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Monday, July 22, 2024

SmileDirectClub’s Journey from Market Disruptor to Bankruptcy and Legal Battles


Smile Direct Club Lawsuit


You see, originally aiming to make teeth straightening simple and more affordable, SmileDirectClub entered the market with a bang. They presented a sleek substitute for the conventional braces path, clear aligners that consumers could use from the convenience of their homes. With their splashy marketing efforts highlighting how simple and reasonably priced their service was, they struck the ground running with over two million delighted smiles.


Still, SmileDirectClub ran upon some major financial obstacles notwithstanding its explosive growth and large clientele. The business battled to earn a profit while piling up debt. With the fierce competition in the at-home teeth-straightening industry, SmileDirectClub found it difficult to keep its footing. They filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy by September 2023, essentially a lifeline to help to arrange debt. But come December 2023, they revealed they were closing permanently since they lacked the required money to keep running. But did you know that this very company was facing a long-standing lawsuit, which we now know as Smile Direct Club Lawsuit? Let’s get to know a little better about that.


Allegations and Legal Battles

As SmileDirectClub was under strong accusations regarding the safety of their products, things got more messy. Dentists worry that a lack of direct monitoring can cause major problems. And they were correct, some clients claimed after using the aligners extreme dental issues including nerve damage and tooth loss. On top of that, furthermore accused of employing NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) to silence unhappy consumers from publically airing their complaints regarding SmileDirectClub. Claims have appeared regarding them falsifying advertisements to mislead consumers and editing internet reviews.


The Big Lawsuit in D.C.

Though, the D.C. office of the Attorney General did not treat these matters casually. Claiming the corporation utilized NDAs to quiet angry consumers and misrepresented their products, they sued SmileDirectClub for unethical business practices. SmileDirectClub went on to settle the claim in June 2023. They paid the D.C. government $500,000 and agreed to let over 17,000 consumers from these NDAs release. They also vowed to alter their refund policy and stop suppressing bad reviews by NDAs. This settlement advocated increased industry openness and clarified the dubious methods of the corporation.


Customer Outrage and Confusion

Many SmileDirectClub members were placed in a bind and felt perplexed and disappointed by the sudden closing. Those remaining under treatment were recommended to contact neighborhood dentists. Consumers on payment plans or who paid in full were left wondering about their refunds and whether they ought to keep making payments. Additionally thrown out was the company’s Lifetime Smile Guarantee program, which provided free aligner touch-ups for a lifetime, further feeding the fire. Posts from unhappy consumers abound on social media and forums, many of which indicate legal action for breach of contract is under discussion.


What’s Next Though? Legal Options for Affected Customers

Even today, there are some ways ahead for those stuck in the SmileDirectClub mess. Many are looking at class action lawsuits just like the Smile Direct Club Lawsuit, in which a group with similar grievances files a case against the firm collectively. But let’s see how many lawsuits there will be against this very company, and what unfolds next. If you were affected by this company in any way, we’d advise you to stay updated on whatever comes next.

Parul is an experienced blogger, author and lawyer who also works as an SEO content writer, copywriter and social media enthusiast. She creates compelling legal content that engages readers and improves website visibility. Linkedin

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