Thursday, December 7, 2006

store: OPSM (1/5 stars)

OPSM is a New Zealand optometrist type store. I have bought glasses there in the past. The one that I'm talking about is at the Coastlands shopping mall in Paraparaumu, about 40 minutes outside of Wellington.

I bought some sunglasses at OPSM a while ago (they were Fish brand sunglasses, specifically the Cod model). They were getting a little loose when I was putting them on, so I brought them back, hoping they could fix them. "Sure, no problem.", the manager said. He put some kind of glue into the screw hole, and that was to fix the screw solidly. He also gave me advice on how to handle them, "They last longer if you take them on and off with two hands rather than one.", he said, being very helpful and friendly.

About 1/2 an hour later, I was walking along, still at the same mall, and the glasses literally fell off my face. The "glue" ate through the plastic like acid. I appeared at the OPSM store a few minutes later with the glasses in pieces in my hands. The manger who'd "helped" me, saw me and pushed some poor woman, a new worker, towards me to handle his screw up.

Since the service had been so friendly before, I was confident that they would take care of this without any issues. Unfortunately, the girl who was now helping me, didn't actually know what to do about this, and kept going back to the manager who had "helped" me, and kept coming back with advice. In the end, they searched all of New Zealand OPSM stores, and not a single one had the same pair of glasses. They wanted to give me another pair, preferably more expensive, but I didn't like any of them (these are a $70 dollar pair by the way).

In the end, I got my money back and used it to buy contact lenses for Una.

The story doesn't end there! The Fish sunglasses behind me, I bought a new pair of sunglasses at some some shoe outlet store for $20. I lost one of the screws holding one of the arms on and guess where I ended up to see if they could fix them? That's right, the same OPSM.

That poor woman who'd had me as a disgruntled customer was there again. There was no manger this time. I ask her if they have a screw that will fit the sunglasses and she's pretty sure, and goes into the back room. Sure enough, they have the right sized screw, and she'll fix it in right now for no cost. Sweet!

She plays with it for a minute while I look around the shop. "Oh no.", I hear over my shoulder. She comes over to me, and she's screwed the screw in too tightly, and broken the lens! There go another pair of sunglasses.

I made the mistake of telling them that it was only a $20 pair, so they send me $20 in the mail a week or so later. I forgot to charge for the gas to drive down to the place where I'd gotten them in the first place and the hassle.

Anyway - I've only been into that shop twice, and twice I've come away with a broken pair of sunglasses. Not recommended.


Vanessa said...

Hi, my name is Vanessa and I'm the current manager of OPSM Coastlands. Your blog site was refered to me by a colleague. And after reading your rating of our shop I am shocked by the poor customer service that you have received. I have been managing the coastlands store for over 18 months now, and in this time I have not been aware of anything similar to this occurring - that's not to say it hasn't happened though. It does however sound like the manager who worked in the store about 2 years ago (he now works for another company). I would really appreciate the opportunity to show you how awesome our customer service is now and also improve our rating with you. Please feel free to drop into the store, or give me a call (our number's in the phone book). Look forward to your reply, Vanessa Tames

Determinist said...

Hello Vanessa,

Strangely enough, the first thing to cross my mind when I read this was , "She heard it from a colleague? What was the colleague looking for when she found that posting?" :-)

Thanks for the reply, it is appreciated, and while I've moved away from Kapiti, if I'm by there, I'll drop by and say hello.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I worked for OPSM, and frankly, this story seems quite typical.
OPSM NZ has a history of being preocupied with profits, and one area to cut costs (boost profits) is by understaffing stores, and hiring folk who don't have a clue. The turnover of store managers is quite incredible. And that says lots. The number of actually skilled and qualifed staff per store is typically zero, apart from the optometrist, who may be shuffled all over stores in the nearest major city.
As for the frames... well Luxottica is the major shareholder of OPSM. Luxottica makes frames, and thanks to their position of influence, OPSM will only sell and service Luxottica frames.
Here's where it really gets interesting though. Policy is that any faulty frames get replaced (customers guarantee of satisfaction, plus consumer guarantee act) however, the STORE that replaces the frame is charged 100% of RETAIL price for the replacement frame. ie the store (its staff and minoroty OPSM shareholders) is penalised for the faulty frame, but Luxottica walks away with a sale of another frame. To clarify, the store you go to PAYS full retail to replace your frame. That cost comes off the stores profits and the workers bonuses. Luxottica however is 'rewarded' for selling garbage frames with the store being forced to purchase another of that particular crap model, paying full retail price to the company that made it and which should be carrying the cost of fixing their own cheap, lousy product.
OPSM frames have had a lot of 'bling' lately, so lose a single little sparkley thing off it and behold, Luxottica scores another sale. Where is the incentive to improve quality when you can quadruple the frame sales by ensuring they fall apart and are paid for by store staff!!
Yes, I know this all sounds very dubious regarding NZ consumer guarantees. I believe the store employees should be protected by this as well, and I would love to see some heat put under OPSM and Luxottica for the way they are manipulating things.

Determinist said...

Anonymous (if that is indeed your real name!),

Thanks for the information. It sounds like Luxottica is in a sweet position, however if they are the major shareholder of OPSM, and the store is losing profits over the guarantee of a frame, doesn't this seem like they are shooting themselves in the foot? After all, good profits at stores should make them richer. Right?

I may be speaking to the choir here, but that sounds like really, really stupid behavior from someone who is trying to make money.