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HappyHerbivore last won the day on July 15

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  1. This is a long story. Back in July 2018, I heard about a medical tour agency that can negotiate prices at clinics for you/get you deals. Since I was always quoted exorbitant prices online, I decided to contact them and see what kind of quotes they can provide. I was really interested in Cinderella Clinic for a very long time, to do facial contouring, rhinoplasty, and revision eyelid surgery. But they seemed to be expensive so I hoped this agency could give me a good deal at my “dream" clinic. I messaged them on kakao, they go by the name Miss Miu. The rep who replied to me was very friendly and eager to help. I told her I was exceedingly interested in Cinderella and was most likely doing surgery in February. Later on she said her managers would speak to the clinic and they would try really, really, really hard to negotiate to 29 mil krw for me, but I would need to deposit. I realized this is a recurrent tactic that they use, act as if they tried very hard to get you a good deal and that you may not have many options with your budget, when in reality the deals they get are not that great or any better than what you can get yourself - if you are smart about negotiating. Perhaps others who have used them feel differently, and I do know some people that got a good deal (in exchange for modelling), but this is my experience with them. In all the years I have researched plastic surgery in Korea, I was completely adverse to the idea of using an agency or depositing before even consulting with the doctors. But the agency was very good at getting me excited about their “deals”. Every time I told her I wanted to wait and think about things, she managed to reel me in with her saccharine words - obviously she did not want to lose a potential high-paying client. At the end of July, she said Cinderella is looking for models but they want to model to come this year (2018). So I said I could try to go in early December. Apparently Cindy does not like revision cases for models, and since I had double jaw surgery in Canada in February 2018, my facial contouring was considered a revision case. That must be why it took so long for me to hear back. At the end of August, the agency messaged me back with a model offer from Cinderella, for all the surgeries I wanted, for 25 mil krw. Since I was initially planning on going in February, I told them the max I would have is 25 mil, I think they just quote you your budget. The funny thing about the deal was that it said the total price of my surgeries would be close to 50 mil, and I am getting 47% off, which brought the price down to exactly 25 mil, LOL. When I messaged Cindy directly in May 2018, they quoted me 32 mil krw… One reason Cinderella agreed to have me model was because I could follow up with them for studio shoots. Considering all the work I had to do though - writing reviews for Cinderella and the medical tour agency on websites, forums, and doing studio shoots with the clinic - I did not think I got such a good price. Moreover I would not have that much money by December, so I asked the agency if they could negotiate to 22 mil krw for me. She replied “not sure, cos 25 mil was already really hard to get”. But I kept insisting that was the maximum I would have, so they got the price down to fit my budget but said I will have to really help them out with reviews and getting their name out there. I never felt comfortable with this kind of stuff, had an insuperable repugnance to the idea of becoming a promoter for an agency I did not even fully trust, whose ethics are dubious. But I wanted to get my surgeries at Cindy so badly, so I said alright, and thought “I will worry about the other stuff later, focus now is my surgeries”. In the next few months before my long awaited trip to Korea, I only messaged the agency occasionally when I had questions. In September, I asked them if Cindy would give me airport pickup, and she said she would ask but they can also give it to me, but I would have to write a pre-review for them, talking about how they helped me out. I was thinking “What??? Who writes a review before they get surgery?”. I told her no one would take it seriously since I haven’t gotten surgery yet, so she backed off. A week before my trip, she linked me a thread on purseforum that asked if anyone had heard of their business, and asked me to reply to that and talk about my upcoming surgeries. I complied, with a great deal of reluctance. Since my surgeries were coming up soon, I figured I ought to stay on her good side so that everything would go smoothly - have always been paranoid about getting screwed over. Once December 8th came, I was elated! For three years, I had been researching plastic surgery - clinics, reviews, surgical methods, etc. Since June 2017, I had become more hardcore in my money saving and planning. On December 10th I arrived at Cinderella Clinic, and the rep I had been communicating with from the agency showed up. They don’t always show up for their clients’ consultations, but since I was modelling and I had so many procedures planned, she said she wanted to make sure things went smoothly. The consult with the nose doctor went well. But once the oral surgeon came in, my plans began to go awry. He said because of the screws I had in my jaw from my 2-jaw surgery in Canada, he could not do the zygoma reduction and v-line for me. The screws would be in the