Oakley Glasses warranty worth about as much as the paper it’s printed on

About a year ago I decided to splurge and get myself some Oakley glasses. I’m much more of a Sams Club fanboy for my glasses but I was looking for something that could provide good dust and wind protection while bicycling and most of my options seemed to involve glasses that could be best described as “goggles you’d find in grade 10 science class”.

Oakley GlassesEnter the Oakley Tightrope. Originally sold as sunglasses they are RXable and after MANY tries we managed to get the lenses ground correctly by sending the glasses to Oakley themselves. Throughout the process I was dealing with Pearle Vision (MERCHANTS FESTIVAL SHOPPING CENTER) and, as far as I could tell at the time, they did their utmost to get me situated. One thing that I noted while watching them pop the lenses in and out of my frame (something done quite often as they tried different lense curvatures) is that they did not even loosen the screws that supposedly secured the lenses therein. This gives me pause now as I deal with my current issue.

Oakley Glasses Upside DownFast forward to about a year later and I come to find the paint is actually flaking off of the glasses. Given that I’d blown $400 on these I was naturally miffed. I had checked beforehand on the web and could see that Oakley generally seems to be pretty good in the customer service arena concerning issues like this. So I brought the glasses back to Pearle Vision (dealt with Elena) and was told that it is unlikely that paint chips would be dealt with under warranty but they would check with Oakley to verify this.

A couple of days later Elena called and said they could ship the frames in to Oakley so they could be evaluated. A week after I dropped them off she called back to let me know that Oakley considers such chips to be “normal wear and tear” and would not repair or replace the frames. So now I have nice brown frames with the bonus that you can see silver (titanium?) shining through in places. I suppose I should be happy that my primary use for them is sports although I do enjoy wearing them to social events when I’ll be out in the sun as they have transition lenses in them.

Lessons learned:

1) My opinion of warranties is validated. They exist as a sales tool and do not serve any significant function after the sale except to make you feel cheated when you get repair work done on your own dime while the warranty is still in effect. I do not let a warranty factor into my buying decision, ever.

2) It is MUCH better to purchase inexpensive glasses frames and simply replace them if they have issues rather than investing in what should be “quality” frames. I’ve worn glasses from budget shops for 3 and 5 years at a time with no issues.

3) Not being an overly emotional person doesn’t help me at all when I’m working to sway someone to live up to their obligation. Next time I need to bring an excitable friend with me who can explode and yell and cause mahem until my need has been satisfied. The retail world caters to emotional wrecks.

Color me not impressed. My lesson has been learned. No more Oakleys for me.

2 thoughts on “Oakley Glasses warranty worth about as much as the paper it’s printed on”

  1. Same pair and not only did the frame int star to flak away, but come Nov. 2012 will be my 2 year purchase date and the lenses are now defective as well. These puppies weren’t ch reap.


  2. i also have Oakley tightrope sunglasses and guess what – exactly the same problem. Looks like they definitely have a manaufacturing problem with these. Luckily i was clearing out some stuff in my attic and found a 30year old pair of rayban wayfarers – i’ve had prescription lenses put in and they sure look better than the oakleys

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