Reverse osmosis water purification scam: Hidden camera investigation (CBC Marketplace)

Reverse osmosis water purification scam: Hidden camera investigation (CBC Marketplace)

tonight on marketplace is there something in the water across the country fear is spreading door-to-door 20th train convinced I thought essentially was just how bad our water is if they haven't come knocking yet there's a good chance they will I was taken but good yeah no idea no I had no idea we go undercover to reveal the secret sales tricks behind an expensive water purification system this is a bit of a trick we just want to let you know that we know about it at this home in Milford Ontario we're getting ready for a free tap water test okay we gotta get all the gear set up crisp and everything any minute now the door bell will ring when it does we'll catch the water test on hidden camera which we first marketplace plans camp we're testing the test to find out if it's legit other way other way yes yeah but first we're heading to a home in you listed Ontario we hear there was a problem with a pre-test a water tester knocked on doors in this trailer park Beth Moore lives here he just asked if he could do a water test and I said okay so he came in took his coat hat off and whatnot and started the water test why did you let him in that's a good question I guess it's just my nature I don't like to be impolite to anybody and turns out the free test was just a ploy to sell Beth a water purification system called simple h2o it claims to be the most popular brand in Canada costing thousands of dollars when he came to the door what did he say about selling you anything nothing this was for the purpose of doing a water test that the selling came up later Beth didn't know it but across Ontario police and city officials issued these warnings about various companies offering free water tests questionable sales practices possible water testing scam and media reports of fails people preying on older adults and at marketplace we hear from you about some distributors of simple h2o products that's why we ring up head office and arrange an appointment at our camera man's house as mom Barbara is the client hello if you have reached our customer service line oh yes good morning is this simple h2o one of simple h2o distributors Marshall eco smart solution is sending over a sales rep we turn our hidden cameras on and hide upstairs outside we're on the lookout Tom he's here thank you cooked that he's approaching the front port he has a briefcase memory lane we're not very nice at all he brings along his testing kit but before he even test the water he has a warning a lot of people in mountains won't refuse to drink their water there's no reason it is education everywhere and another big warning about it Loreen now may be melted there's more chlorine per household then there it is in a YMCA swimming pool and he test the water with a kit used to test chlorine in swimming pools chlorine levels in your water is there unsafest women and they're giving it flow and apparently chlorine is the least of our worries now ammonia and bleach if they are met it will cause a chemical called mutters yeah yeah mitosis it's a gap you breathe it in and makes you bleed from the inside out Dominus these are the water yes right and that's what ammonia bleach is next for me okay the day this piece is so close to being that does not imply aired yet we check out Milton's water quality help me help you hello I just have my water tested in Milton and they said it had more chlorine than you'd find in a swimming pool and they said there was even mustard gas in it or something should I be worried about this thank you the region says these claims are unfounded and the water is safe but back in you Lister the test convinces Beth that maybe something's wrong with her water what was the test that he did he he had two glasses about like show clear glasses and he put water in one from his filtered water he had a container of filtered water and he put my tap water in in the other and then he put gizmo with two electrodes into each of the glasses and naturally his filtered water came up clear but all the grunts on tap water to see what Beth saw we track down that testing gizmo it's called the precipitator on the right tap water there's about that much just brown sludge on the top of it you think hey I'm drinkin back can't blame her for being grossed out but don't be fooled we head to London Ontario to meet someone who says it's just a trick hey then I don't cut Thomas off the things and guess what we get our hands on a simple h2o testing kit look familiar nan Huggins is the city's water quality manager he's investigated tests like these even went so far as to get an in-home demo the presentation is I would describe that as dishonest they were telling me things that were absolutely incorrect in these sales pitches I've seen simple chemical tricks being used to make the water appear to be undrinkable we asked him to show us the trick like the one vet saw but the precipitator was recalled no electric gizmo in here now a similar trick is done with chemical drops the kit comes with instructions five drops of that into each of those test tubes we follow them to a tee we lock off our camera and watch what happens there's tap water on the right and simple h2o on the left their water is purified by reverse osmosis which removes everything including minerals and that's the trick a reverse osmosis system like this removes those minerals from the water so now there's a slight chemical difference between the two waters ours with the minerals theirs without Dan says it's an interaction between their drops and the minerals in the water that is causing the cloudiness they've used a little bit of chemical trickery to make it appear that there are these hidden contaminants and tap water and that's simply not the case these are essential nutrients in our diet these minerals and all this test proves is that our water contains these minerals that's right the test proves nothing about water quality but not exactly