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I think Zenni has really gone "'round the bend" in recent months. If you've been in the forums lately, it's littered with people complaining about Zenni Optical's supposed customs issues, chronically full voicemail, unresponsive and rude customer service, and people waiting MONTHS for their glasses (if they get them at all). Even with this growing list of problems Zenni keeps taking orders instead of digging out and making things right.

I'm getting about a half-dozen requests a day looking for help in getting eyeglasses from Zenni. I have never been able to build any sort of relationship with them -- and they get the benefit of thousands of click-throughs from this site every month. If the roles were reversed, I'd certainly not behave as they have.

They have never been interested in communication with me (ignoring email and voicemail alike), so I question their level of interest and commitment in dealing with a single, average consumer.

All of the retailers have had issues at one time or another, but I've always been able to step in on behalf of the consumer and request a satisfactory response with 39DollarGlasses, EyeBuyDirect, Goggles4U, and Optical4Less. They listen and will almost always do the right thing -- even if it sometimes takes a few hoops to jump through.

I'm sure Zenni has an explanation, but good luck getting it. As it stands currently, I will no longer be helping them out.

With Zenni, now, it's definitely a "caveat emptor" situation.



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34 comments:

At January 31, 2009 at 3:30 PM Anonymous said...

I just received my first order from Zenni this past week - four pairs which were delivered directly from Hong Kong in 9 days. Was I just lucky? I'm now questioning if I should place a second order.

 
At January 31, 2009 at 4:33 PM hypatia said...

I'm really sad to hear that Zenni has gone downhill... they were my favourite of the glasses sites :(

 
At January 31, 2009 at 5:16 PM Olwen said...

I'm hoping the Zenni problems at the moment are just Chinese New Year. I'm not in the USA so have not tried the phone route. For me they have reasonably priced international shipping and very reasonably priced specs. Some places I would be paying $30 just for shipping. I'm interested to know if people outside the USA have had delays in orders being delivered.

 
At January 31, 2009 at 11:53 PM fencepost said...

My wife has ordered several times but not in the immediate past. I expect that we'll be giving them a shot because they seem to be the only vendor with yellow lenses, which can make a huge difference on grey days or at night. She has hers already, I'm waiting on getting a new prescription to order mine.

 
At February 1, 2009 at 8:40 AM Bjalf said...

Well, I received my third order from them 2 weeks ago. I have now 8 pairs of Zenni glasses, and so far, no complaints. But then, I use them because of low price and large selection of frames, and if I find something i really like, I get a (more or less) identical higher-quality pair from one of the other places. They may or may not have customer service issues, but they can't be beat for cheap "try-them-out-just-for-the-heck-of-it" glasses and frames.

 
At February 1, 2009 at 8:48 AM Phoebe said...

Zenni is my big favorite. They have a selection of plastic eyeglasses that can't be beat, and it's never taken me more than two weeks to get any glasses. I've probably ordered ten pairs from them. They were responsive to replying to some problems my mother had with her glasses, and on my most recent order, I even received tracking information. I've never seen any evidence of their legendary shoddy customer service in any of my interactions with them.

I have to say I'm a bit disappointed, Ira, that you'll no longer be linking to them. I know you make some money on click-throughs, but the fact that they don't want a business relationship with you does not mean that they're not a valuable resource for customers.

 
At February 1, 2009 at 10:38 AM Ira said...

@Phoebe,

I'm glad you've had good luck with Zenni. Many have.

When I talked about "relationship", sure, sometimes there is a business side, but in this instance Zenni hasn't responded on any level when I've tried to step in to help people on the site.

I stopped trying quite awhile ago.

Additionally, they don't need my help for their business. I've heard a couple of resources estimate their orders at 10,000 a month. I think they'll do just fine without the help of GlassyEyes.

I don't link to crap or companies I don't admire or use on any of my other blogs/sites either.

 
At February 2, 2009 at 7:50 AM The Rat said...

My most recent (fourth) order from Zenni was delayed by a week (3 vs. 2). I received them the day after I reached customer service (10th in line on phone when I called, speaking to a human within 5 minutes). I did experience the full voicemail and non-responsive email before calling during office hours. Inconvenient? A little, but they've been good to me in the past, and getting 2 pair of glasses delivered to my home for $21 - I'll accept the inconvenience...

 
At February 2, 2009 at 2:26 PM Jennah said...

oh this makes me so sad! I've ordered from them probably 5 times or so in the past yearish for me and my mother and never had any problems. The one time I had a damaged pair, they took care of it no problem (though it did take a while, there was communication). Though I've ordered from other sites too, Zenni just seemed to have a best frames by far. I've ordered plastic and rimless and love them. Second choice would be Goggles4U, but Zenni's frames aren't first come first serve and still great and affordable.

I'll have to keep my eye on the forums RE Zenni - I was bethinking I might want to order some more as it's been quite a few months without a new glasses fix :)

One Q i would ask - you say Zenni wouldn't respond to you when you tried to help people from the site - but did they respond to the person who needed help (eventually)?

