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Decided Against Surgery! 10 Sep 2014 22:34 #381

  • Mick S
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Finally got my refund today :woohoo: thanks for your help Sasha really appreciated. If only I had spoken to you sooner I would not have had to incur credit card interest

Decided Against Surgery! 09 Sep 2014 14:47 #382

  • Gobinder
  • Gobinder's Avatar
Thank you for taking the time for putting this website together.

I am contacting you to seek your advice on getting back my deposit from my booked surgery.

1 month ago I booked a free consultation with Optical Express as I’d been advised to get surgery by my friends. I attended the consultation at the Westfield White City branch. I had very little knowledge of the procedure and thought it would be a good chance to find out more. Unfortunately I had no knowledge of any side effects and was sold by the 20/20 vision claim.

I got a little uneasy when the sales person who performed the initial tests sat me down in a dark room to wait before I saw the optometrist. She began talking to me about how good the tests had been, and then got down to pressure selling. She told me I needed to book soon or I would miss out on the discount. I had to refuse several times and eventually she gave up as I stood my ground. This experience was very unpleasant as was just me and her in a dark room with her staring at me to get me to book. Luckily I walked away.

Wednesday 3 Sept I received a call from a number I didn'’t recognise so called to see who it was. It was an Optical Express sales rep! I told her I'd decided against the surgery as it was out of my budget. She then came back with a finance offer of paying over 2 years instead. However was told to secure the deal I had to book immediately. I agreed to book and to my surprise I was asked for £395 up front, which I thought could be paid on day of surgery. I gave my card details and 9 September was booked for my surgery at the Shaftesbury Avenue clinic.

I was still a little uneasy about the surgery and decided to check online whether it was a good idea. LUCKILY I found your website! I found so much information I was unaware of and read about the many problems of hazy blurry halos etc people were having. This was a definite 'no no' since I am a freelance graphic designer and I drive a lot at night. Naturally I decided against surgery and thought I would cancel on Monday since it was by then the weekend.

I then phoned to cancel and ask for a refund but was put straight through to the clinic at Shaftesbury Avenue, who asked why I had decided not to go ahead. It took a long time to finally get the rep on the phone to accept I wasn’t having surgery as he kept asking 'why, why, why...' like a toddler. He then added the final nail in the coffin by saying 'if you cancel you will lose your deposit’. I told him this was wasn’t on as the adviser I spoke to had said 3 working days after the booking. To which he replied by saying ‘We are open 7 days a week'. I repeatedly asked him to escalate this to a senior line manager but he told me there was no one else, that he was the most senior person.

Eventually I gave up and decided to not cancel since I didn’t want to lose my money.

What did I get myself into I was thinking! So today after talking to my local optician I decided against surgery and discussed it with my parents, it’s either my eyes or my money. I then called Optical Express and said I definitely would not attend surgery today as bluntly as I could. The same rep asked ‘why' again but this time I didn’t let him persuade me!

I’m really angry at the whole situation, but thank god I had found this website otherwise I may have regretted it for the rest of my life.

Is there anyway I can get my money back?

Thank you for taking the time to listen.
admin: Please send your number and I will call you :kiss:
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Decided Against Surgery! 09 Sep 2014 05:30 #383

  • RichardW
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At an initial consultation on Saturday 23 August at Optical Express in Southampton, I signed up for eye surgery on 11 September because of an offer expiring ‘that weekend’. During the consultation I mentioned to each of the various people involved that I had considered this surgery some years earlier but was told my eyes were too dry.

The initial consultation process was OK, but did leave some nagging doubts which I sought to clarify during a follow up visit arranged for Wednesday 3 September, when I was promised I would be able to meet a surgeon to discuss things, in particular my dry eyes. However, I did not get to meet a surgeon, instead I was re-examined by one of the optometrist who, despite saying originally that everything was OK, commented that indeed I did show signs of dry eyes, particularly in my right eye.
He gave me some Hyco San plus ++ and Altacor Clinitas Hydrate eye drops - saying that was what he used for his dry eyes (he told me he’d had laser) and I should try these for the remaining 8 days before surgery.

