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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 117369
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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Can a dentist pre-bill for services not rendered

Customer Question

Can a dentist pre-bill for services not rendered?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 years ago.
Many dentists do indeed "pre-bill" and there is no law against it, although I do not think the practice is fair, it is not illegal. You can try calling the PA Dental Board regarding the charges if you are not receiving the services he has pre-billed for, but I am afraid that as long as he is in the process of providing those services, there will not be much you can do unless he failed to notify you that his policy was to pre-bill. If he failed to notify you that his policy was to bill before services were rendered, then you have a right to rescind the contract and demand a refund for services not provided.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I was seen in his office for a free consultation visit and decided to go ahead with the proposed dental work. At no time did he or anyone in his office tell me that I would be billed prior to the dental work. I told them that I had dental insurance, although they were not a participating provider, they told me that they could bill for the covered services and that I would be responsible for the remaining amount. I also informed them that I had a flexibile spending account from my employer that I wished to use to cover whatever the insurance would not cover. They also asked me if I would like to "apply" for a care credit account, that way I would be covered for whatever additional costs were incurred. I agreed and made an appointment for a week later to begin the dental work. The very next day, I called their office and cancelled the appointment because I told them that I was uncomfortable with the treatment plan and wanted a second opinion. Several months later I have a $6900 dental bill on my care credit account and I have not had any services rendered to me at this point except for the "free consulation" visit. I am still waiting to hear from the credit card company regarding this issue. I will be filing a complaint with the PA Dental Association, as well as the State Attorney General's office, but should I also retain a lawyer and consider small claim's court?
Thank You!
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 years ago.
You need to file the complaints with the parties you have said, which you beat me to suggesting. I would also hire a consumer protection law attorney and pursue the dental office for fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract and credit card fraud for making the charges to the card without providing the services and you should also be able to recover attorney's fees as well. You need to bring copies of everything you were given and signed from the dentist to the attorney so he can review them to determine the proper and most expedient course of action.