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TOPIC: SMALL CLAIMS COURT

SMALL CLAIMS COURT 24 May 2017 12:59 #1

  • Cyphex
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Hello all,

I had Laser eye surgery from OE in April 2010. As many others on here i was told by the sales team that it would last approx 20 years and I would only need off the shelf glasses. I was advised a life time guarantee and free eye tests every 2 years.

Fast forward 5 years (2015) I was told my upcoming eye test i'd have to pay for (which i thought was strange). Follow on another 2 years and my eyes have deteriorated that I actually need glasses again. Having contacted OE where I had the operation done i was referred to head office.

Head office advised I should go to my local store and arrange a free consultation for me. I then got the usually sales brochures as if it was a first time appointment. Upon attending the appointment I was met with a (extremely hard faced) women who told me that because I had the op done previously i'd have to pay £50 upfront for this consultation! Upon advising her of the situation she told me they don't offer any sort of life time guarantee and did I have this in writing. I am normally good and keeping documentation and no contract was given to me from OE at that time. She then referred me back to head office even though i challenged her they had advised me to come here.

I now feel that OE have completely mis-represented the product and service during their sales pitch and I would like to see if anyone on here has had any luck trying to claim their money back with the contract?

SMALL CLAIMS COURT 02 Dec 2014 22:29 #2

  • David T
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I have experienced much the same as a number of other dissatisfied customers on your site. The bottom line for me is that I paid £3.5k to get vision lasting between 5-10 years. In reality, I had 6 months of pain and multiple return visits before seeing any improvement, which lasted about 6 months then quickly regressed to my original pre operative surgery. I have complained and got fobbed off as seems their usual response. I would like my money back and to let others know what an unprofessional outfit this bunch are....

I cannot believe that there isn't stricter regulation of this industry. Can you help with any advice please?
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SMALL CLAIMS COURT 24 Nov 2014 17:14 #3

  • Billstie
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I think this makes sense. I have had a few exchanges with OE now and all have ended in their unwillingness to help or provide a refund. Who can I contact to advise me of what action I can take through the small claims court?
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URGENT REQUEST re RLE problems 20 Jan 2014 15:25 #4

  • The Bakers
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My wife has had RLE surgery performed by Mr Oberholster last year and after complaining repeatedly about the headaches, halos ,bright lights and of not being able to see properly she has been told that she needs to have an Explant and OE have made arrangements for the surgery to be performed by Professor Venter in London.

We were quite concerned about having this done by OE as with both the previous operations having failed we didn't feel safe going with them again. We have declined their offer and have made arrangements to have an independent second opinion with a consultant this week.

We will be watching your case with interest because we have been told that an Explant can cost in the region of £11,000 and we would obviously expect OE to fund this as well as any after care needed.

(I have forwarded our contact details to My Beautiful Eyes)

URGENT REQUEST re RLE problems 19 Jan 2014 14:47 #5

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I have details from many patients who have had problems following RLE surgery at Optical Express and will be submitting their statements (and copies of 'gagging orders') evidencing why Mr Wright is unwilling to risk undergoing an explant at OE, performed by Prof Jan Venter or anyone else, and therefore needs OE to finance surgery with a surgeon he trusts.

If you too have suffered RLE problems at OE, regardless of whether or not you are taking legal action, it would be appreciated if you would contact OERML.

This includes anyone who has undergone an explant at OE or elsewhere.

If you signed a 'gagging order' you can ask a relative to provide details, as any info discussed PRE signing is not confidential or covered by a subsequent agreement.

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

NB: If Mr Wright can wins his case in the Small Claims Court it will open floodgates for so many of you with the same issue yet unable to take legal action for negligence.
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SMALL CLAIMS COURT 12 Jan 2014 19:15 #6

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Last year I was contacted by Mr C who suffered unsatisfactory results following RLE surgery @ Optical Express in June 2011.

Mr C's 84 year old mother underwent RLE surgery the same week, both ops performed by Mr Alex George @ Bridgewater Hospital in Manchester following consultations @ Optical Express' store in Bristol's Cabot Centre.

Mr C's mother was given a refund on condition she signed a 'gagging order'. However Mr C wanted an explant and refused to risk his eyesight to one of OE's surgeons a second time, insisting it should be done by a reputable surgeon of his choice, cost approximately £11,000.

NB: Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) means that the patient's own natural lens is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL ). An explant necessitates a new IOL being replaced in the eye, unquestionably more complicated than the original RLE surgery.

Not constrained by his mother's gagging order, this gave Mr C an advantage in any ensuing legal case against OE: the same surgeon performed the same surgery on two members of the same family and both suffered the same problems!

However, legal action can take years and time is of the essence for an explant, as a delay can make the invasive procedure more complicated and reduce the chances of success.

With my support Mr C embarked on his battle for OE to pay for his surgery with a surgeon he trusted.

2 April 2013: David Mungall sent my client a "Without prejudice" letter agreeing to pay 50% of the explant costs, saying, "In the unusual circumstances of your case...".

(With the same mantra repeated in every "Without prejudice" offers so many of my clients receive - be it a £200 pair of glasses or £11,000 surgery, when do the circumstances stop being "unusual"?)

As Mr C was not in position to pay the other 50% this was not an option, so we fought on, reminding OE that Mr C was not 'gagged' and could therefore advertise both his own problems and his mother's on the internet.

21 June 2013: David Mungall's tag team partner, Stephen Hannan, sent a second "Without prejudice" letter, again chanting "In the unusual circumstances...", but this time agreeing to pay the full cost of treatment + twelve months aftercare for my client, with the surgeon of his choice.

Mr C discussed this with me and I recommended he spoke with a solicitor before signing the agreement - which of course included the famous 'gagging order', because once he signed there was no legal recourse.

December 2013: Mr C underwent RLE explant surgery paid by OE and is now unable to publicise details of his problems with Optical Express. However, I know the details, am not gagged, and am free to speak out.

Btw, a 'gagging order' restricts a person speaking out in public, "Unless required to do so by law".

Coincidentally, whilst helping Mr C I was contacted by Mr Wright who'd suffered the same problems, with the same RLE surgery, performed by the same surgeon, Mr Alex George, this time at the Optical Express Bristol 'store'.

Like Mr C, Mr Wright needs an explant and he asked Optical Express to pay for the same surgeon who treated Mr C. OE refused and said their surgeon Prof Jan Venter could do it just as well (see Craig's Story).

Of course Mr Wright turned down their generous offer and in December paid his own costs for a consultation with the same independent surgeon who performed Mr C's explant.

As he was leaving the clinic in London my client received a call from Optical Express offering him a £2,990 refund for the cost of his original surgery. He immediately called me when I advised him to wait until he received the offer in writing before refusing.

A few days later a letter from David Mungall arrived with the ubiquitous phrase, "In the unusual circumstances..." and of course the requisite 'gagging order'!

Mr Wright is 64 years old, he is not a wealthy man, he cannot afford the additional £8,000 his surgery will cost (plus travel and accommodation), and has already funded two London consultations himself.

Two years ago Mr Wright's wife died of cancer and now he too has cancer. (See David's Story)

Last week I wrote to David Moulsdale advising him that Mr Wright intends to pursue this via the Small Claims Court where I will represent him.

NB: This is not an option for people who are seeking compensation, which must be dealt with by a solicitor.

However, I believe the Small Claims Court may be an effective low cost option for those simply seeking a refund or retreatment costs, and I will be happy to help anyone wishing to pursue this option.
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OERML & My Beautiful Eyes Foundation rely on your support to expose the horrors of this unregulated industry.

Your help is very much appreciated!

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