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DO NOT buy from this company!
Posted by on
TROY, MICHIGAN, MICHIGAN -- My husband and I recently purchased an in-home water filtration system from Vitasalus/Equinox Products, a company whose website promises complete satisfaction or your money back for up to 6 months. The website even goes so far as to claim they will send you the return labels to offset shipping costs if returning the product should become necessary!

We selected the EQ300 due to the description the company provided about the system's capabilities. Our well water, which we had tested, is high in sediment, odor and iron; only some of the impurities the company claimed would be removed by the EQ300.

The system DOES NOT work. After two months,when we tried to get the company to send us the return labels so we could ship the product back for a full refund, not only were we treated rudely and unprofessionally, but we were told it was OUR FAULT that the system did not purify our water. The company claims that the system failed because we bought the wrong one.

Please do not fall victim to this company's unethical business practices and false advertising. Their purchase invoice says "Thank your for your order! God Bless!!" I guess they know when they ship it to you the product will only work by the grace of God because we are now out $725 dollars and we still have the same horrible water we had to begin with.

Today is Friday, Sept 29th and I am adding the following information to my review:

My name is Lorraine Moore and I submitted a complaint against Vitasalus/Equinox
Products last week regarding their refusal to honor their 100% satisfaction guarantee
of a full refund within 6 months. When I emailed the company with a list of six
sites at which I had lodged complaints, I received a threatening, accusatory email
in response. Below is a portion of it. The VP of the company refers to my emails
as fake and claims that I am defaming their company by demanding a refund for and complaining about a
product they themselves have guaranteed. I was hoping to somehow attach it to my
original complaint so that people can see the way Vitasalus does business:

"If you persist in barraging us with fake e-mails (which have all been
>documented) and causing our company any further harm, we will ask our
>attorney(s) to take all necessary legal action against you and Mr. Moore.
>We will file for injunctive relief against any further actions that cause
>damage and defamation and we will take you to federal court which is $25,000
>Sincerely, Robert Cloutier, VP
>Vitasalus Inc.

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User Replies:
Sparticus on 09/20/2006:
My brother is in the market for one of these. Thanks for the review, I will forward it on to him.
mooremlk95 on 09/20/2006:
I am so glad you read my review so you can stop your brother from making the same mistake we did!
Water Doc on 10/10/2006:
Sorry to hear that you got took by these guys. We are currently suing them for using our trade marks. We are the real manufacturer of the Rhino EQ-300 Whole House Water Filter. They used to be a distributor of ours, we terminated their distributorship for advertising violations and they started making a filter with our name. The system they are selling has no performance testing, no license of any kind and is inferior in quality to our product. Please do not confuse them with us. If you would like, we'll credit you with the full purchase price you paid them for their counterfit system towards the genuine product. Again, sorry for your experience, we are aggressively trying to stop these people in Federal Court. 877-FDA-PURE,
Water Doc on 10/29/2006:
The company name is spelled Vitasalus, you can find many complaints on them through this spelling, including numerous complaints filed with the MN & MI Attorney Generals Office.
mooremlk95 on 10/30/2006:
Thanks for the information; we have a complaint in with the BBB in Michigan whom the company claims they have "a very good relationship with." These people have truly ripped us off and I find it hard to believe that they haven't done it to a lot of other people, as well. So how come our complaint with the BBB in their area of MI is only the second of two total complaints filed??
Water Doc on 03/25/2007:
Water Doc/ Charles Strand

Most people don't waste their time sending complaints to the BBB, I wish more would. The problem with the BBB is that as long as they/Vitasalus respond to the complaint, the BBB for the most part is satisfied... wether the response is a good one or not.

Consumer comment sites like thius are a better way to complain as it is all out in the open.

