FTC to refund $1.25 million to those tricked by LASIK surgery chain

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Nearly 160,000 Americans could be eligible for a refund if misled by the nation’s biggest LASIK chain, which advertised the surgery for as little $300 an eye, even though most consumers would not qualify for that price, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday. 

Ohio-based LCA-Vision, operating business under the names LasikPlus and Joffe MediCenter, paid $1.25 million to settle claims that it used deceptive bait-and-switch advertising to trick people into thinking they could have their vision corrected for less than $300, according to the FTC. 

“Many people wasted their time at LASIK consultations only to learn that the surgery would cost much more than they expected,” the agency stated

Only 6.5% of those who came in for a consultation were eligible for the advertised promotional price for both eyes, which required having near-normal vision, or good enough eye sight to drive without glasses. Everyone else was typically given a price of between $1,800 and $2,295 per eye, the FTC said.

In addition, some ads neglected to state upfront that the advertised price was per eye.

The commission is sending notices to 159,711 consumers who could be eligible for a payment, provided they visited a LasikPlus or Joffe MediCenter facility for a LASIK consultation but declined surgery after learning the real price. 

Consumers can file a claim online by May 20, 2024, at www.ftc.gov/lasik

Payment amounts will depend on several factors, including how many people file a claim. 

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