I had an appointment with my chiropractor in July and she said suggested that I should have an MRI scan on my lower lumbar region and an MSK (xray) scan of my hips to try to pinpoint what the problems I was experiencing were.
I asked MRI Plus, on recommendation, whether it could do both at the same time and it said it could so I booked in. I was quoted £359 for both scan types and £25 for a CD of the images.
I was asked to complete its online application form and told to make sure that I was clear in asking for two separate scan types, an MRI for my back and MSK for both hips.
However, after the scan was completed, I found out they had scanned the wrong areas and the CD didn’t even work. Now I want a refund but it is not offering one. What can I do?
An MRI Plus customer was told by his GP & chiropractor the firm had scanned the wrong areas
Grace Gausden, consumer expert at This is Money, replies: The whole process of getting two scans with MRI Plus – which has a centre in Hendon and one in Leigh-on-Sea – did not make you want to sing hip, hip, hooray.
Initially, you were recommended for the appointment at MRI Plus by your chiropractor and when booking in the scans, you specifically asked if the reports could be sent to both her and your GP.
You were told this was possible and all you needed to do was tell the technicians when you attended the clinic which you claim you did as well as making it clear on the online application form.
You attended the centre in August and printed out a sheet of paper with all the contact details for your GP and chiropractor as well as clearly printing on the top of this sheet a request for two separate scans so there should have been no question of what was required.
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As you had not had an MRI scan before you assumed the machine used was capable of carrying out both types of scan so did not query when in the machine.
When you returned home, you handed the CD of images to your GP and chiropractor but not only were they unable to access the pictures, you were then told by your GP that at the start of the Covid pandemic, the NHS had told GP practices they were not allowed to utilise any external data other than that which came through online NHS sources.
In a separate appointment, your NHS physiotherapist added that in some surgeries, the CD inlet port had been taped over to stop anyone using unregulated data sources.
Before you became aware of this, you contacted MRI Plus to complain about the disc and it said that it only came in one format which it could not alter but it did send you a replacement one.
Unfortunately by the time the replacement arrived, you had already seen your GP and physiotherapist so the disc was of no use to them for diagnostic purposes.
During this time the written reports had been sent to both your GP and your chiropractor.
When you attended appointments with both, they mentioned the report only referred to spine and lumbar and only had a brief paragraph which indicated ‘mild osteoarthritic changes in both hips, slightly more pronounced on the right side.’
MRI Plus argues it has scanned the right areas but the images are a matter of interpretation
It also indicated there had been an MRI scan to the hips and not a MSK as requested as well as referring to your abdomen which was not the area to be scanned and the humeral head which is not in the relevant area either.
An MSK scan refers to musculoskeletal whilst an MRI is magnetic resonance imaging.
You say that your GP and physiotherapist both said the report was poorly put together, was not acceptable and did not tell them anything that would help them.
Since then you have been trying to get a response from MRI Plus about why mistakes were made but have not had a satisfactory reply.
Therefore, I contacted the firm to see what had happened and why your GP, chiropractor and physiotherapist all deemed it worthless.
An MRI Plus spokesperson said: ‘Upon checking our records, we found that Mr T did have two MRI scans, one of the lumbar spine and one of the hips. On his referral form he requested a standard MRI to his back and lower back, to include hips.
‘These scans were combined, as both the body coil and lumbar spine coils were positioned together in the MRI scanner. Mr T might have felt he only received one scan, but in fact two MRI scans were conducted in one sitting.
‘In relation to the disc, Mr T was advised the discs are only configured to work on Windows PCs and not Apple PCs. We did send a second disc to Mr T in case the first disc was not formatted correctly.
‘In terms of our Consultant Radiologist’s report, the views of Mr T’s practitioners may differ from our Radiologist however, this is clinical judgement on their respective parts.
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‘Our Consultant’s report did make reference to the abdomen, but that is only because the Radiologist can see the abdomen through the lumbar spine images.
‘The report was duly sent to the practitioners Mr T had identified in a timely manner, but it would appear that there was some frustration with Mr T’s GP surrounding issues of Covid-19, which is not something we are able to help with.
‘Our hospital manager telephoned Mr T on two occasions and left messages on his landline with no reply from him and he is happy for Mr T to call and discuss the issues raised.’
Clearly, MRI Plus believe it has acted accordingly and has vehemently denied suggestions it did not perform the correct scans.
However, you advised me that after I contacted the firm, it offered you a refund of half the total, so you have only paid for one scan cost and been given back the funds for the other – the one you believed was in the wrong area – and one CD report cost.
Fortunately, the funds of £204.50 have been confirmed to be returned to you imminently and you have said you are happy with the decision.
A fraud victim was frustrated when Three said to cancel his direct debit to resolve the issue
Hit and miss: This week’s naughty and nice list
Each week, I look at some of the companies that have fallen short of expected standards as well as those that have gone that extra mile for customers.
Miss: This week, reader Imran, had a battle to pick with phone network, Three.
He said: ‘I received a phone call two months ago from fraudsters claiming to be Carphone Warehouse. They called at a time when my contract was about to end.
‘They offered me an IPhone 13 Pro Max with unlimited data at £35 a month which I agreed to. However, it turned out to be scammers with the fraudsters taking out multiple contracts in my name – one with O2 and one with Three.
‘O2 investigated my case and as a result closed the case and removed the fraud from my credit file, dealing with this in under 10 days.
‘However, with Three, it said it has been investigating for a month and won’t offer any solutions. I have been told to cancel the direct debit which would likely resolve in a bad credit rating. What can I do?’
It seemed unusual that O2 had managed to sort the issue immediately whilst Three struggled for over a month trying to rectify the problem, even advising you to cancel your direct debit.
I contacted the company and asked why it was taking so long to fix the matter.
A Three Spokesperson said: ‘We apologise for the difficulty Imran has faced in closing his account – our customer service was not up to our usual high standards on this occasion.
‘We have since logged the account as fraudulent, offered the customer a full refund, as well as a gesture of goodwill. We will be conducting further training with our team based on this experience.’
Luckily, this has been sorted, and you received a goodwill gesture of £100, but it is a good reminder to customers to be aware when receiving any phone calls from someone trying to sell you something.
Hit: In happier news, this week a reader who wished to remain anonymous, praised the Mobile Hut‘s customer service.
She said: ‘My old-school Nokia mobile suffered an unfortunate incident involving my handbag and a water bottle.
‘Despite the stalwart mobile showing no signs of life or hope, a top-notch Surrey-based tech nerd and mobile genius managed to bring my much-beloved Nokia back to life to endure another decade of waterlogging incidents and hard knocks.’
The business was clearly no phoney and it’s good to know the original Nokias that were built to last are still going strong.
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