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Missold procedures! 13 Oct 2014 16:33 #361

  • Col Free
  • Col Free's Avatar
Age 65 in December, I'm longsighted & need different glasses for distance and close work, so I finally decided to have laser eye surgery with OE. I attended a 2 hour consultation at Brighton and was advised I would need LASIK on one eye & LASEK on the other and assured my vision would be 20/20 for life .

I paid £400 deposit. Procedure was due to take place on 19 September @ Southampton West Quay, at 11.15am. Arrived promptly and waited 45 minutes before being seen by a surgeon, only for him to tell me it was most probable I would need reading glasses within 3 - 5 years if I underwent this treatment, and that the correct treatment for me would be lens replacement!

My wife and I listened to what he had to say and decided that this may be the best way forward, although more expensive. I paid a further £600 and received a call a few days later asking me to attend OE clinic in Bristol or London for a further consultation with another surgeon. (I live in West Sussex)

I spent approx 3 hours @ Harley Street and returned home feeling unsettled by the incorrect advice I was originally given to have laser treatment.

I have fairly recently undergone four years of varying cancer treatments and have been in remission for one year, so I was feeling uneasy regarding the whole handing and procedures that OE offer.

After a restless couple of nights I decided to cancel the treatment as the poor diagnosis and recommendation left me in doubt of their professionalism and competence. I rang them and eventually someone from the cancellation team returned my call. Very friendly and very apologetic, the woman stated that another person would contact me after referring my 'case' to the Clinical Services dept.

They did ring, and informed me that a decision had been made that the deposit was not refundable!!!
I obviously refuted this as I was not given the correct advice at my first consultation.

I have also now discovered that Laser surgery should not have been offered to someone of my age.

What should I do now??
Many thanks

Optometrist's RLE negligence! 13 Oct 2014 14:36 #362

  • Shaun Egan
  • Shaun Egan's Avatar
I am aged 50 and do not have cataracts.

I went to Optical Express at Sheffield Meadowhall Shopping Centre for information about RLE surgery in September.

The optometrist examined my eyes and told me that I was definitely suitable. I paid £3,500 after being given a discount.

I went to Bridgewater Hospital on the 1st October for the first operation and was actually outside the operating theatre - pen mark on left eye - when the surgeon (Dr Andre Oberholster) took a quick look at my eyes and said he was not happy to proceed because he saw a scar and wanted a second opinion before he’d go ahead.

He referred me to an independent specialist (Mr Michael Lavin) and told me this would cost £210 which they would refund if he said I was suitable for surgery. I saw Mr Lavin on the 3rd October and he told me I did have a retinal scar and was unsuitable for RLE surgery.

I called Optical Express to be told they would give me a full refund, but it would take up to 28 days. They also said they would not refund the £210 I paid Mr Lavin.

This raises serious concerns and questions.

The optometrist said I was OK to go ahead with RLE after examining my eyes. WHY did she say this if I have a retinal scar ?

If she is professionally trained to take responsibility for examining patient’s eyes and approving them for surgery why did she not see what Mr Andre Oberholster saw?

I do not believe my payment should have been taken from me.

From what I have read on this site it appears that the optoms and sales staff work hand in hand to sell as many procedures as they can. The clinic was very busy on the day I was due to have my operation so what if the surgeon had not noticed my scarring and had gone ahead?

I will be giving my information to the General Optical Council as I believe the optometrist was negligent in advising me to undergo RLE surgery.

I will also expect OE to refund my money immediately AND the £210 which I would not have spent if the optometrist hadn't been negligent in the beginning!


Got cold feet and want my deposit refunded asap 13 Oct 2014 11:30 #363

  • Rachel Lee
  • Rachel Lee's Avatar
It's Monday and still no call from Optical Express. I've left yet another message on their cancellations line and will chase again this afternoon. It's all geared to sell, sell, sell... :(

Got cold feet and want my deposit refunded asap 09 Oct 2014 14:25 #364

  • Rachel Lee
  • Rachel Lee's Avatar
Hi Sasha,

After a few years of dithering I decided to make an appointment with Optical Express to explore my options for laser surgery. I was Tuesday morning (7/10) bright and early. I met people who'd just had the procedure while waiting, watched testimonials on TV and then went in for my tests. Everything focused on my suitability and the process LASIK versus LASEK and before I knew it I was agreeing a date for LASIK iDesign in Milton Keynes and handing over a £400 deposit.

Looking at it now, it's crazy that they should be in such a rush to book you in for this type of procedure.

