Thursday, May 31, 2012

Superfocus: replies in writing.

I never got a phone call but Superfocus did send multiple conciliatory e-mail messages about the confusion over my order and the process has begun with delivery in 2-4 weeks.


Villager said...

I recently returned my SuperFocus glasses after about fifteen days of the the thirty day trial and thought I would share my reasons with you so you can look for the problems I found so you can see if your glasses have the same problems and if the problems are important to you.

By far the most important problem I had with the glasses is that there are quite a few complaints about the variable lens springing a leak. While I appreciate that SF has been quick to fix these problems (so far as I can tell) they only guarantee the glasses for a year. After that the customer is at their mercy - maybe they will fix the glasses and maybe not. As far as I am concerned the adjustable lenses should have a lifetime guarantee against rupture and leakage. This would not cover scratches and punctures - just leaks.

My second complaint is that only the center of the field of view is in sharp focus. My estimate is that only 1/4 of the field of view is sharp. I had to move my head in order to read text across my monitor screen. I also found the small diameter of the lenses caused me to lose a lot of peripheral vision that I had with my conventional glasses.

My third complaint is that the mechanism for focussing is crude and defective and I think it's in the design. When I move the focus slider from the left side, the left lens starts to adjust immediately but the right lens does not move until the slider has moved about 1/3 of the way to the right. I initially thought this was just an adjustment problem and returned the first pair. The second pair had the same exact behaviour. It's very easy to see this happening. I hold the glasses about two feet away and slowly move the slider while looking through the variable lens.

My fourth complaint is that the slider itself has grooves ground into it - much like those on a file. This cause the slider to grab and grind as it is being adjusted. SF customer service kept saying this was a temporary problem and that the mechanism would "loosen up" over time. I don't believe them. I looked down into the top with a stereotaxic microscope and could clearly see that they have be designed to have a ratchet feel. I can send you the pictures if you like or you can look down into yours with a powerful magnifying glass. I found the adjustment to be really, really irritating. It feels like a piece of junk and I didn't like it at all. Both pairs had the same feeling.

My fifth complaint is that SF will not provide a bifocal lens. They claim it's just not possible but how can that be? The front lenses are conventional polycarbonate lenses. I suspect the real problem is that because the variable lens only focuses sharply in the very center of the field of view that they can't get the bifocal part of the front lens to focus properly because it sits below the sharp focus area. Why do I need a bifocal? I work at my bench doing microelectronics work that requires looking at a monitor and then down at the work. Both of my hands are usually occupied. Having to put something down so that I can reach up and adjust the lens is really, really incovenient. So SF simply doesn't work for me when I am working - and that was a primary reason I was interested in having them. There is no "sweet spot" between 8 and 24 inches so that I don't have to make an adjustment.

My last complaint is that that SF is taking a long time to refund my purchase. They have had the glasses back now for almost two weeks and have not sent any email confirming that they have initiated the refund process. The customer service representative keeps telling me that the "check is in the mail" so to speak but every date he gives me for receiving the confirmation email comes and goes. That has happened three times now.

I am ending this experience feeling very disappointed in SF. The glasses are not worth anywhere near $700 for me. I wouldn't pay $75 for them at this point. They're pretty much worthless.

Steve20A said...

If everyone has to go thru the same process, they won't sell more than 3 pairs. And probably two of them will be to the same person.

Villager said...

One more complaint.

Because SF stacks two lenses together that are separated by an air space, there are irritating and distracting reflections off the front surface of the variable lens at the back. I didn't notice this at first but it becomes quite noticeable when you look at a bright image with high contrast elements - like a venetian blind that opens onto a bright scene. I also noticed this when I was looking at images on my computer.

Villager said...


As I mentioned above, they received the glasses on the 23rd of May. Today I finally got the promised full refund credited to my account. That's 16 days for a company that processes seven orders on a good day. I leave this experience with nothing particular good to say about this product or the company. They come across as rank amateurs selling a product that really doesn't do what it promises: eliminate the need for any other glasses. The workmanship is shoddy, the customer support is more like a sales pitch, and they show no interest in really responding to my concerns.

Good riddance.

Frederic MarcPalay said...

I bought a pair a year ago and so far it was a nightmare. The distributor I bought them through was supposed to adapt them, and doing so ruined the cursor mechanism. Seems they are barely trained, and that the glass architecture is very fragile and sensitive to torsion and shocks. They exchange them, but what I didn't like is that they told me that "for this time" they would not charge me, which I thought was an unecessary and unfair comment considering that it was obviously not my fault and that a $800 pair of glasses should be covered by some kind of warranty. They replaced the glasses,( it took them 3 months), and after 2 months, the left temple fell off, and I had to send them back again. It took almost 2 months this time, and I received a new set which worked pretty well, until the adjustment started to wear off, not adjusting both side with the
same strength. I am at this stage today, where I don't know what to do. After so many problem, I was expecting to find a lot of more posts on line, from people having the same bad experience... Seems that we are not that many to report our bad experience and that we are just moving on, going back to our old glasses.

Laura said...

I would like to add a comment to this thread. I am writing on January 15, 2013. In July, 2012, I purchased a pair of SuperFocus glasses. I actually did enjoy using them for my computer work. It was distracting and annoying for me to use them for other purposes, as I didn't enjoy trying to adjust them for a different distance every few minutes. But for computer work they were great, imo.

However in September, they sprung a leak. SF sent me a new pair right away and said that I would have a year guarantee from that date instead of having the year's guarantee from the earlier date of purchase.

OK, I thought, nice.