the sales message back in Milton when we see those drops the precipitation tests belong in my wire just to show the different it was clear not one part I feel this is cloudy we're left with the impression there's bad stuff in the water when you're drinking dirty water me quit the clean water is very thinking of you oh I'm sure is going to feel that one hundred and fifty percent better and the solution of course the simple h2o system for thousands of dollars okay any other reason why you would want to invest in your house when Barbara asked to think about it the salesman asked her to think about that brown water never thought you are we have some of the highest quality tap water in the world and we need to to make our customers understand that so that they won't be deceived by these tests under here too late for Beth in new Lister the trick works on her she buys the simple h2o system for $3,500 you know the test he did with the two metal prongs he turned the water brown that's the trick that's the basic that's bogus science I was taken but good you had no idea no I had no idea but Beth isn't alone in Pilsen burg Ontario a small town outside London we meet Maggie car Puzo's hey you know Steve Agee yes ma'am Tom Harrington for marketplace nice Rachael Maggie let the water tester into because she believed he was from London's water department we were under the impression they were going to test the water there's something wrong with it they're from the City of London we had no idea they were trying to sell us something and the fellow at the door did say he was missing in London yes he did but it's a rep selling the simple h2o system and sure enough out comes the precipitator it's kind of a trick that's with the water people say absolutely and that's kind of what we thought as well but at the time we weren't thinking that way so so when you saw that what did you think when you saw the water turn I was really concerned concerned enough to put down a deposit deposit is five hundred but later Maggie changes her mind and tries to get her $500 deposit back she says she leaves several messages but no refund I definitely don't think it's right they entered our house under false pretenses Maggie's rep was from pure sense a simple h2o distributor based in London we discover a warning from the cernium police about pure sense citizens should not open their doors to anyone asking for water samples unless those persons are employees of the city so to find out about its sales tactics we go undercover morning all right hurry up how about I get hired as a sales rep we attend a two-day training session our hidden camera is rolling when we come back chlorine in the pocket hose is poison Castle design detail living fight we're in London Ontario at a training session learning the secret sales tactics behind a water purification system called simple h2o the number one seven people winning you gain effect right people like you they want to do especially without this really silly people come around they love having you near they never want to do it and once you're in the door show there's a problem with tap water to do that perform what they call a water quality evaluation sure enough I'm going to show you this color creases it means a clean yep the precipitation test somebody fired on this room today one two three four five and out comes the swimming pool kit so where would you say to the level of chlorine are in London top water low medium or high I'm extremely high extremely high once again suggesting more chlorine than in a pool if this part same and I was implemented what we see for us to drink it hmm we check that out with Dan Huggins London's water quality manager it's definitely misrepresenting the truth to state that there's more crime in tap water than there is in swimming for a while but selling the dangers of chlorine is key to selling these systems chlorine and deposits corrosive poison Council designs you can living life let me ask you guys a question are we living things absolutely yikes should we be scared to find out we bring in one of the top water quality experts in the country see broody advise the Walkerton inquiry on water safety hey Steve tell Mary to the marketplace we asked him to dissect the trainer's message one of the main problems is having declines in the water is that chlorine breaks down into a lot of disinfection byproducts one of the byproducts is trihalomethanes trihalomethanes that's THM for short and the trainer's message be afraid the side effects of peak as our earth defects in carriages bladder cancer intestinal cancer and so forth so is there a reason then for people to be concerned about thn to the water no they should not and and I mean it's particularly ironic that the focus is on th MS because they are truly harmless and drinking water at the levels that they're there at drinking water doses no cancer no arrest zero so bottom line just more fear-mongering but the trainer throws out several quotes on the risk of drinking chlorinated water like this one a recent study showed an increased risk of water and possibly colon cancer people reject 21 to 35 years and more so next you have the question why are 13 chlorine water more or less than news ideas that claim is right in her training binders information lifted logo and all from Health Canada it's a misrepresentation by cherry-picking information out of a huge body of knowledge that study was done in Ontario and published in 1996 it's still regarded as an important study but it's not in any way conclusive that chlorinated drinking water poses a bladder cancer risk and the paper says well part of the reason we did this is because th ends cause cancer well we know now that that's not true in 1996 that was still a belief so there basically what their take is taking something that on the other context were totally out of date that's correct and when we take a closer look at Health Canada's information here's what the trainer leaves out current scientific data shows that the benefits of fluorinating our drinking water are much greater than any