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Quality Denture Care's doors are closed, customers out thousands

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BRISTOL, TN (WJHL) -

A Sullivan County business has closed its doors and several customers claim they're out several thousand dollars.

Dr. Hardev Arun Patel was the dentist at Quality Denture Care in Bluff City.

This name may sound familiar. News Channel 11 first told you about Patel last year after several of his employees at Bad Bob's BBQ were not getting paid.

Now Quality Denture Care's doors are closed and the customers say employees just kept pushing back their appointments, until one day no one showed up.

Marlene Hughes has been a patient of Dr. Hardev Arun Patel's for more than a decade, but now when she calls to make an appointment, no one answers.

"I would appreciate someone calling me A.S.A.P about a refund for services I can not get," said Hughes.

Hughes said this is the third note she has left Patel in between the closed doors.

Patel has owned Quality Denture Care since the mid 90's, so it was a surprise to John Usray when Patel wasn't the office.

"The doctor was on a medical leave and they were trying to locate a dentist," said Usray.

According to the Better Business Bureau, Patel left May 9, due to a family illness, and a temporary dentist was supposed to take care of patients.

"There was a sign hanging in the door 'we're closed for July 4th' and that was a week away," said Usray.

Usray said he didn't think much about it, neither did Hughes.

Months later someone posted signs saying Quality Denture Care is only 'temporarily closed' and they 'hope to re-open on sSeptember 1st'. So Hughes waited until the first of the month.

"Can not get ahold of him any more. Did not complete the work, they didn't call us," said Hughes.

But the signs are still up, the blinds are down, the doors are locked and several customers say they are out thousands of dollars.

"They're still not open, haven't been able to get in touch with anybody," said Usray.

So Hughes, Usray and others leave another note, hoping Patel might see it.

"Someone would get the note and at least call us back and say this is what's happening, or would you like to get your medical records," said Hughes.

We tried to contact Patel, but his number has been disconnected.

We also left a message with his lawyer, but that attorney has not returned our call.

Hughes, Usray, as well as several other Quality Denture Care costumers have filed police reports with the Bristol, Tennessee Police Department.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance said people filed two complaints against Patel this year. In both cases, customers complained they didn't get the full denture service they paid for.

As for the dentist's license, we're told it's still valid.

As we mentioned, this isn't the first time Patel has been in the news and not the first time one of his businesses has closed.

Over the last year, he and his former business, Bad Bob's B.B.Q., have been the subject of several community Watchdog investigations. This after the federal government found the restaurant failed to properly pay its employees.

Earlier this year Bad Bob's B.B.Q. shut its doors.

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