Disturbing Sales Tactics – and More – at Dr. William Boothe’s “Boothe Eye Care & Laser Center” in Plano, Texas

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boothe-eye-care-free-consultationThe Boothe Eye Care & Laser Center in Plano, Texas advertises constantly on the radio in the Dallas area about Dr. Boothe being the “world’s most experienced” laser surgeon. Well, my wife was thinking about getting this done, and she did a little poking around on their Web site and noticed that they offered a FREE consultation, so she decided to go see if she was eligible.

(I should point out here that she’d pretty much made up her mind to do it, so this “client” was theirs to lose!) So, anyway, she made an appointment to go in and find out what all was entailed with this surgery, being pretty sure she wanted to do it, but a little anxious about it. Perfectly normal I would say… Everything seemed fine until she arrived to the office, where she learned she needed to pay $150 to have the consultation!

It should be noted that they advertise on the radio and internet that the consultation is FREE (um, see the image above). And she called them out on this, but their excuse was, “well, the money goes towards the surgery if you decide to have it.” She actually got roped into giving them her credit card and taking a seat before she called me because she was so uncomfortable with the “bait and switch” tactic they were employing.

By the way, now that I do a little research, Dr. Booth has a TERRIBLE rating on DoctorScoreCard.com. Just 4 out of 10! But I’ll get to that in a moment…

On With the Story…

When we talked she told me what was going on and I advised her to just go tell the woman she changed her mind, and that she didn’t want the appointment and to refund the money. Somehow though, the lady talked her into staying (they must be awfully smooth to override a husband). So she went ahead with the consultation and determined that she is actually a candidate for eye surgery, after which came the high-pressure sales pitch!

At this point, she had the information we needed to make an informed decision, and she told them that she wanted to talk it over with her husband before moving forward, at which time they told her that the pricing she had been given prior to the consultation was only good while she was in the office. If she left and then wanted the surgery it was going to cost $200 more because the pricing would no longer be valid!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I find this type of behavior to be outrageous and completely out of character with what I would expect from a “doctor”. I guess that Dr. Boothe must have hired people who used to sell vacation packages or used cars to sell his eye surgery. But whatever the case, it is absolutely unethical to pressure people into making a snap decision on a surgical operation. My guess is that they only continue this practice because no one is talking loudly about it, or because they can’t cut through the noise of the Internet. We’ll see if this blog post does the trick, shall we?

Some Bad, Bad Experiences

So, why should anyone trust a doctor who begins his relationship with clients this way? Frankly, I can’t answer that question. I wouldn’t. But in my investigation after the fact, things got much worse. Here are some direct quotes from DoctorScoreCard.com about other people’s experiences with Dr. Boothe:

  • From someone who had a similar experience to my wife’s:

    But I soon found out I would not get to meet with Dr. Boothe unless I paid a $150 deposit toward the surgery! So, that was it…I was out of there!! They were herding people around like cattle and I couldn’t wait to escape.

  • From someone who had tear duct surgery:

    He’s very matter-of-factly condescending, and is quite capable of making you feel quite stupid in the event you have the audacity to disagree. So, he attempted to do the surgery and it hurt a lot. I’m not sure if he didn’t use enough anesthetic, didn’t wait long enough, or what, but it was terrible. My mother and I protested mid-surgery and left right away never to return again. Later I found a new family doctor in the area and decided to ask her what the eye issue could be. She said it wasn’t an eye issue at all, it was an issue related to allergies. She said Boothe should have known this and redirected me to an allergist and should never have attempted surgery.

  • From a former employee of Dr. Boothe’s who Dr. Boothe is suing:

    It bothers me to see a man who has almost blinded people, talks to his staff in the manner he does and hides behind his papers. if you dont want people to say bad things about you, or disstroy your reputation then maybe you should do your job, maybe you should get off your high horse and rejoin reality and treat people as humans and not door mates, it truely makes me wonder how you treat your family.

  • By someone who claims to have felt treated like cattle:

    My counselor’ (not a doctor) finally came and explained the procedure. I finally agreed (I shouldn’t have) and showed up at 6:45 am for an 8:00 am surgery. I got to the waiting room at 7:35 with 4 people ahead of me. At 10:00 I was finally escorted to the surgery room AFTER more than 6 people who had arrived after me. At 11:00 I left the surgery, not performed, because they took every last person in the room before me. I asked, NO EXPLANATION. I told them why I was leaving…not one person spoke to me. This business is run like a cattlecall with very little regard to the individual.