health risks from THM and other byproducts back in training she takes it one step further apparently it's not only risky to drink chlorinated water it's also bad if we absorb it through our skin what happens in a 10-minute shower when you put your shoulder into the back that I'm exploring things less when we pick it up absolutely nothing that's other nonsense she obviously doesn't understand the chemistry of any of this but near Calgary these tactics almost worked on David Barger when a salesman came to his door the one who's trying to invent I thought essentially was just how bad our water in the distributor simple h2o Calgary tests his water and he said do you get up.get like no not right now he's like wow you feel for your children if they had we're taking bath in this water this water is absorbing to their body and they're going to be you know growing developing like this could develop into numerous different health issues and are including cancer like how does that make you feel that kind of talk turns bartered off and he says no sale it just made me think actually more this was almost a pure product because it has to be sold on a system that's based in fear and based on emotional aspect back at the training session in London this sales message takes the cake so when you feed breakfast this morning with your child or yourself or whatever it was before they fit into whatever they were eating would it be tasted stop them in their tracks and elevate don't eat that I need to form some deference or bleached on top of the first to disinfectant and now you can eat it because you think that anybody who wouldn't get sick sooner or later from computer establish a daily basis well you know it's very tragic about that nonsense is that it was the failure to chlorinate adequately in marketing that resulted in all those people getting sick and seven people died to represent this as being somehow what's making people sick the fact that you're disinfecting is just not that you know how would you describe what this business is trying to do and it's making money off of this information that's misleading people that's scaring people it's the most charitable thing you say is ignorant but you know if they fully understand what they're doing then it's fraud pretty strong statement so we get the trainer from London on the line I don't have any comments on this there's actually a PR that takes care of all this stuff his name is Trevor Brisebois Trevor Brisebois does more than PR he's the president of simple h2o hello you've reached the voicemail of Trevor Brisebois hi Trevor it's tom harrington calling from marketplace would really like that we asked him for an interview Tory so I'd love for you to get back to me as soon as you can Brisebois turns us down to busy he says he does send an email and claims he's unaware of the tricks we've uncovered we get a tip and get our hands on yet another kit confirmation the precipitation test does come from head office see here are the drops and there's something else an internal emails from Brees bought to his distributors and staff telling them don't talk to the media just follow his script saying terminate the conversation politely and immediately the email was sent the day after we requested an on-camera interview Beth Moore is not hearing much either her simple h2o system breaks down three times she says the distributor offers to replace it but she just wants for $3500 back they refuse I'm angry at the company I'm angry that they're allowed to get away with this am i angry at myself for being naive she wants answers and so do we when we come back we pay trevor Brisebois a surprise visit we know this is the kind of thing that you guys do that this is a bit of a trick in Woodbridge Ontario we're tracking down the president of simple h2o to find out why sales reps are using scare tactics to sell his water purification system hi there I'm Tom Harrington from marketplaces Trevor Brisebois there the woman inside won't even open up the door and says the boss isn't around we bought some water because we know this is the kind of thing that you guys do that this is a bit of a trick we just want to let you know that we know about it no luck here so just like the people who sell his products we go to Brisebois home and knock on his door no answer you may not want to talk to us but we're talking to the Ontario government we take what we've learned to the provinces Ministry of Consumer Services collar McKenzie is with the consumer protection branch the video that you showed me is very interesting and it does give us some concerns but in order for us to find out what Briz WA might have said or what some other person in another business we need to have the facts so that one of our investigators can go out and actually do an interview and find out what the evidence is based on what you just saw is there anything there that would lead you to want to do an investigation yes there are there is a situation yeah you can explain why the representative in my view false misleading deceptive representations were made and that is an unfair practice which is an offence under our consumer protection act if members of the public come forward and make complaints about this particular business and this company yes we can certainly start the process going we need a starting point the starting point is a complaint meantime back in newless Kurt Beth Moore is still hoping for a refund and wishing that maybe she hadn't been so nice next time someone comes to the door and knocking the doors a salesperson not anymore Gilmore once bitten twice shy next week on marketplace ripoff roofers if we see him the first thing we'll do is perform the police I've seen the impact of his bad workmanship we've got Mike Holmes on the case this has been really rough shape can anyone stop them hey Kyle Erica Johnson from CBC marketplace you get the worst cell phone bill in the country hi Canada and I want to exercise I'm sorry from Vancouver hi hello the search for Canada our cell phone bill is on send us your story and your bill you


