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DEPOSIT REFUND 28 Nov 2013 15:16 #541

  • Wlod
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Hello All,

Here is my story:

I attended a free consultation appointment at Optical Express in Coventry on the 21st November 2013. The examination suggested that LASIK surgery would be suitable and this was booked for on the 11th December 2013 in Birmingham. The price was £3690 for both eyes.

On the examination day my prescription was found to be higher (I believe by -0.5 in both eyes) than my current contact lenses prescription of -1.5 and -2.0. This surprised me as I have not been experiencing any degradation in my eyesight. Therefore, I felt I should book an appointment to double check and I managed to get an appointment at Boots three days ago. That examination showed that my eye prescription has not changed at all for either glasses or contact lenses as compared to my last prescription.

Moreover, during the examination at OE I explained that the reason I was investigating surgery was because I cannot wear contact lenses for long without experiencing dry eyes. During my examination at OE I was given no reason to believe that this could be an additional risk factor should I opt for corrective eye surgery. Over the weekend I discovered that this may represent an increased risk of suffering dry eye following corrective eye surgery and therefore, when I found that the Boots examination did not confirm the change of prescription identified by their optometrist, I asked to have my existing concerns around dry eye checked in detail. The Boots examination revealed that I have blocked meibomian glands, which although I had mentioned my current concerns was not identified during my examination at OE. Having become concerned about this, I have checked various medical articles which have given me the impression that eye surgery should not be carried out if you experience problems with dry eyes.

During my consultation I also explained that I train in mixed martial arts, which is a contact sport. I wanted to fully understand the risks associated with the combination of LASIK eye surgery and contact sports and the potential dislocation of the “flaps” created during this type of surgery. I was told that the LASIK method would still be appropriate. However, the lady examining me needed to check this with "a senior optometrist" since she was not 100% confident. I was somewhat confused by this because I was told when booking my appointment that I would be examined by a senior optometrist. It occurs to me now that lady examining me was not a senior optometrist, though I had been led to expect that this would be the case.

Moreover, the clinic was really busy, with people waiting and new patients constantly arriving. As a result the receptionist with whom I was discussing payment and appointment details was really busy, dealing with several people at a time. Although unrelated to my concerns on medical grounds, I felt that this put me under pressure to make snap decisions.

I would not ordinarily make a fuss about my experience at the clinic, but the independent examination made me feel really concerned about the standard of examination I have received, particularly when the quality of that examination would be paramount to the success of any operation.

As a result of all of the above, I have lost confidence in OE and have decided not to proceed with the operation booked for the 11th December. I was seriously concerned that should I proceed, the health of my eyes may be jeopardised by what appears to me to be a poor quality of diagnosis. I have requested OE to refund my deposit (£400). I sent an email to Optical Express customer service team on the 25th November 2013 with a request to cancel my surgery and refund my deposit. The day after I sent my email I received a phone call from Diane from your customer service team at 15:13. Unfortunately, I missed that call so she left me a message to call her back on 01236 795111 which I did at 15:47. However, nobody answered, so I left a message on the voicemail with a request to call me back. I am really disappointed not to have heard anything from them yet.

Moreover, later reading this forum I have found out that on the day of the examination I was not given the full facts that would affect my decision, including treatment success rates, investigations by the General Medical Council into your surgeons, outstanding legal claims, the numbers of damaged patients etc.

While I do not dispute that I had confirmed that I understood that deposit was not refundable after cancellation from 72hrs from making a booking, I feel that Optical Express did not carry out the examination with reasonable care and skill and withheld critical information. Therefore, I do not regard any agreements made on the 21st November as binding. If they do not refund my deposit, I will be taking the matter further in a small claims court

I am so glad that I have not progressed with them.

Thanks
Wlod

DEPOSIT REFUND 15 Nov 2013 13:23 #542

  • dunx
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Hi, I recently inquired about laser eye surgery and made an appointment as my eyesight had deteriorated over the last few years and I needed to pass an 'ENG1, marine medical' eye examination for my work.

