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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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!
By an extraordinary stroke of luck I discovered this website yesterday.
I had a consultation last year in Birmingham and needless to say they confirmed my suitability for lasik eye surgery, no surprise eh! I paid a £400 deposit on the understanding that I would book the surgery in 2013 when I felt ready and had the finances to pay.
Yesterday I was actually about to ring OE to book myself in for surgery just before Christmas. Fortunately I did not have the Birmingham phone number with me so I googled OE and OERML came up also. So being a bit curious I took a look and I am so thankful that I did. After reading some of the horrendous experiences that some people have endured I have decided that I no longer wish to go ahead with the surgery and with Sasha's help I am now in the process of claiming the return of my deposit.
OE are not the type of company I wish to give my money to and it appears that regulation of this industry is long overdue.