The person who’d booked my second appointment was off sick, and no one was able to answer the question why I saw an optometrist and not a surgeon as I’d asked. I paid a £400 deposit and signed up to a 12 month Hitachi finance agreement for the balance of the cost of surgery

My wife then did some research over the weekend and discovered OERML website. After reading various comments on the website & Facebook page I was left feeling some concern over forthcoming treatment and was sufficiently unimpressed with OE to cancel the surgery.

I called OE’s cancellation dept countless times this morning but kept getting the busy tone! Presumably there are many more like me who changed their mind! Eventually someone called me back demanding reasons for my cancellation, trying to persuade me to go ahead, and telling me if I changed my mind at a later date it would be far more expensive!

I politely said I still wished to cancel and asked for my deposit to be refunded. I was told that’s not possible because I am out of their 72hrs cooling off period, which was not mentioned to me when I paid my deposit!

I will take legal action if my deposit is not refunded to my account as fast as it was taken out.

I will update you

Decided Against Surgery! 08 Sep 2014 22:40 #384

  • Mick S
  • Mick S's Avatar
Still waiting for my refund :angry:

Mick S wrote: Will do, thanks ;)

Mick S wrote: admin: Cancel appt and ask for full refund. If they refuse please contact me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

admin: I can't help unless you email me :kiss:
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Update to 12 August post 08 Sep 2014 10:03 #385

  • Aurora Allen
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Aurora Allen wrote: I don't understand why Optical Express are refusing to refund my payment when their own Terms & Conditions say they should!

I got my refund back, and I'm very happy.

I will not be proceeding with surgery, and I am now going to make a donation to My Beautiful Eyes!

Thank you.

Refund agreed 04 Sep 2014 15:44 #386

  • Natalia DDC
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Shortly after emailing Lynsey Shaw (see post 2 Sept) she replied apologising for the treatment I received and promising a full refund.

I am expecting a call from their banking department at some point today. Fingers crossed this actually happens!

I have no doubt in my mind that her prompt response was due to the fact I mentioned I had shared my story with this site and joined Sasha's campaign.

I am grateful beyond belief for Sasha's help in all of this and will be donating to My Beautiful Eyes. It is absolutely disgraceful that Sasha's life has changed for the worse because of the irresponsible actions of laser eye clinics. Her campaign is an example for anyone too scared to speak up against these companies. Most people are bullied into treatment and worse still, into silence.

Hats off to Sasha for everything she's done and for having the courage to fight back.

Want my deposit back! 04 Sep 2014 15:11 #387

  • Simon M
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I too decided against surgery recently and so far have been unsuccessful in getting my deposit refunded.

Sat 22nd Aug: 1pm appointment to discuss laser surgery, was told I could drive the next day after treatment and various tests were carried out. Some tests were carried out multiple times by Shaila. The optometrist then examined my eyes and told me that both eyes were OK for laser treatment but that my right eye may need to be done under a different procedure which the surgeon would decide on the day. I was told that my eyes were dry (news to me) and that I’d need eye drops until surgery. The optometrist quoted me over £4000. I asked why it was so much more than the guide prices on their website and was told that it was due to my prescription. I said this was was more than I expected and he said that they might be able to do a deal to fill slots. Shaila took me downstairs where I asked if it was normal to not be able to read my emails on my phone as I couldn’t focus due to the eye drops. It was normal. Shaila said that she could fit me in on Friday 5th Sep (< 2 weeks time) in a gap and charge me a fixed price of £2995. She said I needed to book asap or risk losing the slot and the deal. I said that I would have to check my work diary at home but would call her back as soon as at home. I was handed some paperwork with Shaila’s number on it. My wife drove me home and checked my diary, I called Shaila immediately to book the slot and paid a £400 deposit. No mention of any terms and conditions.

