• Report: #761849
Complaint Review:

Lasik Vision Institute

  • Submitted: Sat, August 06, 2011
  • Updated: Thu, August 18, 2011

  • Reported By: Mark Sherman — Vernon Connecticut United States of America
Lasik Vision Institute
50 Burlington Mall Rd. Internet United States of America

Lasik Vision Institute LVI Lasik Patient Rip-off Scammers Internet

*Author of original report: Sloppy Surgery/Customer Care & Sloppy LVI Response

*UPDATE Employee: Positive Experiences at The Lasik Vision Institute

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LVI told me that I was a good candidate for Lasik eye

surgery and that I would be very happy with the results.  The day following the surgery, I visited the

clinic by appointment for a post-op exam.  The flap in my cornea (left eye) which is typically cut by the eye surgeon was not properly seated.  This condition left me with much eye discomfort and poor vision.  They did not immediately correct the conditon.  Instead, they told me to come in following the upcoming three day weekend. 

After the weekend, I again returned to the clinic in Burlington, MA, only to be told they did not have a qualified doctor present to set the flap.  They told me to return on one week.  Very disappointed, I called their corporate contact number.  After a 2-3 hour wait, I was told they were bringing the original surgeon in to correct the condition.  When he arrived, he was uncomfortable that they he was not immediately contacted on the first day of complaint.  He set the flap.  I have had eye problems ever since.  I now have two independent eye surgeons who tell me that the flap should have been seated within 24 hours.  Although I had committed to the "lifetime" plan, they have made no effort to correct the condition.  I have be told by a very prominent surgeon that if I submitted to surgery to correct the increased astigmatism and condition in my eye, there was a significant chance that I would end up worse than I am now.  On my last visit in July, 2011, the "doctor of the day" told me that they were going to forward my charts to the "new surgeon of the day" for correction assessment.  Three separate times, over a period of four weeks, they told me that they would call me with the doctor's assessment.  In each instance, the manager utterly failed to contact or communicate with me, in any fashion.  At the end of each the promised customer contact dates, I had to call the clinic manager.  Her words were, "The doctor was in but he did not have time to look at your chart."  I am fully disgusted with LVI.  This clinic is operated by reprobates.  My right eye is despondent.  I have serious deterioration in night

vision.  Beware.  Their surgeons are not their employees and, like my surgeon, are only short term players.  Medical doctors have told me that it is likely that no other surgeon

will attend to me as they do not want ownership for my condition.  Also, do the research; Lasik is not a good procedure for the patient.   It is a money-maker for the service provider.  Dont expect a consultation with the surgeon.  No, this is low-rent, fast cash, doem business.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/06/2011 02:56 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/lasik-vision-institute/internet/lasik-vision-institute-lvi-lasik-patient-rip-off-scammers-internet-761849. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Sloppy Surgery/Customer Care & Sloppy LVI Response

AUTHOR: Mark Sherman - (United States of America)

It is appropiate and necessary to respond to LVI's rebuttal, as it is so lacking in fact.  I will respond, in the order set forth in their response.  Before beginning, it would be profitable for the reader to note the many other complaints against LVI linked from the "Ripoff Report's" website.  They are alarming.

The Dr. of Optometry told me that I was a good candidate was a rather young man, who had very limited experience but who obviously needed experience. He seemed to be only slightly out of medical school or an intern.  It is ridiculous to believe that those who do not promote sales for LVI would continue in a lucrative or experience building relationship with them.  Since the failed surgery, I have studied their model.  They are money hungry.  There are successful class action suits against them where groups have prevailed, especially where they advertise one very low price.  When they get you in the door, wham....the prices skyrockets.  Do the research.  

I have a very good eye doctor now who is rated one on the top 100 surgeons in the country.  He has several patents, is a consultant for the FDA, and operates a very caring and succesful practice in Connecticuit, with two locations.

He told me very plainly that Lasik in not a good procedure and he refuses to do it.  He said it is a money maker for those who provide it.  Good for them and in the long term, no so as beneficial for the patient.

I did in fact, file a complaint with GE Money Bank when there was no corrective action for my poor eye condition.  During the investigation, LVI refused to see me.  A very compentent eye doctor prevailed upon both LVI and the surgeon who operates his own practice near Boston, telling them that in his opinion, they should consider attending to the patient and work out the payment details later.  He told them both that their actions could easily be equal to "patient abandonment", which LVI was so readily willingly to do.

However, the surgeon did contact me and agreed to see me at his own practice.  He said that he could fix my eye, but that I again, would have to pay him for the fix.  I thought this offer to be unseemly, and walked away from it.  Sounded like a scam to me.  You?

It is not factual that they did not notice my condition the immediate day following my surgery.  Quite the opposite.  They informed that I did in fact have a problem with the flap.  They said they did not have a surgeon on site to correct the problem and that I would have to return in four days when the correction could be made.  Not happy, I came back in four days for the correction.  All the while, my eye was despondent and vision blurred.  Upon arrival and after checking in, I was again told, "We don't have a surgeon here presently" and that I would have to return next week.  Only after calling their corporate office was an attempt made to contact the surgeon who did come in for the correction.  Is this customer care reasonable and customary?  I think not.  Again, profit over patient.  I have the phone records!

