Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pince-Nez Pride

A good friend of mine who wears pince-nez warned me a long time ago about dealing with opticians and optical stores. "Almost all of them will think you are weird," he said in so many words. I didn't pay much attention to this warning but I did remember it. Recently I had a bad experience with an optician that my partner has been using for twenty years or so. They made the lenses for my fingerpiece yet provided virtually no follow-up care with adjustments. The store's leading salesperson spent no more than two minutes on each of my visits after buying the lenses. The undertone was clear from her and others in the store: you're weird.

I vowed never to go back nor recommend the store to others. Since my partner is faithful to them in spite of my experience, I won't mention the name.

I had one other interesting experience with retail pince-nez shopping. A few months ago I went into a small, well-known optical store in Union Square. I received horrible customer service from the salesman. He did the unspeakable thing to a customer by turning his back on me and walking away while I was still asking questions.

I was so mad that I wrote a harsh but fair review of this store on Yelp. Last Friday I received a very apologetic email from the store owner. She was quite sincere in her apology and assured me that she spoke with her staff. For that reason, I removed the review. My review certainly had an impact! It was quite beneficial for the store owner as well.

All I can say is that I haven't found a good dealer of pince-nez in San Francisco. I'm still looking and will recommend one if found.

I'm glad that I spoke up. If dealers do think we're weird, they better keep their opinions to themselves. If you experience poor or improper service, speak up. Do an online review or write the store owner. Conversely, praise a good dealer or optician. The free market does work.


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