Water filtration company Purexygen admits making misleading claims about benefits of alkaline and filtered water, directors issued warnings

Purexygen's website and social media accounts also made misleading claims about the health benefits of alkaline and filtered water. (Photo: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – Water filtration company Purexygen has been found guilty of engaging in unfair practices such as making false claims and misrepresenting promotions, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said on Thursday (March 21).

In a statement released to the media, the CCCS said it had issued warnings to Purexygen, which supplies water dispensers, alkaline water filtration systems and maintenance service packages, as well as its directors Heng Wei Hwee and Tan Tong Ming.

CCCS marketing monitoring activities uncovered unfair practices

The government agency had conducted investigations into Purexygen under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA). These were part of ongoing market surveillance of the water filtration system industry, with a particular focus on the accreditation, certification and health benefit claims on the company's websites.

It was revealed that from September 2021 to November 2023, the company had falsely claimed that its water filters had been tested by testing agencies in sales sets.

Its website and social media accounts also made misleading claims about the health benefits of alkaline and filtered water, such as its ability to prevent health conditions such as osteoporosis, acid reflux, blood pressure disorders and diabetes.

The media statement also said that during the same period, the company had claimed in its Carousell listings that there was a limited-time promotion that included a free faucet and water dispenser, when in fact it was a benefit available to all Purexygen customers. Customers enjoyed it regardless of when they signed up.

The CCCS said Purexygen had given “false excuses for its ongoing delays” to customers who had purchased water filters.

The company also misrepresented in the service agreements of its direct sales contracts that activation fees and maintenance service packages were non-refundable. Customers have the right to terminate direct sales contracts and all amounts paid must be refunded to customers, the CCCS said.

The story goes on

Corrective Actions Taken by Purexygen

The media statement said Purexygen has since taken active steps to correct its mistakes.

This includes removing false claims from retail kits, websites and social media, removing misleading advertising listings on Carousell and fulfilling all outstanding water filter orders.

The company has also promised to stop engaging in unfair practices under the CPFTA and to cooperate fully with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) in resolving consumer complaints.

In addition, the company agreed to implement an internal compliance policy for its marketing materials and to train all employees to familiarize themselves with the conduct considered unfair practices under the CPFTA.

Directors Heng and Tan have also pledged that Purexygen will no longer engage in unfair practices under the CPFTA.

The CCCS said it would “take action if Purexygen or its directors breach the commitments or engage in other unfair practices”.

CCCS Managing Director Sia Aik Kor also reminded all suppliers in the water filtration system industry to ensure that all claims made against customers are clear, correct and substantiated and that their business practices do not cross into the realm of unfair practices.

“Under the CPFTA, CCCS can seek court orders against erring suppliers who continue to engage in unfair practices,” she said.

Earlier this year, national water regulator PUB clarified that Singapore's tap water was safe to drink after water and air filtration company Sterra Singapore ran an advert suggesting that Singapore's tap water was unsafe to drink.

In 2023, water filtration company Triple Lifestyle Marketing was ordered by a court to stop making false claims that alkaline water can prevent illness.

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