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Thread: Charged for adjustments in Chicago??

  1. #1
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    Charged for adjustments in Chicago??

    One of our regular patients was in Chicago and needed her glasses adjusted. She stopped in to a local chain store, they proceeded to tell her that it would be a ten dollar charge for the adjustment. She was surprised by this, but went ahead anyway. They melted her plastic frame, causing the magnet to pop out of the bridge, that held her clip on. They then tried to glue it back in and glued it in upside down. This is the first time that I have heard of anyone charging for an adjustment. The bad part is, they apparently didn't know what they were doing. I like the idea of charging for adjustments for eyewear purchased elsewhere, but it would have to be implemented industry wide. The bad thing is, the patient said that when she paid ten dollars for her adjustment, her expectations were much higher but unfortuntately were not met, lol. Is anyone else out there charging, and how is that being accepted by patients?

  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Craig's Avatar
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    We charge a minimum of $10 and it goes to charity; we are up to about$2,500 YTD with a goal of $5,000 to grant a wish. I get a few per month who do not want to pay; they are told we are not kidding and they leave not happy. Oh well! I would never ask for anything for free so why should I give my services and notepads away?

    Our customers put in more money than anyone else; they also get charged and have no problem with it. They are asked to donate, not told as long as the glasses are under 2 years- than they need to donate.

    It works for us!

  3. #3
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    Had a new patient in today buying glasses and wanted a second pair of lenses in her old frame. She said "You probably don't do that huh?" and I said "Of course we do and there is no extra charge". She was pleasantly surpised by that and then said "Can I ask you something else?" Sure. "Would you charge someone to adjust their frame if it wasn't purchased from you?" I responded that simple adjustments and repairs are a courtesy. She then said "Well we will be coming here from now on". More often than not these small courtesys gain you loyal customers so I intend to keep offering them. Nosepads and screws are cheap, my time is compensated well enough so why would I not?

  4. #4
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    I agree: simple, quick adjustments and repairs r no charge. Repeating offender who are non purchasers are/will be weeded out. Significant work/effort gets a reasonable charge.

    I reserve the right to waive said fee on a case by case basis.

    B

  5. #5
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Craig's Avatar
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    Big Smile Don't judge what you don't understand!

    You might change your tune after standing in my stores for a few days. Hi, I am a tourist from blah blah and can you help me for free?
    NO! We are experts at what we do and we donate all repair money to charity; it is now Make A Wish.
    This is win/win and there is no inherit value in free.
    I charge $40 to process an internet order warranty; they have no problem with it. I have to ship to company, pay shipping back to me and then re-ship after ensuring it is correct. Never had a complaint because I provide service while keeping them informed, hence comfortable in the transaction.

    Most people think it is wonderful what we do for charity and it helps our business along with the charities we serve while allowing our customers to also give back for a good cause. I have a nice wood box out with all the information on Make A Wish which gives me the opportunity to sell the cause!

    I met Gayle and Burt Blyleven-hall of fame pitcher and broadcaster for the Twins- to get them involved in the charity. They have agreed to come to the big bash on 1-11-13 and help raise $$$$. I just met the first lady of Fort Myers and am in the process of putting on an event with Deon Sanders, Craig Sagar-NBA broadcaster in wild clothes- Hall of Fame Golfer Jo Ann Walker for an event this summer to raise awareness and $$$ for Make A Wish!

    This is a way to look at what we do in a positive light and I challenge anyone to do the same in your community!! It works for everybody except cheap skates that expect service for free while denying a charity a few bucks.

    Anybody want to come to our event? I am also trying to get Olivia Newton-John to attend. THIS IS WORTH AN EXTRA $150,000 IN FUNDS FOR NIGHT IF I CAN GET HER TO APPEAR. I have a friend in the optical industry who is best buds with her and had to order many frames from her to get her help!!

  6. #6
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    The best way to de-value a product or service is to give it away.
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

  7. #7
    Optician Extraordinaire
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    I was on a cruise earlier this month and lost a nosepad on my suns in Roatan, Honduras. I discovered it before I left the ship and went to get my other pair( of course I had another pair) and couldn't find them.

    So I found an optical shop, which was interesting in its self. She replaced both of the pads with a pair from a Candies frame and charged me $5.00. I was glad to pay it!

