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ECPs Share the Policies That Backfired Horribly

If you’ve tried — and failed — to improve your business with a new rule, you’re not alone.




NOT ALL BUSINESS decisions are winners. In fact, some are downright disastrous. And then there are office rules. Some provide necessary structure, some are just meant to be broken, and some backfire completely. We asked respondents of our annual BIG Survey to tell us about one rule that was implemented in their store that backfired horribly and the responses were as hilarious as they are horrifying.

  • I put asking for Google reviews into the staff job description and they are too shy to ask. So, now it has fallen on me.
  • Unlimited warranties on frames with a one year warranty. We had multiple patients bring their glasses every two weeks to replace. We now implement a 1-time replacement warranty.
  • Giving opticians the ability to choose when to “use” a frames/lens price savings bundle.
  • Charging for no shows. Now if they don’t show, we make them schedule the same day. It has actually grown the practice.
  • Give all PTO bank in the beginning of the year, after this year we’re going to an accrue PTO style.
  • Treating all employees the same. We now go off of merit.
  • Trying to be a boutique when your patient/customer base is not boutique-y.
  • All cellphones must be kept in the back in your purse or coat.
  • Buy one, get one.
  • Allowing staff to eat lunch on the clock.
  • Trying to keep the opticians out of the lab. They barely made it two days.
  • Adding a new PPE fee of $7 to our invoices and billing insurance and telling patients they would not have to pay it. Then finding out that most insurance companies refuse to pay, so then having to bill all the patients the $7.
  • Commission based sales. We tried it out for two months and the opticians were at each other’s throats.
  • We have it in our handbook that we are allowed a certain number of glasses a year. However, we don’t enforce it. We don’t lose money on the eyewear, but the handbook does state a limit.
  • We attempted to charge for PDs and it did not go over very well. Patients were surprised that we would be that “petty” as one person put it.
  • When I was manager, the former owner wanted a trunk show every month. No matter what I said, he insisted. They started to bomb.

The 2020 INVISION Big Survey was taken by more than 275 North American eyecare business owners or managers. Read our November-December edition of INVISION or visit to read the full results, and even more on how ECPs fared during a weird, weird year.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at


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