  • This one from a patient with multiple problems:

    I would highly recommend not using Dr. Boothe. The man is rude, egotistical, arrogant, unprofessional, and uncaring. He yells at and threatens his employees within earshot of his patients (I witnessed this in the operating room, of all places). He has no personality and no people skills. The only thing you’ll get out of him is specifically what you ask him, so you’d better hope you know the right questions to ask. He’s really only interested in getting your money and offers you a discount if you get your procedure done the same week you have your first consultation. Don’t fall for this — you really need to take the time to research this and make sure you’re making the right decision.

  • This supposedly from another employee:

    I have read over other comments and would like to confirm that as a former employees wife Dr. Boothe is an out of control employer. He belittles employees infront of patients and peers. He uses profanity while doing this. Patients call frequently to the office to complain about this but he praises himself that he rules his office with an iron fist. (Something he is quite proud of). His employees are afraid of him but apparently need a job so sit back and take it. While this one didn’t and I wish the others were able to do the same. As for his number of lasiks performed. He does 120-150 in one day. Ask which one you will be if you plan on scheduling. Advertising every 10 minutes on the radio brings in alot of people. Not too many patients come referred by others. Too bad they don’t know what kind of physician they are supporting.

  • Here is another very bad complaint:

    Now I can’t see near or far….everything is blurry and I can read up close ONE WORD AT A TIME….don’t ask me to read a sentence or a street sign. the office tried to rush me into doing the second eye before the first healed…Then I would be almost blind in both eyes and unable to work DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN ….he just wants your money and thinks he’s above the law because he makes you sign the desclaimers. On the lasik…they did not want me to read the warnings but I had to write in my own handwriting that i read and understood it but they didn’t let me read it. i CANNOT BELIEVE I WAS SO STUPID.

  • Another client complaining about their treatment:

    The lasik surgeon I chose does not meet the reputation thought. Long wait times, numbers mean more than quality and an unfriendly atmosphere along with a surgeon who has no personality have left me with subpar lasik at this point. I was told to give it a year but my review is based on my experience. I will follow up in 6 months and let you know if it gets better. I feel like when your wait 6 hours just for your pre surgery and 2.5 hours each followup you should get better service and have experience employees who have college degrees.

  • And the complaints range back to at least 2006:

    This doctor has committed malpractice in his employees eyes but threatens them with legal action of a non-disclosure agreement they have sign. He has also fallen asleep during surgery (This can be confirmed by his staff). He also treats his staff like they are slaves and not human beings, yes they are getting paid but even I wouldn’t work for what I’m hearing them say he calls them and the way he treats them. He is always firing his office staff because of incompetency when he is the one who is incompetent. Today he has had two of his staff walk out of the surgery room and quit. One being a technician and another being an ophthalmologist. His office is also out of regulations concerning health laws. I highly do not recommend going to this doctor.

  • Even the owner of DoctorScoreCard.com believes Dr. Boothe hired someone to illegally threaten, defame and spam him.

    This is the first doctor to resort to these unethical tactics. Most doctors are good and this one lone doctor does not represent the majority.

    Dr. Boothe: When you read this, I suggest you contact Bill Stanley, the spammer, and tell him to stop damaging your reputation more than you already have done for yourself.

    Bill Stanley, the spammer, with the help of his international team, is filling websites with hateful lies about me and my family and even worse… he is damaging the reputations of innocent doctors on this site by posting false information about them, which we have been deleting all day. The spammer is committing crimes of harassment, defamation, libel, and destruction of property.

    For everyone else: We stand up for your right to speak freely. Don’t let anyone ever intimidate you to give up your rights.

Further reading:

So, I guess people have to make their own mind up. But as for me, I’m not letting my wife subject her vision to this physician’s practice.

EDIT: Sorry everyone who wishes to comment! I’ve closed the comments on this post because SOMEONE has specifically targeted this article with a barrage of comment spam. They obviously felt that it would either harm the search rankings, or simply drown out the legitimate comments.

