[Update – 1:00 PM
– As this post was being pushed live, another proposed class action was filed against LensCrafters’ operating company, Luxotica Retail North America, over the same allegations detailed below. That complaint
is included at the bottom of this page.]
Two separate proposed class actions filed in New York and California this week allege LensCrafters’ “Accufit” Digital Measurement System, touted as being able to measure customers’ eyes “five times more precisely than traditional methods,” uses “decades-old technology” that provides no more accuracy than using a standard pupillary distance (PD) ruler.
OK. Can you tell me what that means exactly?
Sure. Per court documents, LensCrafters claims its Accufit system can provide pupillary distance measurements, used to locate the optical centers of eyeglass lenses, that are “five times” more precise than traditional PD measurement methods. In fact, the Accufit system is so accurate, LensCrafters says, that it can provide PD measurements “down to a tenth of a millimeter,” roughly the width of a human hair. According to LensCrafters, such accuracy allows the company to make prescription glasses that are crafted “based on exactly how glasses sit on your face, where your eyes line up in the frame, and the distance between your eyes.”
I’m assuming that’s not the case?
The lawsuits allege LensCrafters’ Accufit system is nothing more than a “selling point,” and that the company manufactures its glasses using “decades-old” technology that still utilizes manual measurements that must be rounded up to a full millimeter.
“Indeed, LensCrafters’ Accufit system provides no more accuracy in manufacturing prescription eyeglasses than when measuring PD with a standard ruler,” the lawsuits allege.
What this amounts to, the cases continue, is customers being induced into purchasing, and, ostensibly, overpaying for, eyeglasses that do not have “five times more accurate” PD measurements.
When did all this start?
According to the lawsuits, which were filed against LensCrafters’ operating company Luxottica Retail North America, the Accufit Digital Measurement System was introduced around 2011 as the company shifted its advertising away from its trademark promise to manufacture customers’ glasses within one hour. The cases include the below image used by LensCrafters in in-store marketing and employee sales pitches to ostensibly puff up the significance of its Accufit system.
The lawsuits assert the Accufit system and its related advertising were essential to LensCrafters’ business model, as many store locations are in high-traffic commercial malls and shopping centers. Despite its prevalence, the Accufit system, even after assuming the technology is five times more accurate than older techniques, allegedly “cannot and does not translate the measurements taken from the [system] into its manufacturing process.” The lawsuits argue that without this ability, LensCrafters accuracy claims are false.
Who’s covered by these lawsuits?
Each lawsuit proposes a different class to be covered:
1:17-cv-05216 – Ariza et al. v. Luxottica Retail North America
This case seeks to cover a class of New York residents who bought prescription eyeglasses from LensCrafters between September 5, 2011 and the present.
3:17-cv-05145 Infante v. Luxottica Retail North America
This lawsuit names a proposed class of California residents who bought prescription glasses from the defendant between September 5, 2011 and the present.
Haven’t I seen a lawsuit against LensCrafters over Accufit before?
A lawsuit was filed in 2016 in New Jersey against Luxottica Group and the United States Shoe Corp. over allegations that LensCrafters unlawfully withheld customers’ Accufit pupillary distance information so that they could not get their eyeglass prescriptions filled by other companies. That case was dismissed in December 2016.