Cautionary tale of ads & opticians

Ads are part of our everyday life, they are on TV( between and during the programmes), in the magazines, on billboards, so it’s almost impossible not to be influenced by them. But it’s not the ads in general that I want to talk to you here, it’s a specific ad and a specific product.

Vision Express, a chain of opticians that is present on quite a few high streets presents itself as the one looking for individual approach to its clients and their eye test, but from experience I can tell you-approach with caution!

A few weeks ago my son was jumping in our bed on a Sunday morning and he decided to put his finger in my husband’s eye, who in turn, didn’t react quickly enough. The consequence? A teary, painful feeling in the eye. We speedily got dressed up, had breakfast and went to the high street, in the hope that one of our local opticians will have a look at the eye and offer some advice.

The first one was…you guessed it, Vision Express. We came in, explained the situation and asked if the optician was in and whether he would be able to examine my husband. We were assured that it would be no problem, but in 40 minutes. We popped into another optician, David Clulow, but their optician wasn’t available for another hour. We wondered around, me trying to distract my husband, him trying to shield his eye from the sunshine and regularly wiping out the tears, streaming from the eye.

Finally the time came, my husband gave his details and went in…only to come out five minutes later, incensed when the optician refused to examine him, instead wanting to run a full eye test. A note: my husband only recently had his annual eye exam. We did explain the situation in advance but the people working in Vision Express had no desire to ‘tailor make’ the solution for my husband, but very determined to charge him for a full eye test, which he didn’t require. They wasted precious time and offered no help.

In the end we went back to David Clulow, where they kindly fitted my husband in, the optician had a quick look at his eye-which had a scratch-but said that she can’t prescribe the medication and it will be a good idea for my husband to go to Moorefield’s Eye hospital, just to be on the safe side. Do you feel a difference in the approach? And they don’t even run their ads on TV!!!

We did go to the hospital, had the eye checked out and were told that this type of injury ‘was very common, very painful but very easily treatable’. My husband was back to health within a few days.

All I want to say is that you can spend a lot of money on the advertisement and it will be futile, because the people behind the service or product are so bad, you will never go back to them. And when you get good service, you are bound to come back time and time again.

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