/ Health

What happened to Optical Express’ ‘lifetime’ guarantee?

Eye

Were you offered ‘lifetime aftercare’ before agreeing to laser eye surgery with Optical Express? The campaigner Sasha Rodoy shares stories from hundreds of patients who say this has now turned into ’12 month aftercare’…

Since 2012, both as campaigner and patient advocate, I have spoken with thousands of people wanting advice or help following laser eye surgery.

Over the last few weeks hundreds of Optical Express patients have contacted me, left in shock after trying to book appointments only to be told that they will no longer receive free aftercare of any description. Each of them have told me that they were offered either free ‘lifetime’ or ‘unlimited’ aftercare. And I’m sure there are thousands more to come when they discover this change in policy.

Free lifetime aftercare

Neil told me:

‘We have just been told that my wife will now be required to pay for eye tests and products by Optical Express. We were told when we signed up for the treatment in Nov 2013 that we were not to worry as the treatment was covered by their Free Lifetime Aftercare Guarantee and so far they have honoured this for the past 2 years and 5 months.’

Paul has also suffered:

‘After surgery in 2012 I cannot see at night or in low light. Optical Express prescribed pilocarpine which allowed me to drive and commute to work, but now they have told me they will no longer supply this. Without help I am really at my wits end, it is affecting me mentally and has affected my marriage. I have become a recluse suffering from eye strain and headaches dreading not being able to see when dusk comes.’

Optical Express responds

An Optical Express spokesperson said last week:

‘For a period of time in 2009 we offered free lifetime aftercare to our laser eye surgery patients. As technology developed and the procedure became even more successful, it became clear to our Medical Advisors that the vast majority of patients only required aftercare in the early stages following their surgery. In October 2009, we changed our terms and conditions to offer 12 months of free aftercare instead.’

However, there is too much anecdotal evidence that a promise of lifetime aftercare was the reason many people chose to get laser eye survey with Optical Express. People like Hannah:

‘I had laser eye surgery with Optical Express three years ago and was promised FREE lifetime aftercare. However I’m now being told that I have to pay £50 for an eye test? Optical Express claim that it’s in my terms and conditions that my free aftercare is only for two years. However I was promised FREE eye care after surgery for LIFE!’

Laser eye surgery T&Cs

Although Optical Express claims that the need for long-term aftercare is small, what about those who do need aftercare beyond 12 months? Let alone the fact that so many people have said they were sold ‘lifetime’ aftercare after October 2009.

Some of the people who have received free aftercare far beyond 12 months post op are now apparently being told that this was a ‘goodwill gesture’.

In fact, I have a number of different versions of Optical Express’ T&Cs. A November 2014 copy states that there will be free aftercare consultations for 24 months, and a July 2013 copy states 36 months. Therefore, free ’12 month’ aftercare doesn’t seem to be the standard since 2009. Some patients have said they weren’t ever given T&Cs, and when they’ve asked Optical Express for a copy of them they have been asked to pay anywhere from £10-50 for them.

If Optical Express refuse aftercare then it falls on the NHS to do so – in fact I’ve heard from a number of patients who have had to go to their GP for medication, and referrals for reparative surgery.

Did you get laser eye surgery with Optical Express? Were you promised free ‘lifetime’ or ‘unlimited’ aftercare? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. And if you have a copy of your terms and conditions, please send to the Which? Conversation team at conversation.comments@which.co.uk

This is a guest contribution by Sasha Rodoy. All opinions are her own, not necessarily those of Which?

