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TOPIC: HITACHI Finance Agreements

Collusion with OE! 26 Oct 2016 16:44 #1

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A conundrum for you - that means a confusing and difficult problem or question Tweedles!

Optical Express are offering laser eye surgery ‘from just £19 per month, per eye’.
www.opticalexpress.co.uk

Without having even met the surgeon, at your first sales consultation, if you say you can’t afford the cost of surgery, Optical Express will set you up with a Hitachi Capital Personal Finance agreement as fast as you can blink - 'blink' coincidentally the name of the eye drops you're highly likely to need after laser eye surgery!

Hitachi are fully aware of what’s going on but have proven that they don’t give a damn so long as they get your money...

I contacted Hitachi in early 2014 and explained how many people were suffering problems with Optical Express, and suggested they might want to reconsider their contract with the company. Naive perhaps, but worth a try!

Surprisingly, Hitachi’s Head of Customer Services Chris Mellor assured me that they did want to work with me to help their damaged customers, some in litigation yet still paying off their Hitachi loans as I'd explained.

A number of amicable discussions followed and he even set up a 'third party authorisation form’ for my clients (their customers) so that I could represent them.

In June 2014 Chris wrote, 'Let me re-assure you that we are taking these customers circumstances very seriously and we want to work with you to a conclusion for them as soon as possible.’

On 16 July, his colleague Jo Lockwood told me that Chris was speaking with Tweedles via telephone that day, and 'once he has the up to date position from him we will then be in a position to touch base with you.’

My promising relationship with Hitachi then fall apart!

The following excerpts are from Chris’ email to me dated 16 September 2014:

"I recently visited the head office of Optical Express to meet the Clinical Services Director in person [Stephen Hannan aka Tweedles] and I am satisfied that Optical Express is dealing with customer complaints promptly and fairly, on a case-by-case basis and in a manner which meets the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority...

3 customers have been offered further treatment free of charge. (This can be provided at a different clinic and/or by a different surgeon from the original clinic/surgeon and, following my visit to Optical Express, I am satisfied that Optical Express only offers such treatment as a remedy where its opthalmologists advise that this should be of benefit to the customer)...

I understand that the remaining complaints from customers who have nominated you as their representative were received in July and August and are in the course of being dealt with...

I hope that the above helps assure you that Hitachi Capital is committed to ensuring that its customer complaints are resolved in a fair and reasonable manner, in a way that is right for each individual customer. We remain of the view that this outcome can be best achieved by continuing to work with Optical Express, as detailed above, without putting customers to the time and cost involved in Court proceedings. We are in any event mindful of our duties to try and resolve complaints without the need for litigation, a duty that applies to all potential parties to litigation. That said, I appreciate that there may still be some customers who despite our best efforts, decide that they want to commence proceedings regardless. That is a matter for them.
"

I'm guessing that OE treated Chris Mellor to a very expensive 'meal' during his visit to Glasgow!

See 26 Oct 2014 post, 'Time to go after Hitachi!'

If I remember correctly, as a result of my endeavours, only three people were eventually refunded by Hitachi, who decided it was more profitable to continue to collaborate with OE!

I trust Hitachi are paying close attention, because here's the conundrum...

For argument’s sake, imagine that Optical Express go out of business in January. What then happens to the thousands of people still entitled to aftercare, and to those left with problems in need of treatment?

Will Hitachi cover the costs of aftercare for the OE patients who signed up with them, pay for post op medical treatment, and/or cancel the finance agreements and refund everyone's money?

And if they refuse to do any of these things, could Hitachi Personal Finance then be sued by the thousands of people (hypothetically) left high and dry?

I guess we’ll have to wait just a wee bit longer to find out :kiss:

HITACHI Finance Agreements 01 Jan 2015 12:10 #2

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Had an email from Hitachi Finance saying they have dismissed my case.
Attached was a letter from a Mr Stephen Hannan, full of lies, saying how every risk was explained to me - not once but three times! Bullsh*t. How I missed an appointment for Yag laser, you can't miss an appointment if you have cancelled it.
I have fired an email back to Hitachi Finance but I presume once they have dismissed your case you are stuffed.

HITACHI Class Action 29 Nov 2014 14:53 #3

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Having read my previous post you will now appreciate that Hitachi totally support Optical Express, NOT their unhappy customers!

