- Report: #1065233
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Family Dental
Family Dental2022 Cherry Rd Rock Hill, South Carolina USA
Family Dental Dental Dreams, Dental Experts Family Dental, Dental Mill, or Thieves? Rock Hill South Carolina
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Dentist mill??? Our first 2 visits to Family Dental, a.k.a. Dental Dreams, LLC, were not so bad. Aside from chipping a neighboring tooth during one extraction, the clinic was affordable for someone with no insurance and fairly efficient. Our third visit, however, has turned into a mild nightmare. The worst part of the experience - the office placed an unauthorized charge of $39.88 on our debit card, a charge made without my permission and without my card being present.
My husband had an appointment for 12:30 on Monday, July 1st, 2013, made earlier that morning when the office opened at 10 -- they do get kudos for being super fast at getting you in. We arrived around 12:20, updated some paperwork, and sat around for about an hour before finally going back to the exam rooms. The wait during our other two visits was nowhere near as long, but they were rather busy that day - maybe a bit over-booked. [continued below]....
There was a 30% chance we would need to pay an extra $76.52 if additional procedures were needed. The initial $150.48 was processed before we were taken back. At some point during our 4-hour visit, we hit that 30% so I went up front and paid the extra charge. Cash/debit card customers pay before any services are rendered.
Other than our extended stay, we left feeling satisfied. He did remember the dentist saying her tool slipped, which turned out to be a gash on the underside of his tongue - deep enough to lay a plastic toothpick in. It looks like it could have been caused by the drill? But it seems to be healing.
The next day, I checked my bank account, saw a negative balance, and a third charge from Family Dental for an amount I knew nothing about. I called the office a little before 12:00, was told that I needed to talk to the office manager, Eva, and that she would return my call in 10 or 15 minutes when she returned from the bank,
I went on with my day, giving the people a fair chance. The office closes at 6 (that's their 'evening' hours) so I called back around 5 and explained that I had waited all day for a call I never received. Eva explained that she had been so busy making calls to the credit card processing center, that she hadn't had a chance to call me back. She assured me she was doing everything she could to fix the problem and to find out why the card processing center charged my card without permission. She agreed to call me back before she closed at 6. I never heard back.
I called my bank and explained what had happened. They removed the charge, but warned me to keep an eye on the account because Family Dental still had authorization to make charges.
Sometime Wednesday afternoon, the charge was resubmitted to my account. Thursday was the 4th, and I didn't notice the charge until Friday. I also received two messages from Eva that morning, asking me to return her call so she could process my refund.When I spoke with her - about quarter till 3 - she said she had tried to call me back on Tuesday, although the phone never rang and there were no messages. She said she would need my credit card number to process my refund.
"You didn't need it to make the charge," I replied. "But I need it to do the refund," she said. Why would I feel comfortable giving this office my credit card number after they had already taken money from my account for no reason? I asked why this happened. She said the credit card processing center was to blame. She said they could mail a check if I wouldn't give her the card number or bring the card in. I asked why they couldn't give me cash."We don't have it," she replied. "We've paid cash before so I know you have cash." "But we can't use it for refunds unless corporate approves it." "Then maybe I should call corporate."
I did a little research on the Family Dental Clinics in SC. Their website (http://familydentalcentersc.org/) gives very little info. A quick who-is search for the owner of the domain name, on the other hand, gave me all the info I needed, leading me to Dental Dreams, LLC. What started as a small dentist-owned clinic in Illinois is now a chain of clinics in several states, boasting more than 200 dentists in offices nationwide.
The Dental Dreams website (http://www.dentaldreams.org/) tells a heartwarming story of founder Dr. Sameera Hussain's desire to provide affordable, quality dental services to families. The corporate number is easy to find:
350 North Clark Street, Suite 600
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 944-9499 Fax
So why are they called Family Dental here? And why is it close to impossible to find out where they're headquartered? Maybe it has something to do with the Feb., 2011 death of a 17-year-old root canal patient who only needed a simple filling (http://blog.dentistthemenace.com/2011/02/dental-dreams-has-become-dental.html)?
Or maybe they choose to operate their clinics under a variety of names for some other reason entirely. Or maybe, as the article above suggests (and supports), Dental Dreams, Family Dental, and whatever other names they may be hiding behind in Illinois, Texas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Louisiana, New Mexico, Michigan, DC, Pennsylvania, and beyond, are nothing more than dental mills, caring more about making an extra dollar than the well-being of their patients.
An employment brochure on the Dental Dreams website advertises a commission of 30% of adjusted production or a base salary of at least $120,000, claiming that most of their dentists make over $230,000 a year. (http://www.dentaldreams.org/docs/Dental%20Dreams%202012%20Brochure-1.pdf)
Maybe Dentist the Menace is right?
"Dental Dreams saw Christopher as low hanging fruit and an opportunity to meet the days production goal. Instead of replacing the filling, as a normal procedure, the production junkie of Dental Dreams found the opportunity to over-treat and up-code to a, likely unnecessarily, aggressive treatment."
Questioning who I should trust, I called my bank instead of Dental Dreams/Family Dental corporate. I explained the situation to the bank representative, who agreed that the office shouldn't need my card number to process the refund and who supported my position to withhold that info based on fraud concerns.
I called Family Dental's credit card processing company and spoke with a merchant tech support specialist. She couldn't assist me because I was a customer of her customer, meaning I needed to deal with the merchant and the merchant would need to deal with them. I explained that the office blamed her organization for charging me without authorization and that I didn't feel comfortable giving them my card number again. She was very understanding and also said that the merchant should be able to process the refund without the number. If they absolutely had to have the card number, she continued, I could visit the office, have the manager call the credit card processer, and could then give me the phone to give my number.
That seemed reasonable, so I called Eva at Family Dental back. She would need corporate permission to call the credit card center. I wonder if they gave her permission to call them on Tuesday when she didn't have time to call me back?
My request was emailed to her corporate office, she said, but she's not sure if anyone's in the office since it's the day after the 4th. Maybe I should've given her my email address and I would've heard back from her?
I called the corporate office. If you need to contact Family Dental, Dental Dreams, Dental Experts, etc., the (312)274-0308 number welcomes you to the “Administration to the Dental Offices”. By pressing 1 for a list of departments, you can access various employees or you can select 8 to file a patient complaint. This selection appears to forward the call to the general mailbox so it's unclear if your complaint will be addressed.
I chose the accounting department, which gave me a choice of 7 different employees. I left a message with a Jean who never returned my call. I called back a bit later and spoke with Jason Newell who explained that the person who handles the Rock Hill clinic was out of the office. I explained the situation and said that it wasn't fair for me to wait until Monday to get money back into my account that they had no business taking in the first place. If she can't call the credit card company without your permission, please – give her permission!! He said he would call the office. He also said someone would call me back.
I called Eva about 15 till 6 on Friday. The receptionist said she was on another line and would call me right back. It's now Monday afternoon and I'm still waiting.
If the credit card processing company used by Family Dental makes a habit of randomly charging credit cards through their merchants, I don't see how they could stay in business 25 years.
Family Dental, on the other hand, is still quite young. Even if you include the 13-year history of their parent company, Dental Dreams, it is riddled with complaints and lawsuits, as well as fraud and misconduct allegations in at least one location. Maybe Dental Office Corporate is just that corrupt?
Or is Eva really the Evil Office Manager? Maybe she didn't like the way I was looking at the tool tray during the procedure. She assured me she would address my concerns. She said 'her' IT department was investigating the cause of the charge. (After a couple questions, I learned that the IT department is the credit card processing center that she needs corporate permission to contact.)
After so many unreturned calls and so little effort to resolve this matter, I'm beginning to believe that this may be a case of outright theft that originated in the Family Dental of Rock Hill office, under the poor management of a corporate dental mill, not any sort of glitch in the computer or POS system.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/08/2013 11:07 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Family-Dental/Rock-Hill-South-Carolina-29732/Family-Dental-Dental-Dreams-Dental-Experts-Family-Dental-Dental-Mill-or-Thieves-Rock-1065233. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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