way. I was aware of that beforehand but stupid me, I assumed they would just remove my screws while they did my facial contouring. Apparently Canadian screws are quite different from Korean screws, Cinderella did not have the equipment to remove mine and they would not put my safety at risk by trying. In retrospect, they did the most ethical and responsible thing, I fully commend them for that. At the time of course, I was irrational and livid, disappointed that they refused to do my surgery. Thus I cancelled at Cindy and asked the agent to help me find other clinics that may be able to remove the screws and do the facial contouring. In spite of my previous suspicions towards the medical tour agency, the agent's affable demeanour made me put my full trust into her, those days I literally believed anything she said. She said they would have done the facial contouring for sure if I paid an extra 5 or 10 mil. My mom said since that agency only does things because of money, they probably think others are like that too. I am sure now that wasn’t the case, if Cindy didn’t have the equipment, then that was that. The manager and consultant even said they could do the facial contouring for me next year once they ordered the right equipment. Moreover, they returned the deposit I sent to them right away, without any objection. Though I can be shrewd and discerning with regards to other people’s matters, I can be the biggest fool when it comes to myself, especially when I am all alone. This was the first time I went to a foreign country by myself, without my parents, so I was easily taken in by the agent's assurances. The agent suggested ID, Jewelry, and View. She claimed those are the top 3 clinics for facial contouring (more like she works with them and they give her good commission). Excepting View, I had never once considered any of the clinics she suggested. I must have lost my marbles when my plans at Cinderella didn’t work out. I was originally scheduled for surgery at Cinderella on Dec 11th and I had looked forward to that date for so long. I really hoped to find a clinic that could remove my screws and do the contouring. I brought up The Face Dental to the agent, as were it not for the model deal, I would have most likely gone there to do my facial contouring. The agent just said that they are bad quality and only popular because of cheap prices. So she claims The Face Dental isn’t good but ID and Jewelry are?????? Obviously she doesn’t work with The Face Dental. Whenever I expressed interest in clinics she does not work with or works less with, she claimed they aren’t very reputable. Anyways like a fool, I let her take me to Jewelry for a consult. Jewelry was not very busy, much less so than Cinderella. They do not seem to be a popular pick among locals or foreigners. I consulted with Dr Shin Ki Chul, a facial contouring “specialist”. He was surprised Dr Hong at Cinderella did not want to do my contouring, as he is pretty famous. He said he could do it, and could remove all of my screws except for the 6 long ones - he assured me that even if he didn’t remove them, they wouldn’t get in the way of the facial contouring and would not affect the results. That should have been a red flag for me, as two experienced oral surgeons in Korea already told me I needed screw removal to do my contouring. But I was exceptionally gullible those days. Mainly because I trusted the agent and she convinced me that Cinderella was unwilling to remove the screws because I was not paying enough. Dr Shin was also to do my nose, which I found somewhat disconcerting as on both that medical tour agency and Jewelry’s sites, it said that he is a facial contouring specialist, and other doctors at the clinic were the rhinoplasty specialists. Every time I had doubts, the agent would try to dispel them and convince me of Jewelry’s suitability for me. She insisted that they were the same as Cinderella style-wise. I never thought so myself from looking at the clinic’s pictures but at the time, I thought that she must know better. The manager/consultant at Jewelry was pretty pushy, she seemed to want me to book with them right away, but I still had a consult at View to go to - to which she frowned at. Afterwards the agent and I went to View and there the doctor also said he could do my facial contouring and the screws would not affect anything. Interesting how the two oral surgeons who looked at my x-ray said the screws need to be removed first, whilst the two plastic surgeons who looked at it had a very different response. Anyways, I had a pretty positive impression of View. In fact, I liked them better than Jewelry. But for some reason, the agent pushed Jewelry a lot more. She really talked them up and made me believe they would fulfil my desires better. She said that since View is all about safety, they are too conservative. She literally said “if you are doing plastic surgery, why care so much about safety?”