I’m not one to “trash” a company in public. But, in this case, I had such a bad experience, I feel I need to. I own 2 businesses. Besides TCC, I own a local accounting company. Customer service is one of the most important pieces of a successful business.
This story may have a happy ending – stay tuned for updates.
Last August, I saw an ad for Smile Direct Club. I had braces as a teen – complete with headgear, and a retainer, that I failed to wear all the time after my braces came off. Over time, my bottom teeth got very crowded, with one of them very crooked/pushed back due to the pressure of crowding. Also, my eye teeth started to peek under my two front teeth. This has bothered me for years, and I even checked into Invisalign. I literally jumped on the offer from Smile Direct…$99 a month, do the molds at home, receive trays in mail. For someone like me – working 80 hours a week running my own businesses- getting in for molds and appointments is difficult. So, this was a perfect solution for me. I ordered that day. I was sent a kit to make impressions, I made them, I sent them back…and received my first 4 trays. So far, so good!
I was going on a much-needed vacay Labor Day week, which was the first week of September last year; our first getaway since the mister was critically injured in his accident. After 9 months of hospitals and surgeries and doctors and rehab – not to mention the costs – boy, did I need a getaway! I also needed to do something that was just for ME; strau=ightening I decided I’d start the treatment when I got back. I had an email from a rep that said “please let me know when you start your treatment so I can send you reminders”. I returned from vacation, put my first set of trays in, and sent a reply to that email stating I started treatment. Looking back, and knowing what I now know about automated customer service, I think that original email was a “bot”. I only received 2 or 3 reminders over the course of my treatment. Luckily, I am capable of using a calendar, so it was a non-issue.
Fast forward to March. I’m on tray #12. Coming close to finishing treatment. While I can see visible improvement in my crooked teeth, they aren’t straight yet. I assume that those last few trays and the retainer are key to “completing” the straightening process. Here’s the problem: tray 13 hadn’t arrived yet. Ironically, I get a reminder from Smile Direct Club right about that time – one of just a few I received. It says to change my trays, and let them know if I have any questions. I reply to the email, stating “I haven’t received my next trays yet and have to switch next week, can you check into that for me?”
The response I received: “thank you for updating us. If you need anything before your next check-in, let us know”.
Ummm….I did need something, the whereabouts of my next tray(s)? I emailed back stating that. And, did not receive a response. I then called. I was told “If you aren’t satisfied with your treatment, you need to send pictures to xxx email address and our dentists will review them”. Did you not hear me? I haven’t completed treatment…I have no idea if I’m dissatisfied yet! Boy, in just days would I be dissatisfied…
I decided to email and save everything. Just had a feeling this wasn’t going to go as easy as it should. What do I believe should have happened? A rep looks into the shipment of those trays. If they were shipped, track them. If they weren’t shipped, ship them. If they were shipped and lost, re-ship them. That should have been the end of this story.
But, that’s not what happened at all.
I have emailed no less than 12 times, to no avail. And, received some pretty frustrating responses. Including, “a ticket will be created” back in April, and I should hear back about it soon. Never heard a thing. I wore tray #12 for 7 weeks while awaiting my next trays. Tray 12 became so loose it would slip off my teeth when I was speaking. (and it was getting pretty gross)
Finally, I filed a dispute with my credit card company. I sent them all the emails, both sent and received. They decided in my favor. But, I was still getting charged the $99 monthly. I kept disputing each charge, explaining each month that I still have not received my next trays!
August 21. Receive an email from SmileDirectClub letting me know my next payment was coming up. I’m angry…here’ we go again. I’ll need to get online and dispute this one too.
ON August 22, I received news that made my blood boil. Smile Direct Club appealed my dispute with my credit card – and won! The charges were added back to my card! Now, I’ve paid for a treatment I spent 6 months of my life diligently doing…and because they couldn’t look into a simple issue 4 months prior, my teeth were reverting quickly and the treatment was incomplete! I sent another email to SmileDirect stating I cannot believe I am still getting charged for treatment, when it’s been over 4 months since my last trays were delivered. I summarized what had happened to date.
The email I received back?
“Hi M arni ,This is Shedrick , one of the Customer Care Specialist here at SmileDirectClub!
Thank you for contacting us today. I do review your account and i saw there is a dispute placed, that is the reason why we cannot continue with the treatment, We need you to stop the dispute, revert charges so we could continue with your treatment until the end. We do apologize for all the inconvenience caused.”
Besides the bad grammar and weird typography (yes, this is exactly what I received – weird fonts and spacing and all), it states my trays were not sent because of the dispute. 1) the dispute was because I hadn’t received my trays, and 2) the dispute was decided in their favor!
Now, I’m fuming. I email back. I ask to be contacted by a customer service manager. I receive an email from “Andrea” who states
This is Andrea, one of the Customer Care Specialist here at SmileDirectClub!
I feel so sorry regarding this whole situation. I wish I could help you as I want to. But unfortunately my department is customer service. But I just created a ticked with the highest priority. Our Cancellation team will be reaching you really soon so they can Assist you further, they will be reaching you in the next 24-48 business hours. Please let me know if something else occurs so I can help you further.”
Cancellation department?!? I just want my trays!
And, “I wish I could help you as I want to. But unfortunately my department is customer service” This line made my husband laugh. Hard. I can laugh now, but then I was still fuming.
By the way, that email was dated 8/22/17 and 1:30am. The “cancellation team” must be very busy. As of today, I’ve never heard a word from them regarding this “highest priority ticked” (which I assume is supposed to be “ticket”…I’m guessing here, but it’s a fair guess that both Shedrick and Andrea are not here in the states based on their typo’s and grammar errors…) Since my ticket in April was never addressed, it came as no surprise to me that this “highest priority” ticket was also not addressed. I wonder if they have a “supercalafragelistic high priority”.
So, I wrote to the company and told them I was not only going to have to file a small claims suit, but that I was going to tell my story on social media. And, I posted as much to Smile Direct Club’s Facebook page – that today, Sept 9th, I’d be posting my account of the service I received from Smile Direct.
Funny, after 5 months of frustration, within an hour, Timothy Spivey sent me a message via messenger, that he was the social media manager, and would fix this overdue issue. He has stated that they cannot just send my remaining trays now, as I haven’t had trays in in so long. He told me that they would be sending a new impression kit, and would get new trays made. Or, I could go to their Boston office and have impressions made…which was odd. I’m 5 hours from Boston by train. But, whatever.
My hope is that Tim really comes through, the impression kit is actually sent, and, I actually get the trays I need to finish treatment.
That remains to be seen. Hopefully, Tim is the one who can right this mess. And if he does, I’ll be sure to tell y’all. For now, all I can say is that the concept is great, especially if you are busy like I am. It also appears to be effective, as it was straightening my teeth. Since it is one of only 2 services I know of, you’re limited as to other options. Can I recommend them? Let me say “not at this time”, and hopefully I can in the future.
Stay tuned, as I’ll update you as to if Smile Direct Club actually comes through, and I can finally finish treatment, albeit months later than May 2017 when I was supposed to complete treatment.
Today’s post was supposed to be the video results of the Neutrogena Sunless Tan Micromist. But, this was more pressing…
…and, I picked up CVS’s version of it, and will be reviewing that one instead LOL (It was BOGO – couldn’t resist!)
Don’t forget, fall is coming…too quickly for me!
There are a ton of new additions to the website. Take a few moments this week and grab a piece to update your wardrobe. Need help or advice? You know how to contact me. I promise I’ll answer and won’t open a ticket or send it on to another department!
For everyone in Irma’s path – do your best to stay safe!