As of today I've been waiting 27 workiing days for my £1500 deposit for lasik to be refunded from the Milton Keynes store. If I go to the small claims court which one do I use because the head office is in Scotland but I live in England?
My husband and I are in our early fifties and both wear glasses for reading, mobile, etc but have almost perfect distance vision.
We didn't know much about lens replacement surgery but our son thought it would be a fantastic gift for us so he made an appointment for us on 7th January 2021 at the Bradford Optical Express store in Manor Row and said he would pay for it.
We went and an optometrist went through the details of the procedure and the side affects that could potentially come about after surgery.
We had the tests done and at each point we were asked to digitally sign on a black iPad type device. We’d had eye drops and didn’t see what we were signing but understood that we were agreeing that she had told us everything.
Both my husband and I have almost perfect 20/20 distance vision and have nice clear vision even at night and just need glasses for close up.
One of the questions asked was if we suffer from any anxiety or depression, which I thought was odd but said we don’t.
The optometrist said that the surgery would definitely fix our near vision but that my husband had dry eyes and they could become worse, and common side effects are that our distance vision might be affected with glaring lights, halos, starbursts, dim lighting, etc but this only lasts for maybe 3 or 4 months.
She said it’s more of a mind thing and you have to rationalise in your brain not to panic and to say to yourself that you have had surgery and that it will get better, and then your brain adjusts and it falls into place.
So we signed all the paperwork and each paid £500 deposit with a date for surgery at the end of Jan 2021. We paid cash and asked for hard copy receipts with a breakdown of the deposit and the outstanding sum to be paid 7 days prior to the surgery date. All well and good.
The same day I get texts that a leading clinician will ring and go through it all with me to check that we have both read the terms and conditions. So I did, but reading the side effects page made me very anxious realising that our vision is not so bad and it didn’t make sense to pay a lot of money to destroy and remove our perfectly good natural biological lens to replace with plastic lenses and risk the potential side effects that could happen. I don’t understand why these people push customers who have healthy eyes to do this.
I watched the surgery online and then I came across so many bad reviews, not only with the surgery but most with Optical Express!! This is when I realised why we were asked about anxiety and depression because many people must suffer this if the procedure is not what they were told they could expect. I know that not only would be in a state of breakdown but I would more than likely put my whole family through hell too (knowing the person I am) wanting it to go back to how it all was before surgery. I super panicked and thought maybe to have surgery in 10 to 20 yrs if cataracts occurred, but not now.
I called my husband and I explained my thoughts and that I wasn’t going to go ahead and his choice was his. We watched the surgery together later and looked at the reviews on Optical Express some really good and some not so good, some super scary actually. My husband decided to cancel because of the bad reviews for Optical Express alone!
So we went to the Bradford store on Saturday 9th Jan and talked to the same optometrist and told her about the really negative reviews we'd found, but she dismissed our concerns and said no-one ever prints their good stories as they are happy, but I said that there were good and bad stories and that we needed more time to look into it and research it.
We didn't even know the name of the surgeon we were supposed to be having but when she realised we were going to cancel the store manager (Faiza) offered to tell us but we declined.
We cancelled and ONLY THEN were told it will take 28 working days to refund our money and that head office would deal with it. I asked to be copied into the email the manager said she was going to fire off to head office about cancellation but she told me she would do it in front of me and someone would either call or email for my details as we paid cash.
Still waiting as no-one has been in touch and I have phoned at least 3 times every day but no one picks up.
Hmm what a mess and a scary thought if we had gone ahead.
Any advice would be helpful how I should go ahead to recover our deposit. Maybe going to the media? Or should we just go to the branch and refuse to leave until they give our cash back?
Mrs Hussain and Mr Rahman.
____________________ admin: You need to make a complaint to the GOC as they had no right to sell you lens exchange without providing the name of the intended surgeon!
OE finally agreed to refund my full £500 deposit on 4th December. Said it will be paid in the next 7 working days. Thank you Sasha for your excellent advice on dealing with the issue and advising me to communicate with OE by email only. It took a while but worked a treat. Thanks again Sasha for your help.