Deposit Refunds

  • Bill C
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Replied by Bill C on topic RLE Deposit Refund

Posted 19 Oct 2013 18:00 #671
I had second consultation at Optical Express Harley St London clinic yesterday, for Cataract and Refractive Lens Exchange.

Already paid £500 deposit at Cambridge clinic on first free consultation. After scans and various other eye tests they told me that I was suitable for RLE and explained that the procedure was straightforward with brilliant results including never having to wear glasses for reading or long distances. They also recommended Jan Venter as their top surgeon.

I was really impressed and didn't hesitate to pay the deposit.
It wasn't till after the second consultation that I was given a consent form to take home with me to read and sign before booking the surgery dates.

On the train home from Harley Street, I started to read the form and was shocked at the number of Informed Consents, that had to be intialled and signed - 31! These outlined all the risks of the operation and aftercare, which ranged from possible blindness to further corrective laser treatment after RLE and 29 other possibilities. I could not believe how many problems could occur after being told at Cambridge that it would be straightforward and "Life Changing"! Certainly would be if I went blind.

When I got home I looked online to see reviews of Optical Express!! Boy was I surprised. Not only did I see several videos on Youtube about them and especially Proffesor Jan Venter who was supposed to do my surgery. On further investigation I also found that many dissatisfied customers were taking legal action against him, other surgeons and Optical Express. I also understand the GMC is investigating some of the claims against these surgeons and others in similar companies.

None of this was told to me at Cambridge or Harley Street before I paid the deposit. They never once outlined the life changing risks involved in these procedures because if this information was available to me I would never have paid this deposit, or even considered RLE.

Beside applying to Small Claims Court, any help recovering this deposit would be appreciated.
Bill C.
NB. If anybody is interested in seeing the consent form, will send.
Last Edit:19 Oct 2013 18:13 by Bill C
  • Gloria

Replied by Gloria on topic DEPOSIT REFUND

Posted 19 Oct 2013 11:25 #672
I had my "Initial Refractive Consultation" (free consultation) with Optical Express in Dublin on July 22nd 2013. During the consultation they put drops into my eyes (Tropicamide 1%). They also gave me an information sheet concerning the eye drops which clearly states "Your near vision will typically be blurred and your eyes more light-sensitive for between typically 6 - 8 hours after installation. In some instances distance vision will be affected"

After the eye examination, they discussed the procedure and what it involves and the after effects. They then discussed the cost of the procedure and how the cost to me could be reduced if I had a certain level of private health insurance. They were pressuring me to give them a deposit there and then, however I resisted as I was not fully committed to having the surgery and wished to discuss it in more detail with my husband.They then got me to sign my name on page 5 of their 'Terms and Conditions' document (dated Mar '13).

Now you understand the relevance of the blurred vision mentioned above. You cannot read the document and rely completely on what they tell you. They kept the signed copy and gave me a blank one to take home.

Two days later they phoned me and told me they had arranged a date (August 30th) for my "Consent Appointment" and they told me I would have to give them a deposit before they could confirm the appointment. Feeling extremely pressured, I reluctantly gave them my debit card details with a Euro500 deposit. I subsequently cancelled this appointment as I was still unsure about going ahead with the surgery.

Shortly afterwards, feeling quite unwell, I attended my GP who sent me to a hospital for a battery of tests and examinations. My consultant told me that I had a serious health problem so, as you can imagine, any thoughts of elective eye surgery went straight out the window. With so much going on, it was several weeks before I contacted Optical Express to tell them that due to my ongoing health problems I would not be proceeding with the surgery and requested the return of my deposit.

They said that the deposit was non-refundable and "that was that". Shortly afterwards I received an e-mail from their Glasgow office requesting that I send them a letter from my Hospital Consultant giving details of my health problems which they would have reviewed by their Clinical Services Director, who would then decide if they would give me a refund.

As the only people I have discussed my health issues with are my Consultant and immediate family, I have absolutely no intention of giving details of my medical history to any office boy and his director, who may not even be a medical doctor.

As the money for the eye surgery was borrowed from my local Credit Union it has to be paid back. The loss of my deposit would be a serious blow coming on top of my other problems, about which Optical Express don't seem to care a damn.

I would appreciate any help you can give me in trying to get my deposit back, particularly any advice andy_c and mharbon might be able to give me.

Please contact me via the OERML Administrator: info@opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk

Last Edit:19 Oct 2013 14:02 by Gloria
  • Liza

Replied by Liza on topic DEPOSIT REFUNDS

Posted 18 Oct 2013 13:50 #673
I was considering laser eye surgery in August this year and visited the branch in Reading town centre.

