Careington International Corporation

Careington International Corporation

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This company simply does not deliver what it claims at all. | I collected price quotes– some written, including the medical procedure codes– from a number of area dentists in order to arrange for a dental treatment plan. I do not have insurance, so after doing my research I elected to join the Careington 500 discount dental plan, which purports to offer significant savings off of regular dental prices in exchange for a monthly membership fee and a $20 sign up fee. | On its website the company displays estimated dollar and percentage savings for a number of common dental procedures, along with the exact procedure codes. The exact estimated discount amounts vary for different procedures, but they are all on the order of 65%, so we are talking about significant promised savings. | This is a simple case of false advertising and it confirms the old maxim that if something sounds too good to be true than it certainly IS too good to be true. | The predictable end to this story is that after I signed up for the Careington 500 plan and arrived at Aspen Dental on Woodruff Road in Greenville, South Carolina to have a crown installed, I was shown a printout of the procedure cost with and without the Careington so called discount. There was no actual discount apparent for either the crown procedure that I was to have performed that day, nor for a handful of other, future, recommended procedures. Instead of offering a genuine discount, the cost of the procedures without the Careington discount were simply inflated by an absurd amount so as to generate the appearance of a discount after the Careington plan cost. In actuality the amount charged under this Careington 500 dental discount plan is the normal going rate for these procedures in the city where I live, and I know this after pricing out the procedure with around a dozen different dentists. | The Careington website asked for my zip code before generating price estimates, so the discrepancy is not due to regional differences in service prices. The website quoted an estimate of $407 for the crown procedure, but in reality it cost me over $1000, which is basically the going rate for a crown in this city with NO discount dental plan. I am out the cost of sign up fee and also the first month’s membership fee. I intend to cancel the service tomorrow. | Consumers should not waste their time with this so called dental discount plan– it is simply false advertising that depends on opaque processes and vague promises to– one assumes– skirt the consumer laws against such deception. | As for Aspen Dental, which is an in-network provider that accepts Careington, I received nothing but excuses from them when I complained about the false discount, and I had the distinct impression that they are well aware that Careington’s plan is a shell game. But obviously since this scam is a source of customers for their practice, the dental office has no incentive to reveal the truth about the pricing slight of hand. Fortunately a little comparison shopping around town on my part removed all doubt about the true costs involved.

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