Perth home owners are being warned about bogus door to door water testers who give the impression that they are from the Government, but are really sellers of water filtration systems.
Several reports have been received about the door knockers, some in high-vis vests, who tell householders they are testing water quality in the area and are persistent in requesting access. The tap water in one home was “tested” by adding a liquid substance to the water. The salesperson then said the water was unsafe to drink and recommended a water filtration system be purchased for a discounted fee of $2,700. A false statement that the home owners may be able to claim a refund from the Government was also made.
The reports have been received over recent weeks from residents in Yanchep, Clarkson, Kinross, Carramar, Shenton Park and East Perth.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said an investigation is currently being conducted into the salespeople who are using deceptive tactics to drum up business.
“Salespeople who mislead consumers about their identity and then carry out what is probably a fake test to dupe them into a purchase are clearly breaking the law and we are keen to catch up with them,” Mr Hillyard said.
“Creating fear in the community by making false claims about water quality is an unacceptable sales pitch and we urge anyone who is approached in this manner to get the salesperson’s details and contact us immediately.”
The Water Corporation confirmed its employees did not need to enter a home to check water quality and wouldn’t seek to do so unless the occupant had requested Water Corporation assistance.
“You should never allow anyone into your home until you have asked to see an identification card. Our employees will always carry one and let you look at it,” said Water Corporation spokesperson Clare Lugar.
“If you are in any doubt, ask them for their name and call us on 13 13 75 to confirm they are in fact from the Water Corporation.”
Ms Lugar said claims about tap water quality by door to door salespeople deserved to be challenged by householders.
“Water supplied by the Water Corporation complies with 100% of the health requirements in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and is completely safe. Any direct claims or imputations by door to door salespeople that it’s not safe, is somehow inferior or requires filtering are incorrect and, frankly, outrageous.
“Please be cautious and, if you’re still unsure, don’t open the door for them. You must feel absolutely comfortable with anyone you allow into your home,” she said.
Consumers who have been approached by these salespeople or feel that they have been misled after purchasing a water filtration system, can contact Consumer Protection by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
Alan Hynd, Consumer Protection (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / email@example.com
Clare Lugar, Water Corporation (08) 9420 2555 / 0439 948 271 / firstname.lastname@example.org