KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt: Utah Dental Supply Company Faces Fines, Hundreds Of Angry Customers

Mar 11, 2021, 9:39 AM

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — A Utah dental supply company has hundreds of angry customers who say they are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In May 2020, KSL Investigators met with Mike Gallacher, who bought some dental aligners from SmileLove back in 2019. Gallacher claimed the product came in but didn’t fit.

“The aligners were not made correctly,” Gallacher said.

At that time, Gallacher complained SmileLove would not respond to his requests for a refund. The Better Business Bureau of Northern Nevada and Utah put out an alert on the company, having received 239 complaints and estimated more than $200,000 owed to SmileLove customers.

As of March 2021, the BBB had received 889 complaints about SmileLove. Most alleged they ordered aligner products that were never received.

BBB spokesperson Britta Clark said, “SmileLove gave a lot of red flags.”

She claimed the company stopped responding to those complaints.

Utah’s Division of Consumer Protection had been in touch with SmileLove. In a citation issued February 19, 2021, details of SmileLove’s financial troubles were outlined. According to the citation, SmileLove closed its doors to new customers in “August 2020” and have spent “millions of dollars” on social media advertisements.

In July, one of the company’s registered principal’s left the company. The remaining registered principal, David Frazier, told Consumer Protection they started to experience “financial difficulties” at the end of 2019 and laid off “close to half of its staff…and nearly all of its staff by March 2020.”

By summer 2020, Frazier told Consumer Protection they had no money to pay their manufacturer, having defaulted on rent for their Cottonwood Heights office, racked up past due balances, and running negative in their accounts.

The citation was issued for 312 counts of taking payment from customers but failing to send goods. It carries a potential fine of $780,000.

According to ProPublica, SmileLove was awarded two Payroll Protection Program loans: one in April 2020 for $321,300, and the other in February 2021 for $304,290. The report listed the company employing 21 and 51 people for each respective loan.

When we stopped by the SmileLove offices, we found them empty.

Frazier responded to KSL Investigators’ email, saying they had to close their office “because of the COVID collapse we experienced last May that caused the insolvency of SmileLove and issues to the customers.”

Frazier explained he has not filed for bankruptcy, “as we continue to try to the best of our ability to resolve the issues caused by our COVID collapse. We will decide to close or restructure once we’ve resolved all the issues caused by this collapse.”

In the meantime, Frazier directed customers affected by the company’s insolvency to reach out by email to support@smilelove.com regarding refunds.

Clark’s advice from the BBB to folks who did not get what they paid for was to try filing a dispute with your credit card company and keep a lookout for any possible bankruptcy to g`et on as a creditor. “The business clearly doesn’t have any money,” said Clark, “and you can’t get anything if they don’t have any money.”

Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

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Gephardt: Utah Dental Supply Company Faces Fines, Hundreds Of Angry Customers