 
At February 2, 2009 at 3:46 PM Phoebe said...

I guess that's fair, but it does make me more reluctant to recommend glasseyes as a resource for people who compliment me on my frames from Zenni (and the vast majority of mine are from them). I'd rather give someone a direct link than a link to place that doesn't include a link to my favorite, if controversial, retailer--even if it is a little rougher to get people to write out their URL than yours.

 
At February 2, 2009 at 5:54 PM Brad said...

I placed an order Jan. 18 with Zenni for single vision frames. My credit card was billed on the twentieth. As of today I still haven't received the glasses and I never received confirmation of my order. I'm beginning to wonder...

 
At February 2, 2009 at 10:10 PM Tom Karches said...

I have ordered twice from Zenni and received my glasses promptly. My only issue was the extra clip on glasses I ordered were damaged.

 
At February 3, 2009 at 6:29 AM Brianala said...

See, I don't understand this. I've ordered probably a dozen pair from them over the course of a year and every time I've received my order within the stated two weeks (give or take a day).

Twice I've emailed to ask about the status of my order and I've received polite emails within half a day to let me know how things were going.

I've had nothing but good experience with them and the quality of their product (good for the price).

 
At February 3, 2009 at 9:31 PM Zach said...

I have built my eyeglass collection with Zenni Optical. I have a total of 6-8 pairs from them. The latest pair I ordered has been a nightmare.

I ordered my glasses Christmas day. It have been over a month and still have not gotten them. I have left three voicemails and have sent three emails. I was able to get a real person once, and he said that my order would be sent at the end of the week and I should get them in a few days. Well, a few days has past, it has been a week, and still no glasses.

I just don't know what is going on with them. I have only had one problem with Zenni, but nothing to this extreme. My last pair of glasses, they told me, got held up at customs in China.

I am going to call tomorrow and see what happens. I am not optimistic.

-Zach

 
At February 4, 2009 at 12:51 PM EdT said...

I was apprehensive at first to place an order with them after reading all the the negative responses from these forums, but they had the selection of frames and price I liked for a pair of aviator sunglasses.

The only beef I have with them is that there was no confirmation email sent to me after I placed the order as stated on their website even though I had printed out order number when my order was placed.

The frame quality is superb as well as the lens and workmanship in assembly. The Asian touch in fit and finish is there like Optical4Less.

Ordered on: 21 January 2009
Received on: 5 February 2009

Total of 15 days from order to delivery from Hong-Kong to Montreal, Quebec, Canada !

I definitely will be ordering from them again !

 
At February 4, 2009 at 4:37 PM Anonymous said...

Anyone have a rebate code for Zenni or how do you get one ?

 
At February 5, 2009 at 6:21 AM Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your post.
I ordered glasses over 5 weeks ago.
Jan 4th
No response to 2 emails.
Full Voicemail boxes
No response to voicemail.

I guess it looks like I might still get them.

 
At February 5, 2009 at 7:25 AM heather said...

I ordered from Zenni on jan 20th - didn't even get an email to confirm my order (though of course my credit card was charged). Tried to contact them, no luck so far and I'm not going to keep on trying, given what I've read online about their inability to answer email or the phone.

I was fully aware of the issues with them, so I'm writing it off as a stupid decision on my part to even order from them... if I get a pair of glasses two months from now I won't complain, but I certainly WILL NOT recommend the site to anyone and would caution them against ordering them there.

it is NOT too much to ask for an email confirmation, even on the cheapest of online purchases. that is a standard part of any online ordering system.

just got a pair from eyebuydirect yesterday and they are perfect and took two weeks and 1 day from my order date (same day I ordered from zenni).

 
At February 5, 2009 at 9:18 AM Lisa said...

Crap. My husband just ordered glasses LAST NIGHT from them. We did not check this blog recently, like within the last week, and missed the post about the Zenni problems. This is the first time we've ordered online. I hope it goes well...

 
At February 5, 2009 at 9:37 AM Ira said...

@Lisa,

It's likely that it will go OK, I've removed them for now because of a combination of things (there are apparently people still waiting from November for instance). But, as the 500-pound gorilla in this space, many are still getting their glasses. I just can't vouch for them or step in if there are issues to help.

 
At February 5, 2009 at 6:44 PM Grant said...

Lisa,

I can understand where you're coming from. I just placed my first online glasses order with them last night also.
Let's just hope our dice roll doesn't come up cat's eyes.
Luckily I ordered another pair from a different site at the same time, so I'm hoping at least *one* of the pairs shows up in a reasonable amount of time. If not, I'm gonna be stumbling into small objects like boulders, trees, barns etc...

 
At February 6, 2009 at 2:48 PM Anonymous said...

I ordered on January 3. Finally got a person last week who said that the lab would contact me by email and it didn't. This week got someone on the phone who said that they had shipped. Also received an email this week saying that they had shipped (tracking #--if the right one-- supports this). The email blames the new year holiday for the delay.

 
At February 7, 2009 at 9:59 AM Anonymous said...

