Sterling Optical / Awful Experience - Poor Quality - No Refund Policy
In February 2011, my wife visited Sterling Optical in Jefferson Valley Mall – Yorktown Heights, NY. She was assisted by the store manager, Patti, and had an eye exam, which was of poor quality. She purchased a year’s supply of contact lenses and a new pair of glasses for a total cost of close to $800. She brought with her the glasses she was currently using, and made it perfectly clear that she wanted on the new pair the exact same type of lenses she had on her current pair.
After picking up the glasses several days later, she had severe problems seeing properly out of them. She tried wearing them for several hours but the vision quality was poor, the glasses reflected quite a bit, and wearing them fatigued her eyes. She went back to the store shortly afterwards, and was assisted by another salesperson. After much back and forth, she chose a new frame, hoping she would be better able to see. She also again showed her current pair of glasses to the associate and reiterated that she wanted the exact type of lens she currently had, as she thought the lens put in the first pair was significantly different. She also pointed out that the coating did not seem to properly keep out reflection.
When she went in to pick up the second pair of glasses, she was assisted by a different salesperson, and was ignored by Patti, the store manager. After trying the new pair, she still had trouble seeing properly, and was told that the lenses were different and would take some getting used to. Again, they were not the type of lenses she requested, and again the coating did not seem to keep out reflection. However, she brought the glasses home to try them. She wore them for much of the next two days, but her vision continued to be poor, and her eyes again became extremely fatigued.
After these experiences, which included four trips to Sterling Optical and many hours trying to get used to two different pairs of glasses, neither of which were what she requested, my wife decided she could not deal with this situation any longer and went into the store to request a refund of the $300 she paid for the glasses.
The store manager Patti was there, and Patti tried to explain that the prescription was the same, and the glasses should be fine. My wife explained that the glasses (specifically the lenses) were not what she had requested (twice now), she could not see well out of either, and she simply wanted a refund. Patti very rudely and quickly pointed out that the store has a no-refund policy. This appears to be their fallback for when customers complain about their inferior products/quality/assistance. My wife insisted on speaking with the store owner. Patti reluctantly gave my wife her name, but would not provide contact information. Patti said she would have the owner call my wife. My wife left the glasses at the store with Patti.
After a day and a half of not receiving the courtesy of a phone call from the owner, Heather Freilich, my wife called the store and reached Ms. Freilich. My wife reiterated what she had been through and again explained that the only way she would be satisfied was if she got her money back. Ms. Freilich told her that she would not provide a refund, based on “store policy.” They went back and forth, and Ms. Freilich would not budge on her position. My wife, and then I, both explained to her that we did not receive the product we had paid for, that we did not have the time to continue to deal with this, and that we would fight for a refund through all means necessary.
Since my wife returned the glasses and felt she should not be forced to continue to try to buy a product from this store because of an arbitrary “no-refund” policy, she disputed this matter with our credit card company and was recently notified that the decision came out in our favor. I’d like to make it known how rudely she was dealt with by this store, particular the store manager and store owner. The eye exam was not thorough in any way, the salespeople and store owner seemed to know very little about eye care and were incredibly rude and stubborn, and the products seemed to be inferior to what one would get elsewhere. In fact, my wife bought a perfectly fine pair of glasses at another store shortly after this episode, which consisted of one visit for an exam and to choose glasses, and a second visit to pick them up.
My only regret is that she spent close to $500 on contact lenses at Sterling Optical – Jefferson Valley Mall, as well a tremendous amount of time. Since the credit card company refunded her payment, there is no further action requested. We simply feel it’s important to make known our awful experience with this store.
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