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In January 2012 I launched My Beautiful Eyes Campaign, calling for the UK government to regulate the refractive eye surgery industry.

This resulted in a surprisingly high number of people asking for my advice, and so I set up MBE patient advocacy service...
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Optical Express Ruined My Life - Discuss...

TOPIC: DEPOSIT REFUND

£500 deposit 09 Jul 2017 18:36 #31

  • Abigail
  • Abigail's Avatar
I've just re-read what you wrote regarding making an online money claim... they said it will take 28 days for the refund. Should I make a claim?
___________________
admin: Yes - they should not have taken your money before you saw the surgeon and you should not have to wait 28 days for it to be refunded. You are entilted to claim interest on your payment.
I also advise that you make a complaint to the GOC asap.
Email me for more details
:kiss:

£500 deposit 07 Jul 2017 18:05 #32

  • Abigail
  • Abigail's Avatar
Well, after eventually getting to speak to them (after 3 missed calls and me ringing them back 4 times), I spoke to Fiona McPhail and she has cancelled my appointment and will refund the deposit within 28 working days of 3rd July!

£500 deposit 03 Jul 2017 17:35 #33

  • Abigail
  • Abigail's Avatar
Glad I found this website!

Went for my original appointment in 12th April, just to see whether I was suitable for surgery and how much it would cost. The optometrist in York told me I was suitable for Lasik and I would get 20/20 vision. Yay! I thought.

I was then taken through to speak to someone else regarding costs, etc. As I'd been told I'd have to have the iDesign due to larger pupils, the cost came to £4550, reduced to £4050 as I'd seen an advert on Facebook for £500 off.

Then I was taken to the receptionist to arrange the booking and deposit. Booked surgery for 1st June (I'm a teacher so it had to be during half term) and paid £500 on my credit card. Also arranged a telephone consultation with the surgeon for the week before. Had to be telephone as I wouldn't be able to get to Leeds to see the surgeon a week before the surgery.

On the day of my telephone consultation, I had a phone call from OE (luckily at lunch time so I was able to answer) saying the surgeon had looked at my file and needed to see me before doing the surgery. Only available time (for both of us) was 3 days before the surgery but in Sheffield.

Day of consultation: arrived at appointment 10 mins early only to sit and wait an hour before being seen by the surgeon (Mr Muhammed Kazmi). He told me that I was unsuitable for Lasik due to thin corneas so I would have to have Lasek (and then explained risks etc). Due to the longer recovery period I was unable to have the surgery on 1st June as I wouldn't be able to take time off work.
I spoke to a receptionist at the branch who rearranged the appointment for 21st July (1st day of summer hols). At this time I also set up a payment plan for the surgery (I opted for the 10 month interest free payment for the, now slightly reduced, amount of £3890).

On 15th June I telephoned customer service to rearrange my appointment (as I had been doing some research into Lasek and found the healing time to be longer that originally thought and didn't want to be unable to see when on holiday at the start of August). The only options available didn't suit me either so I left it so I could ring back at a later date and see if there were alternative dates.

2 weeks ago I decided I didn't want the surgery any more (read accounts of people having Lasek and still not being able to see properly after 6 months) so I rang the customer service number on the website and couldn't get through. I tried again a couple of days later and still no luck. On Thursday last week (29th June) I rang again and sat on hold for 1 hour 15 mins before being told I needed to speak to the cancellation team. They gave me a number to ring.

On Friday 30th I rang, and got through to a recorded message telling me the department was busy and to leave my name and number and they would get back to me.

By 5pm today I had no contact from them so I tried again, only to get through to the normal customer service team as apparently the cancellation department was closed. The woman I spoke to took my name and number and said someone in cancellations would get back to me in 48 hours.

I await their call with bated breath. But I intend to try ringing again in the morning (if I can while at work). I'm beginning to wish I'd done more research before paying that £500 #fedup
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admin: OE monitor this forum very closely and know that I am now advising people to issue an online money claim as soon as they refuse to refund your deposit - or make you wait 28 working days, so it may be that by tomorrow you won't need my help. (And please post update if that's the case!)

