Magnets have a number of uses, but how about keeping aquarium water clean and fish healthy? ECO-Aqualizer™ of Dallas claims that its magnet-based aquarium filters can do just that. As part of the Better Business Bureau’s local Advertising Review Program, the BBB serving Dallas and Northeast Texas challenged the claims for the ECO-Aqualizer device. The business provided materials from a number of sources; however, the BBB found that the information does not back up the claims.
ECO-Aqualizer now has a BBB rating of F due to the unsubstantiated advertising claims and an unanswered customer complaint. The business has been revoked from BBB accreditation.
ECO-Aqualizer sells “energy saving” filters for aquariums and ponds through its website. The site says pool and spa filters are coming soon. The ECO-Aqualizer filters are plastic tubes with a few small round magnets attached to the inside.
The website includes these statements:
“The ECO-Aqualizer's main function is to reduce the bonding between H2O molecules which increases interactions at the molecular level.”
"The result is your aquarium stays cleaner and fresher, filter efficientcy increases, utilization of nutrients improves, water interaction increases (ORP), and the rate of Dissolved Oxygen increases. These all contribute to a healthier functioning aquarium."
“Within 1 to 2 days of installing the unit, aquariums show visual signs of improvement. Crystal clear water and much more active animals.”
The BBB Code of Advertising calls for advertisers to be prepared to substantiate any claims before publication, and upon request, to present such substantiation to BBB. The Code calls for product performance claims to be “based on recent and competent scientific, engineering or other objective data.”
In February, 2011, BBB contacted ECO-Aqualizer and asked the business to substantiate the claims, “The world’s only self-cleaning aquarium system” and “Business Advantage … 99.2% product performance”. BBB also asked ECO-Aqualizer to substantiate several claims such as “Reduces water changes by up to 75%” and “relieves stress and improves health."
Eco-Aqualizer responded to the BBB with a number of materials to substantiate the challenged advertising claims. However, the materials did not provide adequate substantiation.
In addition, the business has been the subject of one customer complaint alleging failure to get a refund for a leaking filter, which has not been answered by the business.
The BBB’s Advertising Review program continually looks at advertising by local businesses, and reviews advertising claims for compliance with the BBB Code of Advertising. When the BBB identifies a questionable advertising claim, the BBB contacts the business and asks for voluntary cooperation.
Businesses are asked to either supply substantiation for the challenged claim, modify the claim, or discontinue the claim. Most businesses respond to the BBB and, in most cases, cooperate and provide substantiation or modify or discontinue the claim.
To check out a business, see lists of BBB Accredited Businesses, find tips and alerts, report questionable advertising, or file a customer complaint, start at www.bbb.org.