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Thread: Icare labs in St. Pete, FL

  1. #1
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    Wave Icare labs in St. Pete, FL

    Has anyone had any experience with this lab? They sent us a very appealing pricelist, but we're always leery of changing. The quality from our current lab is great, and I know some discount labs will skimp on a/r coating layers, resulting in poor performance early in the first year.

  2. #2
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    I started using them last year and now use them for about 85% of our uncut lens orders. I've used their ICE AR alot and while I'm not an a/r expert, it looks no different than Crizal Avance and performs the same. I think it is actually the same coating technology that they license from Essilor to sell under their own name but I could be wrong. Their in-house progressive is pretty good as well and we've almost completely stopped using any E branded product (besides transitions) unless a patient specifically requests it.

    We did have some issues receiving lenses with small scratches that we had to return, but I'm not sure if that happens during transit and it wasnt a deal breaker. Also, they aren't very good with extreme RX's and will sometimes call you to say they need to outsource the job and the price will be much higher. I usually save those jobs for the other lab we use. I'm not sure what their limitations are but it seems like anything over -10.00 starts to get a little iffy.

    For your very common jobs they are great and they have a good selection of stock lenses as well. I would still encourage you to keep a second lab as a back up for more difficult jobs.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=Alex Camblor;544207]I started using them last year and now use them for about 85% of our uncut lens orders. I've used their ICE AR alot and while I'm not an a/r expert, it looks no different than Crizal Avance and performs the same. I think it is actually the same coating technology that they license from Essilor to sell under their own name but I could be wrong. Their in-house progressive is pretty good as well and we've almost completely stopped using any E branded product (besides transitions) unless a patient specifically requests it.

    Alex, have you found their A/R coatings are holding up? No unusual number of scratch warranties or issues with peeling? That was the main problem I had with the last discount lab I used. They skimped on the coating layers.

  4. #4
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    So far so good, but time will tell. I have only had a couple of people come in for scratch warranty and havent had any issues with peeling. The warranty policy on their ICE AR is 2 years for manufacturer defects and 1x for scratches, so not quite as good as some of the big name brands in that regard.
    A couple of years ago we started charging a service fee of $10 to remake lenses under warranty and that alone seemed to drastically reduce the number of remakes.

  5. #5
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    Just an update. Lenses arriving with scratches is starting to become a problem with this lab. It is almost always on the left lens. I have contacted them and told them they need to address this issue. They always credit us for the remake but it costs us time and money having to mail the lenses back to them.

  6. #6
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    Despite Icare's recent facility upgrades, their quality control has dropped to the point I'm going to start looking for a new lab that actually values our business.

    At least one job per shipment is arriving scratched and despite numerous requests to address the issue, and also being on "Double inspection" I'm still receiving junk like this!
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
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    Have you looked into us optical on new yprk. They have great prices are extremely fast and good quality. Only thing is big e bought them out last year. There in house progressives are very nice. I think they do in house zeiss coatings. You should give them a look

  8. #8
    Ghost in the OptiMachine OptiBoard Silver Supporter Quince's Avatar
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    Cherry Optical out of Green Bay has been offering unbeatable performance and customer service for us. We have been using them for over two years with no consistent issues or defective coatings.

    We were previously using Hoya, and continue to utilize their lenses, but now get them accurately and on time
    Have I told you today how much I hate poly?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bta89 View Post
    Have you looked into us optical on new yprk. They have great prices are extremely fast and good quality. Only thing is big e bought them out last year. There in house progressives are very nice. I think they do in house zeiss coatings. You should give them a look
    I've looked into US Optical before. Being E-owned is a huge turn off for me. I just wish Icare actually cared enough to inspect for scratches, I've been complaining about this for months and feel like a broken record.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quince View Post
    Cherry Optical out of Green Bay has been offering unbeatable performance and customer service for us. We have been using them for over two years with no consistent issues or defective coatings.

    We were previously using Hoya, and continue to utilize their lenses, but now get them accurately and on time
    ++1

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    I apologize that you are experiencing issues with our lab. I assure you, we are inspecting the work before it ships out. In your case, our quality manager is also checking behind our primary inspectors. I am confident in our process that the lens in the photo did not leave our lab looking like that. I am also confident that you are receiving the job like that, and that it is unacceptable. I have spoken with our customer service department, and quality manager, and we are of the belief that the scratches are happening in transit. We think it stems from the distance the lenses are traveling in a paper envelope. We would like to try a few different shipment ideas if you are still willing. Our customer service manager will be reaching out to you today.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bta89 View Post
    Have you looked into us optical on new yprk. They have great prices are extremely fast and good quality. Only thing is big e bought them out last year. There in house progressives are very nice. I think they do in house zeiss coatings. You should give them a look
    US Optical is the lab I referred to when I said some labs "skimped" on their coatings. We've been in business for over thirty years and exclusively used Zeiss labs. Their coatings were amazing. They held up extremely well. We tried going with US Optical due to their lower prices. We had so many complaints from our customers with their in-house A/R, we quit selling that at all. We started only ordering Zeiss coatings from them. Within six months, our customers that had worn Zeiss coatings for years with no issue, were coming back in with their coatings that looked like they had purchased them from America's Worst. Our Zeiss rep at the time told us that they knew US Optical was omitting steps in the A/R process, so we switched to local lab with higher pricing, but great products and service. Just like I tell my customers, you get what you pay for.

  13. #13
    OptiBoardaholic CNG's Avatar
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    Redhot Jumper Not so fast...

    Quote Originally Posted by jspayneii View Post
    I apologize that you are experiencing issues with our lab. I assure you, we are inspecting the work before it ships out. In your case, our quality manager is also checking behind our primary inspectors. I am confident in our process that the lens in the photo did not leave our lab looking like that. I am also confident that you are receiving the job like that, and that it is unacceptable. I have spoken with our customer service department, and quality manager, and we are of the belief that the scratches are happening in transit. We think it stems from the distance the lenses are traveling in a paper envelope. We would like to try a few different shipment ideas if you are still willing. Our customer service manager will be reaching out to you today.
    The problem in any lab is not that essential people are gone.... but failure from management to have the guts to assign a full time (i.e.) a drill person and a back up person. Quality goes away when many errors are found in the lenses and either ignored and hope the dispensers dont catch them or fluncking them in quality inspection and hoping that the dispenser does not give the money back to the patient and cancel his account with the labs because its taking tooo loong. Remember there are so many labs that are good....
    Last edited by CNG; 06-13-2018 at 04:10 PM.

  14. #14
    OptiBoardaholic CNG's Avatar
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    Redhot Jumper Not so fast...

    Sorry Guys its been a week of hell.
    Last edited by CNG; 06-14-2018 at 09:47 AM.

  15. #15
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    I recently switched to a new (to me) lab whose quality is off the charts good. They are slow as molasses compared to my old lab which consistently got me free form with top quality AR shipped out in 48 hours. Now those jobs take 3-5 days to ship as UNCUTS. It is worth it though, and often they aren't shipping them because they fail inspection, where as with other labs I would have to be the one to send it back when quality was off.

    I think best bet is to have a "faster" lab for rush jobs and one of the ones that is as anal about their stuff as I am.

  16. #16
    Ghost in the OptiMachine OptiBoard Silver Supporter Quince's Avatar
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    I will tell most people, 'If you give us an extra couple of days (opposed to same/ next day service), you will get better product.' We have speedy options for emergencies, or those who just can't wait, but most quality product takes time. Even still, we beat most time quotes by a week, so a couple extra days shouldn't​ be a big deal.
    Have I told you today how much I hate poly?

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