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BeckaW

Cosmetic Surgery Consultation - Issue With Fees Charged

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm looking for some advice on some fees I was charged in relation to a cosmetic surgery consultation I had back in 2016.

 

At the time I was considering having some cosmetic surgery,

so was looking to arrange a few consultations with different surgeons to make sure I was making the correct choices on procedure and when choosing the actual surgeon.

 

I tried to get in touch with one of the practices in question to enquire about a consultation

- firstly on the number listed on the surgeons website and then as I couldn't get through on this line, I contacted the private hospital in London where the said surgeon runs his practice

- I got through on this number.

 

When speaking to the person at the private hospital I enquired about waiting times and how much this doctor actually charges for a consultation (I had a limited budget for consultations).

 

I was informed of the available dates and I was explicitly told that there would be no charge for the initial consultation

- this is nothing out of the ordinary as many cosmetic surgeons offer a free initial consultation.

 

I went ahead and booked a consultation.

I then received the booking confirmation through email, again with no mention of any fees.

 

I attended the consultation with the doctor where everything was OK,

a very brief consultation compared with some others but I wasn't too concerned as I thought this was a no charge consultation.

 

Again no mention of any cost or taking any payment before, during or immediately after the consultation (the surgeon just said if I was to go with him, we would need to have a second more in depth consultation before surgery)

 

- It's worth noting that I did attend 2 other consultations which we're chargeable,

however this was made explicitly clear at the time of booking, and payment was also taken at the point of booking - otherwise the booking would not be made.

 

To my surprise a couple of days later an invoice drops through the post for £215.

 

I contacted the surgeons practice to discuss this and explain the situation,

however his practice manager just said I'd been informed wrongly by the private hospital employee, and even though I'd had confirmation and they acknowledged that I was mis-informed, that it wasn't their issue. Which I obviously didn't agree with.

 

I then had a couple of invoice reminders come through the door

I got back in touch again to try and resolve the matter.

 

I was then given the contact details of one of the managers of the private hospital and told to try and sort it out with them.

 

Before I'd had chance to resolve this

(this was over Christmas so I wasn't able to get hold of said person)

 

I've had a letter through the door from a debt collection services company requesting the money.

Now I know these have no legal power as such, but I'd rather nip this in the bud before it goes any further.

 

Am I correct to believe that any charges need to be made clear before a service is provided?

Particularly as I explicitly asked before I made the booking if there was any charge (there is also no mention of fees on the surgeons website).

 

If I'd known this consultation was chargeable I wouldn't have gone ahead as the surgeon in question was not my top or second choice.

 

I don't feel like I should have to pay as a result of being provided the wrong information by the hospital.

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

Thanks for the help.

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Did you book the consultation with the person who told you there would be no charge?.

If so, you say they were acting as an agent for the surgeon, whose comeback is therefore against the hospital, not you.

 

Tell the DCA the issue is in dispute, they should return it to their client.

Otherwise, you aren't going to get into "letter tennis", you dispute that the sum is owed and will vigorously defend it if they try to take it to court, which is the only scenario in which you will correspond further with them.

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they know that they have made a mistake and that is why they are using a dca. It makes it all look very scary but they have no powers to do anything.

The website will hlp determine whether you were misled at the outset, no fee mentioned there and what you were told on the phone becomes irrelevant.

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