Optometric Management Tip # 52   -   Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Frame and Lens Warranties

The start of the new year is a good time to review policies and procedures in the office - improving efficiency of operations and tightening up expenses. One key area that could be costing more than you realize is remaking lenses and replacing frames under warranty. A colleague wrote me about this recently - and it was timely because I was reviewing our warranty policies in my office.

First, I would investigate how many warranty remakes you do in an average month. Consider the cost of these remakes in materials and staff time. Be sure to confirm that you are truly getting the full credit you think you are from manufacturers and labs that extend frame warranty or scratch resistant coatings. Is your staff really returning the damaged items? Do the credits really come through for the correct amount? Do some digging and be sure.

It is interesting to note the reason for remakes or re-dos - and it may be valuable to track the remakes by category in the future for staff training purposes and to foster intelligent policy making. I have identified 8 reasons for remakes: Scratch warranty, frame warranty, Anti-reflective coat warranty, progressive lens non-adapt, doctor error, technician error, patient satisfaction and lab quality.

I think offering a warranty on eyeglasses can be a big practice builder. I like them because it removes any fault from the equation - which is often hard to determine. Placing blame on the patient, the doctor, the tech, the lab is often counterproductive and stressful. Things will go wrong and damage will occur with glasses, and they are very expensive to replace. Structuring your practice to be consumer friendly and easy to deal with from the patient's point of view will build repeat business and referrals very quickly. This must be balanced with being sure your product pricing and cost of goods allows a healthy profit, even after the remakes. Here are few points to consider as you build your policy:
Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management