RANDLEMAN, N.C. -- Patients of a local eye doctor say they've had continuing issues with paying for products, but never receiving them. Now several tell FOX8 they just want their money back.
Dr. Danford Raynor runs Academy Eye Care Center in Randleman, Biscoe and Albemarle. A location he was previously associated with in Thomasville says they are no longer connected to Dr. Raynor.
Dr. Raynor told FOX8 last week, "I made a decision earlier this year to change management companies and bring most of the services that we have farmed out back in-house. I knew it would be very difficult but underestimated the magnitude of what we would struggle with."
Patients said they've had recent problems with paying for lenses, frames and contact lenses but never actually receiving them. Some complain the issues trace back years.
Ed Farlow is a patient at the Biscoe office and said, "I came and got an examination in the middle of April. Paid him $570 for two sets of lenses and a month later hadn't gotten anything. Usually I get it within a week."
Randleman office patient Patricia Beane said she was beyond frustrated. "When you pay for something you expect to get it in a week to two weeks at the latest...Oh, it's always been some excuse," she explained.
Several patients echoed one another, saying they've been patients at Academy for years and had no complaints about their interactions with Dr. Raynor himself or his staff. But their recent experiences with delays in service and deliveries has gone from bad to worse.
They complain they can't get a hold of anyone and the offices are not always open. Thursday there were people working in the Randleman and Biscoe offices who said their hours are consistently 8 a.m.--4 p.m.
Micheal Coffin has been a patient at the Biscoe office for years. "When I had cataract surgery a year ago, it took six months. Three months was bad, but when it went out to six months, following surgery? I was very, very concerned."
Farlow added, "It's frustrating and it's not good business and it will not get you customers."
Last week, FOX8 provided Dr. Raynor with a list of five patients who said they needed refunds. We've confirmed two did receive refunds. Dr. Raynor said he is continuing to work on complaints.
Patients are not the only ones seeking payment. Documentation on the Secretary of State's website shows notices for Federal Tax Liens were issued on the Academy Eye Care Centers in Randleman and Biscoe.
There are also liens on a property in Thomasville, listed under Optometry Management Services, which lists Dr. Raynor as the Registered Agent.
The documents show Dr. Raynor owes more than $250,000 to the federal government, mostly from failure to pay payroll taxes.
Payroll taxes are those withheld from employee's paychecks for income tax, social security and medicare. When employers fail to submit payroll taxes properly, the federal government may penalize them 100 percent of what they owe.
In an updated statement to FOX8, Dr. Raynor said today, "I have been working tirelessly to continue to move forward in paying the patient refunds and providing them their products. I have also been working with attorney and financial people to pay the back taxes. We are trying to do all we can to solve each and every issue and are making progress. I wish I had the ability to solve it much sooner than I am, but I will continue to work hard to solve each and every problem."
Carletha Young, a Biscoe patient, said she's owed $60. "I don't have time for all that. I just need my money so I can go somewhere else and get my glasses. And I'll be happy."
The State Board of Optometry could not confirm specifically whether they are investigating Dr. Raynor, but encouraged patients with problems to submit a complaint. They said they investigate every complaint filed.
The Better Business Bureau ranked Academy Eye Care Center "F" at all locations.
The N.C. Attorney General's Office said they have received five complaints regarding Academy Eye Care Centers.
The police departments in Biscoe, Randleman and Albemarle said they have received numerous calls and complaints about Dr. Raynor, but will not investigate because they consider the matters civil, not criminal.