After numerous examinations and eye drops I was then sat in a room with a very young girl (sales person) who explained the costs involved and asked me to pay a deposit. At the time I hadn't 100% decided whether to go ahead with the surgery and asked her, if I changed my mind could I get the deposit back?

She told me that my deposit was refundable and just gave me a receipt for the £200 paid and a provisional appointment date. I was never given any terms and conditions and certainly did not sign any documentation.

I have since decided not to have the surgery and called OE Customer Services to be told that no refund would be given as I did not cancel the appointment within the 72 hours of making it.

I was never told this at the time of payment. I have since visited the store and spoke with the store manager who agreed with me that I should get my deposit back. He called customer services to be told the same about the 72 hour deadline as he had no authority to process refunds.

I have emailed OE and all I have been offered is £200 in gift vouchers. Why on earth would I want gift vouchers for a company I wouldn't step foot back into!

Please can anyone advise if they have been in the same situation as I do not intend to give up on this.

Last Edit:06 May 2022 14:54 by Liza
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Replied by admin on topic DEPOSIT REFUND

Posted 12 Oct 2013 08:18 #674
Contact: info@opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk asap!
Last Edit:18 Oct 2013 13:18 by admin
  • Pam

Replied by Pam on topic DEPOSIT REFUND

Posted 11 Oct 2013 20:35 #675
:( Omg I have just seen this website after having the misfortune of visiting optical express Bluewater today and parting with my £500 deposit for RLE. I am now so scared to get it done now and need to get my £500 back even though I didn't sign anything.

Please please someone help me.

by Pam
  • mharbon
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Replied by mharbon on topic DEPOSIT REFUND

Posted 07 Oct 2013 07:14 #676
I had a consultation in 2012 in Birmingham and like many others I was given the "good news" that I was suitable for surgery, although at a much higher cost than I anticipated - quelle surprise!

I paid £400 deposit for surgery that would in total cost £3,000, but fortunately I decided that I would wait until late 2013 to go ahead. This decision to delay was based on financial and personal reasons and I am extremely glad that I did so.

Over the last 12 months Optical Express persistently contacted me by phone and email pressuring me to book the procedure. I had to be quite forceful and told them to stop pestering me as I would go ahead when I was good and ready.

A few weeks ago I decided that the time was right to go ahead and schedule the surgery for December. I was at work and did not have OE's phone number so did an internet search and up popped OERML. A few minutes spent reading details here was enough to convince me that I was not prepared to put my vision in the hands of Optical Express!

I contacted Sasha and after a telephone chat she gave me CEO David Moulsdale's email address and a simply worded email (Ccd to Sasha) asking him for my deposit to be refunded. Amazingly, at 9.25am the next day I was contacted by OE's refund department and after confirming my credit card details they initiated a refund which appeared in my account within 72 hours.

Many thanks to Sasha and OERML for the help in getting my money back.
Last Edit:07 Oct 2013 09:43 by mharbon
  • andy_c
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Replied by andy_c on topic DEPOSIT REFUNDS

Posted 06 Oct 2013 15:51 #677

admin wrote: If you're one of the lucky ones to receive a refund please post details here to help others fighting for theirs.

My wife and I are examples of people who did receive a refund from Optical Express once we had cancelled our surgery. This was despite having signed a form acknowledging that the deposit was not refundable. We decided to cancel our surgery because - like many people - we booked without doing enough research into both the surgery and Optical Express beforehand. A friend brought this site to our attention, and the stories here were enough to persuade us that we may have made a mistake. Speaking in person to Sasha confirmed this opinion, and we cancelled the surgery in the knowledge that the £1,800 we had paid in deposit may be forfeit. (The amount paid was higher than other people had paid due to the nature of our replacement lenses - they were toric, requiring - we were told - being custom made, hence a deposit was required for both the lenses and the surgery itself.)

With the help of Sasha, we crafted an email directly to Mr Moulsdale, saying that while we didn't dispute that we had signed a form to the effect that we understood any deposit was not refundable, Optical Express withheld critical information about success rates, investigations by the GMC into surgeons, outstanding legal claims, etc. We argued that obtaining our signature without revealing pertinent information threw into question how binding the agreement would turn out to be.

Shortly following this email, I received a phone call from Stephen Hannan acknowledging its receipt, and informing me that the matter had been passed to their refund department for processing. Within a few days I was contacted again, this time by that department, and the refund was processed, the full amount arriving in my bank account within 3 days. In the interests of balance, I have to say that in our case Mr Hannan was unfailingly polite, and everything he said would happen did come to pass. I feel sure that the fact Optical Express knew of Sasha's involvement in our case was a great help.