    Of course, I found my other sunglasses later under the bed.

    Anyway, we never charge for adjustments but I can see doing it in a tourist area or for more complicated ones.

  8. #8
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Adjustments are one way to advertise your business without cost. If you can't turn an adjustment into your customer...(even on that visit...chains, cleaning cloths, etc heck Hilco has a catalog full of chotchkie's to sell) you should try another profession.
    "Always laugh when you can. It is a cheap medicine"
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johns View Post
    The best way to de-value a product or service is to give it away.
    Possibly and perhaps it's a small town midwestern thing but I don't see it as a devaluation when they are your customers already or potential customers because they live in the area. For out of towners who are in a pickle because they have lost a screw it's a courtesy and one that is in my experience always appreciated.

  10. #10
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    I, like Craig, am in a big tourist area, and don't really relish in working for free. I have a sign posted that says $10 minimum repair charge. Some tourists balk, and walk, and I really don't charge that for a lost screw, or nosepads, but I do charge more than I don't. When my regulars see it, they also expect to pay, but I don't charge them for things I made. The tourists fees offset the cost for screws, nosepads, and the occasional lunch for my office, so win win for me.

  11. #11
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Silver Supporter Barry Santini's Avatar
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    Not sure at all about tourist-area stores, as I have no experience there. But, if you might grab a bit of goidwill for the price of 'lunch', would you do it?

    B

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Santini View Post
    Not sure at all about tourist-area stores, as I have no experience there. But, if you might grab a bit of goidwill for the price of 'lunch', would you do it?

    B
    Goodwill, no. A new customer, yes. I screen most tourists to see if they maybe are out of town owners, friends or family of locals, or come regularly and may become a cash customer. If I think I may win in the long run, no charge, as I make a few more $$ on a new pair then a 10 buck repair, if not, they pay.

    Your lack of experience in tourist areas says it all. Most local business's here have about 4 months to make their money, not me, as I am really a local's shop, 12 months. I don't depend on tourist dollars beyond the fact they support about 60% of my customers, who depend on their income directly from tourism (pools and spa, rental jobs, maintenance, hvac, etc.). Yes, the added money from lost glasses, forgotten contacts helps out, but really doesn't pay the bills. I work to keep MY customers happy, not yours. The usual phrase here is " can you just patch it until I get home?". My interpretation of that is, "I want to give you zero dollars, and give all my money to the guy at home", and my answer is no, I can't. Calls from Doc's asking to dispense "free trials" until their patients get home to pay them to update, not.



    You want goodwill, shop at one, but even they charge you know!

  13. #13
    Master OptiBoarder kat's Avatar
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    I live in a tourest area, Phoenix, but I also am just shy of two years old in my own shop. That said I really see both sides as equal, you build up good will and potential customers (as I have), but you also diminish your "espertise". When I feel it is appropriate, I charge, but for the most part, I do adjustments for free.
    I came, I saw, I left

  14. #14
    Ophthalmic Optician OptiBoard Gold Supporter
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    Quote Originally Posted by obxeyeguy View Post
    The usual phrase here is " can you just patch it until I get home?".
    Can I just crash at your place the next time I'm down there...you know, "just until I get home"!

    I'm liking the sound of paying $0!!!
    Ophthalmic Optician, Society to Advance Opticianry

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    OptiWizard OptiBoard Silver Supporter
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    With the advent of internet specs, this free adjustment thing is something we all will have to reevaluate.

    And the timing depends on your demographics.

    If you are in a young/college/techie area, it probably needs to be done now as all of those folks are used to buying everything on the internet and have no concept at what is happening to the brick and mortars.

    I'm fortunate in that I'm in a blue collar area, but a friend in downtown college student boston had to go all private label because she was nothing but a showroom for the internet.

    Bottom line, the free adjustment thing is something we will all have to rethink, when we rethink will depend on our demographics.

    Harry

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    The Man, The Myth, The Legend OptiBoard Gold Supporter Fezz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harry888 View Post
    With the advent of internet specs, this free adjustment thing is something we all will have to reevaluate.

    And the timing depends on your demographics.

    If you are in a young/college/techie area, it probably needs to be done now as all of those folks are used to buying everything on the internet and have no concept at what is happening to the brick and mortars.

