Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

TOPIC: Deposit Refunds

Optical Express Cheltenham 21 Dec 2013 14:14 #461

  • Anna
  • Anna's Avatar
After reading correspondence on the internet concerning people who have not been able to get their deposits back from Optical Express I saw that this site has managed to help some of these people.

I have a similar problem. On 25 July, I paid Optical Express Cheltenham a deposit of £500 for multi-focal lenses to be inserted into my eyes (refractive lens exchange). I had originally gone in for advice on Lasik surgery, but had been told that this could only correct my long distance sight, hence they advised the multi-focal lenses.

They then sent me to their Bristol branch at Cabot Circus, who told me that my eyes were not suitable for multi-focal lenses, as my pupils were too large. They advised single focal lenses to be inserted into my eyes instead.

Back in Cheltenham, I was given contact lenses by Optical Express that were designed to show me the effect the surgery would achieve. My sight with the contact lenses was a disaster, so I said I didn't want to go ahead with the surgery. I asked for my deposit back, and followed this up with a letter dated 23 November 2013.

Optical Express are determined not to pay my deposit back. They are now arguing that they have just launched brand new multi-focal lenses that would be suitable for my eyes, because they can cope with large pupils. I said that I wasn't interested because I had lost confidence in the company, because they seemed to change their story to suit their purpose. However, they are trying to argue that because these new lenses are now available (apparently only from this month, which I find difficult to believe) I am not entitled to a refund of my deposit.

Today I contacted my bank to ask them to refund my credit card with the amount, but they said that because it was more than 120 days since the payment was originally taken, they couldn't help unless I could prove in writing that Optical Express are unable to provide me with the service I wanted. They will not provide such a letter, because they want me to take their new treatment.

Today, I consulted an eminent ophthalmic surgeon about my eyes and he said that the treatment being proposed by Optical Express was totally inappropriate for me and advised me to avoid them at all costs.

Please could you advise me what I can do? Optical Express are still calling me regularly trying to coerce me into taking their treatment. I would be prepared to go to the small claims court if necessary, but would much prefer to resolve it before then if at all possible.

I really hope you can help.

Many thanks

Anna

Glasgow Renfield Street Clinic 20 Dec 2013 15:57 #462

  • Richard Shields
  • Richard Shields's Avatar
Considering laser eye surgery, on Saturday 30th November 2013, I attended a free consultation at the Optical Express clinic in Renfield Street Glasgow accompanied by my wife.

I was greeted by Kate, who gave me a form to complete regarding my health and any medication, and then she performed some eye tests. (Kate is a sales adviser not an optometrist.)

Then I saw the optometrist Jill who performed a more thorough eye examination applying eye drops in both eyes, causing slight stinging and blurred vision.

I was told this was to dilate the pupils and relax the muscles and not to drive for at least 6-8 hours, that the stinging and blurred vision with the pupils returning to their normal size could take up to 24 hours.

I was then advised that because I'm longsighted I was unsuitable for laser surgery, but was suitable for Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) Surgery. I was shown a short video and RLE surgery was explained to be the same as having cataracts removed.

After the consultation my wife and I were led to a counselling room and met again by Kate who immediately asked what dates would be suitable should I wish to proceed with surgery. Although I was still undecided she advised I could be fitted in as early as 6th January 2014 for the first eye and the 13th January 2014 for the second.

When I agreed the dates might be suitable Kate then went on to explain the cost of the surgery. Initially I was told the surgery would be £1995.00 for each eye, total cost £3990.00. I was also informed that the dates might be subject to change but if they did not suit me I could make changes to them.

I was then offered a 10% corporate discount (Police Scotland Employee) with a further small incentive totaling £700.00 leaving a balance of £3290.00

Kate told me that to secure the £700 incentive, apparently only available for that day, I was required to pay a deposit of £500.00.

She then went on to tell me I could finance the surgery with 10 months interest free credit, or 24/36/48 months credit at 11.5% APR. Unsure if I could afford to take on the payments I said I'd like to make enquiries into obtaining my own finance. I was told I would still be required to pay the £500 deposit to secure the incentive.

Knowing I did not have £500 in my current account, I asked if I could pay £300 on my credit card and this was accepted.

I then asked that if I was unable to obtain finance or if I changed my mind would I be able to obtain a full refund of my deposit and told I could. With this in mind I agreed to pay the £300 deposit and my card was debited there and then.

I was informed the surgery would take place at the Eye Care Centre in Giffnock and would be carried out by Dr David Teenan.

I was then issued with an information pack containing two 6 page forms and told both should be read and signed at each section prior to returning to the Renfield Street Branch for a Consent Examination booked for 13th December 2013.

There were three other leaflets in the pack "Preparing for your Consent Appointment", "The day of your Procedure" and "What to expect after your RLE Procedure".

When these forms and the pack were handed to me, I was told that a separate form was required for each surgery, they were not read out to me and due to the extreme blurred vision thanks to the eye drops I was unable to even see what the forms were.

The following day I began to research Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) Surgery, as I had only initially researched Laser eye surgery. There were many reviews with both good and bad experiences.

