TOPIC: Deposit refunds
Trying to get my £500 deposit back. 23 Feb 2019 09:08 #11
After reading a bit more information on the practices of Optical Express and the surgeon assigned to my surgery I decided that there was enough evidence to convince me not to go ahead with surgery.
I phoned the Bristol branch to cancel and was told that the cancellation team would be in touch. They phoned at at time in the morning which wasn't convenient so I asked them to call back at 1pm - They phoned me at 5pm - again I couldn't answer.
After this I took the initiative to call them however I was put through to a standard call centre employee, when asked to be put through to the cancellations team (the girl that left me her name) I was told that it was not possible to do that because the girl was off sick, when asked if I could speak to someone else, this was also refused.
So now with the help of Sasha I have put in a MCOL against OE to recover my £500 deposit plus court fees, this has been submitted and I am currently awaiting the outcome and a reply from Optical Express. I will update once received.
admin: Unfortunately, even after asking him three times, Ben Sandford is apparently too busy to update his post with the news that his deposit was refunded as a result of my help
£1,000 Deposit 23 Jan 2019 10:04 #12
Stumbled across this forum when looking for OE cancellation terms!
I attended a free laser eye test check Friday 18th Jan and all was well,everyone is familiar with the process,I was then asked about booking a date price total £5590 although I’m an angry looking bearded man lol so the sales team didn’t pressure me when I said I’ll go away and make my decision when I can at least read .
I received a courtesy call Mon 21st and they dropped 10% so I went ahead with £1000 deposit.
Read the pre op terms agreement this morning Wed 23rd and decided there is to many negative risks involved and called to cancel.
Phones up head office,was told they have took note of my cancellation and i will receive a callback within 2 days from the cancellations team.
After reading this i don’t look forward to the process.
P.s can I not get a reversal from my bank?
admin: Contact your bank and ask them, or email me for advice:
Please come back and update your post when you have your refund, as it helps others who find themselves in the same position
A rollercoaster I wish I never jumped on! 14 Dec 2018 16:34 #13
27th Oct 2018
I attended my free laser consultation in Hull.
For the past 7 years I have been contemplating laser eye surgery with OE and visited them on many occasions to get my free laser eye consultation. Each time I went they told me I was suitable for laser but never really went ahead with it until this year.
I was given an initial price of £4390 for both eyes, LASEK iDesign. But was told I got an “on the day” discount of £300 which took the price to £4090. I haggled further and got this to £4000 after she called her regional manager. Don’t be fooled by their “on the day” discount as they appear to offer this regardless. To be honest I think they make their prices up on the spot as there seems to be no formula for their calculation. It’s funny because over the 7 years I attended I was given discounts of xx% off and sometimes up to £500 off.
I didn’t decide on the day and I came away to think about it. £4000 was a lot of money and was not something I could afford. The “buy now start finance in March” seemed very appealing so I approached family who offered to help me get a large deposit together.
2nd Nov 2018
I paid £3000 deposit and confirmed a surgery date of 16th Nov 2018 at Leeds. I also opted to have a telephone consultation with Dr Muhammad Kazmi (who was my consultant of choice) for 6th Nov 2018. I had spent a lot of time comparing OE surgeons and found that patient satisfaction/surgery number was high for Dr Kazmi. I also set up my £1000 finance agreement to start in March.
With my surgery date booked in I decided to purchase my travel and hotel to Leeds. I had a follow up appointment the day after so made sense to stay over at a cost of £76.85 non-refundable.
6th Nov 2018
Had a call from OE customer service telling me I couldn’t have a telephone consultation and that the surgeon requested to see me. My surgery date of 16th Nov 2018 now became my face to face consultation with Dr Kazmi and my surgery date was pushed to 14th Dec 2018. I emailed OE customer service to express my anger and they advised me I would be refunded for my lost funds in travel and accom once my surgery had been performed.
16th Nov 2018
Had extra tests at Leeds branch and spoke with the surgeon. He told me in no uncertain terms that I was not a suitable candidate for LASEK and that he advised against it. I was told having the surgery would probably result in me needing a follow up surgery and would weaken my eye muscle and could potentially create another eye condition. I was also told he could not guarantee the 20|20 vision nor could he assure me my eye sight would be better than what I can see through my glasses. He also added my cornea was thin and the back of my eye wasn’t a perfect shape and he’d have to calculate aka guestimate where to perform the laser.
I decided not to have the surgery in which Dr Kazmi said I was “making the right choice”. When asked about my refund he told me he would contact head office and they’d be in touch.
Before I came to OE I had already come across the OERML forum and saw all the horror stories including how bad OE are for refunding. I thought “this wont happen to me” – Oh how wrong I was. I knew instantly from cancelling my surgery that this was going to be a battle getting my money back. The thought of OE hanging on to my money for “up to 28 days” didn’t sit right with me. After reading through the deposit thread on OERML I knew that my refund wouldn’t be a simple process and I was not willing to wait 28 days to then have to battle for it.
18th Nov 2018
I emailed Sasha that evening for advice.
19th Nov 2018
Had a phone call with Sasha to go through my options and expectations. Sasha also made me aware that Dr Muhammad Kazmi was currently being sued – something which I was not aware of.
On the advice of Sasha, I emailed OE to advise them of my recent visit to the surgery and that I wanted a full refund including the money for accom and travel they said they’d give me. I asked that OE called me by the end of the day to process the refund – OE never responded.
21st Nov 2018
Submitted a MCOL against OE for the amount of £3076.85. This was for the deposit, claim fee, interest, accom and travel. They now had until 11th Dec 2018 to respond.
Coincidentally the same night I had a voicemail from Chris Cunningham from OE wanting to discuss my surgery etc. Nothing about a refund. Chris tried again a few days later but I ignored them on the advice of Sasha.
4th Dec 2018
I’ve had no contact from OE thus far and nothing from my MCOL. I emailed a copy of the MCOL to Stephen Hannan and requested a read receipt.
9th Dec 2018
Received a read receipt from Stephen Hannan
10th Dec 2018
OE requested an extra 14 days to review my MCOL putting the new deadline date at 27th Dec 2018.
12th Dec 2018
Received an email from Niamh Mceachen (Accredited Paralegal | Legal Department) from OE stating she acknowledges receipt of the email I sent to Stephen and my MCOL request. She then advise they’ve reviewed my case and have confirmed that a refund of 100% of my claim will be processed by the end of the day and I would be notified. That’s right.. They’re paying me back for everything including interest.
13th Dec 2018
Didn’t hear anything from OE and have not yet received my refund. Responded to Niamh to let her know but have not had a reply.
14th Dec 2018
Started losing my patience with OE poor customer service so I sent Niamh another follow up. She replied hours after stated I had been sent a text on Wednesday previous to confirm receipt of refund (Which I have not had). She also said her latest email contained receipt of refund (which it did not). I responded to Niamh to advise. She quickly responded with a copy of the receipt from their card machine which stated the refund has been processed of £3286.80.
4pm: Received the full amount in to my bank.
A side note for anyone who comes across this and are contemplating getting laser eye surgery. Ask yourself – how clear can you see with your glasses? If the answer is “pretty darn good!” then I urge you not to get laser. The risks are not worth it and you have no guarantee you will be better off with it. I wanted laser for so many years because I just did not want to wear glasses. Yes! They’re annoying. They steam up, they fall off, they break. But, after my journey with OE, I’m so grateful I can see so clear through them.
I’m also grateful for Dr Muhammad Kazmi who was brutally honest with me and said not to get it done. I was massively disappointed and was a little sad. But, I’m glad that door is now closed forever. If you actually read through OE terms and conditions and paperwork they hand you, you’ll see how much they don’t cover for and the limited 12 month aftercare is a little concerning. They also say they charge £150 fee if you cancel the surgery. Luckily in my case I got all my money back.
I’d also like to thank this forum and Sasha for being a big help and for reassuring me when it felt like a never ending “David and the Goliath” moment. Thank for you giving your time up to help people like me!
OE won't give back my £6,390! 23 Nov 2018 10:07 #14
I am SO sorry for the delayed response - my fiancee has been really poorly over the last couple of weeks.
As Sasha said we now have payment in FULL from OE which we received on 26th October - bizarrely after OE said they were going to defend the claim!
