Within a few weeks of buying our first home, we had an Echo Water Systems salesman give us his selling pitch. He was at our home for over 4 hours. He testing our water (which has a lot of solids) and outlinied the benefits we would enjoy by buying this system.
The financing of the system was done by the salesman at our home by cell phone. We told him that we did not want a revolving line of credit. He assured us that it was not a revolving line of credit and that total cost of the system would not be subjected to change from the financing.
All payments would be used to lower the price of the system. Since we had just purchased and moved into our first home, we were very gullible and took him at his word. He found Aqua Finance as the source of funding.
Again before signing the contract we inquired that the company would not be charging fees like the credit card companies. The salesman stated that we would have the system paid off in just a few years. We signed the contract and began making our payments.
Since I am sensitive to chlorination, I have benefited from the system. However, when it came time to service the system, we discovered from the service tech that Echo filters are not interchangeable with any other systems on the market. We HAVE to buy and use their filters and technician who travels from Fresno to service the systems in our area. They are therefore allowed to charge what they wish.
We paid for nearly a year, when we noticed that our principal balance was not dropping as we had expected it to. We called Aqua Finance to find out why and was told that indeed we had a revolving line of credit and were being charged a finance fee and only a small portion of our payment was in fact going to the principal.
We were then told that if we made larger payments directed to the principal, it would take less time. Both my husband and myself are disabled with limited income. We could not afford the extra payments. That is why we stressed to the sellsman that we did not want another revolving line of credit.
This was an expensive whole house system that we were expecting to pay off in three years. With this form of financing, our system will take 10 years to pay off and cost us over $15,000.00. We enquired about having our system removed and was told that while we were free to do that, we would not be relieved of the debt. We are stuck paying $130.00 per month for our water.
In all fairness to Echo Water Systems, they do have a good system and we are enjoying the benefits of the water system. They just need to hire more honest salesmen. Is that an oxymoron? It would be more honest to also clearly state that their filters are one of a kind.
My advice is the old adage of buyer beware. If you cannot afford to buy the system outright, and pay for the periodic maintaince, then don't buy it. It is not worth it in the long run.
The economy helped us make the decision to consolidate all our unsecured bills. Aqua Finance is the biggest account on the record. Our credit record has taken a huge hit from their reporting. Consolidation is better then Bankruptcy.