Is the customer always right?

In a blog post last September, I ranted about an experience I had buying new glasses. The rant had to do with arbitrary discounts and contrived sale pricing.

What I didn’t mention in that post is I actually purchased two pair of glasses. One pair was for everyday outside activities such as driving, dining, or watching a movie. The other pair Funny glasseswas for use only at my desk — working on the computer and close-up work. I didn’t mention that each pair of glasses uses expensive progressive lenses sometimes called no-line bifocals.

I picked out new frames for the outdoor glasses but decided to reuse frames I already had for my close-up pair. They were expensive frames when I bought them and in great condition. Plus, since no one ever sees me in them, I thought they’d work just fine.

They did until four weeks ago. The old frames broke! So back to the optical store I went in hopes of finding a solution.

Store owner Nick said he’d look around for frames that might work and give me a call. He never called, but I called him several times.

Last week, after four weeks, I returned to the store to retrieve what was left of the old glasses. Nick quickly grabbed a pair of frames from a nearby display and said, “These should work.”

The frames were smaller than mine and a different shape and size. Nick went into the back room to reshape the lenses for the new frames.

Bottom line after using them for two days I put them in the drawer. Progressive lenses need to be fitted to the person, not the frame. They’re not right and never will be.

So here’s the issue. I’m the customer and I’m always right. Right?

Or, way back when, when I told Nick about using old frames, should he have supported the customer who’s always right or recommended against saying, “I won’t do it. I don’t think it’s wise.”?

And when I told Nick about the broken frames, should he have recommended against that, too, warning me, “They’ll never be right”?

If you were Nick, what would you have done? Would you have refused to use the old frames? Would you have held your ground and vehemently warned me, knowing that if he were wrong he might lose out on a lifetime of business?

And as the customer who’s always right, what should I do next? Start all over again? Find a new optician? Or find something new to rant about?

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