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Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 7:42 PM


My 78 yr old mother today bought a water purification system from "florida waterworks". It cost her $3500. I think she was scammed. Some guy came in and showed her how many chemicals were in the water etc, gave her pretty brochures etc. Anyone ever heard of this? She has 3 days to back out thank god.

Chyenn  (Level: 210.7 - Posts: 1332)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 7:55 PM

i recommend you check out the company with the Better Business Bureau. it can be done online or by calling the local chapter in her county or region of FL.. Scammers and illegitimate contractors still abound in FL even though the Attorney General has taken a tough stance against them since all the fraud after the hurricanes 4 and 5 years ago.

good luck!

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 8:04 PM

Thanks Cheynn. They're not listed with BBB. I did find a bunch of complaints about them on line. Encouraging her to get it taken out. (they installed it right away). She was very taken with the salesman. A pox on folks that prey on seniors!

Bigmama60  (Level: 95.2 - Posts: 6644)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 8:10 PM

Sandy, I was torn between doing a quiz or a thread about scams predators use on Senators. They come from the internet, TV, newspapers, radio etc. I not done yet with my research but your Attorney General could help or direct you.

M48ortal  (Level: 263.9 - Posts: 3851)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 8:11 PM

Call the local Better Business Bureaus in the cities listed on the links below. Make sure the people who did the sales are indeed affiliated with this company if you decide the company is legit. Here are three links to companies calling themselves "Florida Water Works." The third one may be a different company than the first two (See the 'inc.')

They claim to do reverse osmosis, and that is about the price that I was quoted by the plumber who has done my water systems for the past 20+ years. The big question is, "What will be the continuing costs?" If it were a salt filter (and it might still have one) you would need to buy salt pellets every month and have someone put them in.

How is the water at your mom's house? Is it city water (and what do her neighbors do about their chemicals, if anything). If it is a private well, it may need filtration. Basically, if you (and she) are uncomfortable, cancel it and put a stop-payment on the check. If she paid by credit card, contact the card as soon as you decide to cancel, and also tell them you would like them to either monitor activity on the card for a while, or issue your mother a new number and cancel this card.

While I hate companies that use scare tactics to sell their product, water filtration does help. But does your mom need it?

Good Luck,

Asor  (Level: 162.7 - Posts: 595)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 8:39 PM

Was it a door-to-door salesman? If so, I'd recommend she immediately cancel the check or call her credit card co to report a potentially fraudulent charge. Then I'd call the AG's office or do whatever else you need to do to cancel this right away. I'd also have someone with her when/if the person comes back to remove it (preferably a large man!).

When I lived in Seattle, my neighbor's son got sucked into a company like this. It was a total crock--ripping off not just the customers but also the workers.

Asor  (Level: 162.7 - Posts: 595)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 8:41 PM

Also, be sure your mom knows how easily these cos can make it look like the homeowner is drinking hazardous chemicals. They've got the scare tactics--and high-pressure sales tactics--down pat.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 8:45 PM

Thanks to all who replied. From what I've checked out, it's a scam. BBB doesn't have it listed. Lots of complaints from former customers. Yeah, Asor, they dropped off flyers in her neighborhood. Slick young salesman convinced her. I'm so glad she called. My dad died in December. I told her he would be rolling in his grave if he knew about this. Mom is a perfect target. I hate these predators.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 9:04 PM

Just talked to mom. After reading my forwarded links, she says she'll cancel tomorrow. We'll see. She hates to cause a ruckus, and that's how she see's it.

Asor  (Level: 162.7 - Posts: 595)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 9:05 PM

That's right up there with people robbing houses while the surviving spouse is at the funeral. Just disgusting.

I'm so sorry your mother has to go through this. Please let her know that a lot of people are thinking about her and hoping this problem gets resolved quickly and easily. And please do talk to her about having someone with her for the de-installation, provided they actually come back. Preferably someone with some basic knowledge of plumbing, who can check to be sure they don't leave behind more problems.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 9:10 PM

Her neighbor is pretty savvy about this stuff. Can't believe that she didn't consult him. Will ask him to please oversee the deinstalllation.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4583)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 9:11 PM

Maybe she could file charges on the con artist? Call the police?

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 9:14 PM

Doubt if it's illegal, just immoral. I'll check it out though.

Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2498)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 9:16 PM

It seems the news here in Florida has some kind of scam story every day. I know that home owners and job seekers have been scammed a lot near Orlando. I think it's the economy more than the geography.

Asor  (Level: 162.7 - Posts: 595)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 9:22 PM

Maybe we should all head down there and kick some buttooski! Now wouldn't that make for some great headlines

Twelve Angry Trivialists Triumph Over Treachery

Swarm of Sputtering Sploofusers Save Senior

"Officer, I didn't recognize a one of 'em, but they all seemed slightly puzzled..."

Kimoira  (Level: 215.4 - Posts: 1203)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 9:26 PM

A helpful site I have used in the past to check possible scam activity is:

I didn't find anything about Florida Waterworks on there but you could always post a complaint there yourself so others can get a heads up on them. There is way too much of this stuff going on!

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 9:26 PM


Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 9:29 PM

Tks Kim, and also M48.

Mplaw51  (Level: 185.5 - Posts: 1580)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 10:53 PM

It's a terrible thing the way these so called businesses prey on older, widowed women (She's 88). This happened to my mother in the fall. The men woke her at 8AM and said her chimney needed work. $600.00 later all they did was coat her chimney with some mortar. She never does work without speaking to my husband or I but these guys had their game down pat by calling early and speaking fast. Calls to the police etc., did no good since work had been done. My mother felt foolish and wouldn't stop payment on the check. She learned an expensive lesson that day. How they can go after older people on a fixed income, I don't know....just pond scum I guess.

Carreau  (Level: 247.4 - Posts: 140)
Mon, 21st Sep '09 11:17 PM

A couple days ago I received a notice from Florida Waterworks, which I pitched immediately. They make it look like official State or County Business, offering a free test, which naturally identifies all sorts of bad stuff in your water. Then you are urged to have them install a purifying system (for big bucks), followed by a new filter each year (even bigger bucks). This scam comes around periodically, and most of the victims remain convinced that they have been visited by bona fide government representatives. The last time around, my next-door neighbor, a nearby relative, and quite a few in the neighborhood--all widows of a certain age--fell for it. Some are still buying the filters. If it's not illegal, it should be--especially the false pretenses under which they execute their scam, as well as the "dangerous elements" they always find in the water.

Bushyfox  (Level: 174.4 - Posts: 2402)
Tue, 22nd Sep '09 5:03 PM

That is so shameful......
I get really angry when I hear of older folks getting exploited like this.
Our elders should be protected and respected, not treated so shabbily.
I really hope she gets outta this shonky deal successfully.........please keep us posted?

BTW, Asor.......I your "headlines".....VERY funny!!!


Asor  (Level: 162.7 - Posts: 595)
Tue, 22nd Sep '09 5:23 PM

Oooooh, "shonky" deal! I like that. I have a new word! Thanks, Fox

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Tue, 22nd Sep '09 11:20 PM

surprise mom had trouble getting through to the company today. She finally did though, and the guy said he could give her "another" discount. She told him she was going to cancel anyway, and sent an overnight registered letter both to the company and to her credit card company. We'll see.

Tresgatos  (Level: 217.7 - Posts: 4464)
Wed, 23rd Sep '09 12:17 AM

I'm really sorry this happened to your mom, but soooo glad she has you for a daughter! It sounds like everything will be OK. I sure hope so!

-- Geri

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