But just in case, if you email your phone number I will call you immediately
:kiss:
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Decided Against Surgery! 03 Jul 2017 12:40 #34

  • Sharon
  • Sharon's Avatar
Just phoned to cancel today after being told on the phone "you can cancel at any time and receive a full refund" to be told that there's only a 7 day cooling off period. Waiting for cancellations to ring me back. Anything I should be doing in the meantime please?
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admin: Yes - email me with your phone number This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. :kiss:

Refused refund & offered store credit! 30 Jun 2017 16:30 #35

  • Elie A
  • Elie A's Avatar
Hello,

I would greatly appreciate your help on the below matter.

I booked a laser eye surgery consultation on 20 May 2017, went with a friend and told I would get 20/20 vision or better. I was not been taken through all the risks (except for a video) and what my guarantee is regarding these risks. All I was told that I am guaranteed to get 20/20 vision or better, shown a video then pressured to book with attractive offers and discounts. I refused the offers then went home.

I received few phone calls throughout the next few weeks of my consultation until I received a good enough offer on 6 June 2017 that I thought I could take. My deposit was taken that day and I was sent the documents for the laser eye surgery and the scan results of my consultation. It was the first time I was emailed anything from optical express.

On 19 June 2017, the day of the iDesign iLasik surgery at Optical Express Meadowhall Branch, I came with my fiancee, I did not fill the "Terms" and part of the "Consent" documents before arriving as I wanted to speak to the surgeon first. However, the receptionist insisted on filling the form and told me I could take it with me if I decided not to go through with the surgery.

We sat in the waiting area, then my name was called and I was taken downstairs to have the eye tests again.

When I saw the surgeon, Mr Muhammad S Kazmi, I was told there is 100% chance that I would not get 20/20 vision, but he then corrected it to 99% as there is nothing 100% sure in surgery. He continued explaining all the risks and how a couple of them would prevent me from doing my job, and that I was not covered against any of those risks (I was never told about these until I met the surgeon for the first time that day).

Muhammad Kazmi then told me that there was 80% possibility of me getting +/- 0.5 (which I am not guaranteed) and if I get more, my only option is to either go on another surgery in the next 3-6 months but that would highly increase the not guaranteed risks even more, or I could live with it and would not get my money back.

He assured me that if I decided to cancel the operation I would receive a full refund.

I asked for 30 minutes to think about it and then the nurse came, we asked her again about the refund and she stated the same. So I decided not to go through surgery, but I was not given any of the signed forms when I left.

To my surprise I received a call from the cancellation department stating that I would not receive a refund.

Tried to contact customer service, couldn't reach them. Tried to contact Lynsey Shaw where she offered me £395 in store credits as a final decision, so I asked for the details of their complaints department. Haven't received a reply from her since.

I am both shocked and disappointed with Optical Express' behaviour towards the laser eye surgery and their customers. I feel cheated and tricked. I am not going to get a refund even though there is 99% chance that I won't be getting 20/20 vision, excluding all the risks associated with it where I could then lose my job! If I was told these during the initial consultation I would not have booked for the surgery in the first place.

Your help is greatly appreciated on this subject and I would like to know what is the best step to take next?

Best Regards, EA
________________
admin: Pls send your phone number :kiss:
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Decided Against Surgery! 29 Jun 2017 20:22 #36

  • Brad
  • Brad's Avatar
Unbelievable how many people including myself have fallen victim to this illegal scam, I have just waited 39 Days to receive my full refund of £2.500. My case was the same as many on this forum and it should not be allowed to happen. Someone needs to put a stop to this robbery, my main correspondence was with a woman called Fiona McPhail Clinical Care Associate, and Paula.

Beware stay clear of this company :evil:

Refund refused! 28 Jun 2017 15:54 #37

  • Clint betts
  • Clint betts's Avatar
Hi Sasha
I had a consultation with OE for lens replacement which I was quite excited about having done. After the consultation I got calls every day sometimes a number of times per day from a guy at head office asking me to go ahead with the pre op appointment and pay £500 deposit, at this point as he is denying he said I could cancel and get my deposit at any time. But anyway Derrick Burton at Glasgow head office promised I could cancel at anytime and would get a full refund, I've since read some of the bad comments on Trustpilot also unhappy with the customer service and misinformation such as not being told that at the practice I would have been going (Nottingham) they don't use a laser to make the incision which helps with the healing process but in fact use a scalpel with is more damaging to the eye and effects the outcome.

