Rare Red Glasses Customer Service Saga

I must share my “Rare Red Glasses Customer Service Saga”!

The saga began on November 16th. I had gone to my optometrist, Dr. David Tabak, OD for an eye examination. A few weeks later the new lenses arrived, but the technician was not able to perfectly fit the lenses into my favorite “Red Glasses”. He showed me how the 9 year old frames had deteriorated when he had to heat the frames to insert the lenses.

I was dismayed and disappointed to say the least. He said, “Sorry, we researched the web and could not find another pair.”

That answer was not good enough for my tenacious terrier disposition. As soon as I returned home I began searching the web.

I discovered the Toki website and contact number. I immediate called the number in Thousand Oaks, California and spoke with Elizabeth Talamantes, the manager for Toki Eyeware in the United States.

I told Elizabeth that I had found my “Red Glasses” in a small eyeware boutique in Asheville, North Carolina in December of 2001. I explained how much I love my glasses and how well they complimented my red hair. Their 1950’s winged designed made a stunning statement that always received positive comments, such as “I love your red glasses!” or “Where did you get those great glasses!” Making a “color statement” with my glasses is a fun and visual advertisement for for my Brain Color book and workshops! 

Elizabeth said that only a Toki vendor could order the “Red Frame” if they were still available. She gave me the names and contact information of three vendor in the Chicagoland area.

I immediately called each store. Only Leo Velazquez, the store manager at Glasses Limited, a family owned business for over 40 years offered to help me. I told Leo my story and he said would get back to me as soon as he contacted the Toki supplier in California.

On Friday, December 17th, I received a delightfully surprising call from Leo. He gave me grand news! The factory in Japan had another “Red Frame”! Just in time because a section of my frame came apart when I was playfully hugging my grandson on Tuesday evening.

Saying I was overjoyed is understating my excitement! Leo said he would let me know when the frame  arrived. I told him I did not live in the city and he offered to meet me some place that was more convenient for me. I told him that I appreciated his offer and kindness, but I would come downtown so he could put my lenses in the frame and fit my new glasses for me.  

I was so impressed by his refreshing and authentic customer service that I told him I want to tell the manager how thrilled I was with his assistance. He said he was the manager, so I asked for the owner. He said the owner, Bernie Winitz was in Floirida, but I could speak with his son. I spoke with Zach Winitz, shared my experience and raved about Leo. Zach was delighted and asked me if I would share my experience with his father. That evening I emailed Bernie and raved about my “Rare Red Glasses Customer Service!”

Bernie immediately replied to my email with the following personal note…
“…Our store has been on Oak st. for almost 40 years. We are flourishing while the economy is not. I have instilled in my son why customer service is so important, in turn he has made sure that our staff understands our commitment. So I have two things to be thankful for tonight, your e-mail and my wife’s home made chicken soup. Thank you for your business, I am sure you know how much we appreciate it.”

The holidays passed and I waited to hear from Leo. On Thursday, January 13th I was thought about calling Leo to check on my glasses, but became distracted with  workshop preparations. I knew my husband and I we going into the city and it would save me a trip if I could pick up my glasses on Sunday, before the wedding we were attending.

On Friday morning, Leo called to let me know my “Rare Red Glasses” and separate the inner frame to hold the lenses, which he was worried was not available, arrived!

I was elated that I would be able to pick up my glasses on Sunday. However, I was disappointed that I would not meet Leo and Zach. However, I did meet Bernie’s sister who made sure my glasses fit my perfectly.

I called Leo on Monday to say “Thank you!” and let him know how thrilled I was. While we were chatting, I told to him that I remembered my glasses being available  in other colors. Leo said he would call Elizabeth and check into availability of other frames.

When Leo called back, he said that the California office had a zebra strip or an unusual auburn red with blue trim that looked really cool. I told him I would go for the cool instead of the animal look.

Because I was so thrilled with the rare and remarkable service sent an email to Zach and called Elizabeth to thank her. I also asked Elizabeth who I could send a note to acknowledging her extraordinary attention during this saga. She gave me the contact information for the president of Toki Eyeware, Mr. Yoshi Saito.

This morning, Leo called to say that the other frames had arrived. My schedule is too busy to travel into city this week; so I suggested that Leo send the frames to my home. I offered to give him my credit card number and use it to charge me, if I like the frame. He said he would be happy to send them out as soon as possible.

How is that for “Rare and Remarkable Customer Service!”

I will be sending Leo, Zach, Bernie, Elizabeth and Mr. Saito “Thank You!” messages with a link to this Blog post, so they will have all have “Yellow Brain” details about my “Rare Red Glasses Customer Service Saga”!

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