On Nov. 4, I visited my optometrist, Dr. Julie Marvin-Manders at Manchester Eye Care. I have been seeing her for at least eight years, including all of the time that I have had Davis Vision coverage. I primarily wear contact lenses, but had decided this year to get a pair of glasses made; since I rarely wear my glasses and my prescription doesn't change much, I only do this every few years. I am severely nearsighted, so I opted for a high-index lens so that my glasses would not be too thick. The staff at Manchester Eye Care called Davis Vision while I was there to see what the highest index lens they could make was, and what guidelines they might have for me in selecting frames. They determined that the Davis lab could do a certain level of high-index lens, which would actually give me thinner glasses than I currently had, if I selected a frame that was not too big. I selected the frame and placed my order. I had to pay $165 out of pocket at that time, because the high-index lens is not covered, plus I opted for an anti-glare coating and progressive bifocals. I was told that the glasses would take 7-10 days, since the high-index lenses were more time consuming. (Typically, my kids and husband get their glasses - made by Davis - within a week.)
On November 18, I called Manchester Eye Care to see what the status of my glasses was. After calling Davis vision, the staff person called me back and said they would probably be shipped Monday and I would get them before Thanksgiving. They did not come in then.
On November 29, I called Manchester Eye Care, and the staff called Davis again, and then called me back. This time, they were told that my glasses needed to be sent out by the Davis lab to another lab, and they had no idea when they would be done. I was not pleased and asked for a number to contact Davis myself. I called and spoke with a rep, who said exactly the same thing. He told me Davis had no way of knowing when the lab they contracted with would complete the glasses.
December 6, I received a call from Manchester Eye Care. Their staff had followed up with Davis to check on my glasses. This time, they were told that there was a problem with the order, and it had to be restarted. They were told that it would be at least another two weeks. The Manchester Eye Care person told me she had placed a call to her Davis Vision rep to complain and advised me to see if I could get any help through the University. We agreed that this level of service was atrocious.
Mysteriously, on December 9, my glasses arrived at Manchester Eye Care. When I saw the glasses Davis had sent, I told them I would not accept them and wanted my money back. One lens is huge, the edges are not polished, and the lenses are not even set in evenly. (See photos.) When the staff person called Davis Vision, she was told that their lab did not understand that BOTH lenses should be high index; they made them with one high-index and one not. Davis also alleged that they did not know that the edges should be polished. (The staff person gave me a copy of what they sent to Davis, which I have scanned and am attaching here. It clearly shows that both lenses should be high-index - which I paid for - and that the edges should be polished. It also shows that there is a minute difference in prescription between my two eyes, which clearly indicates that the two lenses SHOULD appear equal in size.)
The Davis rep then refused to allow the glasses to be returned; they would remake them, but that was it. When I purchased them, I was told that I could return them within 30 days, with no questions asked. The Manchester Eye Care staff says this has been the policy with Davis in the past, and they were not aware it had changed.
When I protested, the Manchester Eye Care staff person talked to Dr. Marvin-Manders, who agreed with me that the glasses should be returned since they were made incorrectly. The staff person was still on the phone with the Davis rep. When the staff person explained that both the doctor and I questioned the "no return" policy, the Davis rep said that not only could the glasses not be returned, but also that I cannot use my benefit this year for anything else, such as toward contacts. They said I could return the glasses, but I would be out $165, plus I would be unable to get any benefit this year from my vision policy.
If Davis is, as it appears, unable to make acceptable glasses for people who are severely nearsighted, that should be noted when people sign up for the vision insurance. It makes the coverage useless for me. Let me be clear, too, that what I want is NOT impossible. I had glasses made by Manchester Eye Care's lab in 2003 that are wonderful, and I have had several perfectly good pairs made by Lenscrafters. While my prescription probably does increase the difficulty of the process, other labs have done an excellent job in the past. Especially after a five-week wait, I would think Davis Vision could do the job. But if they can't, I think they should just be honest about it - and refund my money and let me use my benefits for something they CAN do right, namely contact lenses.
At this point, all I want from Davis is my $165 back, plus the ability to use my annual benefit toward contacts, since Davis was unable to make my glasses correctly. These glasses clearly have manufacturing defects, so I should not have to pay for them OR lose my benefits for this year.