My advice to those seeking refunds would be:
  • Follow Sasha's advice, she has a wealth of experience in dealing with Optical Express.
  • Be firm but polite in communications with Optical Express. Emotive language never helps.
  • If you signed an agreement that the deposit should be considered non-refundable there is no point disputing the fact. Instead, stress the information not provided by Optical Express when selling treatment as a reason to throw doubt on whether this agreement would be upheld as binding.

Last Edit:05 Apr 2023 15:28 by andy_c
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Replied by admin on topic DEPOSIT REFUND

Posted 05 Oct 2013 14:52 #678
Many people decide to cancel their surgery with Optical Express and ask for their deposits back after further research leads them to OERML.

On behalf of his puppet master David Moulsdale, Stephen Hannan refuses!

Last month I advised a few people to respond to this refusal and point out to David Moulsdale that they'd been sold a treatment without being given the full facts; OE's track record, the numbers of damaged patients, how many are suing, GMC investigating surgeons, etc...

Each one was then given a refund without further argument.

But as Optical Express are wont to do (as when they started charging damaged patients £50 for their medical records a few months ago), they have decided to change tack and refusing deposit refunds, offering gift vouchers instead!

From Stephen Hannan: "If I may refer to my previous email, our position with respect to your request to be refunded the deposit remains unchanged, however, our offer of Optical Express gift vouchers to the equivalent value remains open to you.

For the avoidance of doubt this is our final position on this matter and any further communication will be met with the same response

I advise anyone refused a deposit refund by Stephen Hannan to pursue it via the Small Claims Court. Depending on the amount of deposit, cost is only £25-35 using the online Money Claim:

If Optical Express contest this I will be happy to provide a witness statement to support your claim, as I am sure those who've received refunds will also.

NB: If you're one of the lucky ones to receive a refund please post details here to help others fighting for theirs.
Last Edit:05 Oct 2013 14:54 by admin
  • mharbon
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Replied by mharbon on topic Decided Against Surgery!

Posted 15 Aug 2013 17:35 #679
Amazing! My deposit has been refunded within 24 hours of requesting it.

After speaking to Sasha yesterday she sent me the wording of an email to send to the CEO of OE. I did this yesterday afternoon and at 09.25 this morning OE called me and refunded my credit card over the phone.

I am so pleased that my eyes have been saved from potentially damaging surgery and I now have all of my money back.

Thank you Sasha.
by mharbon
  • Maggie

Replied by Maggie on topic Decided Against Surgery!

Posted 15 Aug 2013 08:48 #680
Yesterday I went to OE store on Shaftesbury Ave, London. While waiting I googled OE on my phone and for the first time noticed OERML, thank god. Later I was taken to a room to have my vision checked and to my surprise the receptionist did all the tests. Sure, it is so easy to operate those advanced machines!

Before my eyes were checked by their optometrist my uneasiness increased when I talked to their 'counsellor' who was obviously disappointed that I wanted to wait for surgery early next year and pressed me to book as soon as possible. She said the consultation is valid only for three months and if I have surgery next year she said I will have to have another consultation and prices may change.

I was then checked by the optometrist who dilated my pupils and said that dilation would go away after 6 hours. As I type this it's already been 20 hours and my pupils are still dilated!! I cannot help doubting the qualification of that optometrist. I had my pupils dilated before but nothing like this ever happened! Why did she have to drug my eyes with such a big dose? Or are my eye muscles too weak to get back?

I was recommended to have Phakid Intraocular Lenses due to my super high myopia and when I enquired about the risks involved the optometrist brushed it off and stressed that it was a very safe procedure, the technology has been there even longer than Lasik. She did mention halos as side effects but said that it's mainly about how the brain adjusts to new circumstance and has nothing to do with the lenses. To be honest, I had done quite a bit homework about Intraocular Lenses Surgery before I stepped in OE store so I was rather disappointed with her responses.

The price for the Phakic Intraocular Lenses surgery is very expensive, I was quoted £6750.
When I was taken back to the 'counsellor' she again tried to pressure me into signing the consent form and paying a deposit. I told her that the price is too high and i would not go ahead. She immediately told me she could lower the price for me! I didn't expect to bargain.

At that point, I already decided against the surgery as i don't think I could trust OE. I explained to her that I thought the surgery is too risky. Shen then desperately said to me "Wearing contact lenses is 40 TIMES riskier than the surgery as you can easily get an infection!"

I am glad that I firmed up telling her that it was my option to have surgery or not. That really shut her up.

I have no objection against responsible medical surgery that help people to improve their vision and life quality, but I am totally disgusted by OE's aggressive sales approach! My experience convinced me this sort of high street Lasik surgery should be stopped. Moreover, privatized health care will bring more harm than benefit to people. How could I trust these practitioners whose main goal is MONEY!

So grateful to OERML!
Last Edit:15 Aug 2013 12:23 by Maggie
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