After going in for an examination I was told that I was border line for getting laser treatment but was told they could replace my lenses in my eyes (RLE), which would give me better long and mid distance vision, but I would still need glasses for reading which would be fine for passing my medical.

After discussing the price which was around 5k I agreed verbally to go ahead and make another appointment. When making the appointment I was then told (out of the blue ) to pay a deposit for £500. Reluctantly I did.

The next day there was a voice mail message on my mobile phone saying about paying a deposit. but nothing in any previous correspondence. I later received my medical and my eye sight was OK to pass so I had been mislead and never needed the operation on my eyes in the first place .

As far as I was concerned I was only going in to enquire about it. I have just read about a 24 hr cooling off period on the forum which I was never given or knew about.

Does anyone have any ideas on the best way to get my deposit refunded

DEPOSIT REFUND 08 Nov 2013 13:28 #543

  • Siun McDonald
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I posted last month about my experience with OE in Dublin. When I decided not to go ahead with the surgery I was informed by their Cancellations Department that I would not get my deposit of €500 back as it was outside the 24 hour cooling off period. I then wrote to the CEO pointing out why it was unethical and immoral to keep my money. Next day I got a call informing me that my deposit would be refunded in full and today I received cheque for €500. Mores the pity that this wasn't done in the first place. However it was a satisfactory outcome in the end.

DEPOSIT REFUND 23 Oct 2013 15:34 #544

  • Siun McDonald
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A few weeks ago I decided to check if I was suitable for Laser treatment which would dispense with my reading glasses. At the end of the free consultation in OE, Dublin I was told I would be a suitable candidate for RLE, cost €3,995 They said it was a very safe procedure which had been performed by Dr. Hurley thousands of times. Night vision, halos and starbursts were mentioned as possible side effects but I was assured that this would be temporary…nothing to worry about.
I was asked if I wanted to book dates for surgery with emphasises on the fact that the dates could be changed later if they didn’t suit. (Just get the booking!)
It all sounded great so I booked the dates and paid the deposit of €500. She mentioned 24 hours refund but at that point it never crossed my mind that it would be necessary to cancel. They are excellent sales people!
Only then was I given the Consent Form to read at home and bring back signed.

I spent the next 4 days researching RLE at the end of which I decided I would definitely not go ahead with it and informed OE in Dublin.
A woman from their Cancellation Dept (Scottish) rang me on Monday and did her utmost to make me change my mind. I kept saying it was too risky and she kept insisting it wasn’t, they use the latest technology, etc. Finally, when she saw my mind was made up she said there would be no refund as I didn’t cancel inside the 24 hours.

I feel their procedure sequence is wrong:
How can they take €500 before a contract is even handed over, never mind signed? How can anyone hearing about RLE for the first time have the right questions to ask?.
How can anyone decide within 24 hours if they want to have elective eye surgery?
When you go to a medical practitioner you expect a certain ethical standard. When you attend a Medical Clinic you don’t expect to have to be on your guard in case you’re ripped off! What they did was immoral!
I will do whatever it takes to get my money back.

RLE 22 Oct 2013 21:34 #545

  • Pam
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Hi
I posted on here a few weeks ago and finally got my £500 deposit back after they kept on giving me empty promises that the banking dept is very busy. In the end I emailed the head of customer services one night & told her I was going to put my experience on Martin Lewis website forum and she emailed me back the next morning to say I will get my deposit back for RLE that day. Lo & behold the money was in my account!

RLE 21 Oct 2013 08:12 #546

  • Mr Starburst
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Run, run, as fast as you can, or your eyes will be ruined by the OE man !

RLE 20 Oct 2013 12:05 #547

  • Gary
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Hi, I have been to Optical Express to discuss laser eye surgery but they told me I am not suitable and would be more suited for RLE.
Having spent over 2 hours with the optometrist checking my eyes etc. I was given a price of £3990 for the pair plus £800 deposit .
Well you can guess what happened next as I was umming and arring about it, they took £500 off straight away and reduced the deposit to £400. But it doesn't end there as I received a further call from their office in Scotland and I managed to get the price down to £3200.

