GadgetGuy received a request for publicity for Vision Direct Australia’s new Lens Scanner, “An app that Vision Direct Australia and 6over6 teamed up to create a free online glasses prescriptions for every customer.”
As a good journalist (and a long-sighted one that needs
glasses to read) Lens Scanner piqued
my curiosity. How did it work and was it as useful as claimed?
So I went to the Lens Scanner website and then started digging about what is Vision Direct Australia? Its site looks kosher enough, but on the ‘About Us’ page it states,
“We are a global online omnichannel group led by young professionals. We are service-driven, detail-oriented and passionate about what we do. After over ten years of expertise in modern entrepreneurship, we are now an eyewear e-commerce leader in over 20 countries worldwide with a growing physical retail store presence in our key markets.”
So, Vision Direct Australia is global – nice for an Aussie company – or is it?
It turns out that it is a brand of ‘SmartBuy Glasses” which turns out to be a Hong Kong company Motion Global Limited, (referred to hereafter as Vision Direct or VisionDirect.com.au) and most of its activities are based in Shanghai, China.
OK, where are your Australian stores? Oh, you do not have any.
OK, we accept that business can be done online, but it demands
under Terms and Conditions “If you use this website for any reason, you will
be bound by the Website Terms and Conditions. You indicate Your acceptance of
using the Site immediately.” Oh, and it can update and add terms at any
time without telling you and you are bound by them too.
It also says that it is not responsible for the Site or
the server that makes it available or files available for downloading from the
Internet are free of infection or viruses, worms, Trojan horses or other code
that manifest contaminating or destructive properties.
Shame that information is not on a flashing banner on the home page – you have just committed yourself to who knows what.
Let’s just say that none of the provisions gives a tinker’s
damn about your privacy, let alone the fact that being in Hong Kong subject to
Chinese Law means you have no rights in Australia.
Here are a few examples of the fine print – that you never read!
Vision Direct may provide, on the Site, links to sites
operated by other entities as well as network content provided, uploaded,
published, or distributed by users and other participants in the Site (‘Third
Fair enough if you go to a site out of Vision Direct’s control
you are subject to the laws of that site – but here is the kicker – Vision
Direct should not link to suspect sites – all care but no responsibility hey?
Well, it then states “All links to the Site must be
approved in writing by Vision Direct prior to the creation of the link” so
why doesn’t it take responsibility? Can’t have it both ways!
On your privacy
Vision Direct will fully cooperate with any law enforcement authorities or court orders requesting or directing it to disclose information (including personal data) that Vision Direct have obtained through your use of the Site. All information you submit to the Site, whether solicited or unsolicited will not be regarded as confidential.
Do you want your name, address, phone, email, mobile, age, gender, credit card and more in the hands of company that makes such a statement?
Vision Direct limits its liability to, to the furthest
extent permitted by the applicable law at its option, where the breach
relates to goods, repairing or replacing the goods, or where the breach relates
to services, supplying the services again.
Vision Direct, its affiliates, licensors, service
providers, content providers and their employees, agents, officers and
directors will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, or
special loss or damage, and/or business interruption, or loss of profits, data,
goodwill, information or programs or your information handling system, or for
pain and suffering or emotional distress arising out of or in connection with
the use of, or inability to use, the Site, its content, materials or functions,
or any other loss or damage of any kind, whether in action of contract,
negligence or other tortious action, or otherwise.
Right – no warranty then? It is undoubtedly not ACL compliant
if it is at its option!
Rights – Aussies have none
accordance with the laws of Hong Kong. The courts of Hong Kong are to have
exclusive jurisdiction to settle any disputes arising out of or in connection
with the use of the Site.
Terms and Conditions of Supply
If You have difficulty reading this page, You must
contact us before You place Your order. By placing an order with Vision Direct,
You will be deemed to have understood and accepted these terms and conditions
OK I love that – if you can’t (or haven’t) read the page or place an order you are deemed to accept the terms
OK, I ordered X and got Y (tough)
Whilst Vision Direct tries to ensure that there are no
changes to the Goods to be supplied, You acknowledge that there may be some
minor variations to the description and/or specification of the Goods which
arise by virtue of changes made by the manufacturers of the parts supplied
which form part of the Goods, and accept that such minor variations will not
give You a right to refuse delivered Goods.
These conditions for Vision Direct and Lens Scanner are so broad you could drive a Mac Truck through them – with room to spare.
But we need to make it clear that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
It goes on, “If you use the ‘Lens Scanner’ feature, then you will also be bound by the ‘Terms and Conditions’ for the Lens Scanner feature.
You may use the Lens Scanner Feature only if you
comply with all the following pre-conditions:
the prescription glasses scanned under the
Lens Scanner Feature were manufactured based on a prescription provided to a
person aged between 18 years old and 45 years old;
the scanned eyeglasses optical parameters
Myopic with spherical power between -0.25 and
Hyperopic with spherical power between +0.25
and +3.00 diopter
Astigmatic with cylinder power between Cyl
-0.25 and -2.50
Single-vision only (no multi-focal, bi-focal
or progressive lenses)
Have no prism measurement in your
Now we are entering serious legal territory. Sorry, it is
Hong Kong-based so ACL and Australian law does not apply.
Ah, but Lens Scanner was developed by an Aussie company http://www.6over6.com/, and we get to see the first mention of ACL.
To the fullest extent permitted by the Australian
Consumer Law, our liability with respect to the Lens Scanner Feature scan
results is limited to resupplying the service again, or to replacing any
glasses acquired in reliance on a defective scan.
Sorry, you cannot limit ACL.
GadgetGuy’s take – Lens Scanner is not a prescription at all
Lens scanner sounds like a cool idea. However, if it works for you, all it does is provide single-vision magnifications from -6 to +3 and PD distance measurement (read its FAQ here).
In other words, you can go to a Chemist and get a pair of $10
pair of magnifying readers that do absolutely the same thing.
It is dangerous in the extreme to even use the word
prescription – but it is OK for Vision Direct’s global online omnichannel
entrepreneur group led by young professionals as they are only ‘copying’ your prescription
details – it is not an eye exam. And if Lens Scanner returns an incorrect
result – tough!
It even states that it is registered with various health funds
– sorry that only applies if you go to one of Vision Directs affiliates (it
does not own stores) to get a real prescription – not via Lens scanner.
Now we don’t mean to cruel Vision Direct’s global omnichannel, entrepreneurial efforts – Lens Scanner is a cool idea. We just want to make sure it is not misspelt – Lens Scammer.
But caveat emptor – if you use this service and this company
remember that a) its not a substitute for a real eye check and prescription and
b) it is from an overseas company operating under Hong Kong/China Law, so your
Australian rights like ACL likely do not apply.
If Vision Direct Australia wants to sue us for libel, we remind it that by reading the contents of this article it is bound by Australian Libel Law (not Hong Kong) and fair use principals for journalists. We will gladly publish any response – our address is firstname.lastname@example.org.