INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Customers in the middle of prepaid treatments at a laser spa on the city's north side tell CBS4 Problem Solvers that the business abruptly shut down in late February, and they were never notified when it reopened weeks later.
Light RX, located on 86th Street, also permanently shut down locations in Greenwood and Plainfield. The company offers laser hair removal, non-surgical weight loss treatment and other services.
Friends Stephani and Nichole, who asked CBS4 Problem Solvers not to use their last names, said they both paid thousands of dollars in advance for packages of multiple treatments. Nichole showed up for a treatment in February and found the business closed and a sheriff's notice of eviction on the door.
"I tried calling, no one would answer. I tried corporate, I even tried calling Chicago Light RX, thinking they would be open because it’s busy," Nichole said.
The pair said they had no idea that weeks later, the business on 86th Street reopened, until CBS4 Problem Solvers started working on their case and notified them. While our cameras were rolling, they walked back inside to speak to employees about their options.
Stephani said that she was told she likely could not receive a refund for unused services, because she bought them at a discount as part of her prepaid package.
"If you prepaid, the sessions were $120, if you paid individually they were $400, so it just made sense to do the package," Stephani said.
Nichole decided to go back on the schedule, despite her concerns about the closing.
"(It was) a little over $1,400 worth of treatment that I thought I was never going to be able to get because they closed down," Nichole said.
CBS4 Problem Solvers uncovered lawsuits filed by landlords at all three central Indiana locations over the past several months, alleging non-payment of rent. A fourth lawsuit filed in Fort Wayne, by the former medical director of a Light RX location there, alleges fraud and deception. That lawsuit is still pending in Allen County court.
In Michigan, where Light RX is headquartered, the Better Business Bureau has placed an alert on the company, along with an "F" rating. The BBB says it received an influx of hundreds of consumer complaints and "due to cash flow issues, BBB was advised consumers may be experiencing a delay (in refunds)."
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, parent company Body Contour Ventures and owner Richard Morgan divulged millions of dollars in debt and sought to reorganize Light RX locations across the country. The bankruptcy is still ongoing in federal court in Michigan.
The Indiana Attorney General's Office received four complaints in early March, when the Indianapolis Light RX location first shut down. Betsy DeNardi, director of consumer protection, suggested that if you are going to pay thousands of dollars up front for multiple treatments at any business, you make sure to get a contract that spells out what will happen if the business closes.
"There should be some sort of agreement that’s in place so that you have information on how that is going to be resolved," DeNardi said.
"I wish I would’ve looked into that more before I decided to purchase the package," Stephani said.
CBS4 Problem Solvers received this statement from Gayle Bruner, clinic director of the Indianapolis Light RX location:
"We made the strategic decision to close our Plainfield and Greenwood locations as part of our restructuring process. We temporarily closed our Indianapolis location and have since reopened. We invite our clients in Indianapolis to immediately schedule their appointments. This entire process is all part of positioning the company for a bright future."
If you have a problem you'd like CBS4 Problem Solvers to consider, contact us at 317-677-1544 or ProblemSolvers@cbs4indy.com.