    I'm fortunate in that I'm in a blue collar area, but a friend in downtown college student boston had to go all private label because she was nothing but a showroom for the internet.

    Bottom line, the free adjustment thing is something we will all have to rethink, when we rethink will depend on our demographics.

    Harry
    +1!!!

  17. #17
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    Just another thought. Many other threads here about raising the bar, more education, bachelors degrees, and more competent testing, and yet we still have people in this industry that have the mentality it is ok to give services away for free. We indeed are our own worst enemy. Service for no charge is worth exactly what you paid for.

  18. #18
    Ophthalmic Optician Wes's Avatar
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    I think there's a difference between servicing the product you sell, as opposed to the product you didn't sell. Honda services my car. I don't expect Nissan to do it. Goodwill for very simple adjustments is ok; no parts, nothing you paid for, nothing difficult, and nothing that takes you away from a paying customer. Judy has a good article on unbundling, and we need to head in that direction.
    Wesley S. Scott, MBA, OO, LDO, ABOM, NCLE-AC

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wes View Post
    Goodwill for very simple adjustments is ok; no parts, nothing you paid for, nothing difficult, and nothing that takes you away from a paying customer.
    Nothing I paid for? How about my education, my knowledge, my experience, I paid for all of it. You guys want to raise the bar, yet name one other profession that gives it services away for free. Even the coffee shop does not give hot water away to make your own tea. Good luck with that bar raising.

  20. #20
    Ophthalmic Optician Wes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obxeyeguy View Post
    Nothing I paid for? How about my education, my knowledge, my experience, I paid for all of it. You guys want to raise the bar, yet name one other profession that gives it services away for free. Even the coffee shop does not give hot water away to make your own tea. Good luck with that bar raising.
    I see you feel very strongly about it. So do I. My caveat was for "very simple" as in, something that takes ten seconds or less and doesn't take me off the floor.
    I'm not going to argue whether a turn and a half on a screw has anything to do with raising the bar or not. There comes a point where we're splitting hairs, and that's not going to raise any bars.
    Wesley S. Scott, MBA, OO, LDO, ABOM, NCLE-AC

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by harry888 View Post
    Bottom line, the free adjustment thing is something we will all have to rethink, when we rethink will depend on our demographics.
    Agreed.

  22. #22
    Optimentor Diane's Avatar
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    Let's think of a way to make this a TRUE positive. If we want it to be good advertising, that would mean that the potential "customer" would at some point make a purchase. I would advocate a charge of service/services that would be reasonable whether it is an adjustment or something else that has historically not had a charge. Then, you tell the "customer" that the receipt can be used as a full credit toward eyewear purchased at your office/practice if used within ________ fill in the blank time frame. I would NEVER even begin to charge my own patients. Nor would I consider charging for a collegue or friend.

    Your thoughts, please???

    Diane
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  23. #23
    Barticus Prime - Optibot opticianbart's Avatar
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    We charge for nosepad in our shop. Kinda, sorta, maybe... I can waive the fee as I see fit, often I just tell people "The charge is $5 for the nosepads, but don't worry about it - I have you covered today. But next time you see someone who needs $5 pass it on and give them a hand." Most people say they will. No idea how many actually do, but I like to think that many of our customers are the kind of people who would.
    Bart Smith, continuing to be awesome since 1982 so that you don't have to.

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  24. #24
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    Creg, you should charge. Your stores are in high traffic areas and the pts are CRAZZY. You should charge them just for coming into your store. JJ CI. Pts that pay that much for a frame $2,500 should have no problem paying for service. It's like buying a car and expecting a free oil change.

  25. #25
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    I cannot tell you the amount of patients we have collected by doing free adjustments, better than they have ever had before. Not only do we reside in a non-tourist midwest area, but we share an adjoining reception area with an extremely busy as well OMD practice. Even though we work for 2 excellent OD's, we capture a lot of the OMD's practice by offering services that chain store environments don't, excellent conscientious adjustments. Just like Craig or Oxy's businesses, we do what works best for our practice.
    Honestly though, my primary reason for this email is because Craig brought up the name Bert Blyleven. I am sure you all are aware of Chris Berman from ESPN, who is most noted for his nicknames for ball players. My favorite of his is Bert be home Blyleven, lol

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