I had lens replacement surgery carried out by Optical Express in 2014.
The surgery was a complete failure and left my vision worse than it was prior to the surgery. I suffered from blurred vision, auras, headaches and high sensitivity to light without improvement to normal vision.
After repeated failed requests to Optical Express to remedy the problems I decided to seek legal advice and I used a firm of solicitors called Devonshires on a no win no fee basis, but unfortunately it soon became apparent that my solicitors were not progressing my claim effectively and I was forced to make a formal complaint to them.
This complaint was not (and has never been) adequately answered or addressed so I decided to look at changing solicitors, unfortunately Devonshires would not agree to me using a different solicitor unless I immediately paid their fees of around £32,000 even though they could have waited until my case was settled.
My claim has now been settled and the last I knew about the level of fees Devonshires racked up from my case was around £132,000, but they told me I HAD to accept a settlement of £35,000. Needless to say I am completely dissatisfied with Devonshires and I am considering pursuing the matter with the legal ombudsman.
Absolutely shocking how Optical Express keep damaging and then screwing their patients - Katie well done for taking them to court, you are so brave and Sasha for working tirelessly to put this out there.
When I started my journey in 2012 there was NOTHING and NOWHERE to look for information, as we know, these companies including Optical Express made sure of that. Now we have, thanks to Sasha's platforms which are growing and are very busy with people telling their stories (all of which are horrific and have ruined peoples lives). We are now getting great help where we can talk about what these companies have done to our eyesight and how to fight them in Court, and importantly discuss which Solicitors are there to help the victim and those who are just running up their own costs and have no intention of allowing the patient their day in court.
My case was settled out of court (against my wishes) and the solicitors got more than I did out of it. I recommend that you ask Sasha if you want to know which solicitors you can trust.
For those who are considering any treatment for their eyes - join the sites, read the comments, and think about this carefully.
29 August 2019: Needless to say, Optical Express complied with her terms, and whilst Katie can't post anything more online, she got the better of them by getting her story out regardless of the 'gagging' agreement that so many people have been forced to sign simply to get their money refunded.
How we did it: Katie told the truth, she (and I) had posted details of her claim on OERML forum, but I hid the posts until today, so Optical Express had no idea of their existence - they do now
Update to my previous post – OE have just contacted me a few days before my court date and have now offered a full refund and to reimburse my court fees!
The process of going through the Money Claim has taken just over a year but totally worth persisting and not accepting substandard offers!
Sasha has also been amazing during the whole process! I would not have gotten this far without her help ????
I underwent laser eye surgery at Optical Express, Southampton, in July 2014 at the age of 20. Dr Luca Antico performed my surgery. 2 years later my eyes had started to regress and my dry eye symptoms and night glare, that I would told would get better, persisted. I complained to OE and requested a refund as I believe I was too young to have the surgery and they failed to check if my eyes had stabilised at the time. They refused and so with Sasha’s help, I made a Money Claim against OE in May 2018. I attended mediation but OE only offered me half of my money back so I decided to take the matter to court.
I attended a preliminary court hearing in April at which OE tried to get my case thrown out.
They have failed miserably and I will be continuing with the court case that is set to go ahead in July. OE have recently contacted me and offered a full refund but would not reimburse my court fees. I have rejected this offer as I am seeking a full refund and reimbursement of my court fees!
An update for those of you who generously contributed to my CrowdJustice fundraiser for an expert legal team to consider my defamation claim against Optical Express on a 'no win no fee’ basis in June 2018
For those who missed it, in May 2018 I discovered that from late 2014 Optical Express had been paying a very grubby 'crisis & reputation management' PR company* £5,000 a month - close to £1/4 million by then - in desperate (successful) attempts to stop the press and media publishing/broadcasting interviews with me. *Google 'Luther Pendragon Sasha Rodoy' for quick links.
Information disclosed under my Subject Access Request to Luther Pendragon proved that they'd helped OE lobby corruptible MPs, badmouthing me (and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell), with no stone left unturned in their attempts to silence me by convincing anyone they considered might be supportive that I was lying!
And finally I understood why not even a single minute of my two hours interview filmed at the BBC studios in Manchester had not been included in the BBC Rip Off Britain intended exposé of the industry in 2017 (the piece regrettably dependent on my cooperation).
Not only did the production team leave out interviews recorded with two quite badly damaged patients (having initially told me that they wanted more serious case studies), but they iced the piece with heavy duty propaganda from a refractive surgeon spokesman for The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, and it sickeningly became yet another advertorial for the industry.
And just like two recent articles in the Daily Mail, no mention of me, John McDonnell, or My Beautiful Eyes campaign for government regulation, while even OE’s lengthy right of reply at the end probably left viewers believing they weren’t so bad!
Flattered though I was (am) to be such an expensive thorn in OE's side, four years of much needed publicity was lost as a result of Luther Pendragon’s actions.
And while you will of course be disappointed to learn that I am not currently pursuing legal proceedings against OE...
I can happily assure you that this story is far from done!
Unable to tell you more because OE et al monitor screenshot my every written word on social media!