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BDFL - Memuneh
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# 242341 23-Oct-2018 12:09
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Just received:



HRV Clean Water Limited (HRV) has been fined $440,000 after pleading guilty to making unsubstantiated claims about the benefits of its water filters and for making misleading claims about the quality of New Zealand’s home water supply.
The fine was issued by Judge John Macdonald in the Auckland District Court on 19 October.

HRV admitted that the information available to it when it made the claims did not provide reasonable grounds for claims about the performance of its water filters.  The unsubstantiated claims related to the ability of a magnetic “ionizer” in its water filter systems to soften water, and the benefits that consumers could expect after using the water filters and the water filters’ ability to reduce skin conditions, such as eczema and dermatitis.

In addition, HRV made misleading representations about the quality of water and about additives in New Zealand’s home water supply, and the need for consumers to buy a water filter to address this.

The unsubstantiated claims were made by HRV on its website between 2 July 2014 and 12 October 2017, in promotional materials and to customers and the public at presentations. They included statements such as “reduces skin irritations, dermatitis and eczema” and “removes existing lime scale and extends the life of your appliances.”  

Commissioner Anna Rawlings said the information available to HRV did not provide a reasonable basis for a number of the performance claims it made.

“HRV did not have reasonable grounds to claim the filter could soften water through its magnetic process.  HRV relied heavily on the information provided by the supplier without getting this verified by an expert. Although HRV had some testing done, the results did not provide a reasonable basis for the various claims it had made – and continued to make – about the benefits of using the filters,” she said.

HRV also misrepresented the state of New Zealand’s domestic water supply. This included the claim that “90% of our water ways are polluted below swimming standards, yet this is where we source our water from”, and that the filter would “remove many of the additives, as well as funny tastes and smells from your water supply.”

Ms Rawlings said these misleading statements likely created concern among consumers that a water filter was needed to improve the quality of their home water supply.

“The impression that a reasonable consumer would take from these claims is that without treatment, using the water supplied to New Zealand homes carried health risks. This was not true," she said.

“The water filter was an expensive and technical product. Consumers should be able to trust the claims businesses make about the need for a product and its ability to deliver on the promises made about its performance, particularly when they cannot scientifically test the benefits or second guess promotional statements themselves. The onus is on traders to ensure that they have the information they need to back up the claims they make and that they do not overstate the need or potential benefit of their products or services,” she said. 


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  # 2112659 23-Oct-2018 12:14
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Good! I can't stand those guys and their pushy sales tactics.

I fix stuff!
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  # 2112661 23-Oct-2018 12:22
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I run "Lenny" on my phone line. You wouldn't believe the amount of HRV staff who call.






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  # 2112662 23-Oct-2018 12:22
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Snake oil sales pitches like this need to be made accountable to their outrageous claims.

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  # 2112664 23-Oct-2018 12:30

Glad that they have been held to account. As there are lots of companies that sell water filter systems. So you would have been risking the smaller companies copying HRV with their own misleading claims, if they had seen the bigger company get away with it.

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  # 2112800 23-Oct-2018 14:52
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Just one of the umpteen companies and people that make unscientific claims. 


Rare to see prosecutions. 


How about prosecuting some of the vitamin and supplements companies?  Homeopathic remedies especially!

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  # 2112809 23-Oct-2018 15:19
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Most companies have wisened up to not make such claims. You’ll notice careful wording on any health product nowadays.

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  # 2112815 23-Oct-2018 15:44
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Just one of the umpteen companies and people that make unscientific claims. 


Rare to see prosecutions. 


How about prosecuting some of the vitamin and supplements companies?  Homeopathic remedies especially!



They're usually very skilled at making what you think are therapeutic claims, but anything in writing with their name on it, once you read it a few times then they're skirting just barely inside what's legally allowed.


OTOH when it comes to the common MLM sales methods, I'd like to see a real crackdown on some of their "agents" who I've seen make ridiculously illegal claims on FB etc.


They'll also pass the buck, for example linking to an overseas website making direct unsubstantiated claims for the same type of product, those often "supported" by fake research papers - or real ones showing that their toad juice or whatever kills tumour cells in vitro - not mentioning that petrol, drain cleaner, bleach, and dog-vomit has the same effect).


I took exception to one NZ based outfit a few years ago - who'd tried to sell snake oil to my MIL who had terminal cancer with multiple metastases in the brain for which she'd received palliative full-brain irradiation at what would have eventually been a fatal dose anyway - if she'd outlived her prognosis - which was a 0% chance.  The ars*holes kept pushing their "cure" at $200 / day.  It took me months of stalking the company owner (who was not a NZ resident) before I finally managed to get Medsafe to shut down the operation - and then seemingly reluctantly. 

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