Comments
Maria says:
13 May 2016

When it came to selecting a provider for my procedure I researched the market and chose Optical Express as they included unlimited lifetime aftercare in the price and that made me feel more secure about the future. I discussed the terms of aftercare with staff during my consultation and they said I’d never have to pay for any eye tests or drops I may need. They also explained that if I needed any enhancements they would also be included. Any potential risks were minimized and the unlimited lifetime aftercare formed a bulk of the sales pitch. I had laser eye surgery just over two years ago and received support and free drops and night gel from my local branch of OE, all as part of my unlimited lifetime aftercare package. My life since the procedure hasn’t been plain sailing – I experience a lot of problems ( dry eye, eye pain, fluctuating vision, visual disturbances at night). Recently I was told my free aftercare cover was coming to an end and I was entering a chargeable period, £50 for tests and no more free drops. As I need a lot of drops, I challenged this retrospective change of provision but was informed OE was acting according to the original terms signed. As I was never given any hard copies of T&C, I had to pay £10 for information release and after 21 days received a bound folder with my clinical notes, all signed and initialled on the day of my procedure, and a generic T&C page bearing no signatures and reflecting the changed terms. As I know I did not agree to my procedure on those limited, short-sighted terms of aftercare – I contacted anyone who’d listed to get to the bottom of this. In the meantime my GP is prescribing my drops and gels and I had to pay for an appointment with an alternative optometrist. My most recent consultation funded by Optical Express was a visit to Harley St, to see a surgeon about the complications I’m experiencing. The surgeon wanted to see me for a follow up but now it is not going to happen – so I’ll have to pay for a private surgeon consult. This is wrong!

have you contacted your MP Maria ?

Henrik Larsson says:
13 May 2016

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Adversary4ever says:
13 May 2016

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I have had an absolute nightmare with optical express, they have not given me required after-care and have now told me that I must pay for care.

I had my eyes done in March 2014 and not only did it not work but eyes are always dry and sore and even the optician i saw at my last check up in Preston optical express told me that if he had been the one to do the consultation he would have advised me not to go ahead and he couldn’t understand why I had even had the surgery (well I was talked into it by the guy who did my consultation that’s why!)

My prescription was only slight and the reason I considered surgery was because a few years ago i’d suffered a broken nose and years later my glasses were still hurting my nose. this was the only reason, at my consultation I told him this and he went into full sales pitch, offered me discount but I had to sign up then and there (no going away to think about it, I had to apply for finance and pay the deposit right there on the day.) So I did. One of the things which persuaded me was in fact the free lifetime after-care.

The day after surgery my sight was absolutely amazing but within a month this was fading. At a check up a year ago he said something about my eyes are only .1 improved since before surgery and I do need glasses again, I can use my own glasses if I still have them he said! (As if I kept my old glasses! I had surgery so that I could throw away my glasses) He asked me why with such a small starting prescription I had surgery and I told him, he said that I should never been offered it…He said my only option now is to wait a few year and if my eyesight gets worse have surgery again but they wont do it again yet as it would be too much of a risk. (he assured me at this time that if I need surgery again I would NOT be charged)

My eyes are dry and sore all the time and I have to use 3 types of eye drops daily still….In September I had a check up at Manchester and I was told that I need to go and see the surgeon again and I would have an appointment but I had to call 12 times chasing up (I record all calls) each time being told that someone will call me back, sometimes I do get the promised call back and each time I am told that they are waiting for an appointment to become available at a suitable time for me. Only on the 4th February was I finally told that the only times appointments can be made are at 8.30am or around 4pm, I live 2 hours drive away and I have children in school, also I do not drive so have to get a lift, these times are absolutely not possible for me unless I take my kids out of school for the day which is against the law! They finally made me an appointment for the 17th February during half term. At this appointment I was told that I need large plugs fitted and I would be called with an appointment within two weeks. I have since then called 5 times but have not yet been given an appointment, the reasons given are that only one surgeon can do the fitting and he alternated between Manchester and Liverpool.