And you have guessed, it doesn't end there! I have been back today asking a few questions which I picked up off the net as they obviously said there wouldn't be any problems with ghosting, starbursts, night driving etc.

The manager was pushing for a deposit so I said I could only do it on finance over 4 years and only wanted to put £200 down - you guessed it they went for it, which sounds even more strange the more I think about it.

Even the credit check went through which I thought never would as my history isn't that great.
I went away saying I would let them know later on today about whether I would book an appointment with the consultant Jan Venter at Harley Street but they would need the deposit of £200 by 4pm today(Saturday) .
At 4pm they rang me on the dot so I paid it and have got 72hrs to cancel all together so I can get a full refund.(how easy this is going to be I don't know)

The question is DO I RUN A MILE AND GET MY DEPOSIT BACK??
I had read so many bad things since paying the deposit its really put me off Optical Express.

Suggestions and advice gratefully accepted

DEPOSIT REFUND 19 Oct 2013 18:03 #548

  • JoL
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I have considered having laser surgery for quite a while but more for convenience as opposed to need as I wear contacts and was looking for an alternative permanent solution. Anyway I made an appointment at the Birmingham branch of OE simply to find out more information about what was available to me.

I was taken through various tests and then was told that the best option for me was to have RLE surgery and that I was suitable to have the surgery. I asked a number of questions relating to possible side effects and if there might be an complications and was told that the surgery is one of the most performed surgical procedures and there is less than 1% of patients that experience problems with this type of surgery.

I was told that I would be able to see from a distance and close enough to be able to read text clearly although I may need separate glasses for very close reading or work.

Everything sounded very positive and foolishly I parted with a deposit of £500. I was passed a folder and was told to bring this next week to my consent meeting.

That night I did some research on RLE so that I could be more informed as to what the procedure really was about. What struck me was the amount of people that had experienced problems and furthermore I was directed to this site which convinced me that this was not something I should enter into.

I felt that the facts were not explained to me fully and I felt that I had been duped by a large organisation whose sole purpose, at least in my eyes, is driven by money and not proper care of potential clients needs.

I contacted the Birmingham branch to cancel the arrangement. I was told that the person I need to speak to was not there and that as we were approaching the weekend she will be available the following Monday.

The following Monday I contacted the branch and was unable to speak to the person mentioned so therefore I contacted head office and spoke to a gentleman in the cancellation department called Jamie. He asked me did I contact the Birmingham branch within 24 hours of my initial consultation. I asked why is that relevant and was told that if it was outside of the 24 hours then I will have lost my £500 deposit. I said I have not signed any agreement and you were very quick to take my £500, I want my money back, at which point Jamie repeated the 24 hour deadline and wanted me to provide proof that I had indeed called within 24 hour period. I was told that this was part of the contract and I said what contract to which he told me, that is a clause in the agreement for my next consent consultation.

I asked to speak to the manager and Jamie's comments to me were reiterated by the manager. At this point I was so angry that I made my way back to Birmingham branch and demanded answers and my money back.

The same was said again that I needed to provide proof of my initial call and if it is not within the 24 hour period I will loose my money. I then informed the staff that I have nothing to prove and that I will ensure that OE will loose more than £500 as It will be my mission to visit the branch every day and tell everyone not to use these modern day corporate crooks.

I eventually had the manager of the branch speak to me and after a short period of time she said that she will email head office and get them to refund me my money but that it will take 28 working days for me to get it back, that is their policy, even though they took my cash by visa they will only refund it by cheque.

I left the branch but reading again at the empty promises made by staff from OE I will contact them this coming Monday and demand my money be returned.

I will be contacting Sasha and OERML to keep her posted. To me OE are corporate criminals and should not be allowed to get away with it.

RLE Deposit Refund 19 Oct 2013 18:00 #549

  • Bill C
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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.

DEPOSIT REFUND 19 Oct 2013 11:25 #550

  • Gloria
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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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanks