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Deposit Refunds 07 Oct 2020 11:34 #11

  • StefW
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For the first time in 20 years, I put my contact lenses in this morning and shed a little tear. Yesterday was a sad day for me and today will be worse.

I had a rather unpleasant experience with Optical Express this past week. Having read this forum, read lots of papers and spoken to many people, I decided to go ahead with Lasik iDesign at £4400, paying a deposit of £500 for an appointment today at 4pm. I've taken supplements recommended in the papers I've read, I've been using eye drops since I booked the appointment and I've worn my glasses for 10 days, to give myself the best possible chance of a good recovery.

Last Thursday (24/9), I received a phone call from the Cardiff branch to say I had to pay in full pre-surgery. I explained that the pre-op phone appointment on the 21/9 I said I wanted to meet my surgeon first and it was agreed that that was appropriate for a number of reasons. Optical Express said my prescription hadn't changed in the past 3 years, it has, they also said that the surgeon on the day would have to decide if surgery went ahead as they couldn't confirm due to me wearing contact lenses prior to my initial appointment and I needed to be contact lense free for 7 days. The young lady from Cardiff was very rude, told me it was in the Ts&Cs that I had to pay 14 days in advance. I explained it wasn't and I hadn't signed any Ts&Cs. She said she would cancel my appointment if I didn't pay, I told her to go right ahead, she didn't.

I continued to receive 5 phone calls a day from Optical Express.

Yesterday, the manager contacted me by email to say I needed to pay in full or the appointment would be cancelled, he suggested this was in their conditions, but he could not point me to the condition in question. He then said he would rearrange my appointment if I didn't pay in full. I was quite clear that this would not encourage me to pay in full. On 3 occasions he asked if I was cancelling my appointment and I said I wasn't. Obviously we got no where and, without cancelling my appointment, I asked for a refund of my £500 deposit if he was indeed not going to go ahead with my appointment, which he said he would send to the 'relevant department' I have asked him to call me today at 4pm, when I will be free, to organise that refund over the phone. Should he not call, I will ask Mastercard to complete a chargeback for me due to the issues I am reading about on this forum. I am absolutely devastated.

Whilst I am not one to become over-excited in advance of an event, I have dreamt about opening my eyes in the morning and being able to see. My concern is obvious, if Optical Express can treat me like this before surgery with heavy handed sales tactics (I work in Sales, and I found these tactics unethical) and horrific customer service, how will they treat me after if I need help? I will now take my business to the Moorfield, once Cardiff is out of lock down.

I wish you all the best of luck with getting your deposits return. And I hope the case in the High Courts will help you all to get some closure. I am sad today, but not as sad as I would have been if I needed their help post surgery.
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admin: 'I have dreamt about opening my eyes in the morning and being able to see.'

With respect Stef, you CAN see - far better than many thousands of people who have had their eyes ruined by refractive surgery, and not only at OE!

My Beautiful Eyes Foundation represents many clients who've been irreparably damaged by surgeons at Moorfields Private, and elsewhere.

No matter where you have it, refractive eye surgery is NOT SAFE!

And your comment about taking supplements suggests you may already suffer with dry eyes: an absolute contraindicator for laser (though Julian Stevens at Moorfields is usually happy to ignore this, as some of his unhappy patients have previously posted on this forum).

Please do some more research before risking irreversible damage to your eyes, then unable to wear CLs due to possible corneal neuropathy (nerve damage), with specs your only option
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Deposit Refunds 31 Aug 2020 09:38 #12

  • Jud99
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Just got the letter saying the remaining £150 had been put back onto my husbands credit card.
As I'm in Scotland, MCOL doesn't apply, so Sasha advised that as OE is not legally entitled to keep any of the deposit, I should claim the money back via my credit card provider, which in my case is RBS.

Their phone number for retail disputes is: 0800 904 7015. After you phone them, they will email you a letter detailing what info they need from you to dispute the transaction.
You can email them back with the attachments.

The whole process was very straightforward and took about a fortnight.

Big thanks to Sasha for all her help!

No contact from Optical Express 15 Aug 2020 13:10 #13

  • Liew
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Although my deposit refund is delayed a week 'only' (not as long as most victims), I feel panic after reading the topics!
I booked the eye laser surgery and paid the deposit by credit card under the pressure after doing the eye test at the end of June. I have cancelled the appointment the day after by email, and received a call back said the deposit would be paid back in 28 working days. However I receive nothing so far. I emailed the customer care and called to them in this Wed, they told me 'related department' will contact me in 48h, but no one called me. So I tried emailing my consultant of the eye test, but the email is bounced back. I have no idea what's going on, and I need to go back to my country in two months. Could you please help me?
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OE do not refund deposit since 20th March! 27 Jul 2020 18:24 #14

  • lera669
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This is just to add that OE did contact me regarding the deposit refund BUT wanted to refund only £350 of the £500. I told them I did not sign any terms and condition and was not obliged to forfeit £150 out of my deposit...

They promised to check it but have not got back to me for nearly one and half month so far... it is very frustrating and I think I have to take legal action...



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I want my money back 22 Jul 2020 20:21 #15

  • alicekatedaisy
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So I hope I’m in the right place! I’m looking to go for a refund from Optical Express. After having LASIK surgery 9 months ago my vision has deteriorated and I’m struggling with headaches and general bad vision. When I mentioned this during an aftercare appointment quite soon after my surgery, I was told not to worry as it would settle down and my vision would become 20:20. I trusted the optician as after all, they are the experts aren’t they?!
It hasn’t settled, it’s got worse. I’ve tried to get in contact with them since February to discuss this matter and I’ve had no luck. I asked if my “aftercare period” would be extended due to lockdown and was told no, which in my opinion is disgusting! (The company really must be in trouble??)

My surgery was on 17th October 2019 in Cambridge with Dr Dipak Parmar. The Cambridge branch in particular have been shocking right from the beginning and quite frankly I wish I’d never bothered.
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Deposit Refunds 11 Jul 2020 07:28 #16

  • Anonymous
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UPDATE:

I’m relieved to say that my money was refunded from optical express earlier this week, following many months of contacting them regarding the matter. I’ve spoken to several customer service agents and Allan McEwan. The most recent one resulted in a a phone call (on a very broken phone line!) from Scotland confirming that it would be paid back within 8-10 days. At least that’s what I gathered from the call, again it was really hard to hear over the line. Anyhow, they seem to have repaid me on the same day as I got the phone call, 9 July 2020. A good 4 months after my initial consultation.

Many thanks to you Sasha for all your help!

Update - Optical Express owe me £7490! 09 Jul 2020 16:30 #17

  • Eric
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13 May 2020 20:13 Eric wrote: I am awaiting a refund from Optical Express for £7490 which is a lot of money. This refund is what I paid for Lens exchange surgery that was scheduled for 11th March 2020 which they cancelled on the day of the of the scheduled surgery as I have health issues that they knew about when they took my money!
I was already at Optical Express Bridgewater Wellness Clinic in Manchester when they cancelled this surgery. I did not even see the surgeon on the day of the expected surgery, who was Dr Pedro Muel-Gonzalez.
I was told that I had to pay a deposit which was for £500 which I paid on 31st January. I was also told I had to pay for the surgery in full before the scheduled date and I paid £6.990 on 28th February.
I have repeatedly telephoned and e-mailed Optical Express to no avail requesting a refund. I am aware they have given refunds to other customers but they still refuse to acknowledge when they will give me my refund.
I have advised them I am a vulnerable pensioner and I am experiencing hardship during the present Covid restrictions but they are still declining to pay back the refund due to me.


5 July:
I paid Optical Express by DEBIT Card and i have been distressed and anxious as I was unsure how protected my money was because I realise that paying by CREDIT Card is a much safer way of paying for goods and services as you have more of a redress/chance of getting your money back. However, as a last resort I contacted my bank to appeal to them for assistance to obtain a refund from Optical Express. I am pleased to be able to say that HSBC took up this dispute with Optical Express on my behalf and managed to retrieve all the monies owing to me.
I despair at the possible outcome of this situation without the intervention of HSBC. I would advise anyone who is awaiting a refund from Optical Express to contact their own bank and ask them to become involved in the dispute on their behalf.
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admin: It should be noted that in cases like this the bank essentially loans you the money whilst they try to get it back from the company, but if unsuccessful you will have to repay the bank :kiss:

Opitical Express Not to be trusted in my opinion 30 Jun 2020 04:35 #18

  • Rebecca
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I am also waiting for my £500 deposit back..
Opitcal Empress’s head office told me the finance department was shut due to Covid and I could not have my my refund until it opened, which should be 1st July. Well that’s a lie, if you got refunded in a June. This company seems to say what ever they can to get your money.
I cancelled my lens replacement surgery due to being told conflicting advice my different members if their staff. Optical Express feels me with dread and cannot be trusted. I am so glad I made the right decision to cancel with them.

Deposit Refunds 19 Jun 2020 15:59 #19

  • Jor
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I just wanted to share my experience with OE, as I'm worried I'm facing a very similar situation.

I'm a young woman who has been wanting laser eye surgery since I first heard about it many years ago. I'm now finally at a place where I can realistically afford it (although I'm not in the best financial situation right now thanks to the current state of things), and whilst I had heard one or two whispers about OE before booking, I didn't think anything much of it and booked in for my free consultation a few weeks ago.

Yesterday I went for that consultation at the Harley Street clinic, and in hindsight I'm finding it a little hard to believe what they tried to pull on me. I arrived ahead of time and was still seen a good 20-30 minutes late, meaning I was feeling a little rushed to get it over with.They did the usual diagnostic tests and judging from the iScan report they sent me afterwards and what Specsavers gave my prescription as a year ago, they clearly thought my uncorrected eyesight is better than it is. And I may have misunderstood (it was a bit of a blur after all), but one lady seemed to imply my uncorrected vision is near to 20/20? Patently false, and their own (albeit, incorrect) reports show that to be the case.

I'm usually fairly confident and calm in medical consultations* but I was left feeling like a young naive child. They seemed to want to book me in asap (which I wasn't keen on and I tried to slow them down a little), and despite the fact that my prescription is -3 and -2 with a little astigmatism, I was a bit shocked when their idesign quote came to £3951 WITH a 10% NHS discount (that they told me was likely going to be scrapped soon and just mentioned on the spot. Nor did they seem to mind that I didn't have my NHS ID with me). I know most competitors seem to quote around £3500 for their wavefront options. It still would've been £3451 with a discount for standard LASIK.

As an aside, early on I asked them if they'd noticed much of an increase in custom due to it being 2020. My technician Reiza mentioned how actually they've had a big hit from the pandemic. It wasn't so much what he said but the way he said it that took me by surprise there, and I did wonder if maybe this rush in the clinic that I was witnessing was in response to that.

Still, I gave in to their pressures and proceeded. What really shook me though was when they sprung a credit check on me without warning, and certainly without any warning that that would affect my credit score. Thankfully I was already aware of that, but it seemed a little worrying that they didn't mention it, even when I expressed how uneasy I was about the check. He just kept reassuring me "I'm sure it'll be fine", "I'm sure there won't be any issue".

The technician filled in the info. I explained that the address the bank account is registered to and is on my driver's license is different to the one I'm on the electoral roll for. Still, he filled it out and submitted it, left the room for around 5-10 minutes, and then came back and told me that the credit check was declined. I still don't know why and I'm rather shocked as I have a good credit score. I was given no clue, and Hitachi don't seem to give the reason away unless you contact them directly. While I was left reeling from that and trying to figure out why, STILL OE pushed forward and took my deposit of £600 and booked me in for everything. The finance options I were given after that were a) a guarantor b) they could run it by a more "lenient" credit company or c) I pay it all upfront. Thankfully I said I would go away and have a think about it. He said that ideally they needed to know how I was going to finance it by the time of the surgeon’s consultation phone call on Sunday. I asked if the deposit needed to be done today and he continued by telling me that I needed to do it to confirm my place and so I can speak to the surgeon (Niraj Mandal - someone I never met during the whole appointment, and whose name I can't even remember being mentioned. I only found out the name of my surgeon once I got home and looked at my info pack).

All in all, I feel like OE are almost trying to pull a fast one on me. I'm going to cancel everything and ask for my deposit back as I'm still within the 3 day cooling off period he mentioned
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NB: *Not a medical consultation as there were no medically qualified people present.
It was a high pressure sales pitch - for which the ‘technician’ and optom earn target based commissions.

OE owe me £6471 17 Jun 2020 15:30 #20

  • John Mc
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I was due to have a Multifocal Natural Lens Replacement on Saturday 21st March 2020.

On the 20th March I spoke with Patient Advisor Laura Halliday at Optical Express Newcastle Branch to cancel my operation as I have underlying health issues and because of Coronavirus, I had spoken with my Consultant at my local hospital who advised me to cancel this operation. I gave all this information to Laura, and we decided that I would be refunded £6471.00 minus £800, as I still wanted this operation when timing was correct and safe to do so. Laura advised that the money would be paid back into my account within 28 days.

I had been booked in for surgery with Dr Sandro Di Simplicio at the Newcastle branch and the same day I cancelled my operation I received a telephone call to say that I could come in earlier for my operation on the 21st. I explained that I had cancelled this due to health risks and was awaiting refund. I thought no more about this until the next 28 days when no refund had been returned. So I have emailed them several times since and been sent standard email explaining that due to covid-19 they are unable to do this. By this time I have had enough so I emailed Stephen Hannen on 13th June who replied stating that someone would contact me beginning of this week but nobody has!



I have now read lots of the stories and reviews from patients who have had serious problems after surgery at Optical Express and I will no longer be requiring their services. I emailed Stephen yesterday telling him that I want all money returned by Friday 19th June or I would start Court Action. I have had no reply. I just want all my money refunded, this Company is an absolute shambles……..CAN YOU HELP ME

John Antony McGuigan.

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