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DEPOSIT REFUND 19 Oct 2013 18:03 #601

  • JoL
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I have considered having laser surgery for quite a while but more for convenience as opposed to need as I wear contacts and was looking for an alternative permanent solution. Anyway I made an appointment at the Birmingham branch of OE simply to find out more information about what was available to me.

I was taken through various tests and then was told that the best option for me was to have RLE surgery and that I was suitable to have the surgery. I asked a number of questions relating to possible side effects and if there might be an complications and was told that the surgery is one of the most performed surgical procedures and there is less than 1% of patients that experience problems with this type of surgery.

I was told that I would be able to see from a distance and close enough to be able to read text clearly although I may need separate glasses for very close reading or work.

Everything sounded very positive and foolishly I parted with a deposit of £500. I was passed a folder and was told to bring this next week to my consent meeting.

That night I did some research on RLE so that I could be more informed as to what the procedure really was about. What struck me was the amount of people that had experienced problems and furthermore I was directed to this site which convinced me that this was not something I should enter into.

I felt that the facts were not explained to me fully and I felt that I had been duped by a large organisation whose sole purpose, at least in my eyes, is driven by money and not proper care of potential clients needs.

I contacted the Birmingham branch to cancel the arrangement. I was told that the person I need to speak to was not there and that as we were approaching the weekend she will be available the following Monday.

The following Monday I contacted the branch and was unable to speak to the person mentioned so therefore I contacted head office and spoke to a gentleman in the cancellation department called Jamie. He asked me did I contact the Birmingham branch within 24 hours of my initial consultation. I asked why is that relevant and was told that if it was outside of the 24 hours then I will have lost my £500 deposit. I said I have not signed any agreement and you were very quick to take my £500, I want my money back, at which point Jamie repeated the 24 hour deadline and wanted me to provide proof that I had indeed called within 24 hour period. I was told that this was part of the contract and I said what contract to which he told me, that is a clause in the agreement for my next consent consultation.

I asked to speak to the manager and Jamie's comments to me were reiterated by the manager. At this point I was so angry that I made my way back to Birmingham branch and demanded answers and my money back.

The same was said again that I needed to provide proof of my initial call and if it is not within the 24 hour period I will loose my money. I then informed the staff that I have nothing to prove and that I will ensure that OE will loose more than £500 as It will be my mission to visit the branch every day and tell everyone not to use these modern day corporate crooks.

I eventually had the manager of the branch speak to me and after a short period of time she said that she will email head office and get them to refund me my money but that it will take 28 working days for me to get it back, that is their policy, even though they took my cash by visa they will only refund it by cheque.

I left the branch but reading again at the empty promises made by staff from OE I will contact them this coming Monday and demand my money be returned.

I will be contacting Sasha and OERML to keep her posted. To me OE are corporate criminals and should not be allowed to get away with it.

RLE Deposit Refund 19 Oct 2013 18:00 #602

  • Bill C
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I had second consultation at Optical Express Harley St London clinic yesterday, for Cataract and Refractive Lens Exchange.

Already paid £500 deposit at Cambridge clinic on first free consultation. After scans and various other eye tests they told me that I was suitable for RLE and explained that the procedure was straightforward with brilliant results including never having to wear glasses for reading or long distances. They also recommended Jan Venter as their top surgeon.

I was really impressed and didn't hesitate to pay the deposit.
It wasn't till after the second consultation that I was given a consent form to take home with me to read and sign before booking the surgery dates.

On the train home from Harley Street, I started to read the form and was shocked at the number of Informed Consents, that had to be intialled and signed - 31! These outlined all the risks of the operation and aftercare, which ranged from possible blindness to further corrective laser treatment after RLE and 29 other possibilities. I could not believe how many problems could occur after being told at Cambridge that it would be straightforward and "Life Changing"! Certainly would be if I went blind.

When I got home I looked online to see reviews of Optical Express!! Boy was I surprised. Not only did I see several videos on Youtube about them and especially Proffesor Jan Venter who was supposed to do my surgery. On further investigation I also found that many dissatisfied customers were taking legal action against him, other surgeons and Optical Express. I also understand the GMC is investigating some of the claims against these surgeons and others in similar companies.

None of this was told to me at Cambridge or Harley Street before I paid the deposit. They never once outlined the life changing risks involved in these procedures because if this information was available to me I would never have paid this deposit, or even considered RLE.

Beside applying to Small Claims Court, any help recovering this deposit would be appreciated.
Bill C.
NB. If anybody is interested in seeing the consent form, will send.

