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ACCC Legally Enforced Refund to Purchasers of SmileDirectClub Dental Aligners Who Failed to Get Health Insurance Reimbursement


I got an email from Smile direct club letter me know that they been ordered to make a refund based on misleading information. I made the mistake of getting this stuff form my daughter. Was an utter waste of money and had to get her braces afterwards. But glad to see the ACCC finally getting something from these dodgy places.

The Court ordered SmileDirectClub to compensate affected consumers. SmileDirectClub will contact consumers who are potentially eligible for redress. Consumers who believe they are entitled to compensation should check their emails for communications from SmileDirectClub or can contact SmileDirectClub at [email protected] or on (02) 6145 2903.

You are receiving this letter because you may be eligible for a refund from SmileDirectClub following a recent court action brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The refunds are being offered to certain eligible customers who purchased SmileDirectClub plastic teeth aligners and/or associated treatment between 1 May 2019 and 31 October 2020 (Aligner Treatment).

Depending on your particular circumstances, a refund of up to $1,174.24 (or more in some circumstances) may be available to you. If you are not sure whether you are eligible, we encourage you to submit a claim and we will check your eligibility.

Are you eligible for a refund from SmileDirectClub?

We have identified you as a customer who may be eligible for a refund. This is because you purchased the Aligner Treatment.

To be eligible for a refund you must:

  1. Have had private health insurance which applied at the time of your purchase of the Aligner Treatment and which included extras coverage for orthodontic treatment; and

  2. Have either:

    a. made a private health insurance claim for a reimbursement in respect of the Aligner Treatment; or

    b. made enquiries about your private health insurance coverage after the purchase of the Aligner Treatment and found that such a claim would not be allowed; or

    c. if you are completing your instalment plan, purchased the Aligner Treatment with the intention of making a claim for a private health insurance reimbursement for that treatment; and

  3. Have either:

    a. not received a private health insurance reimbursement in respect of the Aligner Treatment; or

    b. received a private health insurance reimbursement less than the refund you would be entitled to under this refund program; and

  4. Confirm that you will not seek any future or further reimbursement from either your private health insurer or SmileDirectClub in relation to insurance coverage for the Aligner Treatment.

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closed Comments

  • +109

    Shouldn't this be in the forum?

    • +22

      Apparently it's a bargain when you get ripped off but the ACCC actually steps in and does their job.

      • I rarely ever see them doing anything. My friends and I have all had negative experiences with them not being bothered to do anything. Out of all the requests they get my guess is they do something in only 1 %.

    • there ya go mate have a +100

  • +3


    I knew that wouldn't last long.

  • +11

    SmileDirectClub to pay $3.5m for misleading claims about health insurance reimbursement for teeth aligners

    So this is only if your health insurance didnt cover it by the sounds

  • +117

    Massive bargain, I bought 4 refunds

    • +5

      Weak. Should have bought 10 refunds.

      • +36

        They cancelled my refund and refunded it… I'm never buying refunds from them again.

      • +1

        Woah, calm down @Broden

    • +6

      Make sure you use PayPal to purchase so you can get free return shipping…. Oh wait, they stopped that!

      • +1

        Didnt realise that. Thanks for the info. Thats the only reason i use Paypal and now its gone!!!

        • +1

          I still use it but purely for convenience and I guess one additional layer of security (arguable)

          • @Mr Frodo: that you can cancel ongoing payments easily

        • Nah make sure that you get PayPal so if anything goes wrong you can lodge a claim and they can side with the seller leaving you high and dry

    • That guy that processed ozbargainers incorrectly priced elec items a couple of months back hooked me up with 11 of them

  • +31

    Why is this coming up as a deal?

    • +2

      Coz bargains.

    • Cos you got money for buying crap.

    • +3

      Should be considered atleast targeted then!

      • +1

        Your report has been submitted, thank you.

  • +3

    Ahhh…I wondered why I haven't seen their advertisements on TV in a very long time.
    Always thought it seemed too good to be true.

  • +22

    This is more of a deal than when people post that Netflix has a movie on it

    • They're both deals.

  • +3

    the last point should be made unlawfull

    • wow thats true

    • +3

      Pretty standard agreement for a legal settlement. It pretty much says "if you accept this, there's no coming back for a second bite of the cherry". Given that the alternative is going through your own legal fight to get a refund then this is a good offer.

  • +3

    Thanks OP, bought 2! Wife will be pleased

  • so basically only relevant for those who tried to claim it on insurance?

  • +10

    This isn't about whether or not the product works. They told people they could claim it through private health insurance and it wasn't claimable through most private health insurers.

    SmileDirectClub admitted that between May 2019 and October 2020, it made false or misleading statements to consumers on its website and in emails, SMS text messages and information cards provided in store, in contravention of Australian Consumer Law.

    The statements represented that consumers may be entitled to a reimbursement from their private health fund for part of the cost of the company’s teeth aligners and related treatment.

    The vast majority (98.5 per cent of the market) of Australian private health insurance companies did not provide coverage for the costs of SmileDirectClub’s aligner treatment.

    • +2

      It also works poorly, as they don't attach any anchor points onto the teeth. Which is a shame, because a product like this really needs to come along and break the Invisalign/orthodontist monopoly.

      • +2

        I'm sure it does, but that's not what they got done for.

      • It’s a Invisalign type of copy, 3D printed retainers that shift your teeth

        • Yes, but Invisalign uses anchor points (in this instance it's bits of glue they stick onto the teeth) so the movements Invisalign can do are substantially greater, and even Invisalign is shit compared to traditional braces. SDC has no anchor points, so it can only do very small movements.

