four days early,actually). Overall, my experience was pleasent and I will continue to do business there in the future.

  6. Greg had this to say,

    September 24, 2010 @ 11:54 pm

    Go to private practice optometrists! Forget WalMart and all the other chains, they just want your money and will deliver CRAP to you.

  7. Sheva Decammalou had this to say,

    September 27, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    ___If you google info about any eyeglass retailer ( Lencrafters, Pearle, Sears etc.) you’d find similar horror stories. They’re all basically the same. It’s really just a dice roll whichever retailer you ultimately choose.

    One thing is for certain though: The eyeglass industry is a huge rip-off. Virtually no other business sector has the insanely high high mark-up and profit margin that the eyeglass industry does.

  8. Jennifer Hadley had this to say,

    January 3, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

    About 4 months ago, I purchased a pair of glasses from the Walmart optical department. I chose Walmart because i figured i would get good value at a reasonable cost, as I didn’t have the $400 some odd dollars to spend on a pair. I had the optometrist examine my eyes, he wrote a prescrip, and i chose my frames. About 2 weeks later, they were ready. I tried them on in the store and they seemed really strong; everything was clear, but my eyes were watering and it felt like EVERYTHING was trying to be in focus at once…i told the lady about this and she said it’s because my eyes aren’t used to seeing clearly, and to take them home and try them out for a week. So I did. Every time i put them on, my eyes would water, and i’d get really bad headaches. Took them back, and they had another eye doctor re-examine my eyes. Sure enough, the first eye doctor wrote my prescrip. out wrong, it was wayyy too strong. So another 2 weeks waiting for the new lenses. I go back when they’re ready, only to find a huge scratch going right through the centre of one of the lenses. So again, they take the glasses back, and send them away for fixing. I get them back, and you can tell there is no anti-scratch coating on them (which i paid for), someone forgot to re-add it. I haven’t gotten a chance to take them in again, and just the other day, I noticed one of the lenses is popping right out of the frame! Also there are all these little specks that aren’t polishing off the lenses. I barely ever wear them, because i needed an anti-glare added to them because when i wear them i can literally see my eyes and everything behind me reflecting off the glasses making them very uncomfortable to wear. I asked Walmart if i could pay for and add the anti-glare to them, and she said no, it would Void the warranty. If I was sure i didnt need the warranty, i would have just gotten it done, so that I can actually wear the things. But so far we’re not doing so good on that, and here i am left with a pair of circus glasses that sit in their case and are of no use to me. $300 and so much wasted time, down the shitter. I’m going to go in there and start getting frustrated with them, maybe i’ll get some kind of refund or something that i could put towards a new pair from somewhere else. I need glasses to see, to drive, to live…and I don’t have money to waste!!! 🙁

  9. paul had this to say,

    January 9, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

    walmart is not the place for eye glass exzam they are overpriced .

  10. Walmart Believer had this to say,

    February 5, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

    At Walmart be try our best to give excellant customer service. With optical you have to pay attention to great detail. Rx, Pd’s, Seg Height, etc. We offer several different lens packages,and several hundred frame choices. We have frames in styles for everyone. Were here because we love what we do.. 🙂

  11. yan had this to say,

    February 7, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

    If you not happy with Walmart, then why are you keeping going back. The complaint customers peoples are the one always go back…

  12. yan had this to say,

    February 7, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

    To Paul,
    All Walmart Optical Doctors are Independent Optometrist. Some Doctor may varies in price. They are not included with eyeglass.

  13. Customer #1 Service Walmart Optical, 48312 had this to say,

    February 7, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

    If you lived in Michigan around the zip code 48312. I would recommended to you there Walmart Optical. This one optician I always to see him. I have to wait for him. I will only seek his service. He listen to my concerns and my matter. He give me good remarks and advice before I purchased eyeglasses. He have me lot of moneys of going to another optical chains. He have service my entire family, friends, and other peoples when I referral to him. I will really can not find a good optician whose will take his initial time to listen. With his service I have always been with his location for the past 12 years. I would like you all to know that every optical place a one good opticin will listen to your concerns and needs. If you lived in the area of zip code 48312. I am sorry, I can not share his name here. It can be jeopize his life. He is very excellent in service, selling eyeglasses. I always want to tips him with good work. He can not take tips, he does not get commission either. Sometime with his service, christmas, i always give him a gift cards to show my grattidue. Thank you for letting me share my comments.