It's clear OE have no idea what's going on internally but the upshot of it all is we were refunded in full including the court cost.
Many thanks to Sasha for helping us get this back!
OE won't give back my £6,390! 15 Oct 2018 11:35 #15
I attended a free consultation on 29 May 2018 for eye surgery @ Optical Express Brighton store. The optometrist told me I was suitable for refractive lens exchange (RLE) and booked my surgery dates on 28/29 September, even though I had not met with the surgeon.
I paid £500 deposit via phone on 30 July plus the balance remaining of £5,890 on 13 September - still not met the surgeon at this point.
The surgeon Dr Amir Mani called on 19 September for a phone consultation and told me I was NOT suitable for RLE!!!
Between 20-24 September I called numerous times to ask for payment to be refunded. A guy called Chris Cunningham eventually called and said it would take 28 working days.
By 27 September I still had no written confirmation of my refund and wasn't prepared to wait fo my money back so submitted an MCOL.
OE have now filed an 'acknowledgement of service' but still haven't written to say they're giving my money back!!
I have taken legal advice and been assured that OE are not entitled to keep my money for 28 working days - not even for one day! They took my deposit without me signing anything, told me I had to pay the £500 deposit to secure the surgery and that the balance had to be paid 7 days before the surgery date. Unfortunately, just wanting to get it out of the way, my partner paid the balance by phone, before Dr Amir Mani called me!
This is totally scandalous!
My partner and I have just got engaged so we need all the money we can get at the moment - the fact that OE are illegally holding our £6,390 is just unreal!
admin: I have begged Clare to update this post, but she hasn't found time to do so
For some bizarre reason, in response to her MCOL, on 19 October Clare receved notification that OE intended to defend her claim!
Signed by Rebecca O'Hear, I expect OE's Trainee Solicitor got a smacked hand for her ridiculous action!
The good news is, OE paid £6,800 into Clare Nye 's bank a/c on 1 November without further argument!
Refund 01 Oct 2018 16:06 #16
Hi, I have the same problem with everyone else had a free consultation at Newcastle St Nicholas on September 26th had to pay £500 to prebook the Surgery date for 26th October at 12-45 but could not get the time off work so rang the number that must be the main office in Scotland and cancelled my surgery to be told they would sort it and the refund department would be in contact with me today Monday but still awaiting the phone call at 5pm and my request for email confirmation that my surgery cancellation and refund is being processed are being ignored. How long should i wait before i take things further and get my deposit funded fast
Refund problems 07 Jun 2018 17:35 #17
I requested a refund from OPTICAL EXPRESS on Friday 25th May for my £500 deposit. I only paid this because I was told it was compulsory if I wanted to book a pre op consultation with the surgeon - BY PHONE - also I had to book a definite date for surgery at the same time to receive the surgeon's call!
This seemed really bad practice for a surgical procedure and worried me, but when I asked for a face to face consultation I was told there were no appointments available before the date of my surgery.
Subsequently I discovered it takes 28 WORKING DAYS to refund payment, which I was NOT made aware of during telephone conversation & taking my bank details.
I pointed out in every call I had not decided to definitely go ahead with surgery & they said speak to surgeon first then I could cancel within 48hrs & get refund if I wasn't happy. I spoke to surgeon DR DAVID TEENAN and even told him I wasn't sure about going ahead because I had been messed around by OE with lots of admin mistakes had been made & I had just discovered that morning I hadn't been given all the documents I was supposed to have been given on my 1st visit for eye tests etc & had been so stressed & reduced to tears by so called customer care advisor that very morning when I tried to cancel everything but was persuaded to wait till I spoke to him,
I told him the admin & customer service from OPTICAL EXPRESS was appalling & he said quote "tell me about it”! I also told him I hadn't been aware I should have been given a pre op letter for my doctor to sign which was required to confirm my health before operation & as my surgery date was so close & it being a bank holiday weekend I doubted if I would get my doctors signature in time for the surgery. DR DAVID TEENAN said not to worry quote "if you turn up without it on the day I will STILL DO THE SURGERY",
My husband and I were horrified about his statement so less than an hour after speaking to DR TEENAN I phoned to cancel. Luckily I recorded the calls I made and received. OE agreed I was within cooling off period but said they couldn't organise refund right then as it was a cancellation dept that deals with it & that dept would contact me within 48hrs. Alarm bells started to ring so I asked for my cancellation request to be noted on my file for that day so it would happen from that date & as quickly as possible as was told ridiculously it took 28 WORKING days FIRST I HAD HEARD!