Now, imagine this.....laying on a operating table with tiny forceps stretching the flaps of your cornea while the attendant counted the seconds in 30 to 60 second intervals.  Then....again, following an additional grip with your corneal flap. Again..... .  It reminded me of trying to pull the wrinkles out of plastic wrap.  If they say time doesn't matter when getting the flap repaired....hey, get a second opinion.  I did and it is not at all consistent with LVI's claim on that subject.  I can assure you it is not plesant.  Even the surgeon who attended me stated, with some emotion, "If they told me the day following your surgery that your flap was not seated, I would have made myself available".  OK, and I wish LVI would have.  Better for me if they did.  However, they did not.  Why?  Maybe they just wanted to close for the day for an early afternoon quit.  You know, enjoy the weekend.  Customer care?  What do you think?

I have excellent credit.  But, if you bought a lemon, would you continue to pay for it?  I have again filed a complaint with GE Money Bank with more detail.  Why would I do that?  Well, the manager, who calls herself Carriane and I met in the hall one afternoon when she was returning from lunch.  I told her that my vision was negatively affected, it was impacting my work and college studies negatively.  I also am now experiencing seriously degraded night vision. I told her that it was negatively affecting my income as I was unable to work the very long hours sometimes required at my job.  That overtime equates to money.  Her response was a question, "Did you purchase the 'enhanced plan'?"  Thinking it was some upgraded surgery, I said no.  Her response was, "Well then, we are all done with you.  It has been over a year since your surgery."  I was shocked.  In America, I was shocked.  Premier Lasik Provider?  Wow!

My response?  I asked her what she meant by "enhanced plan".  She replied that she was referring to the lifetime plan.  I responded, "Oh, yes...I did purchase that plan".  Not too happily, she agreed to have me examined.  Then, both the examining doctor and the manager told me that the surgeon would review my file the following week and they would contact me.

On the promised day, LVI made no attempt to contact me.  Knowing the schedule of operation, I called to speak the Carriane before they closed.  She told me that the doctor came in but did not have time to review my file.  She said, again, that he would be in next week and that should would contact me after he reviewed my file.  Can you say, Deja vu?  One week passed, and again, no attempt to contact me was made.  When I called, same story, "The doctor came in but did not have time to look at your file".

There was one more instance of this behavior, a third time, by the manager.  So....I'm all done with LVI.  They consistently lie.  And so, yes, gosh darn'it, I did again file a complaint with GE Money Bank.  I haven't heard the response.  And the really good part, I made my inquiry at LVI, entering with bifocals.  And, after spending $675.00 in just one year trying to find an eyeglass perscription that works, I now....wear bifocals.  Ain't it Grand?  Money well spent?  What do you think?

And finally, there was no meeting with the a second surgeon as they state, one year later (that would be the one they claim who has been with them 8 years).  The one who, according to the manager, never saw my file.  Nope....didn't happen.  This is a blantant lie.  I think these people ought to be in jail or out of business. 

Final note, the surgeon who originally attended me, you know, the one of 5 years?  He told me that he was severing his relationsip with LVI.  That would be the one who never, no not once, ever, ever consulted with me prior to the surgery.  And they call it, "Irony".

Would you do business with LVI?  
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Positive Experiences at The Lasik Vision Institute

AUTHOR: Matthew Zifrony - (United States of America)

The Lasik Vision Institute (LVI) has been in business for over 10 years.  Thousands of patients come to LVI each year hoping that their vision can be improved.  Just about every one of them are extremely satisfied when they leave. 
Mr Sherman is correct when he states that LVI doesnt employ its surgeons.  It also doesnt employ the independent optometrists that are a part of the lasik process.  Doing so would result in LVI violating various laws.  It also prevents LVI from being able to influence the medical decisions that the doctors make such as the decision as to whether someone is a good candidate for lasik surgery.  That should prevent anyone from claiming that LVI only treats patients in order to make money and LVI can only question why Mr. Sherman seems to believe otherwise.  Of course, LVI discloses the independent relationship that it has with its doctors in all of its advertisements as well as in the patient consent form that every patient signs before their surgery.
Mr. Sherman is also correct when he complains that one of LVIs independent optometrists failed to notice his need for a flap lift (a minor procedure that many lasik patients end up needing) the day after his surgery.  It was instead discovered 4 days later and was immediately treated at that time by the surgeon that had performed the initial surgery.  Mr. Sherman was never told that a qualified doctor was unavailable to set his flap nor did he have to wait an additional week for his flap treatment to take place as he claims.  More importantly, the surgeon that performed Mr. Shermans surgery has assured LVI that the 4 day delay in his flap lift could not have and did not harm Mr. Shermans eyes in any way.  All in all, Mr. Shermans surgery ended up being very successful and his vision has been greatly improved. 
Mr. Sherman subsequently attempted to use the delay in receiving his flap lift as a reason to dispute the cost of his surgery with his credit card company.  His credit card company ultimately ruled that the charge was proper and LVI believes that Mr. Sherman retaliated by filing his complaint with Ripoff Report.
LVI expects a lot from its independent doctors and optometrists.  Every one of them meet with their patients prior to the surgery despite Mr. Shermans claim that a patient shouldnt expect a consultation with the surgeon.  Mr. Sherman is also incorrect when he states that the surgeons are only short term players.  As a matter of fact, Mr. Sherman was initially treated by a surgeon that had been with LVI for approximately five years and the surgeon that he met with a year later has been with LVI for nearly 8 years.  Does every visit go exactly as LVI would hope?  Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no.  Still, just about every patient that has surgery at an LVI facility leaves knowing that their vision has been greatly improved.  Ironically, that was also the case with Mr. Sherman.
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