I have spent over $400,000 in legal fees trying to stop them from using our Rhino trade mark over the last 2 years and still am in Federal Court, a horribly broken system in my opinion.
Fairdealing on 11/06/2007:
I read about them and they will be contacting us. Now my husband knows to ignore them! Thank you, We are looking for a good system and will look into the Aquasana but these things are so difficult. Who do you trust? Rochester Hills, MI
jktshff1 on 11/06/2007:
Water Doc/moore keep us posted
Anonymous on 11/06/2007:
We bought a reverse osmosis system so we could get rid of the ugly water bottle in our kitchen. We were promised 1 gallon a minute, after two plumbers and dozens of calls we get about 1/3rd of that. The company will not take a return on it or do anything further, their attitude is that's just the way it is. I am going to take it out throw the junk in a box and send it back to the president of the company with a nice note enclosed. (VH post)
mooremlk95 on 11/07/2007:
I am sorry to hear about your experience, superbowl, and I agree with you, Fairdealing. Just an update: about a month ago, I got a call from John in Tech Services. He told me that even though he has a big problem with me, he wanted to discuss a possible refund IF I removed all negative statements I have posted about Vitasalus on this and other consumer advocacy websites. The refund was to come only after I had done so. Does that sound ethical to anyone? After I told him that I would not remove the comments until after we had resolved our dispute, I never heard back from him. It's amusing how suddenly the company is worried about their reputation but not worried enough to actually satisfy the customer just because it is the right way to do business! Their reputation meant nothing to them at the time we were unsatisfied and at this point they want to bribe me with my own money! Furthermore, they actually expected me to believe that if I went so far as to remove everything I had posted that I would ever see my refund.... what a joke! I have spoken personally to a gentleman who is still waiting on a refund from Vitasalus after over a year. The comments I have shared here should serve as a warning about how this company operates.
dodo23 on 09/17/2008:
I am amazed how broken our systems are. I actually bought a reverse Osmosis system and a water softener from Culligan thanks to the high pressure salesperson, but I did not get it installed and asked them to put it on hold when I researched it further and found out that RO is extremely unhealthy for drinking, being acidic in nature and devoid of any minerals it pulls minerals from your body. And thanks to advice from Aquasana's Jack I researched further and found these comments about Vistasalus... Also the governments are not regulating it properly. If you look on Culligan website the Cleer RO system is not for sale in California, probably because California is the only state that regulates these systems. I haven't purchased my system yet but I am close.
Treasureslueth on 12/16/2009:
There is no reason for them to be rude. With that said it seems to me that based on their systems descriptions, now and in the past, the system you should have purchased for your problem is the Metal Master system, not the Pure Master (EQ300). It is a hard conversation for interject into without being privy to the original. But they still should honor the 100% Satisfaction guarantee unless your dissatisfaction does not meet the requirements for said guarantee. One of the requirements for enactment is that the system perform as promised. Since the system you ordered was not designed to treat your problem the guarantee would not apply.
Happy with Vitasalus on 01/05/2010:
Sorry if you had a bad experience choosing the correct product,but I have actually been very satisfied with the performance of the "Metal Master" system designed more specifically for well water with high Iron bacteria/sulpher. The system still required use of a chlorinator to help precipitate out more of the iron in the water before the filtration , and was then followed by a carbon filter to remove the chlorine smell/taste. Perhaps the company was right in suggesting that you chose the wrong system for your needs,which isn't THEIR responsibility.


BCMN on 06/22/2010:
Wish I would have looked for complaints against Vitasalus before I purchased a ‘hardness master’ product. It does nothing to make my water soft. I talked to Robert Cloutier for tech support help and he told me I installed it all wrong so I moved it with his suggestions and still no change to the hardness of my water, I had the unit installed for 5 months. I had my water and my neighbors water tested and we both had the same hardness count. I rec'd a pre-paid postage address label from Vitasalus Robert Cloutier and Vitasalus rec'd it 05/24/10 (according to my USPS tracking number) I have been calling weekly to see what the process/status of my refund and always I am transferred to a MoNique person who supposedly handles returns, for 3 weeks now I’ve been leaving messages, I get the same voicemail 'Monique is out of the office call back Monday morning' the receptionist told me MoNique has had family emergencies. Seems to me I am getting the run around, I am going to write Robert Cloutier an e-mail see what he says.
Lover of Truth on 03/18/2012:
It seems funny to me that Aquasana had a fallout with one of their distributors over dishonest advertising. The main reason I stopped buying their products was due to their deceptive and dishonest advertising. A couple of examples: 1) They put up several web sites that they make appear to be unbiased 3rd party sites doing legit research but they are actually owned and operated by Sun Water Systems, Aquasana's parent company and are rife with Aquasana propaganda with no mention that is just an advertisement site. You have to look into who the web site is owned by to know that it is their parent company. There are numerous web pages, blog posts 'user reviews', etc that are just more Aquasana advertising. 2) They use a lot of deceptive terms when referring to their products like for years they were unable to get NSF certification (for whatever reason) so they would advertise their filter as 'beyond NSF standards' as if NSF was beneath them. They still advertise their shower filter as being rated #1 by Cosmetology Today magazine. I have looked far and wide and neither I nor anyone else I know has ever heard of a Cosmetology Today magazine. I have decided that if this magazine even exists it is likely another advertising tool produced by the parent company Sun Water Systems to give more fake credibility to their products.
I have never been able to accurately 'filter' through all the deception to determine the quality of their filters. I can say that in the 2 cities I used their countertop system the water tasted good but the hardware was junk. But my water tastes good even through the basic carbon filter in the fridge.
So with a lack of accurate unbiased comparison I ultimately decided that if the company wasn't confident enough about their products to be honest about them the filters probably weren't any better than the hardware.
If this Vitiasalus company was dishonest then they didn't just get that way overnight and Aquasana had no problem with them before, as long as it served their purposes. It just seems like poetic justice for the fallout to be over dishonest advertising.
Bill on 07/30/2012:
I hate that you have had such a bad experience but I must say my experiences have been COMPLETELY different. I have had this system on my well water for 8 yrs for the exact same reason you installed yours (I did need to add a chlorination unit). I have been extremely pleased and the service has been exceptional. In fact, yesterday (Sunday) we were struck by lightening and it destroyed the power supply and controller. I called and left a message with Vitasalis and to my surprise they called me Sunday night and worked a solution to my problem. They were friendly, courteous, and sincere in resolving my problems. I've had many dealings with this company over the past 8 years and none of them were bad.
Texasgirl on 10/08/2012:
Wow! Thanks so much for taking the time to post about this corrupt company. I was just about to order some products from them and decided last minute to verify by checking reviews. The good new is that what comes around, goes around. It will catch up with them at some point. Snake oil salesmaen are a thing of the past with the internet keeping us in the know.
deb on 11/20/2012:
I've had a great experience with Vitasalus. The filters are high quality and the staff is helpful and efficient.
Mark on 09/01/2013:
Without the customer, these companies are sunk. Make quality products that do what they claim, or accept the title of scam artist!

