SmileDirectClub Customers Speak Out After Company Ends Operations Without Warning The telehealth orthodontics company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September.

By Sam Silverman

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

SmileDirectClub customers have a bone to pick with the telehealth orthodontics company after it shut down operations on Friday while people are still in the middle of treatments.

The direct-to-consumer dentistry brand announced it will wind down global operations "effective immediately" in a statement posted to its website. The news comes three months after SmileDirectClub filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September with nearly $900 million in debt, per The New York Times.

However, SmileDirectClub's closure leaves many customers stranded in the middle of teeth straightening treatments, which typically cost around $2,000 and take four to six months.

Customers will not receive new aligners to finish their treatment and the company encouraged those in the middle of treatment to consult a local dentist, according to the statement.

All outstanding orders have been canceled, per the statement, but those who financed their plans are expected to continue making payments.

RELATED: The Future of Telemedicine in the Health Care Industry

As for refunds, the company said bankruptcy proceedings will determine the next steps.

The company was founded in 2014 and served over 2 million customers. It went public in 2019, and it was valued at $8.9 billion.

After going public, SmileDirectClub struggled to turn a profit. Several dental organizations spoke out against the company and said the treatment could lead to disease and teeth loss, per CBS News. SmileDirectClub also faced legal scrutiny from unsatisfied customers who alleged the company blocked customers from filing complaints, per The New York Times.

In early 2023, SmileDirectClub was required to release more than 17,000 customers from nondisclosure agreements and pay $500,000 to the District of Columbia.

Following the news, customers in the middle of treatment took to social media to share their experiences.

@rebekka_reyn Replying to @JellyBeanTV #smiledirectclub @Rebekka Reynolds has officially closed down their business while I'm in the middle of treatment. @Forbes @SmileDirectClub @The New York Times @cbsnews ♬ original sound - Rebekka Reynolds

@ericmartinez284 So many of us are confused upset and disappointed. Im sorry to all the customers who trusted @SmileDirectClub. The company decided to layoff everyone in the company through email no 2 week notice only in email how unprofessional and disrespectful. Im not surprised on there actions and im truely embarrassed and sorry for all the customers who trusted them. One thing i am proud of is making so many smiles happen with the customers i had. The friendships ive made with customer and employees. This was maybe a sign for a new opportunity i was so comfortable new opportunities wait for me 2024! #fyp #newyearnewjob #lgbtq #smilestrong2024 #california ♬ original sound - Eric M

Sam Silverman

Content Strategy Editor

Sam Silverman is a content strategy editor at Entrepreneur Media. She specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), and her work can be found in The US Sun, Nicki Swift, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and Health. She writes for our news team with a focus on investigating scandals. Her coverage and expertise span from business news, entrepreneurship, technology, and true crime, to the latest in entertainment and TV news. Sam is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently resides in NYC. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

Woman Allegedly Fired for 'Theft' After Eating a Sandwich That Was Leftover From a Meeting

Gabriela Rodriguez worked as a cleaner at Devonshires Solicitors in London for two years.

Business News

A 29-Year-Old CEO Quit Microsoft To Build His Startup — And Just Scored A Deal on Shark Tank

Aabesh De tapped into a niche need during the pandemic and founded Flora, a houseplant care startup.

Business News

A Billion Dollar Startup Is Trying To Resurrect A Woolly Mammoth — And You Can Watch It Happen

Filmmakers will go behind the scenes of billion-dollar startup Colossal Biosciences, which uses genetic engineering for de-extinction projects.

Growing a Business

Real Estate Expert Reveals How to Scale Your Rental Investment Portfolio to Maximize Your Profits and Minimize Your Risks

Ready to take your rental property investment portfolio to the next level? Our expert tips will show you how to scale your portfolio with confidence.

Employee Experience & Recruiting

Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes With These Five Essential Tips

From using an AI-powered video platform to posting more precise job listings, these strategies will help hiring managers spend less time, energy and money finding the right candidates.