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Decided Against Surgery! 22 Jan 2014 19:22 #481

  • Roberta
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I had no call from OE like Damian did, instead I received a text with the offer of "laser eye surgery for only £2795 and 18 months interest free credit..."

So now I'm even more angry because it's like they are mocking me!

Refund Agreed!! 21 Jan 2014 16:23 #482

  • Damian Tingle
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Just a quick update regarding the issues I posted previously

On Monday I got a call from Optical Express head office asking what my current feelings were towards the situation when I told them that I was intending to go to the small claims court to get my deposit back. They then agreed to give me a full refund of my deposit! :lol:

I was told that someone would call me today, which I was a little skeptical about, but they have called me and sent an email confirming my deposit refund! I should get this within the next 3-5 working days!

Cannot thank Sasha enough for the help she gave me at a time when I thought I had no other options than I stated. Thanks a lot!

Sales lies! 20 Jan 2014 15:38 #483

  • Dave P
  • Dave P's Avatar
I can relate to the comments regarding the sales people. I was told in my consultation that I would have improved night vision if I opted for wavefront lasik. She had no idea what my night vision was like at the time! It was in fact exceptionally good, I remember checking old street lamps for halos after the consultation and there was virtually nothing there. Of course now my night vision is much worse. What a total liar.

I want my deposit back!! 19 Jan 2014 14:20 #484

  • Roberta
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Unfortunately I have had the same experience as many of you, but luckily all they were able to take from me was £400 deposit!

I have a very high prescription, -10 in both eyes. I am Italian and in December I needed to find an eye doctor in the UK. Looking on the internet I found Optical Express and saw an advert for free eye surgery. Just out of curiosity, I completed the online contact form and within one minute someone called me and talked me into going for a free consultation.

I told them from the beginning that I was not sure I was suitable for laser surgery because my prescription is so high.

From the start they tried to convince me in any way they could to have iLasik surgery telling me it was a new procedure and was completely safe for my eyes. The initial price was £5,000 but then they said they'd call head office and see if they could get a discount. Then they said they had permission to offer me a big discount so it would only cost me £3,000, but only if I paid a deposit of £400 immediately.

(I found out that iLasik was advertised at that time at a FIXED price of £2,895)

It's difficult to refuse the chance to pay £3,000 instead of 5,000 in a moment when you can think only of the advantages of such a decision.

By the way, I am a psychologist with 20 years experience and should have understood these manipulative strategies, so I want to reassure those who feel guilty for taking such a decision that you are perfectly normal to have fallen for their tactics, they are the ones who are guilty, using high sales pressure in an immoral way with no care for professional ethics!

After administering drops to dilate the pupils I was asked to sign a form, and I couldn’t even think of reading the clauses of the contract as it wasn't possible. Also my English is not very good. (My friend has helped me write this)

I paid £400 deposit with their assurance that I could change my mind, but they did not talk about a cancellation refund deadline of 24 hours.

But you don’t think you need to worry when you are dealing with doctors: we expect to trust those who take care of our health without any doubts.

My surgery was booked for 17 December, but before then I had a cough and tried many times to speak to someone at OE but no-one answered my calls.

They finally called me and booked a new appt for the 8 January at Reading. I still had a cough so I only went to talk to an Italian surgeon (Mr Luca Antico) who suggested I considered Refractive Lens Exchange instead of laser.

I was also reassured by the store manager that I could decide on any kind of surgery and if I didn't go ahead my deposit would be refunded. The cost of RLE was much higher and they said I could have a big discount on this too.

My confusion and my doubts became bigger... it was not possible in my opinion that a patient should decide what kind of operation is the best in his/her case.

I asked to talk with other surgeons but in the days following I understood that I was going to make a big mistake to trust them, and I still didn’t know what I do now about the bad results of surgeries so many patients have had at OE.

So, still confident of their good intentions, they had promised to refund my deposit, a week ago I made my decision and spoke to Louise on the phone asking how to arrange a refund. She said: "I will call you tomorrow" but it was not so.

I called every day (more than once) to talk to Louise and every time she was busy or on a break. She didn't call me until Friday afternoon (2 days ago) when, almost as if it was good news for me, she told me that my deposit is not refundable.

Now I am very upset and angry, not only for me but also for all the other people who are not aware of their rights or maybe don't know the existence of this website.

At this point, and after reading about the experience of others, I won't be happy only being refunded as I will be thinking of those who resigned themselves to losing their money. Mainly, I can't be happy thinking of other people who are going to meet the same fate as so many people who have had their eyesight damaged for the rest of their lives.

I consider myself a lucky person because they did not touch my eyes. Nevertheless I want my money back!

Decided Against Surgery! 16 Jan 2014 17:44 #485

  • Tomasz Adamski
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I had an appointment at Optical Express in Southampton West Quay yesterday to find out whether I was suitable for laser eye treatment and was told that I'm the perfect candidate - I'm guessing now that's what they tell everyone!