  1. If you trust the capitalist/fascist media telling you not to filter your chlorinated and fluoridated water supply, you need to get your head checked

  2. chlorine levels are even considered unsafe to swim in. lol yes there to low to keep the water bacteria free

  3. You're just trying to cover up the globalist plot to control and eliminate th he public by infusing our water with toxic chemicals.

    Just kidding

  4. My home has this device too because in my country, tap water is not for drinking, tap water have to be filted and boiled before drink, but my device only cost about few hundred usd, not thousands…

  5. You want us to trust a government agency for our safety in food, water, anything? Are you kidding? One of your least effective story.

  6. Didn't really debunk this at all. The government says the water is okay so it's okay? The ripoff here is that the water systems they're selling are worth a couple hundred bucks at the most, not $3500- focus on that. But it's not a bad idea to filter your tap water.

  7. Home Depot did this too me in Florida. Bastards tried to scam me $8,500 for a filter that can be wifi controlled good thing I always do my homework and sent this fool back to the street !

  8. Also if the softener is a scam why would the CRA declare it a medical device ? Why would they let you write it off in your taxes if you claim over $2500 in medical expenses a year? Why would your home insurance give you a 2%-10% discount.

  9. There are brand like kenetico, culligen, rain soft and Excalibur. Who all have great systems. Now I agree an R.O system isn't $3500 but a softener and R.O for $3500 Is a decent deal. Now Excalibur is manufactured in Ontario and is made for Ontario water. Your average $300 R.O system is made in China not going to work the best with the hard water we have here. There is no way in hell you can tell me water with chlorine, calcium , fluoride etc is good for us. Now what I see wrong is the sales tactics and price for R.O. You can order your own testing tools on Amazon and check the parts per million.

  10. if you distill your water its much better look on youtube for it and you will see tap water go black and distilled water staying clear.and they use electric probe .i for 1 dont drink tap or bottled water

  11. That water test looked like monatomic ormus minerals… but these tests don't show what is Negative in the water

  12. Why do the government need a complaint in order to start an investigation? An investigation is just that, an investigation… not an indictment or a court case which would "probably" need more than just a complaint. They can investigate just based on the video provided by Market Place because there is obvious fraud, misleading, scam with the intention to dupe victims into taking their money while having self-financial gains.

  13. the same system at 1:46 is available for about 350.00 here/ /and is pretty easy to install. Most munincipal water and well water is safe to drink but these purifiers do have a place when water quality or taste is not up to par.

  14. Nothing against reverse osmosis to get clean water but I just wonder that humans evolved drinking hard water. Are we not losing something through the way we purify water?

  15. I worked for Culligan Water, installed the systems that the sales guys sold and I can tell you 100% they are basically criminals in the scam tricks they use. I was pressured by the company owner to sell systems.. I responded that I was hired to install and install was the ONLY requirement I was hired for and I told him point blank that I dont like to lie to people and the sales guys are required to lie to people.

  16. The saddest part is that the staff of that company are probably just as unaware of the scam and probably think they're doing their clients a favor

  17. I have commers reverse osmosis, I love it. Didn't get a "water test", I just like it for drinking more.

  18. Funny that this video wants you to not get a reverse osmosis filter but what they don't tell you is that they're actually useful for getting rid of fluoride in the water that is calcifying or brains and making people mature at faster rates. Flouride is in all tap water. You can get a cheaper reverse osmosis filter for around 200 dollars

  19. Wasn't there a bylaw passed in London that bans door to door sales and those crazy people given you pamphlets that says "You have been Saved, follow the yellow brick road" when you are out and about.

  20. RO is not a scam however it can be wasteful if you filter water once and run the first waste down the drain.
    By putting the waste water back into a feed tank with a pump you can get the most out of your water.

  21. No doubt. The selling is a scam. In general, the tap water in north america is safe to drink. However, there are some cases that people may need RO system installed in their house. First, the hardness of water may make some people feel not well. RO can remove the hardness. Second, don't forget the DxP case, which caused serious water pollution in a huge area of USA. And if someone is interested, please look into the quality of drinking water in California. I remember that there are some reports regarding the organic pollutants in the drinking water of California.

  22. You can get a RO filtration system from Walmart for a couple hundred bucks. And fluoride is bad for you, even your teeth. There is a Japanese toothpaste and natural toothpaste you can make that are much healthier!

  23. Mike Holmes attached his name to inferior mould remediation products in my view. Never trust product pitch men ever. They say and do anything to line their pockets

  24. Well, Washington state had worms in their tap and it burrowed into the ladies brain. Water should be safer enough to not have worms seeping into it

  25. Where is the 3rd party testing CBC? Does anyone think the local government would admit to any of that. FLINT, Michigan anyone???. Yes, however salesmen are all BS agents and it's too bad these companies rely on exaggeration and embellishment.

  26. Water from the treatment plant is safe its when the water goes through the lead pipes to go to into peoples home where the damage is done. Almost every city infrastructure doesnt have copper pipes they still have old lead pipes. These pipes are full of lead and contaminate the water. This is where the problem lays

  27. Those companies are scum for sure but why the authorities dont take them down..,,because the Walter we drink is not good enough in most countries full of chemicals

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