Well, scratch that! This month, about a week ago, they sprung a leak AGAIN! Now keep in mind that I am very, very careful with them. I always put them in their case when not in use, and I only use them at the computer for the most part.

THIS TIME, they said that "MAYBE" they will send me a new pair and only AFTER their Quality Control department says that the problem was not caused by me!

So the guarantee? Who knows. I sent the glasses back (they did pay for the shipping) and they were delivered today.

I paid over $900 for these glasses. I can't have them springing a leak every two seconds for no reason. What an extremely expensive mistake.

I don't think these guys will survive very much longer as it seems everyone has the same problem and has spent multiple 100's of dollars only to have a useless product.

I am sick that I bought these things. That is a lot of money for me! It was a sacrifice I thought I was making for the good of my eyesight, since I work using a computer every day of my life.


David Duty said...

I got my Super Focus glases about five months ago. I ordered the Leonardo model as the sales person said the design was better and they were cheaper. I live in Panama and I ask them to ship the glasses to my Florida mail forwarding address because we don't have mail service where I live and this way I would be sure I actually got them. I ask them three times not to put an invoice in the box because I would end up paying through the nose in duties and taxes if they did. Without an invoice Panama has a set value on items like glasses and I can assure you that they would not value them at $624 which is what I paid them. Guess what they included the invoice after assuring me that the salesperson was going to personally pack my glasses and would not include an invoice with them. Guess what was in the box? An invoice! I had to pay an additional $237 to get my glasses. I called the sales rep back and ask him why they included an invoice. He said they didn't include it. I emailed them a copy and called again. This time they said that I was trying to involve them in a CRIMINAL activity and they were probably going to report me to the "proper authorities". Can you believe that??? All I ask was for them to not put an invoice in the box.

Well that was five months ago. Today the adjustable lens which are on the back of the Leonardo model are so scratched up I can't even use them. I have been extremely careful with them. I only use Zeizz Lens Cleaning Wipes, the cotton cloth that came with the glasses or maybe once ever couple of weeks a soft soap and water cleaning. I'm not talking about a light scratch here and there but the adjustable lens are so bad I'm having a hard time even reading this post. I'm now having to remove the adjustable lens and use the non-adjustable lens most of the time. So I can see fine at a distance with them but can't read. By the way the front lens don't have a scratch on them at all and I always clean both sets of lens at the same time using the same method so it's not something that I'm doing wrong or it would scratch both sets of lenses the same way.

I'm going to call them in a couple of hours and ask for them to be replaced. Based on my past experience with the company I doubt that is going to happen but if they do, then I will have to ship them my glasses via Fed-Ex from Panama to California which is going to cost about $100 since it's international and then I will have to pay shipping back to Panama from my mail forwarding company. God forbid they put another invoice in the box this time!!

David Duty said...


I called Super Focus and spoke to Brad. He was very nice and said he was going to send me a return authorization label and they "will take a look at them". He did not say it was covered under warranty. When I ask about it he just said to send them back and they will take a look at them. I will send them back from Panama I guess and hopefully they replace the adjustable lens under warranty. After all they are only five months old. I will keep you posted as to the outcome. But what do I do now without any glasses as my old ones were so bad I could not use them and that's why I ordered the Super Focus.

Stan Johnson said...

I purchased my SuperFocus glasses February 28th. The date is now May 18 and on May 17 they sprung a leak. Everything else about the glasses I have liked. I do not have any confidence that this problem will not happen again so I am going to try to get SuperFocus to spring for a year of loss prevention at no cost to me. I guess I will have to see how SuperFocus proceeds before I pass negative judgement on this company.

Joe Massucci said...

I'm on my third pair in five months. My first two pair sprung leaks and had to be returned. Each time it took a full month to get a replacement. The glasses feel cheap and the focusing slider is difficult to control -- focusing takes two hands. I also cannot focus both lenses at the same time. When everything is working, these make excellent reading/computing glasses. But the experience is spoiled by design flaws, leaking lenses and eye-syncing issue.

Now today, only a couple of weeks after getting my third pair, guess what ... another leak! Mind you, I'm extremely careful with these glasses and use them only for reading and working on my computer. They never go out of the house. I feel physically ill that I spent nearly $1,000 for these and can't use them. Never again ... nor would I recommend them to anyone.

Amy_L said...

There is definitely durability issue with Superfocus glasses. I treat it like a pair of fine jewellery. Within 12 months they have to replace my frame because of AR (anti-reflective) problem. 18 months, the slider has "shifted" so my glasses do not magnify as much as it should be. It is no longer under warranty and they offered 50% off which is still $785 for the frame alone. I still need my old front lenses. This has warranty for 12 months. It looks like I have to pay $785 per 18 months of use. As much as I like the convenience of variable focus with one pair, it is too expensive a proposition. My Superfocus distributor said he is not renewing his contact with them as there has been too many of these problems in too short a time.

SM Schwartz said...

Superfocus glasses are wonderful...
I have several eye issues...,alternating vision since birth means no 3D, diabetic retinopathy

But the quality issues here are real. The front lens on the icon frame are held on by magnets and do fall off... a disaster if the lens falls off into the water when I am in a boat. The Leonardo frames have other problems... they do not hold the focusing module tightly and can lose focus.
Then there is the oil leak. Before it became clear to me that this was happening I was having trouble cleaning the lenses. Then I noted dark spots on the microfiber cloth. This was days before I found frank leaks.

Craigo said...

Anybody know what kind of oil is used in the SuperFocus glasses? I anyone knows, I'm going to try to fix my leaky pair and I will keep everyone posted because I guarantee there are many pairs out there which cannot currently be used because they have sprung a leak, and if we can figure out how to repair them, this information might be useful to many.