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Decided Against Surgery! 20 Jul 2014 16:30 #411

  • Judy Guo
  • Judy Guo's Avatar
I have just had the most horrid experience with Optical Express.

I had a three hour consultation at the Westfield, London clinic three weeks ago. Their so called professional experts told me that I was suitable for the laser surgery and took my money. I turned up at the Harley Street clinic as scheduled on Fri. After more than an hour wait, the surgeon just told me that he couldn't perform the surgery because I was not suitable for the laser treatment. And I have to wait 28 working days to get my money back. This is the most disastrous experience I've ever had in this country. The service they provide is extremely poor for the reasons below:

1. Misleading and wrong information given at the consultation at the Westfield Clinic:
Here I had a three hour consultation with Refractive 'Technician' Andra Ciucos, and Refractive Optometrist Elizabeth Vourazeri.

They did all the scans and eye tests, and told me that I was suitable for Lasek iDesign treatment. Elizabeth explained that the reason for recommending this treatment was because of my high short sighted vision.

I seriously doubt if they are qualified to carry out this type of consultation! During the whole consultation, they didn't show me a Laser Eye surgery Consent Video as mentioned in their T&Cs

2. Poor customer service at the Harley Street Clinic:
When I arrived on Fri as scheduled. As soon as I got there, I was taken to a room for the same scans I'd had during my consultation. They took about 10 minutes, then I was told to wait to speak to the surgeon.

I waited for more than 1 hour, but nothing happened. I had to ask the receptionist how much longer I needed to wait but all she told me was again to wait. After another 15 minutes my name was finally called to see the surgeon, Dr Manek Patel, who told me that he couldn't perform the surgery because I wasn't suitable. No explanation , instead, he recommended me to do have Lens implants. I asked him to explain this treatment to me, but he told me to wait and someone else would give me more details. I was rushed out of the surgeon's room after only two minutes of being there.

Their service is even worse then NHS! Such a long wait, no explanations from the surgeon, no information to update me while I was waiting. Nobody explaining the lens implants, instead another leaflet was given to me and I was told to book another consultation.

3. Their refund process is in breach of Consumer Rights
During my consultation at the Westfield clinic I was asked for a £700 deposit, and a 10 months finance agreement with Hitachi instalment was set up for me. No refund policy was explained to me at all - and I only agreed to pay because I was told that I was suitable for laser surgery.

After Dr Patel told me that I couldn't have this surgery, nobody came to explain to about the refund policy until I again asked the receptionist. Then a woman, (I didn't get her name, but guess she is the clinic manager) and Alex told me that I have to wait 28 working days to get my money refunded.

28 working days is a ridiculous amount of time to wait for a refund of payment for something I've never received. I have already consulted my solicitor who told me that I shouldn't have been charged in the first place for the treatment they falsely promised and failed to deliver!

My boyfriend is an IT contractor and paid on a daily rate. He took a half day off because of this surgery, so he's lost a half day's income, in addition to my three weeks of anticipation, preparation and taking an extra day from work, because of their incompetent consultation process.

Optical Express - Big AVOID!!!

Optical Express Ruined My Life Forum 10 Jul 2014 10:52 #412

  • Karen Tank
  • Karen Tank's Avatar
After considering surgery and being treated appallingly by Coventry and Nottingham I decided not to proceed and have now been waiting 21 days for my refund of £3995, I have attempted to contact them and funnily they are not answering....yet they consistently badgered me when I was thinking about it!!!!
Anyone else having problems????? :blush:
admin: Karen, please contact me with your phone number asap: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deposit refunded! 03 Jul 2014 15:37 #413

  • Samantha Beirne
  • Samantha Beirne's Avatar
Hi Sasha! They agreed to pay. They took my details, said that the cash has left them but should arrive in my account within the next couple of days.

You really are amazing. Thank you so much.

I left a small donation on Fundrazr for you.

Take care! (sorry we couldn't take it to small claims court!)
admin: A few hours after posting below, Samantha received an email from OE's Customer Services Team Leader Kim Crosgray, who wrote: "Our Clinical Services Director has reviewed your clinical file and confirmed that you are clinically suitable for Laser Eye Surgery...

I can arrange for a Senior Optometrist to contact you and discuss the Lasek procedure in more detail and attempt to re-store your faith in the service we provide...

Alternatively should you wish to proceed with the cancellation, your deposit can be used as store credit or can be provided in gift vouchers to use at your leisure.

Samantha replied:
"No thank you, I made it clear to your sales people from the outset that I did not want Lasek and paid a deposit for Lasik only.

I want my deposit refunded to my account within 24hrs and if this is not actioned I will contact Trading Standards and seek legal action via the small claims court.

Please note that I have contacted My Beautiful Eyes and Sasha Rodoy has agreed to represent me should this become necessary.

I look forward to hearing from you by return

NB: Optometrist Stephen Hannan is OE's Clinical Services Director and he is NOT a surgeon!

Complaints have recently been made to the General Optical Council concerning some of wee Stephen's actions which exceed his qualifications, including prescribing controlled medicines.

Decided Against Surgery! 03 Jul 2014 10:10 #414

  • Samantha Beirne
  • Samantha Beirne's Avatar

I am so glad I have discovered this website! I see that you have helped others with a similar problem. I need help with my deposit as I have spoken to Optical Express who refuse to give me my £400 back.

