No More Costas
Costa Del Mar used to be the go-to brand of sunglasses across the board for boaters and fisherman. They came with a hefty price tag but you knew that you were going to get a quality pair of sunglasses that were backed up with a solid warranty and great customer service. Personally, I have been wearing Costas for the past 20 years (15 of those have been with prescription lenses) and I would say that at least 75% of other professional charter boat captains that I know of also wear Costas to protect their eyes. So, what is going on with the Costa Del Mar brand these days? Well, unfortunately Costa was bought out by a large corporation called Luxottica in the spring of 2020. Luxottica is the same corporation that also bought big brands such as Ray Ban, Oakley and Lens Crafters.
So, what does this mean for us as consumers who really don’t care about the big corporate dealings and just want to get a good pair of sunglasses? I recently had to deal with the “new” Costa Del Mar and from my experience it’s not good. First off, the price increased by about 35% for the exact style of sunglasses that I bought just 2 years ago. Second, that great lifetime frame warranty that you got with your sunglasses (yes, that warranty that made it worth dropping multiple hundreds of dollars on a pair of sunglasses) has been slashed to a limited 3-year warranty. Moreover, Luxottica is reneging on all of the old warranties so even if you bought your glasses from Costa before the merger don’t count on getting your glasses fixed if they break.
My biggest concern however is in the customer service. After buying a new pair of Costas this year I tried to send back the pair that I had been wearing for repair so that I could keep them for backup and that process was a real eye opener into the fact that Costa is no longer Costa. In short, I took the broken pair of sunglasses to where I bought them and they could not send them in for repair, I took the sunglasses to Lens Crafters along with my original receipt (a company also owned by Luxottica) and they could not send them in for repair, I called Costa Del Mar / Luxottica on multiple occasions and was not able to send the sunglasses in for repair. The only option that I was given was to fill out an online form for returns and this form is only for non-prescription sunglasses…so back to the phone calls to Costa Del Mar / Luxottica, transferred from one department to the next and no body knows anything. In the end, I just got frustrated and gave up. And I am pretty sure that is exactly what was supposed to happen. If this company can make it so difficult for customers to fill warranty claims the customer will simply get frustrated and give up and Luxottica doesn’t have to pay. I find that to be rather dishonest!
In conclusion, though I have been recommending Costa Del Mar sunglasses to my customers for the past 2 decades I can no longer stand behind this brand. Costas are no longer Costas – they are now Luxottica’s with a Costa stamp on the frame. I have included a few links below which show that over and over how others have had similar experiences and the crazy thing is in looking at these reviews – most of the poor reviews have come over the past year since Luxottica took over. On a good note (as of this writing) there are still a few great privately owned sunglass manufactures out there and in the future I plan to take my business to either Smith or Ocean Wave.