. I was aware of Jewelry’s birthday party scandal from 2014 (google it and you will see), but she just brushed it off by saying its not that big of a deal and at least they don’t have deaths. Everything she said should have been a red flag to me, but I was so jetlagged and malnourished when I first got to Korea, making me very foggy-minded. The blatant lies that women told, makes Pinocchio look like a paragon of honesty. I recall she said a few times that clinics will not discount as much if they know you are shopping around, that the best way to get a good deal is to deposit. I do not know how she runs a business whilst spewing out things so devoid of fact and common sense. The next day, I consulted with an eye doctor at Jewelry, Dr Yoon Jeong Ho. The manager then gave me a price for all the surgeries for the same price I was going to pay at Cinderella, 22 mil. They had a surgery spot for me the next day. I agreed to surgery the next day, and the clinic made me pay in full. That afternoon I sat alone at a Starbucks, messaged my friends on kakao telling them the news, and told the plastic surgery group chats on kakao about my pending surgeries. After chatting with a bunch of people on kakao, I came to my senses and felt sick at what I had just done. How could I been persuaded by that agent into choosing a clinic I had never considered, nay even blacklisted, in the past? I had my doubts before paying, but let myself get reassured by her, that this was the clinic for me. I was so mad at myself. I quickly messaged the agent telling her I want to cancel. She told me that the manager said no refund is possible, as the surgeries are scheduled for the next day. I then contacted another agency I had previously communicated with when I was in Canada. The founder of that agency told me it is illegal if they do not refund, if they did not get me to sign anything or make clear their refund policy. Furthermore, patients are not supposed to pay in full the day before surgery, it should be on the day of surgery. He did say he could get me into contact with people who could help me get my money back. At the same time, the agent tried to call me and a bunch of people from the kakao chats were messaging me. My head was spinning. I should have taken up the other agency’s offer of help but my own agent and several other peoples’ words made me feel my efforts would be futile, that I was stuck with that clinic unless I wanted to lose all or most of my money and end up not getting anything done. That agent could be very persuasive. She managed to re-instill some confidence in Jewelry into me (although I still had a sick feeling in my stomach about how things turned out). Many people from the kakao chats were very concerned about me, and tried to offer helpful advice. But because they were all online and only understood fragments of my situation, no one could offer the solution that I really needed. I really regret not discussing my surgery plans with a family member, and not having someone accompany me to Korea. Because that inimical agent was the only one physically next to me, I trusted her words over those of anyone else. I ended up getting surgery on December 12th. Before and after the surgery, I was feeling very uncomfortable and unhappy. Had the clinic not made me pay in full the day before, I would have definitely cancelled there and kept looking around. I felt an immeasurable amount of despair, that I ended up doing my surgeries (that I had looked forward to for 3 years) at a clinic I felt stuck with. After the surgeries, for the first week, I was too swollen to assess the results. I hoped for the best. The eyes looked good at least (it is perhaps the only thing Jewelry is good at), nose had a cast so I couldn’t tell, and face was very swollen. A week later, on December 19th, I got my nose cast off at Jewelry. I was quite depressed when I saw my nose. Now that I cannot fault the doctor for, as the swelling definitely distorted things. While it looks normal now, it is far from the style I like, and for that I have only myself to blame as I did not chose a doctor who does my preferred style and it is evident that he is not a rhinoplasty specialist. For the nose, I do stress the importance of picking a doctor whose style is to your liking. It does not matter if you show pictures and they say they can do it, if they do not do that style themselves and do not think it pretty, they most likely won’t make an exception for you. Also I realized later on that we were on completely different pages with regards to the nose, I showed him what I like and he did not see it in the same way as I did. As I said that is not the reason I despise that doctor as it’s merely a matter of different tastes. The unforgivable part is the botched job he did on my v-line. When I saw my x-ray I was so distressed. There was obvious asymmetry, bumpiness, and the right side was overshaved while the left side seemed almost untouched. I showed many of my friends on kakao and they were all shocked as well. Good and bad results are very subjective, but my jaw was objectively botched. Everyone could see how poorly it was done. I messaged some other clinics in Seoul, showed them my x-ray, and they could not believe a surgeon could do such a sloppy job - luckily other clinics assured me it can be fixed. The so-called facial contouring specialist at Jewelry, Dr Shin, gave a cop-out of an explanation - that everyone is asymmetrical and my jaw was asymmetric to begin with. Wth, my 2 jaw results, done by a Canadian oral surgeon, were perfect. The before x-ray was very symmetrical, more so than most peoples’. As one of my friends said, doctors are supposed to improve asymmetry, not make it worse. Some people thought that perhaps my screws being in the way affected the cutting. That probably did affect the results to a degree, but that is no excuse for why my bone is bumpy and that the right side was overshaved all the way up to the joint, whilst left side was left much bigger. I forgot to mention earlier that the doctor at Jewelry said he would take all my screws out, but after the surgery he said he