No more business from this guy
Cheryl-Troy MI on 10/04/2013:
I researched this product thoroughly in 2007 to improve my city water which smelled of chlorine and had lots of sediment.. Installed the V750 Puremaster and Flouride system. I am so totally happy with this system, I just replaced it with a V700. My son lives in Troy too and he can tell the difference in the water at my home, so he recently installed one too. Our family was very happy with the customer service in 2007 and in 2013 and had no problems with the product. It is rare that a company would have 100% happy customers, but I think both sides should be told. Negative tends to move through the internet quickly.
haroldlister on 10/21/2013:
I'm from new zealand, fluoride is close to being added back - not scientific, but by way of vote referendum- give me a break.
I am at the pay now for a vtasalus whole house unit here, thanks to this forum - cancelling
sam steiner on 04/16/2014:
look into the best kept secret in filtering water. a company by the name of selecto scientific. headquartered in Georgia. they manufacture filters for the softdrink bottling companies. coke and pepsi use their filters so that their products taste the same all over this planet. their filters meet the stringent nsf codes.
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Defending the Vitasalus Premium EQ-300 Rhino
Posted by on
I indeed would recommend the EQ 300 Rino to anyone!!
Our water was cloudy,smelled, and rust stains in kitchen sink and bath room fixtures. NOT water one would want to drink. I have had my
Rino installed for a year now. Water is clear now, no smell, no bad taste. My wife loves the way our dishes come out of the dish washer
and loves our "new water" when she washes her hair. I loved the simplicity of installing it. A BIG plus is when you compare the price with systems that address the same water properties, and it takes up less space.
It was a pleasure doing business with a Christian oriented company,....... people you can trust.
Robert W. Schlegel
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User Replies:
*Brenda* on 12/04/2006:
Our apartment water used to be really bad, I wish we could have had a water filter thingie there. Now that we've moved into the house we don't really have that problem. What was the cost of the unit?
mooremlk95 on 01/28/2007:
I'm glad your EQ-300 from Vitasalus works. We were not happy at all with our system and they do not honor the six month money back guarantee. I wonder if anyone has ever received money back for this product? Beware, this company will rip you off.
rjinga on 02/25/2007:
Funny that this post is EXACTLY (word for word) the same as one that the company has on it's website of customer'd think that if this SAME customer found this site, and decided to write something in defense of this company...that they would probably not use the EXACT same words as they did when writing in to the company in the first place. Seems like perhaps a canned testimonial????? hmmmmm here fishy fishy.....
rjinga on 02/25/2007:
it was the testimonial from Robert W. Schlegel that I was referring to btw...
watertechguy on 07/20/2007:
I had an opportunity to see the other side of the story as I was inquiring about the filters. Basically, you cannot buy a corvette to go off roading, its not the right car (product) for that application. That system alone is not designed for heavy iron staining, rotten egg odor and that is what it was used for. Apparently, the customer did not call and ordered online without consulting with the company. I ordered the heavy metal filter after consulting and it works great, no complaints!! It just goes to show you that when you call, you see the other side and just not the negative
mooremlk95 on 08/27/2007:
Yes, rjinga, I'm glad you noticed that they used a testimonial directly from their website in defense of the product. I made the mistake of actually believing that, and other accounts like it on the website. But I hope others don't do the same. I know for a fact that there are other customers who, like me, have been ripped off by Vitasalus and I know that while there may be a few, as in watertechguy's case, there are not many legitimate positive reviews.

