Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Or should we say, Inscents Waterfall, a backflow incense fountain that is marketed to help prevent “stress related diseases” including heart disease, anxiety and depression.
After receiving a tip from a consumer, TINA.org identified a plethora of issues with the product’s marketing. Without further adieu:
- It is simply against the law to market products as having the ability to treat, cure or prevent developing diseases and disorders without FDA approval. And suffice to say, the FDA has not approved Inscents Waterfall.
- Similarly, the FTC requires that companies making health-related claims have competent and reliable scientific evidence to support their claims. No such evidence can be found on the product’s website.
- Inscents Waterfall is also marketed to purify the air but the company doesn’t provide any substantiation for the claim. In addition, research indicates that incense smoke emits double the amount of particulate matter and a similar amount of aerosols as cigarette smoke
- While the product website proclaims “Satisfaction Guaranteed Or Your Money Back” and says, “If you don’t absolutely love your Inscents Waterfall, just tell us within 60 days and we will issue a complete refund,” according to the company’s return policy, consumers have to pay return shipping.
- The website also touts that Inscents Waterfall has a 4+ star rating based on more than 4,500 reviews. But the site does not say where these ratings or reviews come from. And the average customer rating on Amazon is 3.6 and on Trustpilot is 3.4. (Also, while the TV ad above claims Inscents Waterfall is “not available on Amazon,” not only is that not true, Inscents Waterfall has its own Amazon store.) Among the things customers have complained about are issues canceling orders and getting refunds, undisclosed fees and hidden charges, cones smelling like burning wood with “no fragrance whatsoever” and problems getting the smoke to go down the waterfall.
- When consumers first visit the product’s website, there is already an item in their cart. In addition, the cart page features testimonials from purported users Jonah, Patricia and Linda, but the image for each person is stock. The stock images are also being used to sell a product called Rubber Scrubbers, with different names for the purported users.
- While the product website prominently claims “70% Off Expires Today – Limited Stock!” the offer has been available for some time. Creating a false sense of urgency is a deceptive tactic associated with dark patterns, which are website design features used to confuse and manipulate consumers into making decisions that they would not otherwise make.
TINA.org reached out to Inscents Waterfall for comment. Check back for updates.
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