Allcare Dental Shuts Down, Leaving Consumers Hanging

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Allcare dentalA national dental clinic chain previously accused of misleading consumers and not honoring advertised discounts has shut down its offices across the country, and one attorney general is calling on consumers to stop making payments to them.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett said Allcare Dental & Dentures abruptly closed its offices this week and he urged patients to take steps to cut their financial losses. Allcare was slapped by Pennsylvania in 2009 and agreed to pay the state $135,000 to settle complaints that the business didn't honor advertised discounts, used confusing information and failed to provide consumers with information about financing options. Another chain, Aspen Dental also faced similar accusations.

This time though Allcare just ran out of money and has no plans to reopen its offices, according to the company. Allcare is transferring dental records to other practices near its offices."The reason for the closing is because the business became severely cash-constrained and had no way to continue to operate going forward. Allcare was confident in its financial plan to avoid this situation. The plan was to wind down underperforming offices while at the same time raising capital from an equity group," Allcare said in a statement and apologized to its customers. Its main website was shut down Monday and Allcare turned to an alternate site to get its word out.

The shutdown has sparked state investigations into the company and Corbett also urged consumers to help document and limit any losses by:
  • Contacting your credit card company to dispute the charges and have them removed from your statement.
  • Contacting your bank or credit union and stop payment on checks made out to the dental chain or stop automatic withdrawals.
  • Contacting your financing company and dispute any payment for items that have not been delivered.
  • Keeping records of all transactions to assist investigators and support any possible legal claims. Also gather receipts, invoices or bills that show what items were ordered, what you paid and when delivery was promised.
  • Keeping any phone records or any notes that indicate which company employees you spoke with, and when those conversations occurred.
Corbett and other attorneys general are now assessing the situation and working to coordinate efforts. Pennsylvania consumers can file complaints by calling (877) 888-4877.
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