Hello, I'm booked in at Optical Express Southampton 20th March for multifocal lens replacement surgery.
After my consultation I raised my concerns regarding that I work nights and was worried about glares, halos and starbursts but was told that these were only temporary and would go as my eyes adjusted to the lenses. After researching the type of lenses and finding a lot of problems reported with them that do not go away I rang Optical Express numerous times but on each occasion I was told that they are not clinically trained and my surgeon would discuss this on the day. I have not had any conversations with my allocated surgeon Dr Dimitris Kazakos only a brief telephone conversation with someone from the clinical team. The fact that it takes Optical Express on average 15mins just to answer my calls has raised concerns about any aftercare issues I might have. But the biggest worry was at my consultation appointment the woman was struggling to work some of the machines to check my eyes and one machine she really didn't know if she had done it correct and asked a colleague to check and he just said it should be okay and that set off a few alarm bells. I paid £5751 and am worried about getting my money back when I cancel. Please can you help me. Thanks Jason
___________________________ admin: You have been lied to, because glare, haloes, etc... are common and permanent problems with multifocal lenses, as your research has already shown.
And there can be no argument that Dimitris Kazakos should not have agreed to operate on any patient without having spoken with them prior to the day of surgery.
This matter needs to be reported to both the GMC and GOC.
I was hoping you could advise me about obtaining my deposit back from Optical Express. I paid my £500 deposit last week (10 March 2021).
I initially went to an appointment in Huddersfield on 6 March but was unsure about proceeding especially given the optometrist (Sobia) said I could not achieve 20/20 vision due to my prescription but I was a good candidate for surgery nethertheless as my eyes were healthy. I did sign something at the appointment but I was told this was just to say I was happy with the information I was given at the appointment following the eye checks.
I then had a call from their sales team in Scotland (10 March 2021) asking what it would take for me to move forward. They offered me an appointment with the surgeon Dr Muhammad Kazmi prior to any surgery date to allay my concerns and was told if I didn't want to go ahead after this I could still get my deposit back no problem. I was advised to book the surgery immediately as this could always be cancelled or moved. Feeling pressured I thought I had nothng to lose as i could cancel after seeing the surgeon.
However since booking this appointment I googled Dr Muhammad Kazmi and found your website. With serious concerns after reading so many complaints about him (and Optical Express) and that he's being sued by his damaged patients I decided to cancel. But when I looked at the terms and conditions they say you are only entitled to a full deposit refund if cancellling within 3 days - this is not what I was told on the phone!
Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
___________________________ admin: You weren't fully informed before being chased into paying a deposit by their head office 'hunters' - and never would have been!
The optom, 'consultant' aka 'refractive technician', and store manager, all get a percentage of sales, and Sobia would no doubt recommend surgery to a child if she could get away with it! This needs to be reported to the GOC.
I'm interested to know what they had you sign as I suspect they're including these statements in their patient satisfaction results!
Meanwhile, you are entitled to a full refund of your deposit, no matter what their worthless T&Cs say!
I went for a consultation at the OE Meadowhall branch in December, where they said I was a suitable candidate for surgery, but no tests were carried out to assess whether I had dry eyes. I was told that I have large pupils, so I was eligible for iDesign LASIK only (rather than the standard procedure), but I wasn’t told about any of the risks that come with having larger pupils. I booked the surgery in March which was scheduled for the 2nd of April with Dr Muhammad Kazmi and paid £500 deposit.
I have been having dry eyes occasionally in the past few months, but this worsened over the last month, therefore last week I spoke with my local optician who diagnosed me with dry eyes and advised me against having laser eye surgery. Additionally, my optician also told me about the increased risk of halos and night vision disturbances that comes with having large pupils following laser eye surgery, which I wasn’t informed of at the time of consultation with OE.
After finding out this information, I called OE and asked to speak with an optometrist to explain these concerns, so they booked a 'telemedicine' appointment on Saturday. The optometrist I spoke to advised me to postpone the surgery by one month and have an assessment two weeks prior to the surgery to see if my dry eyes have improved, although I was insisting that I just wanted my deposit back, and I would reassess whether I wanted surgery only if and when my dry eyes are fully healed.
He put me through to someone else to postpone the date of surgery and book the assessment (that I didn't want), however I told her that I just wanted to get my deposit back, and she said that she would email the finance department and I should get a call from them soon (which I haven’t received yet).
If you have any advice on what I can do now to get my deposit back it would be really helpful! I really appreciate the work you’re doing!
___________________ admin: They don't want to lose their sales bonuses!
Hello Sasha, I saw a forum with your name to contact for help get refunds back from Optical Express.