Over the next few days, I made enquiries into my finances and decided that by taking on potentially 48 monthly payments of £77.16 I would be putting my self through financial hardship and as a result of this on 10th December 2013, I telephoned Optical Express and informed them that I did not wish to attend the Consent Appointment and that I would require to have my deposit refunded.

On Thursday 12th December 2013, I was contacted by Dianne Yeaman who informed me that I could not have my deposit refunded as I only had 24 hours from paying the deposit to cancelling any booking.

I was totally shocked and told Dianne I was never informed of this. She replied that the terms and conditions within the pack clearly state there is a 24 hours deadline in which to cancel any booking and receive a deposit refund, after which no refund would be available.

I was further told that, even though I had not signed any forms or attended the Consent appointment, just by receiving the forms and paying a deposit I was bound by the terms and conditions.

I explained that Kate had never told me of a 24 hour cooling off period and that in fact I'd specifically asked Kate if I changed my mind, or could not obtain finance, would I be entitled to a refund of my deposit to which she told me I would.

I was completely misled and mis-sold by Kate.

On Friday 13th December 2013, Jamie Stewart contacted me telling me that as far as he was concerned Kate claimed that she had fully explained the 24-hour cooling off period to me and highlighted the terms and conditions. Both my wife and I rebutt this as completely untrue.

Having now found OERML and seen so that many others have been similarly lied to, I intend to write to Optical Express demanding an immediate refund paid back to my card. If they refuse the next course of action will be to claim through the Small Claims Court.

It's worrying that this company is so desperate for £300.

Richard Shields

DEPOSIT REFUND 18 Dec 2013 11:04 #463

  • David
  • David's Avatar
Thanks for all your help with it Sasha, I really appreciate it! I’m amazed at how quickly it got resolved and that is in no small part down to your help.

Best of luck with your battle, you’re doing a great job. I was due to have my treatment yesterday and all I can think is what a lucky escape I had! Your website is vital in that it seems to be the only source of information against Optical Express and laser eye surgery. Whether this is down to dodgy practices or not, giving potential customers the bad experiences is important as customers must be allowed to make an informed decision. Flooding review sites with 5 star reviews and trying to stamp out any dissenting voices is unethical and down right bad practice.

All the best,

Dave

DEPOSIT REFUND 17 Dec 2013 20:05 #464

  • David
  • David's Avatar
To update you all, I had a phone call this afternoon promising me a full refund and I even got an apology! Thanks to everyone on this site for all the advice!

Interestingly, the review I left on Trust Pilot has been pushed down by eight 5 star reviews in 27 hours... weird!

DEPOSIT REFUND 16 Dec 2013 11:49 #465

  • David
  • David's Avatar
I emailed Mr Mousdale on Friday - no response as yet. I gave him 5 working days to refund or I will be going through the small claims court.

I informed OE's customer service advisor on Friday that I would be emailing Mr Mousdale directly, his response was "with respect, I doubt the CEO will reply to your email as he doesn't deal with things like that..."

I asked him if he would deal with the court summons landing on his desk? "Errr...ummm....humph"

Thought so...

I've also left a lovely review on Trust Pilot, the top Google hit for Optical Express Review. Should stop plenty of people parting with thousands of pounds with these cowboys.

I'll keep you updated...

David

DEPOSIT REFUND 16 Dec 2013 07:31 #466

  • Mr X
  • Mr X's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Posts: 11
  • Thank you received: 0
Conratulations Wlod, I'm glad they backed down!

David,

I would go with writing the letter, as Wlod states Admin should be able to help you with this.

However, you are in a fairly good position here albeit £200 lighter at this moment.

Since you have signed nothing and were offered no paperwork they cannot keep your money. No signature no entitlement. :lol:

If you paid by card, you should report it to your card issuer immediately. As you correctly state they have provided no service and as such have no legal right to your money. That's exactly what you should tell your card issuer.

They will investigate the matter on your behalf and reverse the transaction on that basis.

It might be worth giving the O.E. branch a call and giving them a good ear bending but my guess is you've probably tried that.

Or if you go to the branch in person and they bring up the 72hr cooling off period, ask them to show you the contract you signed in relation to that point agreeing to the terms and conditions. Try and do it in a shop full of people to really embarass them and when they can't I strongly suspect you'll have your money back in your account within 48hrs. Depends on whether you don't mind making a bit of a scene and being the centre of attention for a few minutes. :whistle:

A few ideas for you to think about.

Best Wishes.

DEPOSIT REFUND 15 Dec 2013 14:43 #467

  • Gloria
  • Gloria's Avatar
Hi All,

In October of this year my wife posted a message (Post #21) on this forum telling of her efforts in trying to get the return of her deposit paid to Obstacle(!!!) Express. After a number of communications with them she received an email from Stephan Hannan, Clinical Services Director, promising a full refund. The refund has now come through, just in time for Christmas.
Thanks to all who gave advice via e-mail and telephone.

