Questions of Cash: My cosmetic surgery left me scarred but the company won't put things right


Paul Gosling
Friday 06 March 2015 21:30 GMT

Q. I had surgery in 2012 to correct differences in the size and shape of my breasts, for which I paid MYA, the cosmetic surgery firm. The operation did not go as planned because of an extra procedure, which I had not requested or authorised and which left heavy scarring and a lump in one breast.

MYA eventually accepted that remedial surgery was necessary, but I wanted a different surgeon as the person who conducted my operation was under investigation by the General Medical Council. The company has not given me a date for either a consultation or the surgery – and MYA has refused my request for a refund. KL, by email

A. MYA strongly rejects your complaint and denies that it has acted incorrectly, pointing to a comprehensive investigation conducted by the company into your complaint. It also points out that the General Medical Council investigation into one of its surgeons was not about his medical competence.

It points out that while you have lost confidence in this surgeon, it is this surgeon who owes you a duty of care. MYA says that while it has offered you alternative surgeons, none has been willing to take over that duty of care.

A spokesman for the company explains: "MYA is only able to refer [the reader] back to [the consultant] for further surgery in order for him to fulfil his duty of care. This is standard procedure with all patients who are expressing concerns … MYA sees no reason why it would not be applicable to [the reader] to follow the same procedure and communicate concerns directly with the operating surgeon in the hope to [sic] rectify this. [The surgeon] is keen to address any patients with concerns and would liaise with them direct to ensure they are seen as soon as possible." Given your lack of confidence in this surgeon, this creates an impasse.

Although there is an ombudsman service for complaints about healthcare quality provided by NHS bodies, it does not cover private providers. The Parliamentary and Healthcare Ombudsman suggests you lodge a complaint with the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (Iscas). MYA is a member of this scheme and says it indicated early in its correspondence with you that you could refer the matter to Iscas. We contacted Iscas on your behalf and it is now examining your complaint and MYA's response.

Q. I renewed my car insurance with 1st Central in early January, paying in full. I got married on 23 January and notified 1st Central by phone of my change of name and marital status, for which it charged me £34.51 – £30 as an administration charge, plus a premium rise of £4.51.

Why has the premium gone up and why am I charged an administration fee for a change that does not involve any paperwork? HF, Warwick.

A. 1st Central accepts it got the premium increase wrong. A spokeswoman says: "In the process of updating [the reader's] details, an error was made by an agent that led to the additional charge of £4.51."

1st Central will refund the premium increase and, as a gesture of goodwill, the administration fee – though it insists that this was applied correctly in line with the agreed policy terms and conditions.

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