If you have a story you’d like to add, feel free to contact me on Twitter or Google+ and I’ll add your comment manually.

Article Written by
John P.

John P. is CEO of Livid Lobster and co-host of Geek Beat TV. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Comments

  1. mdb says:

    My consultation appointment is scheduled for 9:15 AM tomorrow morning. After reading the negative comments, I now plan to cancel the appointment and seek an appointment with another doctor with better reputation.
    mdb

  2. Jason Falk says:

    So Dr. Boothe was sued in Colin Conty? Where is that?

  3. Paula says:

    Dr.Booth did my LASIK surgery about a week ago. I’ve seen that all the complaints on here and most sites are about how Dr.Boothe isn’t friendly or he has no people skills. Does it really matter what his people skills are? Another thing is yeah they push you through like cattle but unlike other doctors that sit there and hold your hand he just does what he has to do. He gets everything done in a matter of seconds. He doesn’t just sit there and baby you. He’s straight to the point. Also people just want a special individual treatment. Your getting surgery, not getting a massage at the spa. If you follow the instructions and use the medicine you’ll be seeing just fine. My visions currently 20/15. I’ve spent 13 years with glasses on and now I have more than perfect vision. People think that he’s going to hold your hand and baby you, it’s not going to happen. He gets everything done. Thankfully he did everything quickly and he got everything done. Even my dad got his vision 20/20. What more could you ask for? On a quick side note one of the other doctors was super hot so I don’t mind seeing him instead of Dr.Boothe.

    • Mike says:

      I think the problem is, when they are pushing you through like cattle, its all fine and dandy if you are lucky enough to have a good outcome like you did. But if you had a bad outcome like so many other people, then you really wish you hadn’t gone to someone that sped through your exam. You will have wished that the doctor had taken the extra time to think about your surgery. You will have wished that he wasn’t out just for the money, that you had gone with someone that didn’t blast advertise, and that he actually cared about your result.

  4. Lizzie says:

    I’m glad I came across this and thank you for your lengthy, thoughtful post. It was ironic as I left a free consultation for LASIK today (will not say where), a commercial came on the radio that Dr. Boothe would do LASIK for only $1,250 per eye! This sounded very enticing as the place I left (not a “big name advertiser” but good doctor) is charging $2,200 per eye! So with Dr. Boothe, I could basically get half off.

    But I love that my consultation truly was free today. I also love that I called on Monday and they could have seen me that afternoon, but I was busy and the soonest I could come in was this morning. They worked around MY schedule! Nothing close to a cattle call. In fact, no one else was even there when I arrived! 1 person waiting for his appointment when I left.

    You have just reinforced me to continue down my path and to pay more for better service. Thank you!

    • Lauren says:

      I had both eyes done about 12 years ago. Now my left eye is blurry but I do not want to go back to another well known LASIK surgeon who pratices in the cattle call. I would love to know which Doctor you are referring to who you have written good things about. Did you have good results from your LASIK surgery?

  5. Matt Fuhriman says:

    I want to whole heartedly agree with everything said!!!! I got pressured into the decision. I did manage to convince them to not bill the $150 up front, but after getting bullied into going ahead with it (I say that looking back on the experience. As with anyone who has been conned into buying a vacation package, at the time I thought it was great!) I went through with the procedure.

    Besides all the problems I had leading up to the procedure, I still thought it surely can’t be this bad. When I was having the procedure, the piece that holds your eyes open, didn’t fit right on me. Instead of this being a personalized service (since they were just pumping us through the surgury room like we were cattle getting branded) Dr. Boothe proceded to try and fit it on like it was a piece of plumbing that didn’t fit right. He pushed and shoved so hard I was shaking from the pain.

    During that whole experience he was talking to the other employees like I wasn’t even there. He never spoke to me that whole time.

    On top of that, my right eye has regressed and needs the one “FREE” lifetime enhancement. Now I am being told in order to get the “FREE” enhancement, I am REQUIRED to go in for an office checkup which will cost me $150. How is that free????

    NOONE should use Dr. Boothe! He should be banned.

  6. calven says:

    I question the advertising that he has done over 126,000 surgeries personally. According to my calculations, that would be over 13 a day, 6 days a week, for 30 years!!! If this is true, I really would not want to use someone that herds people through like that.

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