DEPOSIT REFUND 19 Oct 2013 11:25 #603

  • Gloria
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I had my "Initial Refractive Consultation" (free consultation) with Optical Express in Dublin on July 22nd 2013. During the consultation they put drops into my eyes (Tropicamide 1%). They also gave me an information sheet concerning the eye drops which clearly states "Your near vision will typically be blurred and your eyes more light-sensitive for between typically 6 - 8 hours after installation. In some instances distance vision will be affected"

After the eye examination, they discussed the procedure and what it involves and the after effects. They then discussed the cost of the procedure and how the cost to me could be reduced if I had a certain level of private health insurance. They were pressuring me to give them a deposit there and then, however I resisted as I was not fully committed to having the surgery and wished to discuss it in more detail with my husband.They then got me to sign my name on page 5 of their 'Terms and Conditions' document (dated Mar '13).

Now you understand the relevance of the blurred vision mentioned above. You cannot read the document and rely completely on what they tell you. They kept the signed copy and gave me a blank one to take home.

Two days later they phoned me and told me they had arranged a date (August 30th) for my "Consent Appointment" and they told me I would have to give them a deposit before they could confirm the appointment. Feeling extremely pressured, I reluctantly gave them my debit card details with a Euro500 deposit. I subsequently cancelled this appointment as I was still unsure about going ahead with the surgery.

Shortly afterwards, feeling quite unwell, I attended my GP who sent me to a hospital for a battery of tests and examinations. My consultant told me that I had a serious health problem so, as you can imagine, any thoughts of elective eye surgery went straight out the window. With so much going on, it was several weeks before I contacted Optical Express to tell them that due to my ongoing health problems I would not be proceeding with the surgery and requested the return of my deposit.

They said that the deposit was non-refundable and "that was that". Shortly afterwards I received an e-mail from their Glasgow office requesting that I send them a letter from my Hospital Consultant giving details of my health problems which they would have reviewed by their Clinical Services Director, who would then decide if they would give me a refund.

As the only people I have discussed my health issues with are my Consultant and immediate family, I have absolutely no intention of giving details of my medical history to any office boy and his director, who may not even be a medical doctor.

As the money for the eye surgery was borrowed from my local Credit Union it has to be paid back. The loss of my deposit would be a serious blow coming on top of my other problems, about which Optical Express don't seem to care a damn.

I would appreciate any help you can give me in trying to get my deposit back, particularly any advice andy_c and mharbon might be able to give me.

Please contact me via the OERML Administrator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


DEPOSIT REFUNDS 18 Oct 2013 13:50 #604

  • Liza
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I was considering laser eye surgery in August this year and visited the branch in Reading town centre.

After numerous examinations and eye drops I was then sat in a room with a very young girl (sales person) who explained the costs involved and asked me to pay a deposit. At the time I hadn't 100% decided whether to go ahead with the surgery and asked her, if I changed my mind could I get the deposit back?

She told me that my deposit was refundable and just gave me a receipt for the £200 paid and a provisional appointment date. I was never given any terms and conditions and certainly did not sign any documentation.

I have since decided not to have the surgery and called OE Customer Services to be told that no refund would be given as I did not cancel the appointment within the 72 hours of making it.

I was never told this at the time of payment. I have since visited the store and spoke with the store manager who agreed with me that I should get my deposit back. He called customer services to be told the same about the 72 hour deadline as he had no authority to process refunds.

I have emailed OE and all I have been offered is £200 in gift vouchers. Why on earth would I want gift vouchers for a company I wouldn't step foot back into!

Please can anyone advise if they have been in the same situation as I do not intend to give up on this.


DEPOSIT REFUND 12 Oct 2013 08:18 #605

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Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. asap!

DEPOSIT REFUND 11 Oct 2013 20:35 #606

  • Pam
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:( Omg I have just seen this website after having the misfortune of visiting optical express Bluewater today and parting with my £500 deposit for RLE. I am now so scared to get it done now and need to get my £500 back even though I didn't sign anything.

Please please someone help me.


DEPOSIT REFUND 07 Oct 2013 07:14 #607

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I had a consultation in 2012 in Birmingham and like many others I was given the "good news" that I was suitable for surgery, although at a much higher cost than I anticipated - quelle surprise!

I paid £400 deposit for surgery that would in total cost £3,000, but fortunately I decided that I would wait until late 2013 to go ahead. This decision to delay was based on financial and personal reasons and I am extremely glad that I did so.

Over the last 12 months Optical Express persistently contacted me by phone and email pressuring me to book the procedure. I had to be quite forceful and told them to stop pestering me as I would go ahead when I was good and ready.