I pointed out I was going away for weekend to Scottish Highlands so possibly wouldn't get calls or emails & felt they were dragging it out & when I got back that weekend sure enough 1hr before their 48 hrs were up I noticed they had tried to call. So I called the next day & eventually managed to speak to someone from cancellation team who said I was definitely due refund but they STILL tried to talk me out of cancelling, but I insisted. They agreed to cancel but said they couldn't sanction it so I would now have to wait again to be contacted by someone who could.
I asked them to send me an email confirming the discussion & dates & what was to happen next, but I haven't heard anything as yet 13 days later. I cancelled on the 25th May & my 28 working days would take me to approx 2nd of July but now I have found out about their track record on refunds I have the feeling like others I am going to have a fight on my hands to get it back and why should I have to wait for MY MONEY? Is this even legal to keep it that length of time, especially as there was no refund times given or anything ever signed by me. I am prepared to fight & do whatever it takes to get my deposit back asap & will be sharing my experience with this disgusting company on social media.
Thank goodness I found this website & so relieved I didn't let this lot loose on my eyes.
admin: This needs to be reported to the GMC and GOC. Please contact me for details
Money Claim Online (MCOL) 27 Mar 2018 19:53 #18
Sasha helped me to get my £500 deposit back after Optical Express failed to inform me about the 'cooling off' period and failed to reply to my email when I asked for a refund.
Sasha supported me in submitting an MCOL. The day after the MCOL was issued, I had a call and email from OE asking to talk about my booking and answer any questions regarding money or surgery.
After I didn't respond, following Sasha's advice, I eventually received an email telling me that the refund had been processed.
Shortly afterwards, my deposit plus the £35 court fee was refunded to my account.
Decided Against Surgery! 22 Mar 2018 17:59 #19
I'll keep it short. I cancelled my surgery and I am struggling to get my deposit back.
It's not only frustrating, but massively disrespectful. The whole process brought me to tears, as I am feeling that this company is having a laugh at me.
The 28 WORKING days expired and all I am being told is that this will be processed tomorrow and it never happens! I want to complain or sue them. Any advice?
Below their unbelievable emails!
Earlier I wrote them again saying: Still nothing and it's soon close of business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Answer: out of the office
Thank you for your email.
I apologise profusely that your refund was not processed yesterday, I have spoken with our refund team this morning who have confirmed that your refund will be processed by close of business.
I understand how frustrated you must be and I apologise sincerely for any upset this has caused.
You will receive an email from our refund team by close of business today to confirm your refund has been processed.
Customer Services Associate I Customer Care Department
Tel: 01236 795010 Ext. 5558
Sent: 20 March 2018 08:25
To: Debbie Hamilton
Subject: Re: Urgent C
Good Morning Debbie,
I have been patiently waiting for my money back, but today is the 20th March, i.e. 40 days since I paid the deposit.
Your company is having a laugh at me and I find it massively disrespectful and deceiving. Are you waiting till the last minute of tomorrow's to make my refund???
Optical express should be ashamed, this is not the way to treat your customers!!
I want my money back!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe I need to go though this to get what rightfully is mine!!!
Good Morning Cristina
Thank you for your email regarding your refund.
On contacting our refund team they have advised that your refund will be processed by close of business tomorrow. A member of our refund team will be in touch with you tomorrow to confirm when it has been processed.
I understand your frustrations and apologise profusely for any upset or inconvenience this may be causing.
Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.
Customer Services Associate I Customer Care Department
Tel: 01236 795010 Ext. 5558
Sent: 21 March 2018 18:49
To: Debbie Hamilton
Subject: Re: Urgent C
This is outrageous. Still don't have my money back.
As today is the deadline for the payment, this means you would be in breach of contract if I don't get my money back today.
I will seek legal advice tomorrow morning first thing and complain to the relevant authorities.
