At Moorfields Eye Hospital this afternoon for another monthly injection in my eye
Please note that this was Moorfields NHS hospital, not to be confused with Moorfields Private across the road in the commercial Arthur Steele Unit, where purveyors of unnecessary elective refractive surgery misleadingly use NHS email addresses for their office staff.
This was my 5th injection, and I was dreading it, because the one I had last month was so incredibly painful that I lay there screaming ‘Fuuuuuuuuuu…’ in an attempt not to leap off the table with the needle hanging from my eye! (Tarantino’s ‘Hostel' springs to mind)
So while I was waiting, trying not to stress, cursing Russell Ambrose and Optimax and the entire industry for the fact that I was there at all, I realised that in one respect at least Optimax is not as bad as Optical Express. (Don't get excited Russell, you f*cked my eyes and my life, and there’s no 'get out of jail free' card for you as long as both of us live!)
This is because, unlike Optical Express, Optimax & Ultralase (both owned by Russell Ambrose) don't advertise carrots in the form of spectacles.
As I’ve published previously, Optical Express salespeople and optometrists are paid fat bonuses and incentives to ‘switch’ specs wearers to refractive surgery, no matter if the person isn’t suitable.
But in respect of the latter, Optimax is no different, me being a case in point!
Optometrist Swati Malkan was paid to sell me surgery that was 100% unsuitable - as an internal Optimax email thread admitted, only disclosed under my second Subject Access Request to Russell Ambrose in 2017 (deceitfully not disclosed under my first SAR in 2016), and I was horrified!
With this new information the GOC reopened my complaint against Swati 'Specs Wearing’ Malkan last April, and I’m currently waiting to hear if the ongoing investigation will result in a Fitness to Practise hearing for this dishonest optom.
And in case you're wondering why I'm smiling in the photo on my way out, it's because the nurse who injected me was the best!
After I'd insisted on my eye being soaked with so much anaesthetic that one side of my mouth was numb where the liquid had leaked down my face, he was so fast that it was over before I had time to try not to blink!
The day after two Lasik iDesign operations at OE’s Harley Street were sold for £4,590 and £2,990, exactly the same surgical procedure was sold at Manchester ‘clinic' for £3,990.
But the Manchester SRO (senior refractive optometrist) and PA (salesperson aka Patient Adviser/Counsellor/Refractive Technician) generously gave the customer a whopping £995 discount!
Their victim (& bonus prize) was no doubt told that there’d been a last minute cancellation, that they were really lucky not to have to wait, and if they could have surgery within FOUR DAYS they could have a huge discount too!
This would of course sound like a fantastic bargain to any unsuspecting customer...
And it begs the question, when exactly was the patient to have their consultation with the surgeon?
Possibly a quick phone call, as is OE's practice to circumvent the GMC guidance that the patient should have a consultation with the surgeon BEFORE the day of surgery!
Imagine that you’ve complained about back pain to your GP, who then refers you to a hospital, but instead of seeing the specialist you’re examined by a nurse, who tells you that you need an operation...
Then you’re told, 'You can’t meet the surgeon in person before the day of the operation but he might examine you by phone.'
But that is EXACTLY what is happening with Optical Express, and while their entire sales pitch and operation procedures contravene the GMC and RCOphth guidelines, no-one is doing a damned thing to stop it!
The truth is that OE are struggling (hence why they have so many empty surgery slots) as owner David Moulsdale told me himself when he phoned me on 2 June '17. (I’ve since discovered that it was, as suspected, Siri who called me, assuming David wanted to speak with me after he shouted my name so loudly!)
And for those of you who missed it, first posted on 5 June ’17, this is some of what I heard David Moulsdale angrily telling his colleagues, and I quote,
“I lost FOUR MILLION quid this year…"
“We’re not busy, operating on sixty percent capacity…”
“I can’t pay the surgical team a bonus on less than ten patients a day, we used to treat twenty, twenty-four patients a day… [blurred words] made four thousand a patient… retail price was more…”
“Got f*cking refunds, got f*cking complaints…"
"I’m not paying a nurse to treat less than ten patients a day - I’m not a f*cking charity, I’m not the NHS…”
“Ten patients is three hours work, no way I’m paying bonuses!”