Regards and best Christmas Wishes

Conal
(Gloria's husband)

DEPOSIT REFUND 14 Dec 2013 08:25 #468

  • Wlod
  • Wlod's Avatar
David, if you haven't already done so, you should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DEPOSIT REFUND 12 Dec 2013 14:38 #469

  • David
  • David's Avatar
Hi there,

At a consultation with OE last Friday I was told I was suitable for Lasik Eye Surgery and then immediately sat down in an office with a salesman, had some paperwork put in front of me - that I couldn't read because I'd had drops in my eyes, and then he really tried to pressure me into putting a deposit of £200 down to secure an appointment. I refused telling them it was a lot of money and I needed to consider the finances with my wife.

The salesman then called me the following day and offered me a 20% discount, which I found strange as surely it should be a set cost? I had reviewed my finances and decided it was viable so I paid a £200 deposit over the telephone - but I had not, and still have not, signed anything. There was no mention of a 72 hour cooling off period at this point.

I went into the Preston branch on Monday to finalise the finance agreement but when I got there none of the paperwork had been set up. The sales assistant (very nice but unhelpful) was apologetic and told me he could sort the paperwork out and would call me to finalise it over the telephone and all I would need to do was sign on the day of my treatment.

Three days passed since then and I've just had a call from the original salesman who asked me when I was coming into store to set the finance up. He said there was no record of me going to the store on Monday!

Alarm bells started ringing, if they can't manage the most basic paperwork or customer service how can I trust them with my eyes?? So I asked him to cancel my procedure and refund my £200 deposit.

Then for the first time I was told about the 72 hour cooling off period! I decided to do a bit more digging and found this website.

It is safe to say that I will definitely be cancelling now, even if it means losing my £200, which incidentally is a lot of money for me.

Surely I am entitled to a refund of my deposit, as they haven't provided any kind of service to me so far to justify this cost?

I will be making a formal complaint to the CEO - and as a last resort make a claim through the small claims court if I have valid grounds for a refund.

So what do you think? Any advice is appreciated!

Cheers,

David Davies

REFUND AGREED! 10 Dec 2013 17:19 #470

  • Wlod
  • Wlod's Avatar
Hi All,

Thanks a lot for all your support, advice and comments. I spoke today with OE Refund Team and they have taken my card details. I was told that money should be on my bank account in 3 to 5 days so I am really pleased.

Here is what has happened since my last post.

As I mentioned previously, with Sasha’s help, I drafted and sent the following email to David Moulsdale:

Dear Mr Moulsdale,

I am writing with regard to cancellation of my Lasik surgery at your Birmingham clinic as detailed in email below.

I emailed Optical Express customer service team on the 25th November 2013 to cancel my surgery scheduled for the 11th December requesting a refund of my deposit being seriously concerned that, should I proceed, the health of my eyes might be jeopardised by what seemed to me a poor quality of examination.

In addition to the reasons provided in my email regarding my decision to cancel the surgery, on the day of the examination I was not given full information that would have affected my decision to make an informed consent: this includes treatment success rates, retreatment statistics, statistics for probability of starbursts, halo effects, night time distortion, dry eyes etc; current investigations by the General Medical Council into your surgeons, numerous legal claims, the numbers of damaged patients etc.

Having spoken to Becky Hill from your Customer Service Team who I explained all my concerns to I have found out that the deposit will not be refunded. I am totally dissatisfied with this decision and I am not prepared to accept it. I do not dispute that I confirmed I understood the deposit was not refundable after 72hrs from making a booking, but Optical Express did not carry out the examination with reasonable care and skill and withheld critical information from me, so I do not consider any agreement made on the 21st November as legally binding.

Therefore, I am writing to you requesting that you override Becky Hill's decision and refund my deposit within 5 working day, otherwise I will be seeking legal advice in order to pursue my refund via a small claims court. I also appeal to you to review the examination procedures in your company as even MP John McDonnell mentioned concerns over the quality of patient assessment at Optical Express in the House of Commons on 20/11/13.

Sincerely,
W___


I received no response, so spent last weekend describing my case on various internet forums, including Martin Lewis, MoneySupermarket, Customer Actions Group etc. I also left lovely reviews for OE on Trust Pilot and Review Centre.

All of the above resulted in this email yesterday:

From: Stephen Hannan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 9 December 2013 16:57
Subject: Optical Express

Dear W___

Thank you for your recent email which you addressed to our Chief Executive Officer.

In my capacity as the Clinical Services Director for the Optical Express Group I have reviewed the content of your email and will now offer a response.

Although we are not obliged to consider refunding you the deposit based on our terms and conditions, on this occasion I will agree to do so as a gesture of goodwill.

I have confirmed the same with my colleague, Miss Vikki Hill who will be in contact to discuss the next step on this process.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Hannan MCOptom
Clinical Services Director
Optical Express
T. +44 (0) 1236 795104
M. +44 (0) 7740 592389


Sasha thanks a million for all your support, guidance and help. I would not get my money back, without you. If you ever need any help, you have got my contact details. Wish you all the best! x

Regards,
Wlod