Frame & Lens Warranties

Now, let's go ahead and discuss our frame and lens warranties. It's important to first understand what a warranty is in your practice. At Williams Group, we normally recommend using the term guarantee rather than warranty, because if you think about it, whenever you get a warranty on something you're expecting it to cover anything and everything that could possibly happen to that product, maybe a warranty on your vehicle. But when we come to our frames and lenses, we understand that there's got to be certain conditions that may not be covered, like obvious neglect, or if you ran over your glasses with a lawn mower, that got chewed up by the dog. So, we really need to speak some truth into what we're actually offering, which in most cases is more appropriately referred to as a guarantee. With your frames, it's important to be able to outline for your patients and anyone on your staff, what is covered and what is not covered with a frame guarantee. We also want to discuss how long that frame is covered for. 

It's also important when creating that policy, that we look at our different frame vendors through all of our different sources to figure out what we are covered for as a practice. In some cases, the frame warranty from your individual vendors could be a year from the date that you purchased the frame, even if that frame is on backorder or if it shows up 3 months afterwards you only get 12 months from the date you purchase it. 

In some cases, vendors will be happy to honor the guarantee that you want to offer to your patients. So, first we need to understand and decide for your dispensary, what type of guarantee you want to offer to your patients. It is recommended that we offer the same warranty on all of the frames or on all of the purchases, so the we make sure that we are appearing as if we treat everyone equally and it's also less confusing for the staff to understand what has a warranty and what doesn’t if they all just have the same guarantee throughout. If you can't do this, it's really important we’re very specific and we document in our policy and procedure manual specifically which brands have which guarantees in our practice so that we can easily teach every single patient that purchases a frame what their specific guarantee is.

Now as we get into our lens guarantees, it's important to first understand what your policies are through your individual labs that you order your lenses from. In most cases or in every case that I’ve run into, any lens above CR39 comes automatically with a factory scratch coat. This means that those lenses will have a one-time replacement policy within one year from the invoice date from the lab that you can replace those lenses free of charge, to you or your patient. 

Now, if we get into some different scratch coatings or anti-glare treatments or technologies, some of those can come with a two year, unlimited scratch replacement. Now that doesn't mean that's what you have to offer in your practice, but you really want to understand what you're covered for in your practice as you are developing your own warranties or guarantees or lens replacement in your practice. 

It's also important to dictate in your policy and procedure manual if you need to send those lenses back to the lab, in order to get that discount or that warranty guarantee on the invoice, so that you're not double paying for lenses. So, it’s important to put all of that in your policy and procedure manual and understand how your vendors are going to treat your relationship with them, prior to developing the policies and procedures for warranties, when it comes to what you're going to provide to your patients, whether you're providing a warranty or a guarantee, so that all of your patients understand what’s happening and how they're covered and what they're not covered for. And also, so that everyone on staff is also able to answer those, because anyone is liable to get a phone call or a patient walking in the door that wants to know if they're covered because of what happened to their frame or their lenses. So make sure to get that detailed when you're providing something in your manual as it pertains to the guarantees that you provide within your practice.