Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley reached a settlement on Monday with Aspen Dental Management, Inc. and Aspen Dental Associates of New England, P.C. for alleged misleading advertising and marketing practices.
Aspen Dental will pay approximately $1 million for allegedly running confusing advertising and charging customers for services months before they were provided. They also allegedly advertised that some of the services were free when they really were not and allegedly refused to provide patients refunds for services not performed.
“We allege this dental company took advantage of its patients by deceptively marketing its services and unfairly charging in advance for dental treatments,” Coakley said. “Under this settlement, affected consumers will get the relief they deserve and Aspen will be prevented from continuing these unlawful practices in the commonwealth.”
Aspen Dental will reimburse $770,000 to its clients. Many of the patients were first-time customers who visited Aspen Dental clinics between September 2009 and December 2013. They were allegedly billed for x-rays or other dental services that were advertised to be free.
As part of the settlement, the dental service provider also will pay $220,000 to the commonwealth of Massachusetts and must change its business practices.