A few weeks ago I decided that the time was right to go ahead and schedule the surgery for December. I was at work and did not have OE's phone number so did an internet search and up popped OERML. A few minutes spent reading details here was enough to convince me that I was not prepared to put my vision in the hands of Optical Express!

I contacted Sasha and after a telephone chat she gave me CEO David Moulsdale's email address and a simply worded email (Ccd to Sasha) asking him for my deposit to be refunded. Amazingly, at 9.25am the next day I was contacted by OE's refund department and after confirming my credit card details they initiated a refund which appeared in my account within 72 hours.

Many thanks to Sasha and OERML for the help in getting my money back.

DEPOSIT REFUNDS 06 Oct 2013 15:51 #608

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admin wrote: If you're one of the lucky ones to receive a refund please post details here to help others fighting for theirs.

My wife and I are examples of people who did receive a refund from Optical Express once we had cancelled our surgery. This was despite having signed a form acknowledging that the deposit was not refundable. We decided to cancel our surgery because - like many people - we booked without doing enough research into both the surgery and Optical Express beforehand. A friend brought this site to our attention, and the stories here were enough to persuade us that we may have made a mistake. Speaking in person to Sasha confirmed this opinion, and we cancelled the surgery in the knowledge that the £1,800 we had paid in deposit may be forfeit. (The amount paid was higher than other people had paid due to the nature of our replacement lenses - they were toric, requiring - we were told - being custom made, hence a deposit was required for both the lenses and the surgery itself.)

With the help of Sasha, we crafted an email directly to Mr Moulsdale, saying that while we didn't dispute that we had signed a form to the effect that we understood any deposit was not refundable, Optical Express withheld critical information about success rates, investigations by the GMC into surgeons, outstanding legal claims, etc. We argued that obtaining our signature without revealing pertinent information threw into question how binding the agreement would turn out to be.

Shortly following this email, I received a phone call from Stephen Hannan acknowledging its receipt, and informing me that the matter had been passed to their refund department for processing. Within a few days I was contacted again, this time by that department, and the refund was processed, the full amount arriving in my bank account within 3 days. In the interests of balance, I have to say that in our case Mr Hannan was unfailingly polite, and everything he said would happen did come to pass. I feel sure that the fact Optical Express knew of Sasha's involvement in our case was a great help.

My advice to those seeking refunds would be:
  • Follow Sasha's advice, she has a wealth of experience in dealing with Optical Express.
  • Be firm but polite in communications with Optical Express. Emotive language never helps.
  • If you signed an agreement that the deposit should be considered non-refundable there is no point disputing the fact. Instead, stress the information not provided by Optical Express when selling treatment as a reason to throw doubt on whether this agreement would be upheld as binding.


DEPOSIT REFUND 05 Oct 2013 14:52 #609

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Many people decide to cancel their surgery with Optical Express and ask for their deposits back after further research leads them to OERML.

On behalf of his puppet master David Moulsdale, Stephen Hannan refuses!

Last month I advised a few people to respond to this refusal and point out to David Moulsdale that they'd been sold a treatment without being given the full facts; OE's track record, the numbers of damaged patients, how many are suing, GMC investigating surgeons, etc...

Each one was then given a refund without further argument.

But as Optical Express are wont to do (as when they started charging damaged patients £50 for their medical records a few months ago), they have decided to change tack and refusing deposit refunds, offering gift vouchers instead!

From Stephen Hannan: "If I may refer to my previous email, our position with respect to your request to be refunded the deposit remains unchanged, however, our offer of Optical Express gift vouchers to the equivalent value remains open to you.

For the avoidance of doubt this is our final position on this matter and any further communication will be met with the same response

I advise anyone refused a deposit refund by Stephen Hannan to pursue it via the Small Claims Court. Depending on the amount of deposit, cost is only £25-35 using the online Money Claim:

If Optical Express contest this I will be happy to provide a witness statement to support your claim, as I am sure those who've received refunds will also.

NB: If you're one of the lucky ones to receive a refund please post details here to help others fighting for theirs.

Decided Against Surgery! 15 Aug 2013 17:35 #610

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Amazing! My deposit has been refunded within 24 hours of requesting it.

After speaking to Sasha yesterday she sent me the wording of an email to send to the CEO of OE. I did this yesterday afternoon and at 09.25 this morning OE called me and refunded my credit card over the phone.

I am so pleased that my eyes have been saved from potentially damaging surgery and I now have all of my money back.

Thank you Sasha.
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