I was booked in to have my surgery on Saturday 28th June at Shaftesbury Avenue but I had my previous consultations at Harley Street where I was told that Lasik would be the recommended procedure for me. I was pleased and had mentioned that I would only like to go ahead with the treatment if it was Lasik as Lasek requires a longer recovery time and I am unable to take up to a week off work.

I arrived at the Shaftesbury Avenue branch where I was tested again, one of the exact same tests that I had in Harley Street, only this time the shape of my cornea was not suitable for Lasik as it is apparently unevenly attached to my eye. I had some drops and tried again with the same results. I do not wear contact lenses so this was not a result of that. I was told that the only surgery I could proceed with was Lasek which I had specifically said I did not want.

It was not made clear to me in the consultation that this would happen. I do not understand how they could not tell me I was not suitable for Lasik even though I had to go into Harley Street twice where they did the same tests twice (which I have made a separate complaint about).

I would like a full refund as I have been very unhappy with the service and I feel like I was tricked into paying the deposit and going to Shaftesbury Avenue where they probably thought I would more likely proceed with Lasek as they already have my deposit.

Kind Regards,
Samantha Beirne

Decided Against Surgery - deposit withheld 30 Jun 2014 18:31 #415

  • Rachel Misra
  • Rachel Misra's Avatar

I'm Rachel Misra.

I'm really shocked and saddened to see how many people are facing the same issues as myself.

I was really keen to hear more about laser eye surgery, however before I knew it, I had been pressured into paying a £400 deposit by an incredibly pushy sales person. I felt uncomfortable and confused with the eye drops and didn't really know what I was doing.

The eye drops also meant I couldn't read any of the documentation.

When I left the surgery, I was completely blinded. Optical Express did not tell me that the eye drops would make seeing in the sun completely impossible.

I changed my mind about the surgery after researching more online and realizing that I was in no way ready to book the surgery.

I called up within a few hours of paying my deposit, however struggled to get my surgery cancelled despite this due to teams not being in, and the sales people being reluctant to cancel the surgery despite my insistence.

When I first paid my deposit, I was assured that should I change my mind, I would get my deposit back within a few days. When I said 'It would be less than a week, right', this was confirmed.

Upon cancellation, I was told by Jamie Steward (Cancellations Team at Optical Express) that I would have to wait 28 days.

Waiting 28 days for a deposit that I was assured would be returned in a few days is completely unacceptable.

I hope lots of people will see these posts before they decide to go with Optical Express.

You're treated like a number, rather than a person.

Decided Against Surgery! 27 Jun 2014 14:30 #416

  • banker
  • banker's Avatar
Did your agreement say you have to wait 28 days for your refund?
If you paid by credit card they took your money immediately, call your bank and complain. If enough people complain the credit card companies will stop accepting payments from Optical Express.

Decided Against Surgery! 26 Jun 2014 12:32 #417

  • Danielle
  • Danielle's Avatar
I have just looked on this site and I am going through the same issues myself , after writing a complaint e-mail to Customer services I have just had a lengthy call to discuss my experience and why I am cancelling , they have told me I will get my deposit back in 28 days, are they just fobbing me off?

Cardiff clinic 13 Jun 2014 22:13 #418

  • Alison
  • Alison's Avatar
I just wanted to let you know, that I have had my deposit back on the 6th of June.
Thank you so much Sasha.x

Cancelled Lasek 06 Jun 2014 12:52 #419

  • Alexandra.
  • Alexandra.'s Avatar
I had a free consultation in Cheltenham on Thursday 5th June and ended up paying not just a deposit but £1500 in cash, because it seemed too good to miss. They quickly booked a surgery date for the 18th June after the guy phoned head office to get me a discount, which made me feel under pressure to pay immediately.

The price was reduced from more than £4000 to £3500, and they used a sense of urgency selling technique which I recognise as a sales person myself.

I only agreed to it because no one told me about the many different potential risks, which they just glazed over and I felt they wouldn't have mentioned at all if I hadn't asked. They failed to tell me about the drug they use with Lasek that isn't approved, I can't remember the name* and it's not metioned in my contract.

So after being rushed into a decision that I should have been given time to consider, I paid £1500 cash toward the payment. They put in in their safe and that was it.

Now I've changed my mind for many reasons, mostly because I don't trust them with my most precious sense and they failed to tell me a lot about the risks involved and it was so rushed I feel like they're just after my money.

I phoned them today and they said they would send me a cheque within 28 days, but this is ridiculous as I paid cash. I've read the post here so I know they can pay direct into my account as they've done it before, so I refuse to wait 28 days for a cheque that may never arrive.

I want my full refund of £1500 paid into my bank account by Monday 9th June or I will take this matter further and complain to Trading Standards and whoever else I need to.
admin: * Mitomycin C aka MMC

Cardiff clinic 02 Jun 2014 23:13 #420

  • Alison
  • Alison's Avatar
Updating my status, on the 28th of May, just 24 hours after posting, I received a telephone call from Nicola informing me that a refund would be issued and my money back into my account within 3-5 working days.
No money back yet :(

I will keep you informed of my status.