Mon 24th Aug: Shalia called me asking for the balance of £2595 which I paid. She said I needed to come in at the weekend for tests to see if the eye drops had worked. It was agreed that if i turned up at 9am I would be fitted in.

Fri 29 Aug: OE called me at 7.30pm to let me know they needed to see me at the weekend. I explained that I’d already arranged to come in at 9am.

Sat 30th Aug: Arrived at 9am and was seen first. Same tests completed as last Saturday. A different optometrist looked into my eyes and told me I’d need to go to Boots to buy Lid Care as my eyelashes had something growing on them that would need to be cleared up by next Friday for surgery. I was then passed to Shaila who sat me down and told me that the surgeon had looked at my file and decided that i needed Lasek on both eyes and that recovery time would be longer. I asked why I needed Lasek in both eyes when I’d been told my left eye was absolutely fine for Lasik. Shaila couldn’t tell me. I asked what the difference was in treatment from Lasik and Shaila told me it was an extended recovery period. I said I meant the difference in the surgery process. I got the same answer then a pause while Shaila looked up the answer and told me. She passed me a document ‘what to expect from Lasek’ which I didn’t get with the original paperwork. I said I wasn’t feeling confident due to this unexplained change in treatment, the new eye lid issue, and the extended recovery time which I couldn’t see how I’d manage as very busy at work. Shaila said she thought it best to book me in to see the optometrist again to go over everything and explain Lasek. She said I’d need to come in the day before surgery for a check-up too. One hour later from home I called Shaila to cancel the treatment but got her voicemail so left a message asking to cancel. That evening I emailed OE to confirm cancelation too and state that I had left a message on Shaila’s phone.

Sun 31st Aug: Called at 6.30pm by the original optometrist who had seen me in the week. He said Shaila had texted him to call me to answer questions I had. I explained all the warning flags that had come up and that I had decided to cancel the surgery as I had lost faith in OE and could not take extra time off work for the extended recovery. We discussed the refund of the deposit and he said that if I explained all the issues I had, head office should refund it.

Monday 1st Sep: Dianne from head office called me and asked me why I wanted to cancel my surgery. I went over my experience and said that there were too many warning signs, that i had lost faith in OE and that I also wanted a refund for my deposit as I was never made aware of a 72 hour window for deposit refunds. Dianne said that I didn’t need to be told by Shaila re the non-refundable deopist after 72 hours as it was in the documentation I’d been given on Sat 22nd Aug. I explained that I couldn’t physically read that doc at the time of booking and would have expected Shaila to have verbally made me aware of any terms and conditions which she did not. Dianne said that they actually don’t start the 72 hour period until the day after your booking day. Dianne said she would have to escalate to the Clinical Director to decide.

Wed 3rd Sep: I was called by Dianne from head office. Dianne said the review had come back from the surgery director and he had decided to decline the deposit refund as I was still eligible for treatment. I said I wasn’t happy with this and that their terms state 72 hours from booking and asked how they can enforce this if a patient cannot physically read the terms or isn’t verbally advised. Dianne said that that’s all they have to do legally in handing me the terms and conditions document and that I should have read it in the 72 hours cancellation period. She said I could expect my £2595 back sometime in the next 28 days. I said this was outrageous, especially as they’d taken it from my card immediately

Fri 5th Sep: Eye surgery date. (Now cancelled!)

Decided Against Surgery! 02 Sep 2014 15:07 #388

  • Natalia DDC
  • Natalia DDC's Avatar
Wish I had seen your site before I'd booked!

This is a copy of my complaint sent to OE:

"I am writing to complain about my experience on the 1st September 2014 at the Optical Express Harley Street Clinic.

9.30am on 1 September was my appointment day. I arrived and was seen by the surgeon as normal. To my surprise I was told my procedure would be changed from LASIK to LASEK. I decided to proceed but was rather surprised at how things had changed since my initial consultation. I understand this now to probably be a plow to get people to give deposits by luring them in with the promise of LASIK over LASEK. I had signed my consent forms and my surgery was due to begin when I was informed that due to plumbing works on the building the surgery was to be conducted in the Shaftesbury avenue branch.