On the 29th December 2020 I went to Belfast Optical Express branch in Northern Ireland for a consultation for laser eye surgery, I paid my £395 deposit but Stacey Cardwell (patient advisor) and Donna Thompson (assistant manager) were unable to get me finance through their company. They told me to go away and try other resources and if i couldn't get the funds i could cancel and get my deposit back.
I cancelled on 22 Jan and was told someone will be in touch to get my card details. i went to an online chat and got a fella who reached out to the Belfast store and they called me and were quite rude and told me that they explained all this on Friday when i cancelled
I decided to wait and save up and maybe be able to do it next year. I called Optical Express on Friday 22nd January 2021 around 3pm to cancel and spoke to Donna, and asked would I get my full deposit back as she and Stacey had said I would. She said she couldn’t see why not, and I asked did she need my card details but she said that someone would be in touch. I left it at that.
I rang then on Tuesday 26th January to see if they needed my details or what was going on. Donna called me back and was quite rude saying that she already told me on the Friday that someone would be in touch to get my details if they needed but she said they had my card details on file (which is worrying too!) and that the refund was processed, and it would be 28 working days. . But they didn't, they left it that someone would be in touch with me to get details etc. and again, it will be 28 days as they had my card details on file - which is worrying too!
I spoke a few times to online chat and was told it takes 28 working days which would be 3rd March 2021. I checked my credit card statement online and there is no refund.
I go back to Optical Express online chat and was told that customer services would be in touch asap. No-one was so I rang and spoke to Donna in the Belfast Branch who told me it is 28 working days and I said yes, which is today, and she said leave it with me to follow up.
I get an email from Molly in customer services who told me I was NOT getting my refund due to their terms and conditions.
I rang Donna in Belfast to see if she could help me as it was herself and Stacey that said I would get my money back at the initial appointment. Donna started going on about terms and conditions that were NOT mentioned on that day. My mother is my witness to everything that was said. She then offered me free glasses to the value of my deposit, but free glasses are not going to pay my bills or put food on the table.
What angers me the most is Donna knew the whole time I was not getting my deposit back, yet kept telling me to wait the 28 working days for it to be in my account. I have now read a lot of very bad reviews about Optical Express and my experience matches their reputation.
It's Donna and Stacey’s word against my mother and myself and they are clearly going to deny it and are sneaky enough to make sure that there is no email trail only phone calls and their notes which could say anything.
___________________ admin: To have taken your deposit without finance in place shows how desperate this company is for money!
As for Donna and Stacey, they should be ashamed of themselves.
But like anyone else who continues to work at Optical Express for longer than a month, enough time to understand the absolute lack of ethics within the company, they have no morals, and no compassion for the people they are stealing from in order to meet their monthly targets and bank their bonus.
I booked Lasik at the beginning of January, after years of glasses and contact lenses I thought why not go for laser eye surgery. I got in really quickly for an initial consultation at the Newcastle clinic and after having an eye examination was told I was able to have Lasik then was taken into a room to discuss finance options. The sales assistant asked if either myself or my husband worked for the NHS, we said not but she said she would give us the 10% NHS discount anyway which we thought was odd but went with it as we were happy with the discount.
Due to the discount I decided on iDesign which promised to give me 20/20 vision or better. We also found this odd as we weren't aware vision could be better than 20/20, my husband made a joke about this and she said 'colours would pop' as an example of this 'better than 20/20 vision'. At this appointment I was verbally informed of who my surgeon would be but nothing was on the documentation given to me.
I paid a £500 deposit to secure my date and was told that I would be contacted with a telephone consultation with a clinician. I phoned up later and paid the full amount of £3,771. A few days later I had my consultation which lasted no more than 5 minutes. It was during this consultation that I started to feel uneasy. I asked who my surgeon was and was given a different name to the one given to me at the Newcastle clinic during my initial consultation. I finished the call feeling anxious and began to look into Optical Express and after reading some bad reviews I decided to cancel my treatment. I phoned to cancel and was told someone from the Newcastle clinic would call me. The woman who phoned me was trying really hard to avoid the cancellation and it was more like a sales callhe . She said the name of my surgeon (a different name again) and said he had carried out a hgh number of procedures and was the best, I was in safe hands. She said to think about it and call back if I was sure I wanted to cancel.
I called back the next day and was told my procedure had already been removed from the diary and I would be refunded the full amount less £250 which they would keep as I had already had my telephone call with the clinician, but I didn't know until after this that I wanted to cancel!
This is from the pack they gave me after I had paid the deposit!
