12 Dec 2013

Water filter company and director fined

11:31 am on 12 December 2013

A water filter company and its director have been fined $555,000 for telling customers that tap water could cause cancer, birth defects and miscarriages.

The Commerce Commission says between 2009 to 2010 Love Springs Ltd trained door to door sales reps to sell filters using tactics that took advantage of people's fears about their health.

More than 6000 filters, at $1600 each, were sold throughout the North Island.

At the Auckland District Court, Love Springs Ltd director Phillip Smart was convicted of seven charges under the Fair Trading Act for being a party to the misrepresentations.

Head of investigations for the Commerce Commision Ritchie Hutton says the company exploited vulnerable people by scaring them with false information.

"It was door-to-door sales so it was capturing people at home, and of course people who would be liable to accept these sorts of claims might be people who are concerned about their health, so they're praying on people's health concerns."

The commission said the company was fined $355,000 and Smart $200,000.

Smart has been previously convicted of similar offending in Australia.