7 On Your Side: Snap on Smile

Seven On Your Side
January 3, 2011 8:19:17 PM PST
She's retired, and on a fixed income, but had saved up her whole life to fix one thing about herself, her smile.

She met a dentist who promises A-list celebrity smiles, paid up front, but never got a product that worked.

Eyewitness News caught her dentist living it up and went to work to turn her frown upside down.

"It makes my stomach boil up with anger really to tell you the truth just to look at this," Denise Dorsey said.

Watching her dentist promote herself online while vacationing in the Caribbean is a bitter pill to swallow for retired Postal Worker Denise Dorsey.

"Hi everyone, here I am poolside in St Marten, October is Dental Hygiene Month," Dr. Catrise Austin said in a video.

"She's in St. Martin or wherever she's at, in the pool with sunshine, with my money!" Dorsey said.

While Dr. Catrise Austin was in the pool this past October, Denise was waiting for the $1,400 refund she says Dr. Austin's office promised her for a Snap on Smile she had ordered and paid for 6 months earlier.

"I went the office and they took a mold of my mouth," Dorsey said.

She met the self-styled dentist to the stars at a New York Public Library lecture, where Austin was promoting her business VIP Smiles.

"In just 10-14 days you can have the smile of your dreams," said the You Tube "Health Break" video.

Her "Snap on Smile" was supposed to be ready in two weeks, but a month later?

"I went there and she said nothing has come back yet they claimed they hadn't received it, so a month went by and she claimed she didn't know anything, so she molded my mouth again," Dorsey said.

In July, Denise says the product didn't fit well; it was too thick and made her lip stick out.

"She had told me I could get a refund so I said, 'OK'," Dorsey said.

In October, Denise says Dr. Austin's office promised to send a check for the $1,400, but a week after Thanksgiving there was still no check.

"I never got a call, I never got a letter, nothing," Dorsey said.

When Eyewitness News called Dr. Austin at her office in Midtown last month she agreed a refund was promised to Denise Dorsey three times, but told 7 On Your Side, she didn't have it right now and would pay her when its "comfortably" possible.

"Hello, here I am at one of Manhattan's best spas," Dr. Austin is heard saying in a YouTube clip.

Yet, Eyewitness News found YouTube videos featuring the dentist looking very comfortable: soaking up the sun in Anguilla and St. Maarten and, getting a pedicure at one of the city's best spas.

The videos were all posted by the dentist while her customer was waiting for her refund.

"I haven't gotten a pedicure in a while I can't believe it but she doesn't have money," Dorsey said.

After we pointed out the videos, the dentist suddenly issued a full refund just minutes after Eyewitness News' call.

"Wonderful, absolutely wonderful, with you I wouldn't have gotten it. You did put a snap on smile on my face, she didn't do it but you did!" Dorsey said.

Now, Denise has decided her own smile, is just fine just the way it is.


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