This leaves you with the option of complaining to the Financial Ombudsman, or seeking a full refund from Hitachi via the Money Claim Online and/or 'small claims court'.

NB: The claim must be made within 6 years from date of surgery (sale).

I appreciate that some people can find the process quite daunting, which is why I offered to help (post 26 Oct 2014 @ 14:33). However, the numbers of people contacting me are staggeringly high and it is impossible for me to help each one individually.

Earlier this week I explained the problem to lawyers and discussed the possibility of a 'Class action'.

This is being considered and I can make no promises, but if you would like to be included in this possible move please email me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subject: "Hitachi Class Action".

NB: Even if you have previously contacted me re Hitachi I ask that you do so again to ensure I don’t leave you out, because I am swamped with emails and don’t have time to sort through history
:kiss:

Think Again!! 29 Nov 2014 13:56 #4

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I have countless emails like this from Hitachi 'Complaints Officer' Tracy Harrison to unhappy OE patients. Not one supports the complainant and OE are faultless - according to Hitachi!

When Tweedledum and Tweedledee are looking for work next year I recommend they apply to Hitachi, because they're perfectly suited
:kiss:







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HITACHI Finance Agreements 28 Nov 2014 21:45 #5

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Hitachi didn't get back to me so I phoned them and they have sent a complaint form. They should respond within five business days, they are cutting it a bit fine.

HITACHI Finance Agreements 18 Nov 2014 18:10 #6

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I have e-mailed Hitachi finance to complain about the state of my vision since having lens replacement, I asked for them to please pass on my e-mail to the relevant person, I have not had a reply as yet.

Time to go after Hitachi! 26 Oct 2014 14:33 #7

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admin wrote: Hitachi are aware of current media interest and will presumably not want to appear to be colluding with Optical Express.


Seems I was wrong!

Chris Mellor is Head of Customer Service @ Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, the infrastructure keeping Optical Express afloat.

Hitachi are unarguably as culpable as Optical Express. They provide the finance agreements that OE ‘refractive technicians' (sales staff) thrust in front of people to sign when they're blinded [sic] by eye drops blurring their vision.

Sign here” says the salesperson, clocking up how much commission they’re making this month, because that’s exactly what patients are to OE's optoms and 'refractive counsellors' - sales figures!

The pressure to pay an immediate deposit and sign the Hitachi agreement persuades people to undergo surgery they would in most cases not be able to afford, who would have walked out the minute they were told that the advertised £795 per eye "is not available for ‘your’ prescription"!

I have been fighting with Hitachi on behalf of OE patients since May, when Chris Mellor provided customised third party authorisation forms enabling me to represent unhappy patients wanting to get their money back.

Following a phone conversation (see 13 June post), on 10 June Chris Mellor wrote: "Let me re-assure you that we are taking these customers circumstances very seriously and we want to work with you to a conclusion for them as soon as possible.”

However, as the numbers of people asking for my help escalated - as I'd told him they would, on 16 Sept ’14 he wrote:
"Optical Express is one of the country’s leading providers of laser eye surgery and, in our view, does act responsibly in dealing with the minority of cases from which customer complaints arise. (PAUSE TO ROLL AROUND LAUGHING)

I recently visited the head office of Optical Express to meet the Clinical Services Director in person and I am satisfied that Optical Express is dealing with customer complaints promptly and fairly, on a case-by-case basis and in a manner which meets the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority...

I hope that the above helps assure you that Hitachi Capital is committed to ensuring that its customer complaints are resolved in a fair and reasonable manner, in a way that is right for each individual customer. We remain of the view that this outcome can be best achieved by continuing to work with Optical Express, as detailed above, without putting customers to the time and cost involved in Court proceedings. We are in any event mindful of our duties to try and resolve complaints without the need for litigation, a duty that applies to all potential parties to litigation. That said, I appreciate that there may still be some customers who despite our best efforts, decide that they want to commence proceedings regardless. That is a matter for them.

I believe that the above clearly sets out the position on behalf of Hitachi Capital. Unless that position changes, I do not propose replying to any further communications received from you, as I do not see how our customers’ interests will be best served by me doing
so.”

