Frequently Asked Questions
FOR THE CONSUMER – BEWARE OF THESE SALES TECHNIQUES
FREE WATER TEST
A small bottle will be left at your door, thrown onto your driveway, given to you in person, offered over the phone by a telemarketer…these entities keep coming up with clever ideas of how to get their foot in your door by using the sample bottle and a free test of your water – scam. Usually they will have you call in to have the bottle picked up, along with the bottle you have filled out a form with all of your contact information. Uh oh you can guess what comes next…they will continue to call – maybe even come by unannounced. Just to have an opportunity to corral you in your home, so they can go through their short demonstation/sales pitch*.
The real truth is that they will not tell you anything that couldn’t find out on your own. Every city and/or water utility that supplies water to a community will have to provide an annual Water Quality Report to their homeowners. This same report can also be accessed online, just by going to your water suppliers website…this will be who you pay your water bill to.
FREE HOME IMPROVEMENT STORE or Amazon GIFT CARD
The scam is you will get a $100.00 gift card just for letting them in your home…whether you purchase or not. A ploy to get in your home and give you their short demonstration/sales pitch*. Even if you purchase you are likely to never see this gift card.
How do they get your info…have you been to an event lately where you filled out a form for a chance to win a new car, vacation or any number of high cost prizes and put this entry into a box…well there you go – they have your info.
CITY OR UTILITY WORKER SHOWS UP AT YOUR HOME
This one is pretty bold…a person posing as a city worker (sometimes in a lab coat) shows up on your property, asks to come into your home and check your water. Goes faucet to faucet pretending to be checking your water. Of course your water will have serious quality issues that only a water treatment system will correct. Either this person will continue on with the short demononstation/sales pitch* or they may refer you to someone else…No city worker will ever sell, recommend or refer you to a company to purchase water treatment.
By the way this usually happens soon after escrow closes while you are moving in or doing some work just prior to moving in. There are lists that can be purchased that show the date of escrow closing, names and contact info of the new owners (you) and the address of the property.
THE SHORT DEMONSTRATION/SALES PITCH*
We have identified how they get into your home, now what happens when they get into your home…
Usually they will not schedule an appointment for their short demonstration/sales pitch, unless both husband and wife will be in attendance. Reason is if both are there then you can’t say you need to talk to your spouse before making a decision. The whole idea here is to get you to purchase right then and there.
This short demonstration/sales pitch will turn into a 1 ½ – 3 hour ordeal. They will show you charts. government data, university studies to convince you that you spend $200.00 + per month on cleaning supplies, soap, hair conditioners, moisturizers etc. They will proceed to show how water treatment will cut that cost in half and pitch their equipment at about $95.00 per month for 5 – 7 years…sounds great using their calculations your actually saving money every month. In the end if you agree to the deal, you will be paying $6000.00 – $8000.00 for usually very inferior products.
Then comes the moment of truth you tell them no or you would like some time to think about it or you want to talk to a couple more companies. The salesperson will show any number of emotions – mad that you wasted their time, disappointed don’t you like them or most often along with the above, they won’t take no for an answer and continues trying to wear you down until you sign on the dotted line. They probably will even sweeten the deal by adding on 5 years worth of soap or a full set of pots and pans. Making it sound like these items are worth thousands of dollars…actually what is offered is only a couple hundred dollars.
Remember here in California anytime you deal with a contractor, a homeowner has a 3 day rescission clause. That means you have 3 days to change your mind and many of these companies will have you sign tonight and they will try to do the installation the next day…this is illegal
OTHER PLACES NOT TO PURCHASE WATER TREATMENT
These store will have a kiosk or booth that is manned during the busy times of the week – weekends and certain evenings. These booths are manned by a person whose sole purpose is to sign up and get appointments for yes – – – you guessed it the short demonstration/sales pitch*
This equipment will be sold by a professional in home sales company that will share a percentage of the sales price with the membership store. Usually no set pricing – the more you pay the more they get. You have 3 levels getting a percentage of the sale – the in home sales company, the membership store and the in home sales person. All of these with little if any water treatment experience. They will have one set package or maybe 2, this to simplify the sale for the sales person that has no experience. They will as above subject you to the short demonstration/sales pitch*.
Then you will have the equipment being installed by a company that has never seen the job site before is unprepared and gets paid one flat fee for every job. They have no relationship with you, only care about getting on to the next job and will cut corners to insure they make as money much as possible. In So CA the homes are not pre-plumbed for water treatment like they are in other areas of the country. The installs are quite often complicated and costly in additional material and labor. These installers many times will lose money on a job or make so little profit that it is not worthwhile for them to continue doing jobs. End result is a continual turnover of installers and less than professional installations…who does the warranty work, repair work or answers your questions? Some call center in Arizona…that’s who.
Home Improvement Stores
Now days these stores will give you 2 opportunities to buy throw your money away…
1st…You have the in store equipment that is generally low end – low price – inferior equipment that will have minimal flow rates – no filtration – constructed with low end plastic components, basic electronics on & on (professional water treatment guys call these units – throw aways). These units will almost always will be a single tank system…salt and the softener are inside the same shell or cabinet. The amount of softening media will only provide about 60% – 70 % soft water, here in Southern California that still leaves you with hard water (our units will give you 100% soft water). If you desire filtration you will have to purchase and install an additional filtration unit (automatic filtration is built into our units). The filtration media is heavy so it is not included to keep shipping costs down – single tank design is not for a smaller footprint, it’s to keep costs down – shipping a separate salt tank costs money. Who does the installation, warranty work or future repairs.
2nd way to separate your money from your wallet…these store will have a kiosk or booth that is manned during the busy times of the week – weekends and certain evenings. These booths are manned by a person whose sole purpose is to sign up and get appointments for yes – – – you guessed it the short demonstration/sales pitch*…see above
Sound familiar…This program will be the same or similar to the Membership Store program above.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that…what you read on the internet is not automatically good information. Online companies – will say and do whatever it takes to make that sale. Who will install the equipment and will it be installed to local and state codes – does the equipment meet the state of CA efficiency ratings – who will provide warranty work if required – does the equipment come assembled or as components that need to be assembled on location.
Then sold using a great story, 3rd party testimonials, celebrity endorsements, technical info, logos and trade association emblems that bring confidence and integrity to otherwise inferior products. Do they sell just one type of water treatment device. Are they knowledgeable and experienced
See our list of FWS Certified So CA plumbing professionals
Beware of online companies third party testimonials – before and after pictures – seals and trade association logos – celebrities –
Available Soon! in the mean time just don’t buy from an online site.