Receiving services from businesses that announce their closing can be confusing. Some customers might wonder what this means for them, especially if the business was in the middle of providing long-term or proprietary services.
From private college closures that left students feeling helpless as to their next choice, to storage facilities that close out of nowhere and sell off the belongings of people who rented units, many of those who are impacted by abrupt closures take to TikTok to share their frustrations.
One more recent example is the closure of SmileDirectClub, a telehealth company that provided teeth alignment services to customers as an alternative to traditional braces. The company had previously announced that it would seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which typically means that the business will proceed as usual and address financial challenges.
However, just months after filing for bankruptcy and two months into her use of their corrective aligners, customer Rebekka Reynolds (@rebekka_reyn) says viewers reached out to her to let her know that the business was closing altogether.
“I saw that it said they were winding down their global operations,” she says. “I was like, OK, maybe that just means they’re shutting down orders out of the country and services out of the country, but then I found this on their website.”
The video then cuts to a screen grab from the company’s website, elaborating on the closure and what that means for customers.
The notice states that there are no services to be provided for new or existing customers, as the company’s customer service team also no longer exists. Despite the end of services, customers on payment plans are still asked to continue making payments.
Reynolds says the situation is unfortunate because she had been enjoying her aligners and services provided by SmileDirectClub up until their closure.
“My bottom teeth are straight, it has taken a lot of the crooked out,” she says, demonstrating the effect of the aligners. “My top teeth—this is the one I got it for—is moving forward. I’m halfway through the treatment, and this tooth is almost out from behind this tooth. I have the box. I’m going to go through my entire treatment, but I’m not going to have a money-back guarantee and I’m not going to have any kind of refund guarantee. That does mean that if I run into issues, or I have problems, I’m going to wind up having to go to an orthodontist anyway.”
Reynolds says she will continue to update viewers on her process using the aligners, as other companies are providing similar products that viewers might be interested in.
The Daily Dot has reached out to both Reynolds and SmileDirectClub via email regarding the video.
@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
In the comments section, some viewers shared that they had issues with the results of SmileDirectClub aligners, or that they worked in the dental industry and had to correct the effect of similar aligners.
“As a dentist I’ve seen so many SDC destroy pts mouths.” one commenter wrote. “You might feel like they’re straight but they could be causing bone loss and excess mobility.”
“I used Smile Direct and it really messed up my bite!” another claimed. “They said I would need to pay and go through the process again!”
“My ortho told me the biggest issue w/ them is all they do is make the teeth flare out so it really only works for some people,” a further user shared.