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Optical Express / They are treating their customers in appalling manner

1 United States Review updated:

I have been a customer of Optical Express since 2002, buying both my glasses and contact lenses there. A year or so later, I set up a direct debit to pay for my monthly contact lenses, and this is where the problem started; On a number of occasions over the years, I had to call to ask where my lenses were as payment was taken, but no product showed up. The company did not have a proof of postage to show me, although I was reassured they kept them on file (?) and the Regent St branch where I was 'based' has now closed. The irregular and unreliable dispatches was the biggest reason as to why I decided to leave this company last year and switch to another contact lens provider.

I then recieved a letter claiming I owed Optical Express £32 (my monthly direct debit was set to around £14, so even 2 'missed' months did not add up to this sum). I corresponded with a representative, providing her with additional information over several months and asking her to explain this random breakdown of the direct debits they claimed to have. I kept getting the same reply each time that they had dispatched goods in good faith and that my outstanding payment of £32 was still standing. As a loyal customer, I feel I had provided Optical Express with a monthly payment 'in good faith' for goods which I actually did not recieve on a regular basis. My querie of an alternative solution in my first correspondence considering I had not recieved all the batches I had paid for, fell on deaf ears and was not even acknowledged in the following letters.

After having provided a print of my outgoings, dating back several years, which proved I did not owe any monies and writing a letter referring to this on the 2nd Dec 2010, where I also pointed out that I had not recieved a batch after my last payment, I heard nothing and assumed this matter was now settled.

Last week I recieved yet another letter now threatening to issue a CCC. I called the number provided and was met increadibly unprofessionally by a young girl who had no interest in listening to my concerns. At this point I felt that rather than harping on trying to prove my point, I might as well pay the £32, which is probably exactly what the company was hoping for. When she put me 'on hold' (or so she thought) to let the payment go through she laughed together with a collegue saying something along the lines of 'this final letter always does the trick' only to return to the phone still laughing. I have written emails and letters of complaints, but no reply. Not surprising as Optical express doesn't seem to be keen to keep their customers on their books.

I have worked in senior management in customer services for over 15 yrs now and at no point have me or my staff treated loyal customers in this appalling manner!

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  • Op
      23rd of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    Sorry to hear about the trouble you're having. We're keen to resolve this for you. Please email with your contact details and we will investigate this matter. Thank you.

  • Le
      29th of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience, i had the same experience this week - like you, I have been working in client and customer services for 10 years and I am appalled by optical Express customer service . I used their services once and NEVER again.

    I came on thursday to do an eye test and buy glasses. I knew already the pair i wanted to buy. The sales person was extremely pushy for me to buy several pairs giving me insane discounts. From £540 to £372 - that was smelling fishy but i stayed. The whole point was for me to buy one pair with TRANSITION glasses.

    I paid £279 for the glasses trusting Optical Express staff i would have my gucci glasses and transition glasses. First they did not tell me on tuesday my glasses arrived and I had to call and apparently they could do it in 1 day... When i picked up my glasses they did not have the courtesy to spell my name right and they could not find the glasses.

    The lady who gave me my glasses was rude and just gave me the box - There you go! no goodbye, or thank you... She did not even check the receipt to make sure that what i asked for was paid. I realised the day after that actually i do not have transition glasses.

    When i called them they said that i did not pay for it... if i want transition glasses i need to pay £49. This is completely unacceptable. The whole experience is disgusting - they over promise, sell you the whole shop and at the end you don't get what the optician recommended in the first place.

    The optical express shop is The Strand in London Embankment. OPticvl Express should really train their staff on how to talk to customer with manners and stop pushing for the sale. It is very annoying and it put us off buying anything. They only care when they make a sale. Once you pay, you are a nobody and it is not their problems...

    I have been working in customer service and management for a long time and this attitude is toxic. They think they know thier jobs better than us. They are just wrong - London is a city of services - we know just as much.

    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience on this. Maybe will answer to my complaint as well. BTW - on their site there is not visible tab for compalints of issues - you have to call a number and be placed in a queue... a bit easy to sink the issues.


  • Fr
      18th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    This is but one of hundreds of customer service nightmare stories on line. I had a six month nightmare with them. At times I felt it was as if they hated me personally for having the temerity to complain about my poorly fitting glasses with faulty lenses.

  • Le
      18th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    I agree with you Franklins - BTW no news or comment from and i had to pay £50 for new lenses. The Manager @ OpticalExpress said it was my fault because I tried too many glasses so I confused the staff.

    If the staff did not try to sell hard core 3 pairs and listened more - there won't be any confusion. So I paid and called to check if they received my glasses as they never call you...

    Once again, rubbish customer service as you are a nobody once you over paid for the glasses.

    Thanks for sharing Franklins!


  • Ri
      24th of Jan, 2013
    0 Votes

    Hello all, please check out this thread of a similar complaint and refer to the customer letters used:
    I hope you find it useful in resolving your stressful and totally unnecessary situation.

  • Ge
      3rd of Apr, 2013
    0 Votes

    I was almost coerced by optical express at glasgow braehead to pay £500 depost the day that a 'deal' had been agreed. I was told it had to be today or not at all. I said i couldn't pay it till the following dayl. Obviously they took it i.e. £500 cash mid January. 2 days later at as subsequent optician appointment in preparation for my imminent lens replacement procedure it was established that this surgery would not suitable for me. I have still not received my £500!!! I have called them numerous times and been told there has been a hold up but to wait a week longer. This is now 3 months. I am also told by them that they have no formal complaints procedure. I would like to know who regulates them. Anybody?

  • Ri
      9th of Apr, 2013
    0 Votes

    Hello Germana
    Here is some info from O Ioannou on another relevant thread:

    Care Quality Commission (CQC)
    All Optical Express clinics are registered and fully accredited by this Government regulatory body which is designed to protect the interests of patients who have undertaken treatment or who are considering undertaking treatment.

    General Optical Council (GOC)
    Optical Express is fully registered with this regulatory body for the optical professions in the UK and adheres to their strict standards of treatment and care.

    The Eye Laser Association (ELA)
    Optical Express is a founding member of this association, and as such maintains 'best practice' within the industry to ensure that all patients of the member clinics are treated with both fairness and honesty. David Moulsdale, Chairman and CEO of Optical Express is currently the Chairman of the ELA.


  • Ga
      26th of Sep, 2014
    0 Votes

    I have both eyes treated by lens replacement in may, June 2013 and I have to wear glasses for reading and for distance, two pairs ! all at my own expence, I really wish I hadn't had it done, they cover themselves by saying it` 99% success rate, so I have lost over £ 3000 in the process and if I want to see them it costs me money to travel down to Harley street London to see someone !

  • Di
      6th of Feb, 2018
    0 Votes

    Its 2018 and same bad service from Optical Express persists. I paid them over £3k but my mum has been deemed unsuitable for Surgery since 22nd December 2017. Today is 6th February 2018 and Optical express has not fulfilled their customer promise. Please stay well away if you can. Also follow optical express ruined my life for more info.

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