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Faulty Glasses

jbbjbb
jbbjbb Forumite Posts: 8
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Hello,

I purchased a pair of glasses (£389 - not cheap!) from M&S Opticians last year. The hinge has since broken through no fault of my own and I took them into the store. The staff agreed that the frames need to be replaced, and confirmed that they are still under guarantee (I bought them less than 12 months ago). Great!

Not so great, they are insisting that I have to send them off to process the guarantee, and they can't tell me how long it will take. I need them to work, drive, make a cup of tea, etc - and so this would be a huge inconvenience to me, to the point that I essentially cannot do it.

It seems like a simpler solution, given we both agree they need to be replaced, would be for them to send new frames into the store and we swap them over. I've had a flat-no to this over the phone though, and have asked to raise a formal complaint.

Do I have any other recourse here? As far as I know, the CRA says that they must provide repair/replacement without 'significant inconvenience', which this would be to me. But, I'm not sure if there are any caveats or what I can do about it.

Any thoughts appreciated!
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Comments

  • Ayr_Rage
    Ayr_Rage Forumite Posts: 505
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    Stores do not generally have the ability to remove lenses and fit them to new frames.

    If the replacement process means they have to be sent away then you'll have to go along with it.

    Alternatively ask them to make you a completely new pair including lenses.


  • jbbjbb
    jbbjbb Forumite Posts: 8
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    Thanks! So in this case, I believe the frames and lenses came separately and they were assembled in the store (they are the 'half rim' type).

    Is there anything I can do if they flat out refuse to help?
  • user1977
    user1977 Forumite Posts: 11,724
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    edited 18 September at 2:42PM
    "Significant inconvenience" would be making you jump through unnecessary hoops, I don't think merely having to wait for the item to be repaired is going to be deemed to be significantly inconvenient.

    I think the time has come for you to get a spare pair of specs...
  • jbbjbb
    jbbjbb Forumite Posts: 8
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    Fair enough. It seems a shame they have not lasted a year, and the guarantee is functionally unusable.
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Forumite Posts: 2,165
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    You are correct that if the time taken for repair or replacement would cause you significant inconvenience you can refuse, but the only remaining option under the Consumer Rights Act would be a (partial) refund, leaving you with no glasses at all. It is hard to see how that would be less inconvenient.

    If your only pair of glasses is as essential as you say you should really have more than one pair. Alternatively could you manage for a short time with the ones you used daily before you got these new ones?
  • Torry_Quine
    Torry_Quine Forumite Posts: 18,801
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    This is why I always keep the previous pair of glasses. Unless of course this is the first time you've needed glasses.
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
  • GingerTim
    GingerTim Forumite Posts: 1,670
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    I'd probably take my prescription and buy a cheap second pair from Glasses Direct or somesuch, and when they arrive put my main pair in for repair.
  • jbbjbb
    jbbjbb Forumite Posts: 8
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    All fair points, thanks. It sounds like the best option would be to find a second pair, and then get these repaired. It is a little frustrating - I can't imagine buying a new car, the wheels falling off after 9 months, and the dealership saying that if a car is critical to me then I should have a second one ready to go while they repair it. Obviously not the same product or price, but the principal and the impact to me feels the same.

    Cheers!
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Forumite Posts: 6,207
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    jbbjbb said:
    Thanks! So in this case, I believe the frames and lenses came separately and they were assembled in the store (they are the 'half rim' type).

    Is there anything I can do if they flat out refuse to help?
    Being able to assemble something is not the same as being able to disassemble it... no experience in spectacles but in other things the tools etc can be totally different. 

    They haven't flat out refused to help, they've offered to send them off to be repaired/replaced which isnt unreasonable. 

    If your eyesight is so bad that you cannot cope without glasses at all then you really should have a second pair anyway just in case the first pair are accidentally lost or destroyed by a cause you cannot pin back onto the merchant. 
  • jbbjbb
    jbbjbb Forumite Posts: 8
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    I asked, and they can indeed be disassembled and reassembled in store :smile: I guess it's likely that their own supplier's returns process requires them to be sent back.

    I agree with you, but in this case it is their fault, and it seems unfair from a consumer perspective.
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