Lens.com review for contact lenses - are they cheap?

Getting the best value for your money when it comes to eyeglasses, sunglasses, eye exams, and contact lenses.

Postby george » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:09 pm

As part of my quest to find the best place for buying contacts, I entered an order for 8 boxes of the Acuvue Oasys at Lens.com and the price showed as $19.99 per box, which is a decent price. But I went ahead and went to the checkout screen to find that shipping is an additional $7.95 which brings the price per box to $20.98. This is still a decent price. BUT I also noticed that they added an “Insurance and Handling” charge of $10.40. So it appears the final price per box is actually $22.28. One thing that I find ironic is that when you click the information about the “Insurance and Handling” charge they specifically state “100% price visibility - no hidden charges” as one of the reasons to shop with them. They do explain the reasons for the insurance and handling charge include that they offer credit for ripped or damaged lenses and will reship a missing order. They also will give you a credit for returned and unopened lenses in the event that your prescription changes. I haven’t looked to see if the other online sellers offer these same benefits, but it sure seems to me that this would be a “hidden cost” since you do not have the option of waiving the insurance.

Looking around for coupons for lens.com, it does appear you can lower you price a little if you are spending more than $200 on an order (which 8 boxes of the Oasys does not quite reach) asI found a few online coupons for $5 off and free standard shipping. In the past there were some $15 off $149 for first time orders and free shipping for $139 orders, but those coupons appear to have expired.

Just as important as price is the customer support and service provided in getting the product shipped to you. Like previous places I reviewed, there are plenty of mixed comments. Some people report they got a great price and the product was shipped quickly. Almost as frequently, people reported absolutely horrible experiences. One person commented that his credit card was initially declined and so he called and cancelled his order. Two weeks later he received an email saying the order had in fact been shipped. He called customer support and they said he could just decline the shipment and they would refund the purchase. In the end, they did refund the purchase, but not the shipping cost. I don’t know if this was before they started charging for “insurance” but I would be upset if I returned the product and was charged a shipping fee when it was the company’s fault. Other people reported very slow shipping - taking several weeks for an order to arrive. Even on products that say on the website that they ship in 3-5 days sometimes won’t ship for more than a week. The company would not give any reason to the buyers why the delivery times are so much longer than what is on the website. I would be cautious with this company.
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Postby george » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:43 pm

I was able to find some additional information on the Better Business Bureau website, but it is a bit hard to sort out. There is a VERY concerning letter from 2009 about Lens.com (that is no longer posted on the BBB website, but I'll attach it at the end of this post - added 4/15/18). According to the letter, Lens.com was using the same post office box as JustLenses.com, ContactsAmerica.com, and 1-800-GET-LENS. The BBB gave the company an “F” grade, due to 158 complaints against them in the previous 36 months. The complaints were similar to what I pointed out above, with hidden charges, mistakes in the orders, and long delivery times.

The confusing part is that if you go to the current BBB website for Lens.com you will find they now have a rating of A+. They do still report around 130 complaints from the past 3 years, and they identify them as again being hidden charges, mistakes with filling orders, and delays in delivery. Interestingly, they say that the things that improved their score included the length of time the company has been in business, the LOW amount of complaints given the size of the company, the way the company resolved the complaints, and that the BBB has sufficient information about the company.

Of the 131 complaints over the last 3 years to the BBB about Lens.com, 83 were resolved with BBB assistance, 6 were not resolved with the customer not satisfied and BBB feeling there was not a good effort to resolve the problem from the company, and 42 where the customer was not satisfied, but the BBB felt the company made a good effort to resolve the complaint.

I take all of this to mean that the company has been making more of an effort since 2009 to resolve any issues, but it seems like they still have some problems. I'm going to keep looking for a better option.

<update 4/15/18 - added contents of concerning letter here>

Missouri Firm Offering Discount Contact Lenses Has Customers Seeing Red
6/22/2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Michelle L. Corey, 314-645-3300
Bill Smith, 314-645-3300

Missouri Firm Offering Discount Contact Lenses Has Customers Seeing Red

St. Louis, Mo., June 22, 2009 - Contact lens customers say they should have taken a harder look at a Louisiana, Mo., company before agreeing to purchase discount prescriptions from the business.

Several consumers told the Better Business Bureau (BBB) that they have been so frustrated by hidden charges, mistakes in filling their orders and delivery delays that they will no longer buy from the online firm.