They told me that the operation procedure changed recently and there is no longer any risk, promised the worst that can happen is that there will be no change to my vision. They also told me the sooner I do it the better the outcome will be.

The optometrist Alberto told me I'm only 20 yrs old which is the perfect age and that my vision would remain good after surgery until I'm around 45.

At some point I was unsure about everything so the sales counsellor, Dan, left me to talk to my parents in private for 2 minutes. When he returned he told me that it's illegal to drive a car in UK with my vision without glasses. I told him that it's not a problem for me to drive with glasses, but he kept repeating that it's illegal to drive without glasses - like I didn't know that?!

This shows how desperate he was to get a deal with me. He also told me that I had to pay a deposit and make an appointment quickly because their special offer finishes at the end of the month and there were only 2 places left. He also told me the deposit is fully refundable and there would be no problem getting a refund.

By this time both Dan and Alberto were talking to me and putting lost of pressure on me.

When my parents and I asked what was the guarantee if something went wrong they told us they have insurance worth millions so I didn't have anything to worry about. They kept telling me there is only 1% risk (or even less) and the worst that could happen was that my vision would not change.

Convinced, I was about to go for Finance option, but I wanted to have some time to think it through, so they told me to pay a deposit of £200 and then come back before the treatment to complete the finance agreement.

They booked my treatment for 29 January even though I was telling them that I might change my mind, but they told me that there will be no problem to get a deposit refund. So I said OK, if my deposit can be returned I have nothing to lose and some time to decide.

As you can see from the time of my post it took me less than a couple hours to decide that I don't want to do any business with Optical Express.

At the store I paid £200 deposit which took seconds for them to take from my account, I didn't sign anything, just received a folder with the Terms and Conditions, told to sign before I returned, and given my payment receipt.

Today I call the Optical Express in Southampton West Quay and told them that I want to cancel and please refund my deposit.

They told me they couldn't deal with it (but they took my money) and to call a different number (0800 023 20 20). I called that number and when someone finally answered they told me that I will have to wait 48 hours for someone to contact me.

I won't wait 48hrs, if I don't receive a call by midday tomorrow with the money credited straight back to my card then I will report them to my bank and Trading Standards.

Optical Express lied to me by not giving me honest and accurate information desperate to take my money. They put pressure on me to pay £200 deposit - luckily for me it was only £200, unlike Damian!

My parents were witnesses to all the lies I was told and I can't think what would happened if I'd agreed to the treatment.

Refusing £2,000 deposit refund!! 16 Jan 2014 16:59 #486

  • Damian Tingle
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I attended a consultation at the Optical Express clinic in Leeds last summer and despite the pressure to try and get a deposit from me immediately I decided to think about it for a while, because of the cost.

Then they sent an email with a discount offer of £3,490 so I decided to go ahead. They called me and I made a £2,000 initial payment intending to look at finance for the balance.

I had a second consultation two weeks before the scheduled iLasik Wavefront surgery but wasn't given any forms, they just did a few scans, said it was fine and set me up with some glasses to wear for 7 days before surgery as I was told I couldn't wear contact lenses.

On the day of the surgery, 10th January, they gave me forms to complete then took me for some extra scans. After which the surgeon pulled me in to a room and stated I was not suitable for Lasik due to the size of my cornea. I then had a call from head office to say they were reviewing my files.

I asked for a full refund as I have lost confidence in them and didn't want Lasek, but they told me the £2,000 I paid was a non-refundable deposit!

I told them I was not informed of this but they would not budge, just stated that I either go through with Lasek or lose £2,000.

I have just spoken to a manager at Optical Express Head Office who stated that I was sent the information pack via email on 28th November and that as far as they are concerned this was all the notice they needed to give for withholding my deposit.

Despite me stating that I do not remember seeing this form in the email, they stated it was provided in an information pack that I was initially given at my consultation - which was months ago! - and as far as they're concerned this is enough to warrant them not giving me a refund.

If I dont get my money back I have told them I'm taking this to the Small Claims Court because, apart from this being illegal I'm sure, I paid for Lasik not Lasek. But they're also telling me "no", that I signed for "laser eye surgery" even though the email I received form Kirsty Smith (OE Customer Care) states iLasik!

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Decided Against Surgery! 15 Jan 2014 12:56 #487

  • allison mcintosh
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At my first consultation at OE I was given a full assessment for laser surgery and drops put into my eyes that affected my vision so I could not focus. I was asked not to drive for about an hour after this as my vision was really bad, and at this point they had me sign a agreement form and I paid £400 deposit.

I did tell them that I couldn't see it to sign as my vision was that poor. I went into M&S afterwards and walked past my aunt who was upset because she thought I was ignoring her!