But when 28 days had passed and I heard nothing on 1st March I phoned to chase my refund. I was told I'd receive a call from someone, I got a text the next day to say my refund was ready to be processed and to phone which I did. I was told that they would keep £500 not £250 and that whoever told me that was wrong. I was furious. They told me they have now processed a refund for £3,221 which would land in my bank in 3 working days, I'm still waiting.
Is there anything I can do? It seems outrageous to keep that amount of money.
___________________ admin: These T&Cs would not hold up in court, as confirmed by a barrister who advised me about this matter a few years ago. But unfortunately OE never let claims for deposit refunds get that far, because it would put an end to any future disputes - and save me a lot of work!
Meanwhile, your pre op consultation should have been with a surgeon, and I would like to know the name and job title of the 'clinician' who consulted you in a 5 minute phone call - in breach of GMC guidelines. I will tell you more when we speak, and also advise to you send a Subject Access Request
Hi there ... I was due to have my lens replacement surgery at the Manchester Bridgewater clinic at 9.30am on the 20th February. They were running very late so I didn’t see the optometrist for a good hour and a half.
When I finally got told that I was next on the list for the surgery I went with the optometrist for my final check and she asked me if I was on any medication. I told her I wasn’t, but that the previous day I'd been prescribed an antibiotic cream for a possible skin condition, merely asking when would be the right time to start the cream following my eye surgery.
She then said she would have to check with the surgeon. Then she came back with the theatre nurse and informed me that my surgery wouldn’t be taking place in case I had a skin infection!
Up to this point I hadn’t met my surgeon or even spoken with him at all, but I was assured he was one of the best. Unfortunately I can’t remember his name and the clinic took all my documents from me.
When I got home I was disappointed and posted under an Optical Express advert on Facebook. I then received a private message telling me to look at the OERML forum, and I am extremely thankful I did!
I have now changed my mind about the surgery and am so glad I mentioned the skin cream!
But I have paid over a £1000 deposit and would like to know if you could advise me please. Thank you.
————————————— admin: Pls send your phone number and I will call you.
I wanted to have laser eye surgery for ages, so when the opportunity came that I had enough money and time I decided to book a consultation. I had it on Friday, 19th February in Manchester and was pretty excited. I possibly naively believed that because Optical Express is a big name I could trust that they would have my best interest at heart.
The consultation went fine and all the staff were really nice. I got lots of tests done and as I was speaking to the clinician I said that I've been having issues with contact lenses for the past 2 years and she said that it was dry eye, but didn't take this any further. Earlier she mentioned that one of the common side effects to LASEK/LASIK is a dry eye that can last up to 6 months (as it did for her). She went through some common side effects even sayng that this surgery is against nature, but no alarm bells have been ringing in my head at that point. The price was a bit steep, so I said I'll think about it. The customer advisor said he'll give me a call the next day. He did and I decided to go ahead when he said that with iDesign you get 20/20 vision or your money back, so I thought "well, they must be pretty sure about their abilities to offer that!", but I wanted to make sure I was in good hands so I asked how many surgeries has the surgeon performed. Turns out my surgeon was supposed to be Dr Muhammad Kazmi who performed over 47000 surgeries and that they will send me his profile. I paid my deposit thinking that anyone with that amount of completed surgeries must be a good surgeon. They told me I'll have another consultation with a different clinician within a couple of days.
When I had the time to actually sit down and look at Dr Kazmi's profile, I googled his name and the second google result was ''Optical Express Ruined My Life['' website. So I got a bit worried seeing how his OE profile said he had 100% patient satisfaction, yet I found quite a number of dissatisfied patients, including one big case on YouTube. And I started researching this more and more and realised that if you have dry eyes you are not a good candidate for laser surgery! I came across so many horrible stories on this website and on YouTube that I decided not to take this risk, especially that I didn't trust OE statistics anymore, and I was confused as to why the clinician at my initial consultation didn't bring the issue of dry eyes up in more detail. I wanted to discuss this with the other clinician that was supposed to call me, but as I am based in Manchester when a call came from Belfast I didn't pick up because I was expecting a call from Manchester. Coincidentally I was expecting a call from someone in NI and figured they just called at a wrong time. I was expecting to speak with Dr Kazmi, so for OE to call me from Belfast seemed awfully bizarre. I wanted to discuss the dry eye issue with him because I was so anxious the night before that I couldn't sleep, but they didn't try calling me again and I couldn't reschedule it for the same day, so I told them I would like to cancel the whole treatment because I have dry eyes. The lady on the phone told me that she has sent my request to the retention team and that they will contact me.
So far, I heard nothing back. They were really good at getting in touch when I was booking the consultation, but not now. After reading so many success stories about people getting their deposit back, could you offer me some advice on how to proceed with this now?