  • +6

    No NFC, deal breaker.

    • +5

      Wireless charging. A must along with band 28

      • +1

        28 teeth in adulthood is pretty good.

  • +5

    Welcome to OzRefund

  • +5

    That's definitely asbestos.

  • Niche deal but I like it

  • Did this outcome directly bring a smile to your face? Sounds like your in the SmileDirect Club.

  • +2

    This is not a deal but a great forum thread!

  • I guest the court ruling wiped the smile out of smile direct club.

  • +8

    As usual a refund is not a deal.. belongs in the forums as a PSA neg away

    • +3


      • -1


  • Get your refunds in quickly, not too long until Smile Direct Club goes bust, they're haemorrhaging money.

  • Pricing error for sure will wait for my refund on my refund

  • In other news……..

  • +1

    Best deal of the week for sure

  • +1

    I was so close of getting these, then I read about them and got the proper Invisalign instead

    What happened to your daughters teeth btw? Did they make it worst?

  • +15

    Refund for some to the front page, Free game for everyone to the forums.

    • +2

      That's a real head scratcher that one.

  • +2

    Isnt it part of your own due diligence to check the item numbers with your health provider? As per most dentists recommend checking your own, as their is so many different item codes, rules per policy etc etc.

    • +4

      The issue is that they said you could claim it under ortho but you can't. Item numbers are irrelevant, the problem wasn't with people not being covered for ortho.

    • +2

      The alleged conduct includes that SmileDirectClub told consumers they should check to see if the aligner treatment was covered by their health fund using item numbers 825 and 811. However, the ACCC alleges these item numbers cover only treatments provided following face-to-face consultations with dentists registered with the health fund. Consumers who did check using these items may have been advised that their health insurance covered them for the aligner treatment, when this was not the case.

      The aligners were sent directly to consumers. Consumers did not attend in-person appointments with a dentist or orthodontist over the course of the Aligner Treatment.

      They provided item numbers that would be eligible if work was done by a dentist, but there doesn't seem to have been a dentist involved. So yeah, a good idea to check item numbers and that the provider is registered to ensure it's covered.

    • I agree, to an extent but frankly some people are more prudent than others when it comes to checking for eligibility. The message SDC's marketing campaign gave was that customers "may" be eligible for extras cover. The ambiguity of that statement should be a trigger to take a closer look but at the same time, it could easily be misinterpreted

  • … yay?

  • Do we still need our receipts to claim?

    • There is no law in Australia that says you must provide a receipt or invoice for a refund, but you do need to provide some form of proof of payment. That can be a bank transaction.

    • There is some information about what you need to be eligible for a refund here https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/744255

  • +3

    Code expired. Can't add it to the cart.

  • -8

    So you stupidly bought an item that has no medical certifications and now you're bitching and whinging to daddy? THEIR ADS DONT EVEN CLAIM TO DO THE SAME THING AS BRACES, bro you need special educational tutoring, not dental re-allignment.

    • +5

      Ok, Boomer!

    • +1


    • +1

      don't be angry…. dad?

    • +3

      Lmao, lacks understanding but berates others. You claim others need special education when you barely scratch the surface of simple understanding

    • -1
  • +1

    Did someone say "KFC"

    • +5

      I don't care… I love it

      • +2

        Shut up and take my money

  • +3

    Thanks bought 10

  • +8

    How is this a deal?

    • -4

      Democracy. 110 people say it is.

  • -1

    About time companies like this get reprimanded significantly financially. All these pseudo-science companies like the hair loss studios, teeth whitening, quick and easy fitness scam products etc. take advantage of self conscious people and take their money in exchange for products they know don't work.

    • Who said this doesn't work? It's actually a great product

      • I've used it as well and think it is a great product too

  • Just curious, what was the reason in getting this treatment, cosmetic or as an alternative to braces.

    I'm thinking it was the latter, an alternative to braces, and based on your reply these things didn't work and you ended up getting braces.

    The reason I ask is I hear people getting this treatment to make their teeth 'perfect', some kind of cosmetic dentistry.

  • +1

    Anyone noticed the ACCC has been winning a lot of cases lately?

  • +2

    Does this have band 28?

  • -1

    It might belong in the forums, but not everyone goes there, so for 1/10 of a seconds inconvenience, it might save others big money. Have some mercy.

  • +2

    Refund is not a deal

  • +3

    This is a PSA, not bargain.

  • +1

    Cool but not a bargain

  • +1

    I guess I was one of the lucky ones. I was able to claim $1800 of my Smiles Direct fees , and had nothing but a good experience with them. Teeth are still straight and dentist tells me they are in top shape.

    Got the email also, but not eligible seeing as though my Health Insurer paid.

  • +1

    I cannot buy this

    • -1

      Just like you can't buy all the deals that are targetted. Shoo.

      • I'll rephrase:
        No one can buy this

  • +2

    Get this off my "deals" feed!!

    • +3

      Here's a reply so you have to come back to this 'deal' to read it

      • You evil evil man. I like it. 👌

    • -1


    • We refuse out of principle.

  • Scam Direct Club

  • +1

    No bargain listed.

  • -4

    Sheesh the negative nancies are out today.

    Commence the tiny violinist!

  • Interesting.

    I'm with HCF and they would need an approved business and/or orthodontic with the item numbers to be approved. When I got my braces from the ortho, I made sure before committing and asked HCF if this ortho was authorised.

    But it seems these guys said to do so and they still not approved by certain heath funds… Interesting, indeed

    • It's probably because you need an in person consultation to claim it, as that would prove personalised supervision.

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