I was rather shocked that I was not informed about this until literally minutes before my surgery. Further to this when I arrived at the Shaftesbury avenue branch I was greeted with the site of large scale building works. I was ushered into a waiting room upstairs and then informed treatment would not be able to be done at this site either because they had painted the room where the lazer equipment was kept.

I am absolutely flabbergasted as to how a company can be so unprofessional with their level of customer service. Myself and my mother (who accompanied me to my appointment) have lost out on money having to take full days off work. I had prepared myself mentally and physically for this treatment and to be told minutes before (twice in one day!) that it would not go ahead is unbelievably frustrating.

I cannot comprehend why after the Harley Street clinic cancellation I was ushered into the Shaftesbury avenue site which can only be described as a building site.

I rang the complaints department and spoke to a "Sandra" at 11.30am who told me she would get back to me before the end of the day after she had investigated my case. She didn't and I called her just before 5.30pm which is when she said she would have contacted me by. To add further insult to injury I was told that as a "goodwill gesture" Optical Express were willing to offer me a 50% discount on designer sunglasses. Does your company honestly believe that after spending about £3000 on treatment which was cancelled on me at the very last minute, I would want to spend further money on your products?

Since then I spoke to a "Jamie" at the complaints department who refused to provide me with his full name. He told me that he was unable to process a refund for the £400 deposit as I had requested and could instead reschedule my appointment for another day.

The last thing I wanted was another offer of an appointment. I no longer have any faith in Optical Express and have instead taken my custom elsewhere. The £400 deposit is paid in order to secure an appointment date which Optical Express failed to keep and failed to inform me about. I am well within my rights to ask this be returned to me in full within 7 days. I will be sharing my story on as many review sites as possible and contacting Watchdog and Which? because of the appalling customer service and treatment I have received.

I will seek legal action if necessary.

Optical Express Refund policy 31 Aug 2014 21:55 #389

  • Duncan
  • Duncan's Avatar
Brief background: I was quite willing to undergo laser eye surgery, but on the day of my surgery my surgeon told me that my cornea was asymmetrical and the Lasik procedure would not be suitable. Fine, thinks I, although annoyed that at my consultation the "Pentacam" which detected this asymmetry was not used/available. The surgeon did advise that I could get an intra-ocular lens, but I said "no thanks" - too invasive for my liking. I was told I would get a full refund.

The thing that wound me up enough to come looking for this site was the response I had when I called for a refund. I was told that OE instituted a 28 working day refund policy. Not only had I paid them for surgery 21 days up front after an (unbeknownst to me) incomplete consultation, but they intended to hold onto my money for even longer. I requested to speak with the manager, who told me she would accelerate the repayment to 10-15 working days, but could do nothing to refund me more quickly due to the Optical Express repayment policy.

Unsatisfied I sent an email to the Customer Services Manager (Lynsey Shaw) and my local MP. Lo and behold I received a full refund within 5 working days, so it is doable!

I received an apology from Mary-Frances Kelly, the Marketing manager, expressing regret for my disappointment, inconvenience, and that I was unable to have the surgery, but failing to address any of the actual grounds for my complaint.

Namely, why OE offer laser eye surgery consultations at branches that lack the necessary hardware, and why they operate such a crooked refund policy.

Help me! 27 Aug 2014 22:57 #390

  • Nadeem
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What can i say.....i am very glad you helped me very quick as soon i dropped you email. The good news with your help my deposit is back into my account today. It did take 3 days to come due to Bank Holiday. I can't thank you enough because you have saved me from having Lasik surgery done. Thanks to the BBC NEWS London doc last week if it was not shown i would not have known and suffered for rest of my life. i really appreciated your time and support you have shown and i really am quite emotional..... thank you very much. I will never forget you in my life you have done a such a good deed and wish you every success with this campaign.