DC attorney general sues SmileDirectClub for misleading customers

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine is going after the online oral care company SmileDirectClub for allegedly misleading its customers. 

Racine announced Monday that his office will sue SmileDirectClub for making harmed and upset customers sign nondisclosure agreements to receive refunds that they were already promised. 

The suit alleges that SmileDirectClub violated D.C. laws by using NDAs to stop customers, who were seeking refunds, from leaving online reviews about the harms caused by the company's products. 

"SmileDirectClub’s ‘Lifetime Smile Guarantee’ was a sham," AG Racine said in a statement. "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 see 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."

GARDEN CITY, NY - JUNE 30: A view of atmosphere during the Real Housewives of New York star Sonja Morgan and Macy's Celebration of the launch of SmileDirectClub's Smile Kit at Macy's Roosevelt Field Mall on June 30, 2018 in Garden City, New York. (Ph

The attorney general's complaint states that some of the most negative reviews of the online orthodontics company, which sells clear dental aligners, were concealed from D.C. consumers considering whether to purchase from them. 

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SmileDirectClub markets aligners as a less expensive and faster alternative to braces and appeals to lower-income consumers, according to the OAG. 

With the lawsuit, Racine is seeking restitution plus damages for harmed customers, civil penalties, fees and costs. 

Read the full complaint below: