NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – We’re only days away from the epic eclipse, and people are frantically searching for solar eclipse glasses.
At McGavock Pike and Lebanon Pike in Donelson, customers flocked to a street corner vendor looking for a pair.
News 2 was contacted after customers witnessed a street vendor allegedly push a female customer who confronted her and warned others the eclipse glasses were possibly fake.
The vendor told News 2 he has several locations, but he said this is the only one where people were complaining that the glasses may not be real.
“I do feel uncomfortable about buying them,” customer Jonathan Judd said, though he purchased two pairs.
“I bought these glasses, and as soon as I walk away, I had people rushing me saying I just been sold fake glasses,” Judd told News 2.
News 2 decided to approach the vendor.
“How much are they?” a News 2 reporter asked. “They’re $8, or two for $15,” the worker, who would not give her name, answered.
News 2 asked the big question. Are the glasses counterfeit?
“No sir, they have the ISO number, we have paperwork that they are sending to me to show you,” the worker said. “It’s ok if you don’t want to buy it, no problem.”
Judd decided to ask for a refund, and the worker agreed to give him his money back, and that’s when News 2 confronted her.
“They are not fake, so why are you refunding him if they are not fake?” the vendor was asked.
“He asked for a refund,” she responded.
“Well, 15 other people this morning ask for refunds, and you refused to give it to them,” the reporter replied.
The worker called her boss, who stands by the glasses.
“You have the NASA number right there, the EN ISO the 12312, that’s the NASA number and the ISO makes them official,” vendor Joe Nester told News 2. “To find out if they are fake or not, okay, I got a pair for you right now, put it on your face and look directly at the sun. If you could just not, you can’t see the sunlight then you know if they are fake or not. Go ahead try the, put them on, look directly at the sunlight.”
When News 2 asked what they should be looking for. Nester replied, “That light right there doesn’t hurt your eyes, does it?”
Nester told News 2 he would provide the company’s name that he purchased the glasses from, claiming it is an official, authorized dealer, but he never provided it while our crew was on the scene.
The property owner ultimately told the vendor to pack up and leave after so many customers complained.
News 2 took the glasses to a local ophthalmologist who looked at them.
The ophthalmologist noticed the ISO logo didn’t have the registered trademark on it, plus he questioned the way the disclaimer was written and wouldn’t recommend using them to view the eclipse.
Visit wkrn.com/eclipse for all the resources and information you need.