**Following the dismissal of a water machine vendor by the BBC’s Dragons’ Den team, mains-fed water machine manufacturer Tana Water UK has highlighted the dangers of purchasing filtration products from pyramid sellers without a mandatory service agreement.**
In the programme, which aired on BBC Two this week (21 July), the managing directors of Air Oasis Ltd tried to persuade entrepreneurs Duncan Bannatyne, Theo Paphitis, James Caan, Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden to invest in their company.
The ‘Dragons’ probed the concept of condensing and filtering water from the air and questioned whether UK humidity levels are high enough for the product to work there. The enterpreneurs left the den without any investment after the Dragons discovered their plans to sell into the consumer market via a pyramid scheme.
During the pitch, venture capitalist Theo Paphitis refuted the company’s claims that the waterless machine had a lower carbon footprint than other water coolers.
However, according to the managing director of Tana Water UK, the major issue highlighted by the programme was the fact that Air Oasis is proposing to sell water filters to consumers without mentioning any strategy for providing a regular post sales service to sanitise the machines and change the filters.
“I was horrified to see that Air Oasis intended to go into the consumer market using a pyramid selling scheme, where those at the bottom of the scheme make least margin and therefore have least incentive to look after the customer following the sale of the machine,” said Nick Heane, MD of Tana Water UK.
Dr Steve Tuckwell, manager of the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS), part of the government’s Department for Environment and Rural Affairs, advises: “Always have water fittings installed by a plumber who is a member of one of the approved schemes and then make sure that the filter cartridge is changed at the correct intervals recommended by the manufacturer to avoid the build up of harmful bacteria.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019