I emailed a formal complaint to Optical express and a few weeks ago I received a response telling me that my 2 years free aftr care was now up and that I would be changed for any future check ups and treatment. They included my contract signed which does indeed apear to state 2 years free after care, however this was NOT what I was told when I signed and I do not recall reading that (On the morning of my surgery I was a nervous wreck, shaking and it took them a while to do the surgery as I was too jumpy and almost backed out)

I called again to say that I was still awaiting my appointment and to enquire if I would be charged, having waited so long for appointments it is not my fault that it has taken more than 2 years to get things sorted but theirs. I was told I would get a call back…this was 6 weeks ago, I am still waiting.

I feel that I have paid thousands just to get sore eyes, because there has certainly been no benefit. I work on computers and I have had to take a lot of time off work due to me sore eyes. I went for an eye test at my old opticians and they told me that my prescription is exactly the same and that my eyes look like i’ve had surgery within the last 3 months! I am absolutely disgusted with the service and after care that I have received.

May I raise the question of plugs – I presume that you refer to punctual plugs for the alleviation of dry eyes. It does not require a surgeon to insert these plugs so f this is what you were told. Have you talked to your MP?

[Hello Ann, your comment has been edited to align with our Community Guidelines. Could you please ensure that future comments left adhere to our guidelines and remain on topic of the Conversation. Thank, mods]

Yes, it was punctual plugs for dry eyes. I never did get them done, instead I went to my GP who referred me to an optometrist. I’ve had the plugs fitted a few times by them now, I have to go back every 6 months. The NHS now have to deal with my care. I suffer dry side eyes and eyesight is deteriorating fast. I’ve had to get new glasses twice this year already and we’re only in July.

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I was also told I would have a lifetime guarantee at my first appointment in november 2008 and went ahead with the surgery in January 2009 and my nightmare began. After several surgeries with Optical Express have been left with a lifetime of problems with very bad dry eyes, problems with night driving, starbursts and many more but totally ignored by OE as they could not care about problems

Paul Millburn says:
19 May 2016

What is the value of lifetime aftercare if Optical Express go bust? They posted losses of £40 million in the last 3 years and they are very short of money. They don’t pay deposits back and now they are charging for everything they can including aftercare which should be free. There is so much negative publicity about Optical Express on the internet that it cannot be long before they don’t exist and aftercare is again fee, on the NHS!

This will be quick but I had lens replacement in 2013 and I was certainly told by at least 3 members of optical express staff that my eye care would be free for my lifetime , I even joked with the surgeon that I would be 110 so will probably not need it

There was no free independent help for people who have been wronged by the likes of Optical Express and other clinics (in reality businesses) in the refractive eye surgery industry until Sasha Rodoy selflessly decided to campaign for regulation to be imposed as well as exposing the true scale of the scandal of how this industry behaves.
Without her, the very damning issue of lifetime aftercare having been promised to patients by OE, then not provided, would have remained unknown, except for those patients affected, and of course, Optical Express themselves.

And the efforts and contributions of others of course who have publicised this issue through A Spokesman said -this has been highly effective in achieving publicityFor months Ihave been encouraging others who feel wronged by Optical Expressto have their say on the ‘lifetime aftercare’ and other issues on this platform and I encourage the to continue to do so and keep the momentum going because this has been a breakthrough !

Jax says:
17 May 2016

[Sorry Jax, your comment has been removed for failing to align with our Community Guidelines. Thanks, mods]

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Jax says:
13 May 2016

No. Laser eye surgery for the purpose of changing perscription involves reshaping the cornea nothing to do with letting water drain out.

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Jax says:
13 May 2016

Its a very common side effect after laser eye surgery which damages the nerves and meibomian glands

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The corneal nerves are severed in the creation of a LASIK flap and that flap never heals!