To follow up on my post of 2/6 about getting the email that the glasses were in the mail. When I got home from work last night, there was a slip from the post office. Picked up the glasses this morning and am very happy with them. Not sure if I would use them again, but also am not ready to swear them off yet.

 
At February 8, 2009 at 1:58 PM Anonymous said...

I just received my order this week, after an apologizing email that they were delayed by the Chinese New Year.

I'm not that thrilled with the glasses, but that's because of the size, so I can't really blame them for that. Less than $18 for a pair of prescription sunglasses.

I'll leave them in my wife's car for emergencies.

 
At February 9, 2009 at 6:10 AM wesley said...

they ok ive recieved every pair i ordered from them iys just take a whole lot longer to get from them then anyplave i have ever ordered from my lastest e-mail from them said this Dear Zenni Optical Customer



Your eyeglasses have been shipped out two days ago in the mail. Please check your mailbox for the package in the next few days. Due to the long Chinese Lunar Year holiday, the process of your order took longer than the regular time. We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. Thank you for selecting Zenni Optical for your vision needs.



Zenni Optical Customer Service



PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL! IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, PLEASE EMAIL ZENNI OPTICAL CUSTOMER SERVICE AT service@zennioptical.com



THANK YOU!

 
At February 13, 2009 at 8:53 PM Anonymous said...

People calm down!
If you order you should expect it in no sooner than 14 days.

Sounds like lots of people are still doing business with Zenni, and while there may be a risk I think this is getting overblown.

 
At February 14, 2009 at 9:05 PM Anonymous said...

Just received my order today. Took exactly 2 weeks from order submission to Toronto, Canada. Both pair of glasses are well made. This is my second order with Zenni and I'm very pleased with them. My first order was in 2007 and it took 4 weeks to arrive. I think it's worth the risk, although minor, ordering from Zenni as I found them to have the best price and selection. Just be patient.

 
At February 16, 2009 at 3:38 PM Irene said...

I'm still willing to give Zenni a chance because they are one of the few places that will make reasonably-priced glasses for people with very poor vision (-13 in my case). I can get a pair of single vision glasses from Zenni for $17 (using the cheapest frames) and every pair has been optically perfect. Goggles4U is the next cheapest, but I paid nearly twice as much and the optics, while acceptable, seem a bit off. Many of the other online places recommended by posters here either won't handle extreme prescriptions or else charge as much as the brick-and-mortar stores.

Yes, it can take a month or more to get the glasses, and, yes, Zenni would save itself a lot of calls and emails if it would be more truthful about shipping times, but I really don't care as long as the glasses arrive.

Also, note that their order acknowledgements often seem to get caught by spam filters, and when emailing them, you need to use their service email, not the sales email.

 
At February 17, 2009 at 10:36 AM ray said...

I want to make a comment in support of zenni. I've made several orders to them in the past year, and they always arrive here in Virginia in 10-11 days. One time I had to email them to correct a problem, and got a reply within a day.

 
At February 18, 2009 at 10:04 PM Anonymous said...

This is my second order with Zenni in less than a month.

My glasses arrived as great as the first time, except this time I received an email confirmation of the order and I was emailed an tracking number with Hong-Kong Post when it was shipped.

Ordered on: 4 February 2009
Shipped on: 15 February 2009
Received on: 18 February 2009

Total of less than 14 days from order to delivery from Hong-Kong to Montreal, Quebec, Canada !

Zenni is definitely still numero uno in my books !eysless

 
At February 20, 2009 at 8:07 AM Brianala said...

FWIW, I placed another order on January 28th and received it exactly two weeks and one day later (they say on the site to give them two weeks).

It sounds like a lot of people got caught up placing their order around Chinese New Year, which is a crazy time for the manufacturer. I'd be interested to hear back from all of those people to see if their orders were eventually resolved. Many people will come on here to complain in the middle of their frustration but we don't always get to hear about the follow up.

As I said before, I've ordered over a dozen pair from them over the past year and I have never once had a problem.

 
At February 28, 2009 at 3:51 PM Puds38 said...

I had an order back in December that took over a month to ship. This is the first time this ever happened for me with Zenni. I emailed them and they replied back and apologized that their shipment was HK was delayed. They also sent a follow up email when the glasses were being shipped out.
They have always answered my emails promptly. I just placed another order this week so we'll see how long it takes to ship.

 
At April 8, 2009 at 4:49 PM Jprice.mag said...

I have just canceled my order from Zenni - and probably eaten the 50%. The delays are inexcusable. I called CS last week and was told to expect shipment this week. Today I called and was told to expect shipment next week. I suppose if I called next week I would be told to expect shipment next July, but that I still only get 50% of my money back.
This is going to my bank for resolution. What an absolute crock.

 
At April 7, 2010 at 11:58 AM dac said...

old post, but..

I just did my first mail order - bifocals, two pairs. Came from Zenni in 22 days, which I expected.

Fit great, prescription seems right (first time I can type on a computer without taking off my glasses for over a year. Quality seems ok.

$84 bucks, two pair progressive bifocals. I am happy

 

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