FIRST ON 3: American Laser Skincare closes "without warning"
American Laser Skincare has closed its doors leaving several Chattanooga employees without jobs and clients out thousands of dollars.
Tuesday, November 18th 2014, 12:31 PM EST
Tuesday, November 18th 2014, 6:00 PM EST
A national laser hair removal company closed its doors for good with little warning. Now its Chattanooga workers are without a job and its customers are out thousands of dollars.
In 2011, American Laser Centers based in Michigan, filed for bankruptcy. It then re-branded as American Laser Skincare. The new CEO told employees in a nationwide conference call an investment deal fell through, the company was filing for bankruptcy and all locations, including the one in Chattanooga, were instructed to close immediately.
"We were booked completely, almost every day," says Shelly Carroll, a former laser technician at the Chattanooga location.
Shelly Carroll posted a sign Tuesday telling customers with the American Laser Skincare Chattanooga location the door is locked for good.
"The clients really concern me because we sold them and they're really out the money and I'm not sure they'll receive it back," says Carroll.
The company had more than 100 locations in 28 states, including one on Gunbarrel Road, which employed three people and served hundreds of customers. It provided services like laser hair removal, body sculpting, and chemical peels, with clients paying as much as $6,000 up front.
"We sold things as a package," says Carroll.
Carroll says last Thursday the company's computer network went down.
"That should have been a red flag but I just thought something was wrong with the computer system. So I didn't really take that as a warning."
The next day, the CEO of American Laser Skincare held a nationwide conference call.
"Within one hour we all didn't have jobs and weren't promised another hour of pay. They said they would pay us through the end of the day. And I had a bonus I was expecting yesterday. Didn't receive it," says Carroll.
She says her manager got the news while on her honeymoon.
The CEO told them an investment deal in the company "fell through."
"On a personal level I feel like I'd be a little selfish to be the only person mad because there are so many people involved," says Carroll.
The national website has a message posted telling clients any contracts signed after November 12th are void and the company is working to find 'alternative providers' for those who paid for services not yet received.
"I've survived a lot of things. So, I'm a survivor and God's my source. Not a company. So I'm fixing to put out my fleece," says Carroll.
Channel 3 called the corporate number posted on Shelly's flyer. The answering service said its call center was experiencing a high call volume, we were automatically put on hold for 10 minutes, then we were prompted to leave a message.
The following message appears on the company's website:
"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 www.americanlaser.com, and developing updates will be posted as they occur.
Your American Laser Skincare Team"