Saipol Technologies Pty Ltd (Saipol), a water filter cartridges business, has acknowledged it was likely to have breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations regarding its water filter cartridges.
The ACCC has accepted a court enforceable undertaking in which Saipol admits that from at least 1 January 2017 to 3 July 2018, it is likely to have misled business customers in promotional material for its ‘C grade’ water filter cartridges.
At issue were representations in advertising material by Saipol stating that the pore size or micron rating of its ‘C Grade’ water filter cartridges was compliant with a Queensland Health Directive issued in 2016 to all relevant water filer providers, which the ACCC was concerned was not the case.
In response to the ACCC’s investigation, Saipol has cooperated with the ACCC and amended its advertising material.
“This is a reminder to all businesses that claims about the quality or grade of a product should be accurate,” said ACCC Commissioner, Sarah Court.
Saipol imports generic ‘white label’ replacement water filter cartridges which it supplies under the Saipol brand to businesses and institutions such as hospitals and universities. It does not target the domestic market.
Water filter replacement cartridges form the core of water filter units with the micron rating or pore size of the cartridge determining the level of filtration. Water filters are designed to reduce particles, chemicals and, in some cases, bacteria in the supply of water.
The ACCC investigation did not find any evidence of adverse health effects where the filters had been used.
To address the ACCC’s concerns, Saipol provided the ACCC with a court enforceable undertaking, which includes a commitment that it will review the representations in all its promotional correspondence and advertising material, and establish and implement a compliance program designed to minimise Saipol’s risk of future breaches of the ACL.
Saipol's court enforceable undertaking is available at Saipol Technologies Pty Ltd.
The relevant Queensland Health Directive (Patient Safety Alert 1/2016) required a pore size of 0.2 micron, however the Saipol ‘C Grade filter’ had a pore size of 1.0 micron.
'Pore size’ or ‘micron rating’ relates to the filter’s ability to filter out particles of a certain size. For example, a 0.20 micron (μm) membrane will filter out particles with a diameter of 0.2 microns or larger from a filtration stream.
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