LensCrafters offers what it calls its Accufit® Digital Measurement System, which it claims can more accurately measure the pupillary distance (PD) between a customer’s eyes, so that it can more accurately locate the optical centers of the eyeglasses it makes for customers. According to the complaint for this class action, plaintiff Yesenia Ariza paid $500 for this means of measurement, and plaintiff David Soukup paid $750 for it. Unfortunately, the complaint alleges, they did not get what they paid for.
The class for this action is all residents of New York who bought prescription eyeglasses from LensCrafters between September 5, 2011 and the present.
LensCrafters touts its Accufit system as measuring “your eyes five times more precisely than traditional methods, down to a tenth of a millimeter”—which the complaint claims is about the width of a human hair. The company claims that this allows it to create prescription glasses with “a lens fit with five times greater precision than traditional methods.”
The complaint does not argue as to whether the Accufit system can actually measure PD down to a tenth of a millimeter. Instead, it alleges that the company’s “decades-old” manufacturing methods requires manual measurements that must be rounded to the nearest millimeter, and that the glasses that result are no more accurate than those for which measurements were taken with a standard ruler.
The complaint alleges that LensCrafters employees know this, but that they are asked to push the Accufit system. If customers ask if the system is really more accurate, the complaint claims, they are told to avoid answering the question and to repeat that the measurements are “five times more accurate.”
The complaint charges that LensCrafters makes similar (and similarly false) claims on its website, in its television commercials, in its stores, and even in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The complaint alleges that a confidential witness, a former LensCrafters licensed laboratory manager, said that, “Despite hyping the Accufit measuring system and its more accurately crafted glasses, the LensCrafters stores never changed their equipment for manufacturing the glasses.” At one point in his sixteen years with the company, the complait says, he asked the store’s general manager when the company would update the manufacturing equipment so that the glasses could be made to the more accurate measurements, and was told that the company “had no such plans.”
The complaint therefore claims that LensCrafters has, among other things, violated New York state business laws against deceptive practices and false advertising.