Friday, July 3, 2009

SpecsWar `09 Part III

I lost my Silhouettes in the ocean because I was dumb enough to go into the ocean with them. See, I'd neglected to bring my Chesterfields (which I still possessed, pending the arrival of my new shades) but wasn't keen on wearing my $20 pair of contacts into the water for fear of losing them, so instead I wore my expensive pair of Silhouettes in. (I didn't know the exact cost at that point because I hadn't paid attention to that detail.) Yes, despite my obvious history of losing far sturdier and heavier glasses in the ocean, I once again paraded out in my light fluffy, nearly invisible Silhouettes intent on watery fun. After all, I had no intention of getting my head wet, right?

Mere moments after my nephew Kolby asked why I'd worn my glasses into the ocean, I was smashed about the head by a very slight wave, felt the glasses fall forward and they were gone. I have great reflexes, but they were gone before I could even fumble for them. I dove under water to search for them, but quickly discovered that the major trouble in seeing nearly invisible, rimless glasses under water is that it's very difficult due to them being nearly invisible and rimless. Also, it's hard to see anything clearly WITHOUT YOUR GLASSES!

Embarrassed, dejected, and humiliated at my own hand, I stalked out of the water and, soon after, stalked from the beach. The typical reaction our family had upon hearing what I'd done was to say, "AGAIN?!"

I put in my contacts and drowned my sorrows in Yuengling.

Jump ahead to our return home. On the answering machine was a message from Liz alerting me to the fact that my sunglasses had still not arrived because the company had pushed back the release date to mid July.

Well I'll fix them, I thought. I'll just cancel the damned order and have Liz fire me up some new Silhouettes as my second pair. And this I did. In person. To Liz herself. I hoped that my very presence would serve as a dare to say no or provide any more hassle.

Liz seemed okay with canceling the original sunglasses order and applying the money I'd already paid there to the new order of some Silhouettes. Then she told me the difference I would need to cover, which was to the tune of $260. I nearly shat.

"Wait. How much did the Silhouettes originally cost?" I asked, for until that moment, I only thought I knew a ballpark.

She consulted her notes, then decided that even though they'd had a price increase recently she would generously go ahead and give them to me at the original price I'd paid for the first pair, so I'd now owe $230.

"That's nice," I said, "but how much did they cost?"

"With lenses and frames and before insurance, it was $390" she said.

This time I nearly threw up. I was so stunned I barely caught Liz telling me she was going to give me a special 15 percent discount on the frames. Before I left, I asked if I could buy another pair of the Air Optix Aquas, as mine are past their official expiration date by a month.

"Did you need a trial pair or did you want to buy a box?" Liz asked. I asked how much a box was. Turned out $70 per eye with a two box minimum, making a six month supply.

"Gimme a trial pair," I said.

"We no longer carry trial pairs in those," Liz corrected.

"But you sold me a trial pair when I bought the ones I'm wearing right now," I said, my s.

"We've since... made new policies," she said.

"Then nevermind," I said.

When I was retelling this to my wife at lunch, she pointed out an obvious flaw which was that Liz's offer of 15 percent off should have been 50 percent off, as per the rules of the original special.

I blinked. "Wait. Yeah. They are." Or did I mishear "fifty" as "fifteen"? It's a common error. I called Liz back and learned that she had indeed said fifteen.

"But isn't my second pair supposed to be half off?" I said.

"Well, that's what the special is, but you have to buy a pair of glasses at normal price before you can get the second pair half off."

I felt my sickeningly sweet exterior slipping at the edges. "But I did buy a pair of glasses at normal price," I pointed out. They're washed up in Wilmington, granted, but I did buy them.

"Um... yes," she said cautiously. "But in a case where you're upgrading to a more expensive frame," she began again.

"I have already purchased the exact same pair of glasses at full price," I said, still very sweet.

Liz became kind of flustered at this point and said she didn't have the authority to make any decisions, but could consult with the doctor and call me back.

Adopting an even sweeter tone of voice, I said, "And would you please inform the doctor of the two months I've been waiting for my original second pair of glasses?"

Yes, Liz agreed, she would. I later received a message from her saying that she had decided to go ahead and give me the second pair at half off. After my credit was applied I would only owe $97.

I felt like I'd won a small victory, but for the fact that it will now take two weeks for them to arrive, with likely interference by the July 4th holiday and I'm scheduled to leave town for a week by July 3. At this point, I plan to set foot in Liz's place of business only one more time and then never EVER again. I may even tell her that.


1 comment:

Gardenbuzzy said...


I got a pair of bifocal, progressive lens glasses complete with shipping and handling all for $59. My husband's were $89 because he sprung for anti-scratch coating.