Do I deserve this instant veneer refund?

instant veer refund

Nechama Robinson’s instant veneers don’t work as promised. Despite a “100 percent” money-back guarantee, both PayPal and the company that sold her the veneers are balking at a refund. Is she stuck — or can she get an instant veneer refund?

Question

I spent $69 on what were described as instant teeth veneers with a retail value of $200 from a company called Great Smile. The company sells this product through its website, which at the time of my purchase displayed the words “100 percent money-back guarantee. Our product didn’t bring you Joy? Return the product in original condition to get a full refund.” I have a screenshot from their site of that statement, which they have taken down since then.

The product was not even remotely usable. When I emailed the company, the cookie-cutter response disregarded my statement that I had not used the product. They said that they could not refund my money due to health codes.

I disputed the charge through PayPal and then escalated the case to a supervisor. The PayPal supervisor said that it was clear from looking at the facts that I deserved a refund. But PayPal was not in a position to force the company to give it because PayPal cannot enforce refunds based on product fraud.

Can you help me get a refund from either Great Smile or PayPal? — Nechama Robinson, Campbell, Calif.

Answer

It sounds like Great Smile didn’t leave you with a great smile. That’s too bad. If the company promised a no-questions-asked refund at the time of your purchase, then it should have given you one. But hey, at least your veneers arrived. Some online orders never do.

Veneers are a layer of composite material or dental porcelain placed over your teeth. They’re not a full set of plastic teeth you order online. There’s also a significant price difference between the instant ones and the real ones. Regular veneers can cost up to $2,500 per tooth.
A quick search for instant veneers would have shown that people are sometimes disappointed by them. I think you might have had second thoughts about trying a $69 fix for a $2,500 problem.

By the way, we don’t know if the Great Smile teeth you ordered didn’t work, because you didn’t try them. You say you opened the box and then decided they wouldn’t work for you. Knowing that you had a money-back guarantee, you decided to put them back in the box. Fair enough.

How to get your instant veneer refund

Fortunately, you kept records of the money-back guarantee offered by Great Smile. If you hadn’t, you could have gone to a web archive to find evidence of the guarantee. But you were thinking along the right lines. If a company offers a guarantee, get it in writing. Always get it in writing.

You tried several ways to get a refund from Great Smile. The direct approach — asking for it — and a dispute through your payment method, PayPal. Neither of those worked for you, unfortunately. PayPal’s purchase protection doesn’t exactly cover your type of purchase. PayPal protects against knockoffs, damaged products and previously used products, but there’s no category for veneers.

I list the names, numbers and email addresses for the company executives at PayPal on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. A brief, polite email to one of them might have helped resolve this.

I contacted Great Smile on your behalf. It agreed to refund your purchase, as promised.

Posted in Problem Solved Tagged , ,

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can’t. He’s the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, and the Washington Post. If you have a consumer problem you can’t solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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