Optical Express ruined my partner eyes she had Laser surgery I n 2008 and has suffered with dry eyes syndrome ever since. optical express do not want to know and despite the consultant saying she needs drops they have refused to supply them and treat her unless she pays for the treatment. if you can imagine your eyes like a rollerball deodorant stuck that’s what Marion feels she has to put drops in every hour and in the night really thick drops please do not have laser eye surgery done you only have two eyes don’t ruin them. When you ring Optical Express they are just rude to you down the phone and they bully you please do not use this company please ask a hospital optician about laser eye surgery Before you even think about it , they’re the ones Who have to try and sort out the mess optical Express have caused
Go to Harley street optical express and see the special clinics days they have to try sort through the hundreds of problems they cause

I hope potential ‘customers’ heed your warning Bernard. I totally sympathise with your wife because despite what Optical Express may tell you – that dry eye is an innocuous inconvenience , transient and easily cure able with drops – Dry Eyes can be extremely debilitating and life changing . There have been accounts of suicides because I’d the devastating impact this condition can have.

Maceo Plex says:
14 May 2016

A mate of mine works for a Harley Street facility and he was telling me that basically people who complain about laser eye surgery side effects are hypercondriacs who had undiagnosed mental illnesses such as bipolar and schizophrenia and that it’s not the treatment but the mind of the individual that’s the issue.

So millions end up happy but a few people have a psychotic episode. Perhaps the laser does something to their brains or the doctor that treats needs to have a better understanding of mental illnesses and diagnose this before he considers fingering the patient.

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Hello in accordance with our Community Guidelines, please can you ensure that all comments left are polite and on topic. Comments which are deemed to breach our guidelines will be edited and/or removed. Thank you

Maria says:
14 May 2016

Ha Ha Ha couldn’t help but reply. Thank you Maceo Plex.
I guess one could find a link between, let’s say, bipolar disorder post laser eye surgery – as an episode may be triggered by trauma, stressful or life changing life event like NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE PROPERLY or being told the dry eye is here to stay. Twin studies suggest that while genes are a primary cause, other factors may also be needed for bipolar to manifest itself. Recent research focuses on bipolar depression as linked to low levels of serotonin in the synaptic gap. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate moods. Many people are depressed after having laser eye surgery- one doesn’t have to search far for testimonials from people who suffered or are suffering from severe complications after laser eye surgery and go on to develop depression, some go as far a attempting suicide. Most of them don’t develop bipolar disorder but stay unipolar. Manic episodes have been associated with high levels of norepinephrine, the neurotransmitter that contributes to our fight or flight response, directly increasing heart rate, triggering the release of glucose from energy stores, and increasing blood flow to skeletal muscle. It’s designed to mobilise our body for action. Stressors of many types evoke increases in noradrenergic activity. Chronic stress damage in this context and in significant part is due to the effects of sustained norepinephrine release directing resources away from maintenance and regeneration and leading to impaired disease resistance, slower rates of injury healing, depression, and increased vulnerability to addiction to name a few. DEALING WITH OPTICAL EXPRESS CUSTOMER SERVICE is often very stressful, especially when terms of cover are pulled out like the proverbial rug from under our feet. In my experience this stress meets criteria for chronic as poor provision has now continued for a long time. They are bad for my health!
Finally, too much dopamine, a neurotransmitter effecting emotions and perceptions, is linked to psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations. The dopamine transporter gene (DAT1/SLC6A3) is a membrane-spanning protein that mediates the reuptake of dopamine from the synapse. It has been associated with bipolar disorder and I think responsible for Optical Express customers seeing and hearing ‘unlimited lifetime aftercare of comprehensive nature’ when in fact the statement was ‘run for your life’.
I must stop boring you, reader, but my message echoes Marceo’s.
Not many may have heard of Dr Peabody, What can I say – I’m a nerd, but in my opinion these nuggets of wisdom should be tattooed in the psyche of every medical practitioner:

Medicine is not a trade to be learned, but a profession to be entered.

The treatment of a disease may be entirely impersonal, the care of a patient must be completely personal.

For the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient.