Watertechguy, the company website also showed testimonials from customers who used the eq300 for rotten egg smell and cited satisfaction. In addition, there were testimonials from people who had bought the eq300 for their well water and also claimed that it worked wonders. When the system did not treat our well water to our satisfaction, we complained and requested our money back. As customers, are we now wrong for actually believing the testimonials and claims used in their advertising? The corvette analogy is not applicable. No car dealership I know of claims 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back. I'm pretty sure most people know that once you buy a car, you don't get a refund when you can't use if for off roading! A $700 water system is a far cry from a 50K automobile! I shop online all the time, like many people. If I see a guarantee, like on Vitasalus' website, which to me demonstrates a company's commitment to standing behind their product, I am more likely to take the risk and try the product. That is exactly what the company is hoping for. Bait and switch no matter how you slice it. Let's not forget about customer service. If anyone reading this purchased something from Lowe's, Home Depot, WalMart, Target, etc, got it home and was not satisfied, who wouldn't expect to have their money refunded if they returned it within a reasonable amount of time and with the receipt??? What if you were told by the customer service rep all the way up to the Vice Pres that it was your problem and you should never have bought it without getting their opinion first? Who doesn't believe that as a customer you have certain rights? Has this company ever returned a customer's money or do they do exchanges only, at their discretion? Because there is a difference. I am truly glad you were satisfied. But why is it my fault that I am not? It all comes down to Vitasalus' lack of integrity. Vitasalus has no intention of giving anyone his/her money back yet they advertise it as a way of luring people to take the pluge. I am quite certain that any reason cited by a customer as to their lack of satisfaction would be met with a refusal to return their money. I ask again, has anyone ever gotten a refund??
mooremlk95 on 08/27/2007:
Just thought I'd attach a portion of the threatening letter I received from Vitasalus:

If you persist in barraging us with fake e-mails (which have all been
>documented) and causing our company any further harm, we will ask our
>attorney(s) to take all necessary legal action against you and Mr. Moore.
>We will file for injunctive relief against any further actions that cause
>damage and defamation and we will take you to federal court which is $25,000
>Sincerely, Robert Cloutier, VP
>Vitasalus Inc.

mooremlk95 on 10/08/2007:
I just wanted to post a comment regarding my most recent contact with Vitasalus. I got a call 2 weeks ago from John Cloutier in technical support. He told me he wanted to discuss the possible return of my money but I would have to FIRST remove all comments posted at consumer advocacy websites like this one. He said that only after I did that would the company consider refunding me because he and his company are not in the wrong, I am. Sounds quite a bit like a bribe to me--anyone care to weigh in on that? I already know for a fact that Vitasalus has told at least one other dissatisfied customer that he would be receiving a refund and that customer was still waiting for it 10 months later!
I feel strongly that people should know about the nightmare of an experience I have had with Vitasalus, refund or no refund. I told John that if we resolved our issues, I would happily post on the website as such. He seemed to only be interested in having everything erased, apparently in an attempt to remove all traces of this dispute. Vitasalus is evidently concerned about their good name but they don't stand behind their product in order to preserve that good name. John also told me that I am the only person in the entire world (referring to their international reputation) who has an issue with them. If that was the case, wouldn't that reputation be worth the $725 I spent on their product?
Auspician on 07/21/2009:
I have been jerked around back and forth by Mr John Cloutier, who is their sitting technical and returns manager. He is easily the most reprehensible and dishonest person I have met in my entire life. Be aware, that if you send a single dime to this company, you will never see that money again, no matter what difficulty you may have with products/service/installation, etc. Their return policy requires you to prove you had the product installed AND return it in the original box. IMPOSSIBLE! Mr Cloutier even had the audacity to lie directly to the BBB about our relationship, stating that I had told them things that were simply not true whatsoever.

I would suggest if you consider doing business with this company, you would be better off drinking cyanide. I think I would be healthier doing this than the stress I've dealt with over the last 4 months dealing with them.

I don't believe in the devil, but if he existed, his name would be Mr John Cloutier of Vitasalus.
Happy with Vitasalus on 01/05/2010:
I ordered and installed the Vitasalus system called the Metal Master due to well water with high Iron content, iron bacteria,rotten egg smell, you name it. The system has performed very well for over 2years. It did require the addition of a Chlorinator due to very high levels of Iron. They stated that the use of a chlorinator might still be necessary prior to the transaction. I have to say that my personal experience with the company and their product has been a positive one. Even with initial set-up, the tech support was professional and very helpful.
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