  14. Unknown had this to say,

    February 8, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

    Hey Customer#1

    I think I know whose you are replying to.., He is excellent optician. I was there waiting for his service after the doctor examination. I was giving to him. He have took his time explaining the benefits of lens materials, progressive options, and selecting frame choice for me. I know whose he is…. Yet, he work at Walmart Super Center at 48312. I like him cause he is honest on what he sell. I know he does not get commission. But his service is highly recommended if anyone lived in the 48312 zip code. I notice he is very patience, knowledgeable his work, understanding my needs. I highly recommended those are experence difficult on there eyeglasses. Oh, I forgot, he also adjusted your eyeglass for free even I have a old pair glass not fom Walmart, he will take care me and fix them for no charge.

  15. never again had this to say,

    February 12, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    wis 53021 very bad service, never again. cant see thru the glasses very good. better with out them. Spend the extra money it will be worth it. Very bad deal here the girl even chuckled at me. never again

  16. sonya had this to say,

    February 16, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

    ZENNI.COM is amazing so cheap and great glasses!!!!!!!

  17. Tom had this to say,

    February 24, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    Can not understand why people go to walmart for health care. You buy dog food and fishing tackle at walmart, not health care!!!!!!!

  18. 1Optician1 had this to say,

    March 14, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    I am a WalMart Vision Center Manager with 14 years of experience. I have worked for all of the big Optical retailers over the years and let me tell you that WalMart is the best Compoany I have ever worked for. That being said, we do have low prices and our quality is excellent 99% of the time. So for every 100 jobs I receive from our labs 99 are received in excellent condition. This makes my job of dispensing them to patients that much easier. It also depends on the Vision Center that a paitent may visit. There are good and bad employees in every company. We are the only Optical retailer that offers a FREE one year breakage warranty. I have one final thing to say here. If you buy your glasses online who exactly is your Optician. What do you do if you need and adjustment, a screw comes loose or you need a cleaning. What if you have a problem with them when you receive them. Do you send them back and wait another two weeks just to find out that they may be wrong again. Where is the personalization with ordering online??? There is none. The other retailers out there are charging you 2 to 3 times for the same product that you receive from your WalMart Vision centers. I am very prooud to work for such a great company. Its the employees who can make the experience a bad one. So to all of the WalMArt Opticians who just dont care, all I have to say is GO FIND A NEW PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT and stop giving WalMart a bad reputation.

  19. Unhappy Customer in Big D. had this to say,

    April 23, 2011 @ 4:27 am

    I know for a fact that they lie to the customers. They teach us to do that. LIE LIE LIE

  20. Kelly had this to say,

    May 29, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

    I had a terrible experience with Walmart Optical. I originally purchased glasses in Jan 2011, and when I got them, one side of the frame was noticeably smaller. I tried to live with it for a month, but then I was fed up with tolerating an inferior product. To Walmart’s credit, they did replace the frames immediately–they even let me choose a different style. I got the frames and was very happy with them until the lenses started to crack the way a windsheild does when it is hit by a rock. I had the lens replaced, again for free, but then BOTH lenses, even the replaced one, cracked again. They reordered the frames and lenses, but when the new frames came in, one side of the frame was smaller than the other. I was fed up at this point and just asked for my old frames back. They said I would void my warranty if I used my old frames. Finally, I asked for a full refund, which they did, but the optician was rude and told me to be sure that I actually liked the glasses I picked out before ordering them. Ummm, I liked the glasses, but the LENSES KEPT CRACKING. Cheap materials. I went to Lens Crafters and only paid 20 more for DKNY glasses that are made well.

  21. Wallmart optical | Telefonosunidos had this to say,

    June 4, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

    […] Walmart Optical SucksI had an eye exam a week and a half ago at Walmart’s Optical center. Why there? Well, five years ago I had a good experience with them. This time the eye doctor was excellent. That’s when the good times stopped. […]

  22. Walmart Optical> shady dealings had this to say,

    June 11, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

    Walmart Vision Centers try to pull a fast one on you. When you go to buy contacts…even if the prescription is the same for both eyes…they want to verbally tell(and try to enforce) that you have to buy 2 packages. NO WHERE IN THE STORE is there any public signage that displays this requirement for purchasing contacts thru them. No where! When they try to pull that one…I demand to see manager or policy…then they back pedal and say we will sell you the one but will notate your info/acct that we informed you that you have to buy two next time…’s all bs. They can’t enforce that without having it displayed for the public to view at any given time. I believe all the other complaints that others have posted regarding glasses…definitely won’t be purchasing those thru them either.

  23. no longer an employee had this to say,

    June 23, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

    I used to work at the lab in crawfordsville indiana quite a few years ago. I also sent what they call re work back thru to try to fix the lens. I will just say at least back then they spent a fortune in wax pencils 😉 See on light scratches you can fill them in with the was pencil and then clean the len’s and there you have it the scratch is gone until the lens is wiped down by the customer a few times and the wax fill is gone. Yep I have seen some pretty crappy jobs go out of that place. I worked there for 9 years.