Saying ‘No’ to Redos
Here’s a short quiz for doctors and disepensers. It’s a self-diagnostic test.
Have you ever allowed or encouraged a patient to trade in their lenses for a new pair just before the manufacturer’s warranty expires, even if the lenses are still in good condition? Have you ever returned a pair of lenses to your lab that a patient has obviously scratched beyond normal wear and tear, and asked the lab to remake them for free, just to please the patient? Have you ever sent back a pair of progressives that have been worn by a patient for more than six months and claimed the patient just couldn’t adapt? Have you done any of these things repeatedly?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be suffering from WAS (Warranty Abuse Syndrome). WAS needs to be diagnosed and treated because it can cause damage.
The primary victims of WAS are labs. Even if reimbursed by manufacturers, labs lose by paying for labor and time to produce the job. But WAS is also a silent practice killer. Most patients have little idea of the true value of lenses. They may wonder how valuable the lenses really are if they can be replaced, unconditionally, for free.
Patients should be made aware that even though a lens is protected by a warranty, it does not give them a license to abuse the lens. The more expensive the lens, the more imperative it is to take care of it.
There are legitimate reasons for warranties. They should protect buyers against manufacturers’ defects. Anything other than normal wear and tear should not be covered in full. The same should apply for patients who can’t adapt to their progressive lenses within a reasonable trial period, say 90-days. Having the patient pay a partial replacement cost will increase their perception of the lens’ value as well as their perception of the value of the vision care they’re receiving.
If you’re suffering from WAS, don’t despair.
First, admit you have WAS. Then call your lab and tell them you need help. They’ll come up with a plan to help you reduce the number of redos you order.
Just say “no” to redos. Remember, a lens is a terrible thing to waste.
—Andrew Karp, email@example.com