‘He said it wasn’t healthy’: The ugly truth behind some water filter sales

TITUSVILLE, Fla. — A Titusville homeowner claims a free test found her tap water was not safe, so she bought a $9,000 filter system for protection. She feels that the test and the contract were misleading but the company refuses to help.

Jean Gonzalez said it started with a knock at the front door. “I was a vulnerable senior woman with poor judgement.” That’s how Gonzalez feels about what happened next inside her Titusville home.

She said a company representative from We Are Solutions offered a free test to uncover any problems with her tap water.

“He said it wasn’t healthy at all,” Gonzalez said.

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According to Gonzalez, the company representative filled a bottle with her tap water then added clear chemicals that he said could detect if the water was contaminated. She said that’s when the water turned yellow, cloudy and thick.

“How did you feel about it that day?” Action 9′s Todd Ulrich asked.

“So, I was ready to sign up,” Gonzalez replied.

She agreed to buy a reverse osmosis whole-house water filter that was installed under her home that same day. Gonzalez claims the tech told her it would cost just $109 a month, and she signed a digital document on his iPad that was hard to read.

“He gave me very minimal explanation of what I was signing,” Gonzalez said.

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That same week, she discovered the system actually cost $9,000, and with an Aqua Finance loan adding interest it totaled nearly $14,000.

Gonzalez complained to the company and said the tech scheduled an appointment to resolve

everything.

“I stayed home all day and he didn’t show,” Gonzalez said.

She sent a complaint to Florida’s attorney general claiming she was misled by the test and financing.

Action 9 found We Are Solutions just opened five months ago and its corporate address is a private condo in Miami Beach.

Managers at We Are Solutions have not responded to Ulrich’s questions.

Aqua Finance told Ulrich it’s working to help Gonzalez resolve her complaint.

Action 9 hidden-camera investigations have exposed other water filter companies claiming that these tests detect contamination.

Instead, the precipitation test identifies harmless elements like calcium and magnesium.

Gonzalez’ water is from a public utility that passes all federal water testing requirements.

“He really took advantage,” Gonzalez said of the company representative.

Never let a water filter salesman test your water for safety, and never sign a door-to-door sales contract the same day it is presented.

Aqua Finance also told Action 9 it only deals with reputable dealers and it’s reviewing

the actions by the filter sales company.

Aqua Finance response:

Aqua Finance, Inc. (AFI) takes all customer complaints seriously and is currently investigating Ms. Gonzalez’s account. AFI is a finance company and is independent from the dealer, We Are Solutions.  As the finance company, AFI was not present at the time of sale or for the installation of the product but is committed to assisting Ms. Gonzalez in finding an appropriate resolution to her complaint.  AFI seeks to work only with reputable independent dealers and is reviewing the actions by We Are Solutions in this matter.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich, WFTV.com

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.