Somehow I missed the story about Stephanie Holloway in the press. The optometrist testing did ask me repeatedly if I had questions, but the issue of complications didn't really arise. The message was that it's very safe and the main risk is from infection afterwards. Fortunately, two people mentioned it to me within 24 hours and I decided to check things out last night. I found this website and read the small print in the consent form they gave me. What a fright I had.

After a sleepless night I decided to cancel the operation. Wearing spectacles does not bother me that much. Since I'm within the 72 hour window (which they didn't tell me about) I'm hoping to get a full refund of my deposit. I have emailed Lynsey Shaw in their customer feedback team, left a message for the cancellations dept and actually spoke to a person in the 'inbound' dept in Glasgow - who told me that my record had been amended with the cancellation. She said not to worry because the date and time of my call had been noted as within the 72 hour period.

I just hope that Optical Express will honour their own customer care policies. From what I've read hear that can be problematic... but I will keep you updated.


Trouble getting my refund! 08 Oct 2014 10:41 #365

  • Tara
  • Tara's Avatar
Hi Sasha

I attended OE Bluewater on 27th September for a consultation for laser eye surgery and by the end of the appointment had been talked into paying £395 deposit and booking treatment in 2 weeks time. This was despite my reservations and having only gone in for information. I was given eye drops so couldn't read a thing and was completely pressurised to make a decision.

I was told that the only surgeon they recommended had appointments available for the next two weeks and there no dates given after that, so if I didn't book immediately then I would need to go though the consultation process again.

I voiced my concerns about paying the deposit in case I changed my mind and was assured that I would have 14 days to get a refund.

After leaving the consultation and having time to digest it all, I still wasn't happy so went back and asked for a refund, to be then reassured again and offered a further 10% discount, and came away without my refund.

I phoned OE head office 6 days later and was interrogated about my decision to cancel, and told in no uncertain terms that I would not get a refund. I was unhappy about this and asked them to refer to the store.

5 days later I am still awaiting for a phone call as they say the person they need to speak to has been off work!

I am concerned about this as it seems other people have suffered with similar pressure and struggled to get their deposits back.

Is there anything you can do to help?

Kind regards,
admin: Similar to Gobinder's experience - see post 09 Sep 2014 15:47
Pls send your number and I will call you: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Refunded! 06 Oct 2014 23:57 #366

  • Saira N
  • Saira N's Avatar

Received my refund yesterday and want to thank you so much for all your help, I really appreciate it. Took them one week to refund my funds but without your help and from reading other people's reviews this could have been months or even years. I will be donating to your cause! B)

Optical Express owe me £2,552 06 Oct 2014 16:27 #367

  • Agi
  • Agi's Avatar

Agi wrote: 19 Sep 2014 21:01
Since around March this year I have been suffering with severe Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)...

Thank you for your support Sasha!!! After a painful two week struggle with cancellations department we have managed to get ALL of our money back. So happy this is all in the past now...

We have donated to your cause. Please keep up the good work. :cheer:

Want my deposit back 06 Oct 2014 08:47 #368

  • Ella B
  • Ella B's Avatar
Deposit refunded - thank goodness and thanks Sasha for your help.

Got my deposit back thanks to OERML 05 Oct 2014 14:54 #369

  • Maya
  • Maya's Avatar
Many thanks for your invaluable help in getting my deposit back! OE rang me within 12 hours and said they would refund my deposit. Got this credited back after a day or so. Very happy to donate to your campaign in thanks.

Decided Against Surgery! 03 Oct 2014 18:00 #370

  • Adam
  • Adam's Avatar
I payed a deposit of £395 to Optical Express Bluewater after an eye consultation without the 72 hour cancellation period for a refund being explained. At that consultation I explained to the sales person that I might want to cancel and seek a refund of my deposit, but she reassured me that this was OK, which threw me into a false sense of security.

She promised me a call back the day after, which would have been an opportunity to notify them of my change of mind, but she did not call or leave a message and when I phoned I was left on hold for longer than I had time to talk.

The number I was given does not connect you straight through to customer services, you talk to a receptionist who says they'll put you through, but leaves you on hold.

I eventually got some sense out of the phone receptionist who arranged a call back 7 days after paying the deposit, and 7 days before my procedure was booked. Then I was told this horrific piece of news that my £395 was non refundable. They did hand me some paperwork on the day but I had drops in my eyes and couldn't read it. Is there anything I can do to get my money back?

Regards Adam