This company put me through a terrible distress and I find this behaviour hugely disrespectful. Your company should be ashamed!
Laser Eye Surgery 17 Mar 2018 14:21 #20
Laser eye surgery has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember as I`ve been wearing my glasses since I was 9 and the idea of waking up in the morning and being able to see straight away without help of glasses or contact lenses sounded amazing.
So I was over the moon when my girlfriend messaged me while I was at work telling me that she`s been looking into Laser Eye surgery and had booked me in for a consultation @ Leeds Whiterose Centre branch of Optical Express. I was excited but scared and nervous at the same time. And the price was great too. Starting from £595 per eye, how could I ever go wrong with that?
My appointment was on Saturday 24 February 2018 @ 3:50pm. We turned up 10 minutes early to be told that we need to wander around for a bit and will get seen at the time I was booked in for. We came back at the right time and were told to take a seat. The staff had a really bad attitude and I hadn`t been made to feel as unwelcomed for a very long time. Half an hour later a timid shy guy was sent over by his colleague, who kept looking in our direction, sniggering and making comments to another member of staff, to tell me that there will be half an hour wait! After the half an hour that we had already waited for.
After long delays I was seen @ 4:50pm by a consultant called Mark, who seemed like a very nice guy. We told him how we were made to feel by his colleagues and he told us not to worry about them, as he`s dealing with us now. He examined my eyes and told me everything looked fine and I would be ok to qualify for a Laser Eye Surgery.He even assured me in regards to my astigmatism and dryness of my eyes.
Then it was my turn to be seen by an optometrist who did further tests on my eyes, applied dilating drops and prodded my eyes with something that looked like a miniature microphone. While still in his office, I was made to watch a video in re to Laser Eye Surgery and read and agree to some terms in the smallest writing ever below the video. Clever tactic really to make you read and agree to things while you can`t see anything. He then confirmed that I`m good to go ahead with surgery but it would ultimately come down to the surgeon, as he gets the last say whether HE thinks I`m fit for the surgery.
Now it felt real, this is happening, I will finally get my eyes fixed! I`ve been waiting for this for so long, I just needed a little encouragement to go ahead with it.
It was time to speak to Mark again in regards to prices and dates. The price he told me was £3890!!! I nearly fell off the chair. How could this be when it`s advertised as "starting from £595 per eye"? I told him that I would have to leave it as I couldn`t afford that! I have to give him his due - he`s an amazing sales person and knows exactly what to do/say to win his customers over. He then said that he will have a word with his Regional Manager and see if he can get the price reduced. 5 phone calls later the price was dropping from £3890 to £3395 , then £2995, then £2895, then £2845 followed by the final price of £2723, which still was steep, but worth every penny if it meant I would get perfect eyes. He said that I could be booked in as early as 1 March if I paid £500 deposit there and then.
I told him that the price is still a lot more than what I was willing to pay and I would have to go away and think about it. He then advised that this price is only valid if the deal is done on the day. I told him I can`t make a decision there and then, so he told me not to worry about it, as he would be able to honour the price if I came back another day with my deposit. But how could I agree to anything if I didn`t even know, if I could afford it? So we looked into finance options and to my surprise I passed the checks and was able to apply for the finance if I wanted to. Still, this was a lot of money and I had to think about it, so we thanked Mark, told him we will be back soon and left the store.
Walking through the shopping mall, talking to my girlfriend about this, we came to an agreement that I should go ahead with it. I have nothing to lose and she'd help me with payments if I ever get stuck. Oh My God!!! This is happening!!! We are going back to the store to sign me up for the Laser Eye Surgery! The surgery that I have always wanted. Is this a dream?
There I was, back in the store to select the date for my surgery and pay my £500 deposit.
I Now it was time to select the date. Mark advised that 1 March is available an that he will book me in with Dr Erik De Koning, who is an amazing surgeon and who would call me on 27 February to discuss my surgery. It did seem weird, that a surgeon would call me instead of seeing me in person, but I thought these people do this on daily basis, so they know what they`re doing.. I know.. Silly me.. I told Mark that I would have to check with my boss, as it was a very short notice and I wasn`t too sure that such an early date would be suitable. He assured me that that wouldn`t be a problem at all and I can call back to change the date, if my boss wouldn`t give me time off.