“Four complex enhancements and three YAG a day… YAG should not be ‘treatment!’” (Presumably because bonuses are only paid on actual ‘treatments’.)
“Nurses not to be paid bonus on less than twelve patients… less than fifteen patients - NO BONUS!”
Spitting out numbers he said, “Twenty [£] at fifteen [patients], forty at sixteen, fifty at twenty…"
Then changing his mind, “Twenty, thirty, forty…”
“They [nurses] going to make a f*cking fortune!”.
I think you’ve probably read enough about OE’s sales incentives and bonuses for now, but this information is of interest to the General Optical Council (GOC), who are currently revising their standards for optical businesses.
As Optical Express is a GOC business registrant I have therefore shared all the information I have with them.
The GOC will publish a consultation draft on their site soon, and My Beautiful Eyes Foundation will be responding. I will post a link as soon as the draft is available to read.
And though I vehemently argue against refractive eye surgery being termed ‘cosmetic’, info I found on the GMC cosmetic interventions section, re 'Seeking informed consent and explaining risks’, is highly relevant to refractive eye surgery.
Whenever I speak with an OE damaged laser eye surgery patient for the first time, I ask which type of procedure they had.
Often I’m told, ‘The most expensive one.'
I then explain that it doesn't work like that, as this screenshot shows - £1,600 difference in price for exactly the same lasik procedure!
It works like this: if a customer says the initial quoted price is too high, that they can’t afford it - even after the Hitachi Finance option is dangled under their nose - then the tag team (optom & PA) will pretend they're going to speak to the manager or call Head Office.
They return with the ‘good news’ that they can offer a 'today only’ discounted price, but on condition the deposit is paid immediately.
Asking it it’s refundable if they don't go ahead with surgery, victim is told 'yes’. The truth is of course quite different, as can be read on the ‘DEPOSIT REFUND’ topic!
Another price pump up scam is to tell a customer with a high prescription that the procedure is therefore more expensive.
OE staff will do anything they can - beside holding the customer at gunpoint - not to lose a sale.
NB: The bonus is in addition to the percentage they’re paid in commission, proportionate to the sale amount.
One Optical Express employee - let’s call her Kate - has been with the company in Glasgow since she left school, describing herself on LinkedIn as a 'Refractive Technician & Patient Counsellor’ (aka Patient Advisor/PA)
A little birdie told me that Kate makes so much money in bonuses - virtually forcing all her customers to book surgery - that she’s now the proud owner of a house purchased with her ill gotten gains!
Kate is as despicable as David Moulsdale and his salivating lap dog Tweedles, because after ten years she has seen many thousands of patients left with irreparable problems, but is happy to keep pushing people into surgery she knows is likely to ruin their lives!
In fact, I don't believe that anyone working at OE for more than one month can claim immunity from my contempt and disgust!
So to all you OE optoms and PAs readying to finish for the day, while you're planning how to spend the money you've made in bonuses and commission, think about the part you've played in ruining so many people's eyes and lives to get that money!
And if your conscience has the slightest twinge, consider joining my little birdies...
A patient (customer) is 'switched' when they go into an Optical Express store to buy glasses, and the salesperson and/or optometrist manages to pressure them into buying eye surgery instead!
This screenshot dates back to 2014, but courtesy of an OE employee with a conscience (few & far between nowadays), I have a veritable galaxy of 2018 internal documents, proving that staff incentives and bonuses are integral to the survival of this corrupt comany!
Optical Express Ruined My Life Forum
21 Feb 2018 17:31 #65
I booked my lens replacement at the Trafford centre branch about 4/5 years ago and im pretty sure when I booked the procedure I was promised a lifetime backup should I need further treatments was anybody else given this assurance?
________________________ admin: Oh yes...
Lee Mackinnon is Optical Express' Head of Performance, and after reading a number of his emails to store staff, I believe he'd be more appropriately employed as a sports team coach, screaming at players from the sidelines!
The heavily encouraged and incentivised sales pressure put on customers is ill placed, and not acceptable for a provider of ANY surgical procedure!
The 'Surgery Slot Finder' enables staff to book in bamboozled customers before they've had time to think, therefore parting with a sizeable deposit, if not the entire surgery cost, on the day of their 'free consultation'.
Never mind that they haven't seen the surgeon, or walked in for a 'free consultation' - or worse, simply to buy a pair of glasses!