And until they are – our fight continues…

Maria says:
14 May 2016

In defence of Marceo’s post – though I made an assumption that with his comments he was mocking his pal from Harley St, I can see how it could be taken the other way.
It is my hope that Marceo knows mental illness is not caused by a brain penetrating laser. I’m sure someone out there knows what a brain penetrating laser would do to a brain – I recall reading a paper on treating neurological conditions via laser stimulation or removing tumours with laser assisted technology. Those treatments would not be provided in a setting such as Optical Express clinic.
I agree with Marceo that before pointing fingers at patients a company needs to examine their attitudes and procedures. And change them if they don’t serve consumers well, under pressure if necessary.

Maria your excellent portrayal of bi-polar is commendable but you omitted to include the association between the many side effects of some antipsychotic medications and the affect they can have on ones vision, causing patients to have to wear specs in order to correct the blurred vision caused by some of these medications.

Hello all, thank you for your comments. I’d like to remind everyone that in accordance with our Community Guidelines, comments should be polite as well as on topic. In the interests of keeping the conversation going and allowing evidence gathering could you all please return to discussing OE lifetime guarantee.

If you have any concerns about comments left that could be a breach of our Community Guidelines, then please report them for our moderators to review. Thank you

Maria says:
16 May 2016

In part, this reply strays from the topic of OE aftercare but I’d be grateful for an opportunity to clarify.
Thank you for your comment Beryl – I have in fact omitted several aspects of this very complex condition and those certainly include side effects of medication. Maybe I should have mentioned the main secondary factors but wanted to focus on the primary psychological aspects in this context. There is room for debate whether a person already diagnosed with bipolar disorder should be considered a suitable candidate for unnecessary yet invasive procedure like LASIK. My gut feeling is that such person, especially while in a manic state, has limited insight and may not be able to give informed consent . I know Optical Express make limited efforts to address this by contacting the GP, only of course if the person lists their condition in their standard questionnaire.
The message I really wanted to put forward was that psychological pressures after the procedure are vast, and in some patients may act as a trigger and lead to lasting psychological disorders – especially if the procedure resulted in life long and debilitating complications. Those people not only shouldn’t be seen as hypochondriacs ( re: Marceo’s initial post) but should be supported and helped by the provider, if only to help mitigate their symptoms. And for life – as promised in original terms of aftercare.

I recall seeing a Watchdog report in which staff of Optical Express were quoting different information relating to the cost of laser treatment. Some staff claimed that there are no risks associated with treatment, which is untrue, and the company was fined. Despite many complaints about treatment, the company is still trading and now there are concerns about what aftercare is offered.

It seems obvious that a detailed investigation of the company is overdue. What provisions are there to order a company to cease trading in the UK?

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I should be surprised if a quasi-clinical company could be closed down by a local authority [except on some trading standards contravention but that would have to be very serious indeed and isn’t the priority issue here]. In terms of clinical performance and patient treatment, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence no doubt has a role, and possibly also the General Optical Council, College of Optometrists, and Royal College of Surgeons. John McDonnell MP introduced the Regulation of Refractive Eye Surgery Bill [which would have included better regulation of laser eye treatment] into Parliament in the 2013-14 session but it failed to complete its passage so any new legislation would have to start afresh.

I’m familiar with food premises being closed for major breaches of the food hygiene requirements and closure of care homes following discovery of major problems. In the case of Optical Express there is widespread public concern but what’s needed is investigation and prompt publication of the findings.

John – Have a look at this page about Quality and Governance on the OE website: http://opticalexpress.co.uk/the-optical-express-experience/quality-and-governance

I would be interested to know the views of the organisations listed.

I have been asking that Which? provide a history on companies. This would be where people could reference running complaints easily. Wikipedia being open to tampering* it behoves Which? to run a curated Consumers’ Association wikipedia clone – CAwiki – and to prove its value as a consumer organisation.

Overall if companies realise that the public’s memory of past misdeeds , scams etc is easily available and refreshed it will improve corporate behaviour.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_Express

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwik_Fit
*Kwikfit ‘s entry seems to be missing some entries
youtube.com/watch?v=jHYrn6F4_LI
youtube.com/watch?v=GVmYJ7KP9wU

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Maria says:
14 May 2016

Duncan Lucas, my response in reference to Marceo’s revelations was intended partly as a prompt for him to clarify his position. I like to see the best in people and would hate to think he meant to insult those suffering from laser eye surgery complications. I am one of them after all. As no clarification is forthcoming, I at least hope he read and thought about the context of his post. My brother has a serious optic nerve condition and the effect on his life is indescribable. He is lucky to be surrounded by caring, decent people who support him at home and at work but I can imagine he would be very upset if anyone suggested his issues were a result of some psychotic disorder.
The engagement with Marceo’s post diverted my gaze from the real issue here – Optical Express withdrawing free lifetime aftercare retrospectively. This effects all patients, not only those with complications and complex needs. Of course the financial implications of this change will differ from person to person, the bottom line is that this is wrong. This is not what we paid for. And it’s causing real distress. And not just to those who already have issues post surgery – but also those who were comfortable in a thought that any potential future problems would be addressed within their free aftercare package. I had a chat a few days ago with a colleague in that very position – her surgery went well but she’d noticed the crisp vision she so loved following LASIK is not so crisp any more. Today it’s not a problem, tomorrow it may be. Her free enhancement promise has also been cut.
If Optical Express is allowed to manipulate patient contracts, other companies will follow. We need to be able to trust our providers and rogue practices erode the trust we place in our health institutions .

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Maria says:
14 May 2016

Duncan, we should meet, when this war is over. You’d be surprised how much we do have in common. I detest corruption and those in power taking advantage of their position for personal gain. The rose tint is a learned technique which helps me carry on, and I like to think that enough light gets through for me to see things for what they are. I still get angry when bad things are done to good people. I even get angry when bad things are done to bad people. I’m angry with Optical Express thinking they an get away with unfair policy changes. My outrage has motivated me to act.
Not long ago someone read out from Howard Zinn’s autobiography and it stopped me in my tracks. I was cleaning the sink at the time. Good old Radio 4, no housework ever gets done without it. I though it appropriate to bring this piece to the table:
“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

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Hello Duncan and Maria, thank you for your comments but can I please stress that your comments remain on topic in alignment with our Community Guidelines. Any off-topic comments, or comments that breach our Community Guidelines, may be edited or removed.

In the interests of keeping this Conversation going, and allowing for evidence gathering, could you please return to discussing OE lifetime guarantee. Thank you

Dani says:
14 May 2016

In the process of suing Optical Express due to negligence – lifetime aftercare guarantee means nothing when they have operated on eyes that should NEVER have been lasered at all! My advice to anyone is don’t trust these cowboys with your precious eyes!

Ann Banks says:
16 May 2016

Dani I was in that position . I had a pre-existing condition which made me unsuitable but Optical Express went ahead regardless. The GOC gave the optometrist who deemed me suitable for failing to do the proper checks. I have had confirmation from an independent surgeon that I was not suitable and I have no doubt in my mind that the results of the tests performed at my consultation were made to fit. Please bearing mind that optometrists and counslirs ( aka salesmen) are financially rewarded for ‘selling’ surgery to as many people as they can. It seems suitability is not a priority. Because of this I have suffered debilitating problems for 7 years and to rub salt into the wounds Optical Express are reneging on their contractual obligation to provide kifetimd aftercare . Having said thid, in my experience the aftercare I’d Woeful !

Ali says:
14 May 2016

I booked lens replacement surgery for next month at Optical Express after the optician and the patient advisor convinced me it was fail safe and problems were very rare. (I didn’t meet a surgeon) They also told me they would take care of me for as long as I needed after the operation . I was already having 2nd thoughts after I read some disaster stories online but this new information has made my decision a no-brainer. Nobody mentioned to me before I paid my deposit (which I’ll be asking them to refund) I wouldn’t buy a car with only 12 months warranty so I sure as hell wouldn’t have an eye operation that only has a 12 month warranty!