I wonder what incentive caused Chris to have such a change of heart after his visit to Optical Express' head office?!

Re 'Sale of Goods Act' and your rights:

"Services: Everything from dentists to restaurants...

Fit for purpose AND last a reasonable length of time


"You have up to six years after you bought a good to complain. (In Scotland, it's five years after you first realised there was a problem.)"
www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/consu...hts-refunds-exchange

"If your goods fail to meet any of the above criteria then you could have a claim under the Sale of Goods Act.

If you want to make a claim under the Sale of Goods Act you have several possible ways of resolving your issue, depending on the circumstances and on what you want done.

Your rights are against the retailer – the company that sold you the product – not the manufacturer, and so you must make any claim against the retailer.

However, the Sale of Goods Act doesn’t apply to goods you've bought on hire purchase (HP).

Instead the Supply of Goods Implied Terms Act 1973 applies, which makes the HP company responsible for the quality of the goods supplied and gives you slightly different right
s."
www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/sale-of-goods-act

If you have post op problems, an agreement with Hitachi, want your money back, intend to take legal action (Small Claims), please write to Chris Mellor:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Detail your complaint against OE and say that you are: "paying (Hitachi) under protest”. Tell Chris Mellor you will be seeking a refund/compensation from Hitachi via the Small Claims Court.

I will do everything I can to help anyone choosing to take this route, and am willing to attend your court hearing as representative or witness whenever possible.

If you have any questions please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PS: Those of you with damaged eyes like me will will understand why Hitachi's balloon makes me feel violently sick!
:kiss:

HITACHI Finance Agreements 21 Jun 2014 22:49 #8

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Last Thursday I had a conference call with two Hitachi representatives to discuss refunds for some of my clients damaged by OE.

There is still more to be discussed, which may take another 4 to 6 weeks, but Hitachi have assured me they are keen to improve their customer service and reach a satisfactory resolution for my clients.

I advised Hitachi that there are many more OE patients who will also be asking for cancellation of their finance agreements.

Hitachi are aware of current media interest and will presumably not want to appear to be colluding with Optical Express.

Watch this space :kiss:

URGENT! Re HITACHI Finance Agreements 13 Jun 2014 09:33 #9

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If you took out a Hitachi finance agreement with OE and suffer post op problems please contact me asap if you would like my help to cancel the agreement.

NB: This includes anyone currently in litigation.

Email your details to me and Hitachi will send out a ‘Healthcare Third Party Authority Form’ which you need to sign & return to Hitachi to allow me to speak on your behalf.

Send your full name, address and reason for refund/cancellation request to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I've had a number of recent discussions with Hitachi's senior management team and asked them to consider cancelling their contract with OE.

No guarantees, but they are listening - and paying close attention to OERML/Facebook!

Hitachi have a valuable reputation to protect and can't continue to bury their head in the sand.
:kiss:

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Can I refuse to pay Hitachi credit agreement 15 May 2014 13:46 #10

  • Lynn
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I wanted laser eye surgery and went to Guildford, explained what I did, that I could not afford the the cost, they said no problem and arranged credit.

I had my surgery and within 8hrs knew something was wrong with my left eye. At my 24 hrs post op check up OE tested my eyes and said it was fine, that it just needed to settle down and made me an emergency apt for the following day in Reading.

I went and they said my right eye was within parameters but said my left eye was taking time to adjust well and so was my head.

With a bloody headache I had a number of appointments and they said it can take up to 90 days to settle down. I went to another company for a check up and was told my left eye had been over corrected without a doubt.

I said I was having to use reading glasses more and they told me I would need to due to my eye prescription and that I must have been told. I said I wanted to be glasses free and they said I should have had RLE.

I said that was not offered as I was under their age criteria. This was cr*p as having read more since they should have said that's what I needed.

So now I have to wear reading glasses nearly all the time and I cannot focus properly with my left eye. At my last check up they said they'd give me glasses.

Well sorry I paid out for laser surgery which they have failed to deliver as my left eye is terrible it has made me very depressed and my quality of life has gone down hill and on top of that still have a loan to pay.

My question is they have failed to provide a service correctly core correction is a error on there part can I refuse to pay the rest of the loan as my left eye is cr*p. Any help here please.

Wish I had read all these horror stories before.
Lynn
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