Has service died?

Frustrated. I work in a job that is one of service to others. I highly respect those companies and individuals that believe in service, and I get highly disappointed by those that do not honor service. I was raised in a way that living by principle matters. I take a strong stand for that principle. That means I might have a harder time letting a situation go if I feel that someone is taken advantage of or being mistreated.

My situation: I purchased a pair of eyeglasses at the outlet location of a local eyeglass store: Reynolds Optical. It is a great deal, a pair of frames and lenses for $150. Due to my crazy blind prescription, I always have to pay $100 to make the lens thinner. $250 is still a great deal. I think they can give these prices because the frames themselves are floor models from other locations. Fine with me – they can be cleaned, and I always check them for nicks or scratches. I was to receive them in two weeks. Two weeks go by and no phone call that they have arrived. We call, and find out they are there waiting. We pick them up and bring them home. The lenses are massive. I have never purchased a pair with such thick lenses.

I immediately think that they did not make them extra thin, and I paid an extra $100 for that. We take them back an hour later, and the guy says oh, I will send them back and they can put new lenses in. We later find out he is the owner’s kid. The guy agreed with us that they should be thinner. We wait 2 weeks, again no phone calls, we finally learn after multiple phone calls that the glasses are waiting. Bring them home and compare and again they look the same as the first round.

Chris takes them back and meets the owner. He tells Chris that the frames that were selected are not good for my prescription and they should never have been sent back. Chris lets him know that the guy never told us that, and that he is the one suggested that we send them back to be fixed. The owner says we do not do refunds, but I want your wife to be happy, and to have me come back in a pick new frames. We do. Same guy is working and he says yes I think that those frames will work. This time it should only take a week to fix. I receive a phone call a few days later that they are almost done and I owe them money. I lose it on the phone with her, telling her what a horrible experience it has been and I am not paying more money. If more money was needed it should have been agreed upon before work was ever done. I immediately call Chris and he calls the owner.

Owner and Chris get into yelling match on the phone. This is odd. Chris is patient, composed, and never yells. Does that tell you what a horrible man the owner is? Owner does not give in and unless I pay more money I will not have any pair of glasses at all. I am beyond angry. Remember, I am all about principle. How are these people even allowed to still be in business? We decide to pay the extra money and pick up the glasses knowing that we can be done with the situation, never go back there again, and share our experience online to protect others from being duped. Maybe the experience has tainted my brain, but I actually think the prescription in this new pair is not right. I’m wearing old glasses again until I can have my normal eye doctor look at them.

I then decide to read reviews on Reynolds online. There are quite a few of them. Merchant Circle, and City Search for a start. Here’s a recap and reasons why this was horrible service in more ways than one — plus I still do not know if I can wear the glasses:

  1. Poor or lack of returned phone calls through the entire ordeal.
  2. No service or help in the glasses selection process.
  3. Clueless about how lenses should show up in frames. Son should never work in optical shop.
  4. Owner gets involved, lies.
  5. Owner yells at customer, demands more money after work was done.
  6. Reynolds loses customer for good.

Illegal Airbnb Listing?

I recently heard about someone who was renting out their apartment via Airbnb, then I read this Fast Company article called: “This Website Snitches on Renters Who List Their Apartments on Airbnb.” It mentions the website that tracks it is called: Huntbnb. I am sure they are a viable company and many landlords connect with them to be sure their properties are not listed. At the time I thought it was odd that tenants would do such a thing. As a landlord myself, I would never want to find out that my tenants were renting out my condo for others to use. The article cites that in New York City, one-third of apartments are being rented in an illegal manner.

When you go through the vetting process to find renters, you want to find individuals that you can trust, that will take care of the property, and that will alert you when there are issues. If tenants are then turning around and renting the place that they have signed a lease for, in order to make money and have other individuals utilize the property then not only is it illegal, but it is a breach of trust. When a lease is signed it is intended that those on the lease will be the ones that are staying at the property.

I can imagine that legal property and lease documents will continue to be honed and revised because of individuals that are going against principle and legal means in order to make more money. There are so many involved legal issues and liabilities with having individuals stay in a property when no paperwork was transacted with the owner and those staying on the property. There could be issues with theft, damage, fire, etc. To me it has nothing to do with the tenants making money and everything to do with contracts/leases that are signed and the choice of who is staying on the property. There is a reason there is a vetting process for rentals. If a property is listed on Airbnb it should be there because it is truly owned and used as an Airbnb (or other type of rental) that is listed by the owners themselves.

If you are a landlord and are renting your property how do you feel about having your tenants rent out your property on Airbnb? If you are a tenant, would you “sublease” your place on Airbnb?