Thank you for this valuable article which has saved me from making what could have been a huge mistake!

Claire says:
18 May 2016

Fabulous to hear to have changed your mind. You have made the right decision. I wish I had seen OERML or this wonderful Which article before my eyesight was ruined.

[This comment has been tweaked to align with our Community Guidelines. Thanks, mods]

My case against Optical Express is heading up to the High Court so I am bound by my solicitors as to what I can discuss. What I can say is would you want to return to the very people who wrecked your eyesight in the first place!!. I was fortunate that I was able to commission a private report on the damage that was caused by the Optical Express surgical procedures. I had to fund further operations by a properly qualified surgeon to correct this damage. It would have totally irresponsible of me to return to Optical Express having ruined my eyesight in the first place.

Ann Banks says:
16 May 2016

Robert You are hotly correct – in my experience their aftercare was woeful and I would never allow any of their employees to touch my eyes again. However the lifetime aftercare promise is part of the contractual agreement and therefore cannot be withdrawn…if Optical Express are incapable of providing aftercare of an acceptable standard then patients should be entitled to go elsewhere at Optical Express ‘ expense!

Arthur says:
14 May 2016

Had my eyes lasered back in 2012. I have had corrective surgery in both eyes by Optical Express but still my eyes are not right. Optical Express promised me lifetime aftercare which I’m certainly not receiving

[This comment has been edited to align with our Community Guidelines. Thanks, mods]

I’m sure someone else has already said this but what surprises me is that there seems to be no proper regulation of this industry. Just as there seems none to deal with cosmetic surgery. Sometimes I can hardly believe that obvious problems have not been addressed.

In 2007 I had Intralase Wavefront LASIK on both eyes with Optical Express. The cost was in excess of £3000, and lifetime aftercare was included, involving drops, eye tests etc.

It initially seemed like a success. Since then, I went for a few eye tests then stopped receiving reminders to make appointments, and was always booking myself for eye tests off my own back. A few years ago I decided that my eyes had worsened to the point where I needed glasses again, and night driving is a nightmare, and wanted to get this checked out. I booked an appointment off my own back and was told that the prescription was minimal and that I should try a pair of driving glasses to see if it helps the situation. I tried this for approximately a year and nothing had changed, so I went back for another eye test. This time I was told that I was now outside of the timeframe for free repeat surgeries, but that they might be able to swing something and to keep trying the glasses for a while first.

That brings us to now, my eyesight has a slight but noticeable prescription and I have the driving glasses which don’t seem to be helping the situation. I attempted to book in for an eye test, again totally off my own back with no request from OE to come in for a check, but was put through to customer services after I was told I’d need to pay £50 for a refractive eye test since I hadn’t been for an eye test in so long?! The rather curt lady told me that was how it was, and that it was all in the T&Cs that I had signed, of which I have no recollection. She wasn’t budging on the stance, even though I mentioned on numerous occasions about the Lifetime After-Care.

Upon googling the issue, it seems I’m not the only one being told this.

It could be worth going to your local optician to have your eyesight checked. Then decide how to move forward.

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Ann Banks says:
16 May 2016

If you ask them for a ‘signed’ copy of the t&c s which support their new stance yih will no doubt come up with a blank !

Ann Banks says:
16 May 2016

It is the NHS and the British taxpayer who are picking up the pieces!

i was considering going to Optical Express and have an appointment booked for 24th May. After reading all the comments i will definitely not be using them. I am also surprised at the aftercare or should i say lack of it, i would have automatically thought it would be in T&Cs and that is how you get duped. I would not have thought to get them to show me where the life time aftercare was written in the contract but if nothing else all the comments have shown me that wherever i end up going this is something that i will ask to be shown before i sign.