I rang to cancel the appointment after paying £500 and was told to wait and see the surgeon before making a decision and again being told I can cancel then if I wish. As I began to lose all confidence in OE I decided I didn't want to waste time and money going to see the surgeon Muhammad Ayaz Asghar who's method would be to cut my eyes with a blade. I rang OE again to cancel and asked for a refund.

I was called back by someone called Fiona McPhail who told me I couldn't get my deposit back and said it was only refundable if I cancelled within 7 days of booking. When I told her that I was constantly reassured by Derick Burton that I could at any time. Her reply was "YOU CANT PROVE THAT"!!!

I hope to hear from you
Clint Betts
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admin: I spoke with Clint this morning, who told me that Lynsey Shaw has emailed him to say his deposit will be refunded within 28 working days, but - as I've posted previously - Optical Express have no legal right to take a deposit prior to a customer seeing the surgeon, and Clint's money should have been refunded immediately.

The reason this company does its best to hang onto deposits is because they desperately need the interest they earn on the money waiting to be refunded to the lucky people who discovered OERML before risking ruining their healthy eyes!

I now advise people to issue an online money claim when OE refuse to refund your deposit. (Read posts from Elisabeth on 18 & 27 June, and Kavita on 20 May.)

Don't waste time arguing with OE, contact me for help :kiss:
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Update: Not suitable for surgery but witholding 27 Jun 2017 15:02 #38

  • Elisabeth Bickerton
  • Elisabeth Bickerton's Avatar
:blink: After advice from Sasha, on June 19th I initiated an Online Money Claim (I had already researched this so it was quite quick to do), asking for the full amount of my £6,590 payment, plus interest - set at my credit card rate, not the 8% standard set by the courts - and for every day from the date of payment, not their 'working days’, and the £410 Court fee. This was sent to my local Optical Express branch where I had paid, not Head Office.

On 22nd, I received a cheery email, just as though there had been no problem at all, from Linsey McNab saying that my refund had been initiated and would be with my within 3-5 working days, depending on the card provided.
I'm afraid she got a snippy reply telling her that I would not be rescinding the claim until ALL the money was in my account, including the interest and court fee.

That was actioned the same day and I am very happy to say that the full amount of £7,157.22 reached my accounts this morning. :silly: :lol: :silly: :lol:

Thank you so much Sasha, I do appreciate the help and advice you gave me.

Refunded! 23 Jun 2017 05:41 #39

  • Mark P
  • Mark P's Avatar
Hi all,
Well this morning i woke up to £500 paid back into my account, as promised within 3-5 working days (it was actually only 2 full days as i got the email late on 20th and deposit arrived at midnight on 22nd). cannot thank Sasha enough as i believe without her advice on this forum i would either not have received my deposit or had to go through months of threats and distress over this.

My advice to you is carefully read the posts on the forum, do what Sasha suggests and email Lynsey and do not let up until you know you get the answer you want, they do not need to call you back to get your card details as i have proved they already have them from initial payment so call multiple times a day if required but ensure you get your money, good luck everyone and thank you Sasha so much.

Refund promised! 20 Jun 2017 19:02 #40

  • Mark P
  • Mark P's Avatar
After reading Sasha's advice i emailed This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. last week on Friday 16th June with what amounted to a rant regarding their complete lack of respect for the customer, how no deposit should have been paid until i had seen a surgeon, and also that trading standards would be getting involved if i did not receive my deposit back. I received an out of office reply saying Lynsey was on holiday and would return today, 20th June.

At 10:30am this morning i received an email from Lynsey Shaw to say the cancellation was confirmed on 1st June and as directed in the T&C's the deposit would be paid within 28 working days. Lynsey then stated she had escalated this with the accounts dept who will contact me today to refund my deposit in full onto the card payment was paid from.

At 11:40am i received a very quick call from the accounts dept to say they did not need my card details as they had these from the Edinburgh store from when I paid the deposit and it would be refunded by end of today.

At 16:00 i received an email from Lynsay McNab at OE accounts to say the refund has been processed to my original card and the funds will leave optical express immediately and show in my account within 3-5 days depending on my card provider.

I will post again if/when funds go into my account, thank you Sasha for all your assistance.