The company, Lens.com, is incorporated in the state of Nevada, but also lists addresses in Louisiana, Mo., about 70 miles north of St. Louis.

The BBB in St. Louis has given the business an “F” grade, recording 158 complaints and reports against Lens.com in the past 36 months. Since January 1, 2009, the BBB has logged 30 complaints and reports; the company has failed to respond to several of them which the BBB believes points to an underlying pattern of problems.

Michelle Corey, president and CEO of the St. Louis BBB said Lens.com appears to have lost sight of the importance of good customer relations. “We have been monitoring this company for some time, hoping that it would become more responsive to consumers’ concerns,” she said. “Unfortunately, it appears that Lens.com too often looks the other way when it learns of problems.”

Web sites and other records show that Lens.com has ties to several other online contact lens companies, including Just Lenses (JustLenses.com), Contacts America (ContactsAmerica.com) and 1-800-GET-LENS. Those three companies share the same post office box with Lens.com in Louisiana.

Recent complaints to the BBB concerning Lens.com involve a variety of issues.

A woman from Waldron, Ind., said she used an online form to order eight boxes of Acuvue contact lenses for her daughter on March 20. The woman said that four days later she received confirmation that the order had been shipped. When her daughter did not receive the lenses, the woman said she began calling the company. “I was calling them daily, saying, ‘where are the contacts?’ “ she said. Three weeks later, she said, she canceled the order and bought contacts from another company. Despite the fact that her daughter never received the contacts, she said the company refused to refund a $12 shipping charge. “They were blaming the post office, making me do all of their work trying to track them down. I told them I will never do business with them again.”

A nurse from San Diego, Calif., said on May 10 she ordered contact lenses from Lens.com at a price of $231. She said when the order was received, it was wrong and she immediately contacted the company. A representative told her that the company could not immediately refund her $231 and told her she would have to pay another $231 for a new order. When the second order also was wrong, she said she contacted Lens.com yet again and was given the same story. “It was completely their mistake, and they showed no remorse. There was no apology; they just wanted me to pay for another order.” After contacting the BBB and law enforcement officials, she said Lens.com said she would be receiving her full $462 refund.

A man from Camdenton, Mo., was one of several consumers who complained that the company sent him the wrong prescription after failing to properly verify his order with his eye doctor. He said they refused to give him a refund for the contacts. While the man acknowledges that he sent the company the wrong prescription information for his right eye, he maintains that the company had an obligation to double check the order through his physician before filling the order. Lens.com said they did, in fact, attempt to contact the doctor’s office, but the doctor never responded. The doctor has denied that the company ever tried to contact him. The man noted that the Lens.com Web site promises that customers “will receive the exact type and brand of contact lenses specified in your order and confirmed by your eye doctor’s prescription.”

A man from Scarsdale, N. Y., was among several customers who said they were disturbed about a “hidden handling charge” assessed by the company. The man said the handling charge was not disclosed on the order form and he discovered it only after noticing that the total price of his contacts was higher than what he had agreed to. An email from Lens.com’s Customer Service Department said the 6.5 percent add on was a “temporary handling surcharge” due to “a recent increase in our handling costs.” Several consumers said they later found reference to the surcharge buried in a “frequently asked questions” area of the company’s Web site.

“It’s definitely a deceptive practice,” the man said. “I just don’t like it when I see companies engaging in this kind of conduct.”

Cary Samourkachian, who is listed in Nevada records as president of Lens.com, is also listed as president of SGroup International. SGroup International’s Web site says it works closely with a variety of companies including Lens.com and an online comparison shopping site called LensPrice.com. The LensPrice.com site offers price comparisons and a star system for people searching for the best contact lens values.

Interestingly, a check of the LensPrice.com site shows Lens.com as the highest-rated contact lens distributor for top contact brands. The next three top-rated companies are JustLenses.com, ContactsAmerica.com and 1-800-GET-LENS, all sharing addresses with Lens.com. The four are the only ones given bold check marks by LensPrice.com.

