WARNINGS & ILLEGAL PRACTICES! 1.
All of Cohen's Fashion Optical stores DO NOT PROVIDE REFUNDS. Once you provide them w/ payment, you cannot get your money back. 2. This particular store DOES NOT GIVE PRESCRIPTIONS (unless you ask them for it) and that is ILLEGAL.
I felt it was important to provide you with these 2 warnings before I upload docs of the store's illegal practices as of 3/22/17. I hope this review will 1) prevent future customers from falling victim to overpriced products & unprofessional customer service 2) will force the store to always DISCLOSE everything that I am about to tell you. First of all, I have been going to Cohen's Fashion Optical on W. 96th & Bway for a couple of years now since I live very close to one and up until this point, I've never had an issue with the brand.
When I went to the 42nd store, I asked for an eye exam for my contacts to which they gave me my examination and the store manager sold me contacts that had to be ordered and shipped to the store. My insurance benefits allow me $25 for 4 boxes of 30 lenses + $10 copay for my exam for a total of $35. This is what I've always paid for at the West 96th store. Initially, I thought the store manager was selling me "selection contacts" that would allow me to continue to take advantage of $25 for 4 boxes.
She told me further that if I bought a year's worth of contacts, I would get a $120 rebate so I trusted her to purchase a year's worth. I left the store and not even a minute later I realized I forgot to ask for my prescription so I went right back in and asked for it. The store manager gave that to me. I realized later after looking back on last year's insurance claims from the other store, that she had sold me on "non selection contacts" (the only diff.
is 90 lenses vs 30 lenses per box) which took away my insurance benefits of 4 boxes AND it forced me to pay $90 for a contact evaluation fee. At first, I thought it was an innocent mistake so I went back to the store to have this corrected before they filed a claim with my insurance. The store manager did not want to work with me on this issue and told me about their "NO REFUND POLICY" which was the FIRST TIME I had heard of this. There were no visible signs of the policy (apparently hidden behind some boxes - see attached photo).
When I realized this, I told her that I would not be picking up these contacts when they arrive, and will dispute this with my credit card company, and she responded that I would lose the dispute as they will argue that they attempted delivery (btw this is attempted delivery to their own store). I emailed their customer service liaison who turned out to not be very helpful where I provided a photo of the hidden refund policy. NYS law requires that all retail establishments post refund policies. It is also part of the law to make sure it is clearly visible to the buyer from the cash register.
(see link below & photo for reference). I told the liaison that the store was in violation of the law, and as such, the store is liable to provide the customer with a refund within 30 days. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dca/downloads/pdf/about/Disclosures.pdf (UPDATE 3/23/17 - I walked by the store today and saw those boxes removed so it's clear Corporate spoke with her) To my dismay, I also realized afterwards that the store manager gave me a prescription that was not for contacts but for glasses! Another review said that the store withholds your prescription from you but I didn't think that the store would give me the wrong prescription AFTER I had asked for it.
This is also ILLEGAL per the 2nd link below, and it makes it difficult for customers to shop around to other providers in the future w/o a prescription. THEY SHOULD ALWAYS GIVE YOU YOUR PRESCRIPTION even if you do not ask for it! Doublecheck all info is on the Rx too. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0116-prescription-glasses-and-contact-lenses#rights The end result was no refund even after I supported my claims: lack of visible signage, wrong prescription, unprofessional customer service.
I still do not have an RX for my exam and once Cohen's file my claim, I will not be able to get a prescription without paying out of pocket. Instead Maria offered no apology but offered to give 3 mo. of contacts at no additional cost and Corporate thought $50 in Cohen's cash would fix the issue. That alone was insulting.
As such, besides providing all of my emails and photos to my credit card company, I have filed a complaint to NYC.gov, FTC, and Attorney General to look into the illegal practices of this store. This is also why I felt the need to write a detailed review on yelp and provide photos to warn others. (I have redacted my name and liaison's to protect her and to make sure my photos stay up) Do not be surprised if you see this review on other complaint boards.
Below are some of the links where I put in an official complaint for an investigation. http://www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/consumers/file-complaint.page https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#&panel1-1 https://www.bbb.org
Product or Service Mentioned: Cohens Fashion Optical Customer Care.
Reason of review: Return, Exchange or Cancellation Policy.
Monetary Loss: $675.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I didn't like: Staff not honest, Horrible customer service.