AUSTIN (KXAN) – A nationwide laser skincare chain has closed all 135 of its clinics including locations in Central Texas, leaving its employees with little notice and clients in the dark.
A former employee at one of American Laser Skincare’s Austin locations told KXAN she was asked last Friday to call her Saturday customers and let them know that the company would be closing.
On Tuesday clients continued to show up at the Cedar Park location and said they didn’t know the company had shut down. Kendra Gupton said she’s so allergic to metal she can’t even wear her wedding ring and if she tries to use a razor to shave, she’ll break out in hives.
She said that is why she bought more than $1,600 for hair removal treatments and had two appointments this week. Gupton found out about the sudden closure from a friend who posted it on Facebook.
“There should have been calls, emails or something, they have all of our information. There should have been some other way than finding out on Facebook,” said Gupton. “I had today off specifically because I have my appointment that I consider a doctors appointment. I signed a contract, this is what I’m supposed to get and I’m not getting it.”
On Tuesday, the company’s CEO, John Harlow, sent KXAN News a statement saying American Laser Skincare closed suddenly because of the, “economic downturn” and “competitive pressure” and that it’s directing questions and concerns to its website.
“Our company could simply not afford to keep operating,” the website says. “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.”
Court records show that American Laser Centers filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and renamed itself American Laser Skincare.
Last month KXAN reported on how another medical facility suddenly shut down when Austin Cosmetic Dentistry closed its doors with little notice. The Texas Board of Dental Examiners could be looking into that case, but won’t say if there even is an investigation.
Texas law requires a dentist to give 30 days notice before ceasing operation, but when it comes to a cosmetic and medical procedure, a spokesman for the Texas Board of Medical Examiners says American Laser Skincare would only be responsible for providing patients access to their medical records. Like with the Dental Board, investigations by the Medical Board are based on complaints.