Eye eye - online retailer's guarantees are short-sighted

Avid Bitterwallet reader Haresh is one of many folks who has four eyes instead of two. No, not really, that'd be freakish. He does wear spectacles, however, so he ordered a couple of pairs of simple prescription glasses from ExclusiveEyes.co.uk:

Bitterwallet - ExclusiveEyes.co.uk
The site promises a great deal, including a "no quibble money-back guarantee... a 100 per cent quality guarantee - this means that if there is anything wrong with your glasses, you get your money back without a quibble". They also offer a guaranteed dispatch of all simple prescriptions within three working days. They're certainly attractive guarantees for an online retailer to offer, and to this end the website crows about them on several pages of the site.

Haresh has several issues with Exclusive Eyes. First and foremost, despite a guarantee of a three day dispatch for a simple prescription, the glasses took nearly a month to arrive. When initially challenged, Exclusive Eyes told Haresh his order was shipped on a given date; when the package arrived shipped, the postmark was dated five days later. This was all Royal Mail's fault, he was told. Then in a later email, the company forgot this excuse and instead referred their customer to the small print:

"We dispatched your glasses well within the limit that you agreed to by clicking the terms and conditions."

The terms and conditions on the website state:

"Even though we aim to dispatch orders within 2 working days, this may not be possible for complex prescriptions. Our ophthalmologists will decide whether a prescription is complex or not. Their decision will be final and binding. The maximum time required for delivering a complex prescription is 28 days."

No mention of any sort of guarantee whatsoever and instead an attempt to back out of it - aiming to meet a target is hardly the same as guaranteeing they will. Besides which, Haresh claims his order was for two pairs of single lens glasses with a simple prescription.

Next, when the order finally arrived, it appeared that the arm of one pair had been recycled from a previously-owned pair of glasses - there were several nicks and obvious wear and tear down its length:

Bitterwallet - second hand frames from ExclusiveEyes?
Nowhere on the website does it state recycled components may be used, and despite putting the allegation to Exclusive Eyes several times, customer services have not refuted it. And when Haresh did complain about his order, the company would only promise the possibility of a 50 per cent refund, not the 100 per cent guaranteed. Delve into the terms and conditions once more, and the No Quibble Guarantee isn't mentioned one. The only refund policy detailed is a 50 per cent refund against the cost of the frames, not the order. Haresh won't return the goods until the company offers to make good on its 100 per cent refund guarantee and so far the company is refusing to do so. The terms and conditions also state that the company will not refund postal charges, but distance selling regulations mean that this is not absolute; if off-the-shelf prescriptions were used, then they are legally obligated to refund all costs.

In other words, even without considering Haresh's situation, both guarantees offered by Exclusive Eyes are seemingly worthless; their terms and conditions mean they won't promise to fullfill even simple orders in the time given (there's a day's discrepancy between the guarantee and the terms which may allow room for wriggling, although there is no detail on what constitutes a 'simple' prescription) and there's not a whiff of the 100 percent money-back guarantee anywhere. We've contacted ExclusiveEyes.co.uk for a response and will let you know what the heck they say, if anything.


  • Bob
    Their 'guarantee' is just the law! I can get a 100% refund on any product if it's not fit for purpose due to the The Sale of Goods Act 1979. I suggest Harash quote this law in a letter, returning the glasses. It is reasonable for them to inspect the goods, so he cannot keep them until they promise a refund.
  • Richard N.
    Haresh should contact the company and make it plain that if the advertised refund is not honoured then he will regard the monies due as a debt and will sell that debt to a collection company of the un-registered variety.
  • Robert
    Worth contacting Watchdog?
  • Klingelton
    BW is much better than watchdog. Watchdog only alert you to evils you already know about! who said that?
  • Bob
    "will sell that debt to a collection company of the un-registered variety." Debt collectors have no powers. You would need to take the company to court, obtain a CCJ and then send in bailiffs with a court order. The costs would make it prohibitive on a pair of specs though.
  • Not B.
    Richard said bailiffs of the "un-registered" variety. You know, those guys who live on your estate, who, if you give a few quid to will sort out any problems you have/get anything that you've had taxed back/give someone a kicking. Now THEY guarantee quality.
  • charitynjw
    Could Haresh claim that he couldn't read the small print, hence the need for glasses? (This is a joke, btw - well, very nearly!)
  • Exclusive B.
    [...] you! Remember not so long ago, we told you about avid Bitterwallet reader Haresh and his battle with ExclusiveEyes.co.uk to get a refund for his specs? Yes? Good work. The whole story involved a lot of super duper [...]
  • Why B.
    [...] in the year we ran a story and a follow-up post about ExclusiveEyes.co.uk, an online glasses retailer who appeared to have a [...]
  • Paul B.
    A few days back, I contacted Exclusiveeeyes.co.uk for a pair of Killer Loop designer glasses. My brand new pair of glasses arrived right before time and in good condition with free UV400 coating, scratch-resistant coating and anti reflective coating. I sent them a mail thanking them for their excellent service. They promptly replied. I recommend everyone to order glasses from here.
  • born y.
    Well Paul how interesting, thats almost word for word what 'Margaret' said in another thread.
  • Kristhe
    I recently received a pair of prescription glasses from Exclusiveeyes.co.uk. I love my new pair of glasses
  • michael p.
    Dear Paul, or Kristhe, if I send you my prescription could you please order me a pair of glases for delivery by Monday. My prescription is simple (using standard off-the-shelf lenses). I would you to prove to me that I can get the same level of service you have been gettng.

What do you think?

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