CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Friday, without warning to customers or employees, American Laser Skincare closed its more than 100 locations nationwide, including one in Cascade Township just outside of Grand Rapids.
“They just pretty much screwed everybody over,” said Ashley Bowerman, a former customer of the company.
In September, Bowerman signed up for a package deal for eight skincare services through American Laser Skincare. The package cost nearly $700, so American Laser Skincare offered her a financing option through a different company, which she took.
“I still have to pay my total balance due, but I’m not getting these services,” Bowerman said.
Bowerman has only used one of the services she is now left to pay for.
“I don’t want bad credit, so … I’m frustrated and confused and don’t know what to do. Because I don’t want to pay $700 for services that I’m not getting,” Bowerman said.
The same day the company closed its locations without notifying its customers, it posted an ad on Facebook still offering and encouraging people to buy skincare packages for as low as $44 a month.
“I haven’t been able to get a hold of anybody (at the corporate level),” Bowerman said. “I don’t know what’s going on.”
She learned the company was closed from the Cascade Township office where she had gone, but the workers there had few answers.
“I don’t know if we’ll get our money back because the lady at the office said they are completely bankrupt,” Bowerman said. “She didn’t think anyone would be getting their money back.”
Bowerman isn’t the only one to be left in the lurch. Similar stories have popped up from news organizations across the nation.
The company has posted a message online blaming the economy for why it closed, but the message doesn’t offer any help or answers to customers:
“The American Laser Skincare team is very sorry to announce the closing of all of our clinics and offices across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. We sincerely regret the impact that these closings may have on our loyal clients, valued employees, and business partners. The entire industry has been affected by the long-running economic downturn, and our company simply could no longer afford to continue operating.
“If you are a client with a treatment package that has not yet been completed, please know that we are taking steps to find alternative providers for you as quickly as possible. While we are working toward this end, we ask for your patience.
“In addition, any American Laser Skincare contracts signed after November 12, 2014, will not be processed; therefore you have not been charged.
“We are actively coordinating communication outlets to address your questions and concerns. Current information can be found on http://www.americanlaser.com, and developing updates will be posted as they occur.”
24 Hour News 8 stopped by the company’s location in Cascade Township and found a note on the door saying the location had closed. The sign had an 800 number posted on it. 24 Hour News 8 called the number, was set on hold for 10 minutes and then was forced to leave a message.
Tuesday night, no one had called back.
“Make it right. Give us our money back,” Bowerman said.