This lawsuit from the D.C. Attorney General alleges that SmileDirectClub used nondisclosure agreements to prevent dissatisfied customers from receiving refunds.
Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed a suit against ortho company SmileDirectClub. The suit alleges that SmileDirectClub required “harmed and dissatisfied” customers to sign nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) to receive refunds, according to a release from AG Racine’s office. This would have violated District law by prohibiting customers from writing online reviews if they wanted a refund for their purchase.
The AG also alleges that SmileDirectClub used NDAs to prevent customers who had painful experiences or injuries from the product from filing complaints with regulators or law enforcement to receive refunds.
“SmileDirectClub’s ‘Lifetime Smile Guarantee’ was a sham,” AG Racine said in the release. “Far from providing promised refunds with no strings attached, the company forced consumers to sign NDAs to get any money back after the first 30 days. These consumers were promised perfect smiles, but many suffered pain or didn’t seen improvements. Forcing consumers to be silent about shoddy products and services in this way is illegal, and that’s why we’re going to make SmileDirectClub pay.”
SmileDirectClub touts a 100% refund to customers that aren’t satisfied with their clear aligners after 30 days. This suit alleges that after 30 days, an NDA is required if a refund is requested, with fines and threats of potential litigation if the NDA is broken.
The Office of the Attorney General is seeking restitution and damages for harmed consumers, civil penalties for violating District laws, and costs the District incurred by bringing this case.