Sure enough, after speaking to my boss on Monday 26 February, I had to call back to change the date as the notice was far too short for my boss.. I was devastated, as I had already been preparing myself mentally for this surgery and now I had to postpone it and go through the emotional roller coaster all over again at a later date. But it`s ok, as Mark assured me that I can change the date, so I made a call. Mark was very understanding and helped me to rearrange my surgery for 29 March, without it affecting my deposit or finance. This time it was with Dr Waseem Aziz, who Mark told me was even more experienced than Dr Erik De Koning.
I`ve worked myself up for no reason, everything is fine, I`m still having my surgery, just a bit later on and my boss is happy with the date. Win win situation.
The next day 27 February Mark called me back to advise that he`s been told by someone in a higher position than himself that they wouldn`t be able to honour the same price and the discount would reduce from 30% to 20% increasing the price from £2723 to £3090. A £367 increase just for changing the date? That can`t be right. I was going ahead with surgery based on the price and at the time was assured that this would be honoured even if I changed the date. I had three options - either go ahead with the original date for the original price, change the date and pay the increase in price, or cancel. No, this is not happening. Trust this to happen to me..
So I called the store to speak to the manager, to tell them that I wasn`t happy with the service I`ve received and to see if there was any way around. I was told I would get a call back from the manager, Ryan.
Alarm bells were ringing. Something doesn`t seem right, so in the meantime we were researching the deposit policy for Optical Express just in case I couldn`t go ahead with the newly arranged surgery for the same price - and the things we found. WOW!!! There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to cancel my surgery and wanted to have nothing to do with this company! EVER!!!
I read that if I go ahead with this I will either be told by a surgeon that I`m not fit to have the surgery or if I do have the surgery I will more than likely be left with damaged eyes.
Ryan never called, however I got a call from his "colleague" Nyree Pickering who told me Ryan was busy (her name is on my deposit receipt as a manager). I told her I wanted to cancel and she told me that I need to do it verbally, as there is no e-mail address that I could send my cancellation to. She said she would pass the message on to Mark or Ryan who then would have to apply for a cancellation on my behalf on their system.
This wasn`t good enough for me, so I found an email address for customer services online and emailed my cancellation through. I also sent a cancellation letter to Head Office. I have attempted to cancel three different ways, so surely this should be sufficient now.
I didn`t know what else to do. So I went on the newly found website OERML and was shocked by the stories I read. It wan`t just me who had been screwed over. This is a very normal practice for Optical Express and they do it to EVERYBODY!!!! I felt loads better when I knew that something can be done about this, so I contacted OERML and got a call from Sasha later on that day, who told me that everything will be alright. I had hope.
After coming home that day I had received a letter from OE confirming the date of my surgery. My surgery was with Dr Erik De Koning even though I changed it to Dr Waseem Aziz and my surgery date was 14 April!! I don`t know where this date came from as it was originally booked for 1 March and I changed it to 29 March. The best part though was that my surgery was confirmed in NEWCASTLE. On both dates I was advised that the surgery would take place in LEEDS.
I received a call from Cancellation Department on 5 March and another call from Refunds Department on 7 March. I ignored both of them, as I was advised by Sasha to keep all communication in writing.
On 13 March I checked my bank and sure enough £535 had been deposited into my account the day before. It is over and I never have to have anything to do with this company ever again.
So I wanted to say a huge, massive, gigantic THANK YOU to Sasha. She`s been absolutely amazing through this and has helped me every step of the way and thanks to Sasha I got my money back.
I know I am extremely lucky for getting out of this in time and not going through with my surgery. Things could`ve been a lot worse and for many people they are, that`s why I`ll forever be grateful for the way that things worked out. I`m a very strong believer of everything happening for a reason.
Once again Sasha, thank you so so so much.. I could never express as to how very grateful I am. xxx
So here`s my story guys, I am sharing it to raise awareness of how terrible this company is. Thankfully I got my money back and I wouldn`t want anyone else to lose their money or even worse - eyesight. Please do your research before making such a massive decision, because I know for a fact that I will be researching like an FBI agent if I decide that I`m finally ready to go ahead with my Laser Eye surgery..