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Where to start? $5k + for service I never got! Care Credit not helping me, no one will help!
Quick story: I got an ad in the mail for a local dentist charging $2999 for invisilign braces. My wife and I discussed it, as we are self-employed and in the past three years have been working on eliminating debt, and didn't want to add a monthly payment, so we were looking to find THE best price so we could pay cash. I inquired about the coupon as it is the best price we've seen so far and they told me all about it. Bottom of the coupon stated plus $599 for complex cases. Dentist told me that the deal was on it's last day (it was a Friday). I said well, I've got to talk to my wife and she's out of town and we will just have to continue looking. They knew I didn't want finance charges so they mentioned "care credit" which if I paid in two years, would be 0% interest. I was intrigued. Quick math came to about $125 in my head, and I said I was interested.
Then came the crap. They then told me that a retainer would be extra, $499, and my son had bad top and bottom complex so they would charge me 2x $599, so now the price was $3k+600+600+500 so $4700, I said no thanks... They then told me the regular price of invisilgn and how this deal, being on its last day that I was saving $1500 by saying yes today. (My wife and I were mostly hearing $5-$7k) The dentist then said let me go talk to the owner, and see what I can do. 5 mins later she returned and said they would waive the retainer, so $4200, with care credit, approx $170/mo. I told them I needed to call my wife, which I tried twice, to her voice mail. I started thinking that this was the best price we heard, and a local dentist, who seemed interested in helping... and they were really puting the "last day" pressure on and saying things like, "you won't find any cheaper, anywhere else. The dentist showed me a magazine article featuring her and her work with invisilgn and that only they had this permission to offer a sale on them. The article listed a retail of $5999 with more being charged in complex cases. It sounded like I'd be sad if I passed on a savings like this. I said, reluctantly, ok. So, they began their molds. I heard back from my wife an hour or two later, and at first she was upset.. but when she heard the price, we both agreed it was the best we heard, and we got lucky getting in on the final day.
THE VERY NEXT DAY, when going through my mail, I saw the same advertisement. A new coupon, and a new expiration date a month later. As I read the fine print a little more carefully, it simply said, plus $599 for complex cases! CASES, I took this as my son can't have multiple complex cases, this $599 was all, in my opinion, that they could charge me. Not twice. I was equally ****ed at looking like a fool to my wife... "It's the last day, I had to! If not, we were going to lose $1500!" She noticed that there was no mention of a retainer fee... Monday morning, she called, spoke to a receptionist and said, "I'm calling about the braces coupon, is the $2999 and the $599 the only charges?" The receptionist said "Yes, however if you notice, it says membership required, that is a $200/yr membership that includes free cleanings and x-rays". I remembered then, that during the conversation, they had told me that if I purchased the braces, my son's check-up that day was free. Which it was, we just walked out. I was ****ed. I told my wife that I had signed paperwork, I wasn't sure if there was a way out. I did some research and found that California had a 3 day cooling off period and you can cancel any contract. Friday around 4pm I signed... it was Monday, and feeling mislead, deceived and lied to, plus being within the 3 days with or without business days, I called to cancel the treatment.
I called and spoke with the receptionist and told her my complaint and feeling lied to and would like to cancel. She told me they had already sent the molds. I told her I didn't care, call invisilgn and tell them to trash them. I asked why she had just told my wife $2999 plus $599 was the only charges and why I had been told it was the final day, just to get the ad the next day. She told me that she said those were the only charges for the braces. $599 could be charged twice if complex top and bottom and the $499 for the retainer was an "Extra" charge not included in the price. I was irate! I asked to speak immediately to the owner as this was clearly deceptive practices, as she put the phone down, I could hear her laughing. The dentist (same from Friday) picked up and tried to calm me. I explained the reasoning for not wanting to do business with them ever again, and she went on and on about how she knew nothing about a new ad coming out, that advertising was the owners job and he had failed to tell her that another ad was being sent out, how she apologized for the receptionists explanation for the price etc. I fired back with deceptive advertising claims, the ridiculousness of considering a retainer an extra charge or unrelated. I asked what percent of people get the retainer?, and she said, "Oh very high, without it your teeth will just go back." I said EXACTLY! Like 95-100%, this is part of the service! I asked about the free cleaning and she told me that I had a balance of $200 on my account for being in the membership which was the only way to get the braces deal or the free cleaning. I said WHAT free cleaning! That was a $200 cleanng! I told her to cancel, she said she didn't have that power and that I needed to speak with the owner. I told her about the 3 day cooling off period, and that I needed to speak with him before the end of business.
Late that afternoon, 5-5:30, I got a call from the owner, who sounded VERY nice and apologetic. I exlained my frustration, he apologized. I told him I did not want to do business with him, he was so sorry, taking blame for his receptionists words, and laughing, and said that he in fact does the advertising. I told him that I had been a retail Store Manager for 13 years, and he should know the ads he's sending are misleading (in regards to the $599, no mention of retainer, the "membership"... and as I was writing things down, and at some point asked his name, and when he told me, I thought the last name sounded familiar, and I said, "Is the dentist your wife?" To which he responded, "Well, yes, we are in fact married." I flipped. I told him how lied to, manipulated and cheated and felt and how I refused to do any business with him. Cancel my account, call Invisilgn, cancel it all, and bill me for the cleaning you no good lieing, fraud of a company.
About a week later, he called me and said the braces had already been made, and I said oh well, then you didn't call them. He said they would remove the other $599, plus the already removed $499, plus waive the $200... I said absolutely not! You are a liar, with deceptive ads, with deceptive practices.... dentists saying they need to call "the owner" rather than "my husband". Saying, the "owner" does the advertising... the obvious deception of $599 complex cases and an unrelated $499 retainer charge blah, blah, blah! He then said, well we don't want your business either, you are very unreasonable" and hung up. I was ****ed, but very releived.
Month later, here comes the first bill from Care Credit. $4896, all charges ($2999, $599, $599, $499, $200) included. I called Care Credit, told them the story, they told me okay, please contact the dentist. I called the dentist office irate again, to which I was laughed at more. I asked for the owner or his wife, they said they were not in. 20 mins later, I called and asked for the dentist by name, and lo and behold, she picks up a line, I told her the story, and she said I need to talk to the owner. I called twice more that week, and both times, my message went unreturned. I finally said this isn't my job, and called care credit again. They mailed out some paperwork to be done, and I flled it all out, sent it back in, In the meantime, another bill comes, and now that I was late, boom default 29.9% APR here we go.
Long story short... (guess not) Care Credit says they never got any paperwork from me. Sent it again. Was called by a fraud or chargeback specialist, he asked some questions, I answered. He said okay we will inestigate. Month later, a collection agency calls, I go through hoops there, another month or two, and I start seeing bills again from care credit full of late fees and interest. I called, and they said, they took back the account, I need to speak with the dental office, and I told them NO, HE IS NOT CALLING ME BACK. They state, "well the dentist has his money, for the service, so you need him to give it back." I said why would he ever give it back? He knows why I am calling, and if I go there, I'll just throw chairs and cause a scene. They said, they would send it to research. Now, I get a letter from a law office about the now near $6,000 bill. It is on my credit report as charged off/closed. I am in agony over this. Do I have a lawsuit? I can't afford a lawyer.. should I just go to court with what I have?

BOTTOM LINE, MY SON HAS NO BRACES! What a total nightmare.... could use ANY advice. PLEASE ANY!

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