After booking surgery for the 23 September 2013, I went into OE Aberdeen store to pay my final installment on the 31st August when a patient arrived complaining about problems post surgery and another called complaining about theirs.

This made me feel very uneasy and after googling further details about surgeon Joanna McGraw my attention was drawn to worrying reports on www.opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk

When I asked about Joanna McGraw during my initial consultation I was told she had done 30,000 procedures and was very good at what she does. I asked if she'd ever had any complaints and was told "absolutely not". I now know that I was misled and the truth withheld, that she is under investigation with the GMC and apparently being sued.

Ootical Express also ignored the fact that I have Dry eyes and I've recently been diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome which is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks glands that secrete fluid, such as the tear and saliva glands.

I cancelled my surgery and was refunded most of the payment but have been told that my £400 deposit is non refundable. Stephen Hannan offered me "gift vouchers"!!

I will be taking further action to get my deposit refunded.

Decided Against Surgery! 13 Jan 2014 10:14 #488

  • Caz
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After finding this site two days ago I sent the following message to Sasha:

"I have booked and paid to have my Wavefront Intralase Lasik surgery at Harley Street tomorrow. Jonathan Carr will be my surgeon. I have just come across your site having thought I’d better do some research on this. My prescription is -6.0 and -7.0 and I have bad astigmatism and dry eyes. However I was told as my dry eyes were caused by years of contact lens wear and not affecting my cornea that it was fine to go ahead. However, my Boots optician advised me that I wasn’t a good candidate for laser surgery."

Sasha called me almost immediately and with her help, after cancelling my surgery, I sent this to David Moulsdale:

"Dear Mr Moulsdale,

I have cancelled my surgery scheduled for Saturday 11 January at Harley Street after reading some frightening facts about Optical Express' surgical results on the internet.

I believe the optometrist was negligent in selling this surgery to me when she was aware I have DES which I now know to be a contraindicator for such surgery.

I therefore expect my payment to be refunded in full without delay.
"

Sasha told me to expect a call from OE trying to persuade me to go ahead, but first I received this email from Stephen Hannan in answer to the one I sent to David Moulsdale:

"Dear Ms C_____

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

Whilst we in no way agree there has been any negligence in your care we will refund you in full. One of my colleagues will be in contact to discuss our refund process in more detail with you.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Hannan MCOptom
Clinical Services Director
Optical Express
"

Yesterday I had a call from a woman in the cancellation department. Sasha was right, she tried everything to get me to change my mind, quoting this and that, telling me that they wouldn't perform surgery if there was any risk to my eyes or sight... they do thousands of operations a week up and down the country... 99% success rate etc etc... Anyway I wasn't having any of it and I said I was not going to take that 1% risk due to my dry eyes, as it was not worth it to me. She then started saying I could not get the deposit back, only the balance, to which I quoted Stephen's email above. After a lot more discussion she finally agreed and said someone would contact me to get my bank details and set up the refund within 28 days!!

Not sure why they can take the money from my card immediately but take 28 days to repay it, but I've contacted my credit card company and will let you know what happens.
__________________________
admin: Stephen Hannan is fully aware that a patient suffering with DES (Dry eye syndrome) should not have been approved for surgery without first managing the problem. In my opinion both the optometrist and sales 'counsellor' were negligent for having sold this procedure to Caz by withholding the truth.
:kiss:

DEPOSIT REFUND RECEIVED! 05 Jan 2014 16:35 #489

  • Anna
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Just to let you all know, I too have had a refund from Optical Express following a letter that I sent to David Moulsdale.

Sasha helped draft it and June Moulsdale called me on 2 January by to say that a refund would be processed. This came through on my credit card a few days later.

My sincere thanks to Sasha and the best of luck with her campaign.

DEPOSIT REFUNDED! 03 Jan 2014 21:33 #490

  • Ben S
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After my previous post I emailed the CEO (and his PA) with a list of reasons as to why I wanted my deposit back. I decided to wait before sending evidence that I was unfit for surgery as I wanted to see whether I would get a response without it.

I heard nothing by 14:00 the next day - it was time to force their hand.

Shortly after 14:30 I sent an email containing a doctors letter confirming I was unfit for surgery. At 15:07 I received an email from Stephen Hannan stating that the money would be refunded.

Diane, from the customer support desk called after 17:00 on the 2nd January and simply asked for card details to refund the money to, there was no small talk or attempt to get me to change my mind. Today, I have received the full amount I paid back into my bank account.

I would really like to emphasize that Sasha has been absolutely fantastic throughout my ordeal and I do not think I would have gotten this far without her help and wisdom. She really is one of the most selfless people I have had the fortune of communicating with and works tirelessly to help those who need it when they have been let down by organisations who should be offering ethical and professional business practice.

I will continue to monitor this site and I am eager to see how Sasha dismantles Optical Express and improves the refractive eye surgery industry through parliament in the future.