Okay so a few days ago, after my sunnies broke, I decided to embark on a small journey to see what happens if I actually make a warranty claim against Ray-Ban.
I bought the sunnies from eBay (brand new and original) and got it shipped from the US, so the first thing I did was to contact the seller, who promptly replied that whilst they don’t offer seller/retailer warranty, Ray-Ban does offer manufacturer warranty for one year after the purchase. The seller also provided me with the Ray-ban contact details for warranties in the US.
When I contacted the warranties department, I was then directed to their Australian branch. A quick check on Luxottica Australia’s webpage indicated they had a Twitter account, so I went that route.
That was promising, I thought to myself. (Side note: I think the best way to talk to companies now really is via social networking. Twitter to the front. That’s because there’s most likely a designated person who maintains the social networking accounts and replies to people and tweet stuff - maybe even hired for the sole purpose of that.)
So I sent an email to the address they provided, and soon enough I got a reply.
So apparently, the fact that I dropped the glasses invalidated any warranties. Which isn’t entirely acceptable, because I thought that they were guaranteeing the quality and build of their product. If the lens was indeed faulty through some manufacturing fault or maybe it even forewent quality check, then it was bound to break even with little impact. They were looking at the breakage as a cause, while I looked at it as an effect. I was aware of the fact that I did drop the sunnies, which was really my fault, but what I would have wanted was for them to at least do an inspection and not shut me out entirely. I mean, I offered to mail them my sunnies, at my expense, for their scrutiny. I gave them my thoughts, and here’s what the customer rep had to say:
So apparently I was given a “generic” statement about warranties, and now I have to go back to the seller, who already told me they didn’t offer retail warranties.
I figured I would just be caught between the seller and the manufacturer and be juggled around, so eventually I resigned. I didn’t think I would get a replacement, but I would have thought they’d at least look into the matter. I mean, here I was extolling the qualities of Australian customer service and then that happens.
I thought that was the end of it - until just a few hours later I got a follow up email from their national sales director.
Now that was just amazing. I was ecstatic that someone from Luxottica went out of his way to deal with a customer directly and provide a solution, no further questions asked. Probably a thank-you for all the trouble I went through, ha! I knew I was right about customer service here in this country!
So I contacted the guy and we agreed for me to go to a store branch that’s just a walking distance from my place (OPSM Chatswood Chase), and on that same day, boom - I got my replacement sunnies.
The store didn’t have the plain black wayfarer that I had, but I was more than happy to get this tortoise coloured pair. It cost $139 AUD in-store (about six grand in pesos). The guy at OPSM was friendly enough and didn’t give me a hard time even though I wasn’t paying for the glasses. Overall, very pleased with Luxottica. (I’m using the company names interchangeably - basically Luxottica is the manufacturer, and in Australia they own a chain of shops like OPSM, Sunglass Hut, etc. Per Wikipedia, globally, Luxottica actually also manufactures the sunglasses for Oakley, Persol, Burberry, DKNY, etc.)
So what’s the story here? Well, first, know your consumer rights. It pays to at least ask the question, should I be covered by the warranty? It may turn out you’re not, but at least you’re informed. Also, based on the events that transpired, my appreciation for the brand is at an all time high. I’m not sure if other brands would go out of their way to make one measly customer happy. Ray-Ban, you got one loyal and happy customer here.
Oh by the way, if you’re in Australia, you might wanna get your sunnies from Sunglass Hut because the manufacturer warranty aside, they also actually offer a good retail warranty deal: should you misplace them or break them (through a fault of your own) or lose them in a vortex to the fifth dimension, you are actually entitled to 50% discount on the replacement. I checked with another optical shop and they don’t offer such deal. Neat!
Big thanks to Derek and Darren who made it happen!