tried and could not. Evidently they did not have the right equipment, just like Cinderella. At least the latter did the responsible thing and refused to even try as they did not want to put my safety at risk. Dr Shin took a great risk. I believe no ethical clinic in Korea would have agreed to take the screws out and do my facial contouring if they did not have the right screwdrivers. Unlike Cinderella, Jewelry did not even ask for any information regarding the screws. Since they are not popular and - as their history shows - attentive to safety, they were just eager to get a customer and did not even think about the complexity of my case. This medical tour agency was no better. Many people suspect that the reason the agent pushed Jewelry a lot, more than View even though she took me to both, is because Jewelry probably gives her more commission as they are less popular. When I bought up my concerns about my jaw, she did not acknowledge any fault on the doctors part, and even said “maybe it is psychological”. I truly detest that woman. Anyone with two eyes can see how my jaw was botched. When I returned to Canada and saw my oral surgeon in Toronto, he was appalled at the sloppy job done in Korea (which affirmed his preconception that Korea is not good for surgery). Now I am planning revision for my v-line and nose. Luckily my eyes and zygoma turned out okay at Jewelry, so I will not be revising those. It is incredibly frustrating, the fact that I wasted so much money, time and let myself get cut up by such an irresponsible, incompetent surgeon. I remember at my last appointment at Jewelry, I expressed my concerns and the doctor dismissed them all, he would not even look at me. At Jewelry, they stopped being nice once they got my money. The aftercare there was terrible too, so different from that of my friends who went to other clinics. I had to ask them for deswelling treatments several times before they gave it; the nurses were rough with my cleaning; I was given the cheapest compression band (unlike my friends who got ones that could be adjusted); my nose packing was removed after one night (many people said it’s supposed to stay for three days); when I stayed the night at the clinic, I was not checked up on often. In 2014 I went to Pitangui for primary DES, and the difference between the consultants and nurses there vs Jewelry was like night and day. Even at Pitangui, a clinic that has mixed reviews I heard, the aftercare and treatment by the ladies was infinitely better than at Jewelry. I feel I ended up at one of the worst clinics ever. Some may say I deserved this for being so impetuous and obstinate about getting all the surgeries done at one clinic right away, but I truly feel that had I been completely alone, I would not have ended up at any shady clinics like Jewelry. I would have gone to consult at clinics I liked based on my own research from the past few years - clinics that have had many happy patients that I have seen on the group chats. I would have gone to Cinderella for a consult, but not deposited. Unfortunately, I was manipulated by the medical tour agency. Alas, now I curse the day I contacted this pernicious agency. Some people may have a good experience with them, but like most agencies, they do not really look out for your best interests. All they care about is referring you to clinics that give them good commission. Now this is common sense, only your family and friends really care for you and one should not trust people with financial motivations. I was aware of that at the time, but for some reason when I went to Korea in December by myself, I was completely taken in by the agent’s feigned kindness, duped by her words. I strongly advise people against using their services, as they are not honest or reliable at all. They talk as if they work so hard to get you a good deal, when most of the time, you may be able to get a similar or better price alone. In the rare instance they actually do get an amazing deal, one has to model and give them reviews and pictures. When I delve into their website more, it is pretty obvious that they have a lot of fake reviews. This makes sense as not many people would feel inclined to review an agency - a clinic or doctor yes, but less so for agencies. As to Jewelry Clinic, I would say they are only good at eyes and small surgeries, certainly not for complicated surgeries like facial contouring. The clinic has many doctors, perhaps I got the worst one. My nose and facial contouring doctor, Dr Shin, was always available whenever I was at the clinic, while the other doctors were always busy. I bet he does not have as many patients. I still cannot believe how any plastic surgeon can shave a jaw like that. I definitely regret my liaison with the agency and depositing at Cinderella before the consult - that was the beginning of my problems. I am not sure if my surgeries would have turned out well if I had gone there instead as originally planned, for that clinic does have some bad news and inconsistent results. Overall, depositing ahead of time is not ideal if one is not short of time, better to consult then decide. As previously mentioned, I was always aware of that and would not have done such a thing had the medical tour agency not been so pushy with asking for a deposit. I hope everyone steers clear of this unscrupulous agency and Dr Shin Ki Chul at Jewelry.
  2. Wow thank you for this very comprehensive list of ENT clinics/doctors! It will help me a lot
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