The BBB recommends that anyone ordering from an online contact lens company learn about the company’s refund policies before ordering. In addition, try to find out:

Whether prescriptions can only be returned if they are unopened.
The lengths to which a company goes to verify a prescription with your physician before sending your order.
Exactly how much you are being charged for shipping and for any “handling fees.”
Whether there are discounts for ordering larger quantities.
Whether the shipments are insured, in the event they are lost in the mail.
Consumers may check out a company’s reliability report at http://www.bbb.org or by calling the BBB at 314-645-3300.
george
 
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Postby shanx24 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:26 pm

I have had nothing but difficult experiences getting LENS.COM to ship products to me internationally. Their customer support, when it is reachable, is manned by some really low IQ people. They use USPS International, which might as well be pigeons delivering your mail. Never once have I received USPS mail here in Asia. Not once. It always gets lost. I'd rather buy my lenses locally for the extra 10-15 dollars than to pay and not get any package nor any help from customer service. Highly unprofessional.
shanx24
 

Postby maryhaidar » Sat May 09, 2015 9:05 pm

Lens.com has the absolute worst customer service.... Hassle-free returns my arse!!!! I called in January to get a RMA to send back contacts, then returned them.... they had no record of my getting an RMA or returning the contacts... I have spoke to numerous people since January and get a different story from each person I speak to!!! Finally for a rep a week or so ago that said "yes" she could see in their system that they received my return, but can't tell what I returned or what happened to it. She said they they will go ahead & credit my account for 3 boxes of the 2 types of contacts I'd ordered and that I should see a credit in a day or two.... So I call back the other day as there is still no credit, and of course got a different person who gave me a different story. They cannot credit me as they have no way to tell what I returned, they said they'll search the phone records for my original call (not sure why they never did the 10 previous times I called)... so they called me back this morning. They found my original call where I requested a RMA but they said "they have no record that I returned the order".... I said I just spoke to a rep last week and she confirmed that she could see my return was received. The rep said the tracking # in their system doesn't show a return (not sure why it did the other day).... so I did have a picture of the receipt for tracking on my phone, but have since changed phones & lost all of the pictures.... so I can't tell them again what the tracking # is!!! Anyway even if they ever do refund me, it will be just a lens.com credit as I no longer have the credit card I used to place the original order and they won't apply the credit to another card.... so I figure I am still out $$$ as I will NEVER by another thing from them!!!! So I am currently on the phone with Lens.com and they just amazingly did find my return and seriously they will only credit my account.... or the credit card that no longer exists!!!! So now I have a credit from a company that I will NEVER make another purchase from!!!! Oh and for my trouble they they gave me a courtesy credit of $7.95 for my shipping costs.... such a generous gesture (Ha ha)!!!!
maryhaidar
 

Postby babaplan » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:33 am

They absolutely expensive as for me. They have 12% handling fee for my lenses and shipping for 8$ and lenses not so cheap by the way. I found my lenses much cheaper from another online retailers.
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Postby george » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:26 pm

Babaplan,

Where did you wind up ordering from, what kind of contact lenses do you use, and what was the total price breakdown? What was your experience like with the retailer you chose?
george
 
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Postby babaplan » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:05 pm

george wrote:Babaplan,

Where did you wind up ordering from, what kind of contact lenses do you use, and what was the total price breakdown? What was your experience like with the retailer you chose?


Soflens Multifocal. I do not remember the price breakdown but for me works Visiondirect or Coastal -it depends on what coupons are better now.
I know Aclens, Discountcontactlenses, 1800contacts also have good prices on many lenses but not on my lenses. Lens.com is not a deal IMHO.
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Postby Guest » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:52 pm

Their lenses are cheap, but if you click through from google you will get them cheaper, or if you call to order and tell them you saw a lower price on their website they will have to give you a lower price. If you use the lower price though then try to use a coupon code you won't be allowed to because the lower price counts as a coupon. Their international shipping is a joke, they don't use tracking numbers on international shipments so most get lost or stuck in customs, also for the international customers if there is a problems such as stuck in customs or something like that they make you wait 6 weeks before they will even offer to refund your order or reship it. They only charge in us dollars so canadian customers order without knowing that because it isn't on their website then they get charged a bunch more for the exchange rate. Their lenses do come directly from the manufacturers but sometimes it takes weeks to get them, they don't tell you that either. I worked for them and would never order a thing from them. As for the message below about the po box belonging to other websites, yes they own all those websites and another one that sells eyeglasses, bestbuyeyeglasses.com but don't bother ordering from that company either. They have none of the frames in stock and most of the time when you order they will cancel your order because the product has been discontinued but they still never take the products down from the website.


Last bumped by Anonymous on Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:52 pm.
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