PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With little or no warning, Allcare Dental and Dentures permanently closed its network of offices nationwide.
Eight of them are in western Pennsylvania. A sign on the door urges patients with questions or concerns to call a number. But, don’t bother. It doesn’t answer.
“Consumers are generally a little bit uncertain of whether or not they’re going to receive the product, what happens with their warrantee,” says Becky Maier of the Better Business Bureau where they are getting a lot of calls.
Unfortunately, a warrantee is only as good as the company behind it.
Complaints have been lodged against the New York-based company for years and are listed on the internet.
In 2004, a Greensburg woman sued after 17 of her teeth were pulled in an Allcare office allegedly unnecessarily. KDKA’s Mary Robb Jackson spoke with her lawyer, Christopher Huffman.
“She had never had any major dental problems throughout her life,” he said. “He applied so much force to her mouth when he was removing her teeth that he basically ripped apart both sides of her jaw.”
The Better Business Bureau gives Allcare Dental an “F” rating, according to Maier.
“They have 45 complaints files against them. They have had government actions taken against them in 2009 with the PA Attorney General’s Office,” she said.
In a letter dated Jan. 4, 2011 and posted on the internet was apologetic stating it had run out of cash and that its phone system and computer network had been shutdown by outside providers so it can’t contact customers.
Allcare’s policy was for customers to pay ahead for services. Its motto was: “We make seeing the dentist easy.” It does not appear that getting any of that money back will be.
The Better Business Bureau is urging consumers to send complaints to the state attorney general’s office because that is the regulatory agency that will hopefully try to get your money back for you.
Allcare is also posting information for consumers on a new website: AllCareInfo.com.