The blind of the dental clinic Caredent in Barakaldo (Bizkaia) is laid, the business closed for months and days, its managers do not give signals and about a hundred customers fear being involved in "a case of fraud". "Somebody here has filled their pockets and left people behind," says Basilio Cuesta, one of those affected by the sudden closure of the office.
The dental clinic, which belonged to the Caredent group (the labels of the brand still appear abroad), announced last December a temporary holiday closure until January 8, but since then it has hardly had any activity. Appointments to patients were postponed to February and March, until this past Monday, February 11, without prior notice, the establishment dawned closed. "They have lied shamelessly, they gave us long knowing they were going to close, they packed our bags," complains Jorge Riancho, who paid 1,000 euros in cash and had another 6,000 euros financed to get some implants.
The case of Ana María Juiria is as bloody as the previous one. He signed a credit of 9,900 euros with the lender Sabadell Consumer Finance SAU, a subsidiary of the bank of the same name, to face the payment of a treatment that "has not been completed," he says disgusted. "Every time I went [a la clínica Caredent] I was treated by a different dentist. They were a little sloppy, "he adds with" a lot of discomfort. "Some of these clients went before a clinic in the same franchise located in the neighborhood of Deusto, but were referred to Barakaldo after the closure of that.
Patients harmed by the closure of the clinic try to organize themselves to "demand responsibility" and "recover the money" paid for services they have not received. Txetxu Bilbao made a transfer in February 2018 to the account of the company A2 Clinic SL for a total of 9,300 euros to treat all the teeth, but they have not finished the treatment. "I had to call 18 times to get an appointment on Thursday, and now I find that it is closed, what happened in this clinic was not very normal because the surgeon who used to assist us was never there, nor did they have a receptionist … 'You do not have people ', I once told the person in charge, Eduardo, "says the victim.
The office of the Association of Consumers and Users of the Basque Country (EKA-ACUV) has already begun to receive several complaints separately from affected clients, to whom it has recommended that they claim their right to receive their medical file, demand the refund of the amounts advanced for treatments not completed and request the cancellation of the loans that they had subscribed to finance said treatments.
"It will be difficult for us to recover the money paid in cash, but we have to fight to stop the financed loans," says Jorge Riancho, who would have received only 10% of the full treatment already paid (7,000 euros in his case). Basilio Cuesta, with two implants pending placement, suspects that the closure of the dental clinic of Barakaldo, whose workers stopped charging in September last year, he says, is "a scam."
The aforementioned consumer association has advised those affected to contact the lender financial institution to demand the cancellation of the loan, and if they do not do so, they "reject payment of the remaining loan terms". A recent car issued by the judge of the National Court José de la Mata, charged with investigating the alleged iDental scam, ordered the precautionary suspension of judicial claims and extrajudicial activities undertaken by a dozen financial institutions to collect the credits subscribed by the clients of the clinics for their dental treatments, which were totally or partially not performed.
The number of people affected by the closure of Caredent de Barakaldo does not have the magnitude that, for example, reached the scandal of the iDental clinics, with between 18,000 and 20,000 injured by an alleged fraud that could amount to 60 million euros, nor the Bankruptcy of Funnydent, which left more than 2,400 patients helpless due to the mismanagement of their administrators. The hundred customers of the Biscay dental center is scheduled to meet next week to hire a lawyer and take "a class action" in court and before The Patient Advocate.