The Pelican Challenge

The Pelican Challenge
By Mark Timmons
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The Pelican Challenge

At US Water we sell Green Wave Salt Free Water Conditioners.  There is also a company called Pelican that sells what we believe is essentially the same thing, although they call it a "salt-free water softener" even though it does not soften the water or even approach the threshold of what would be considered "soft water."   In case you don't understand what I just wrote, to call something a "water softener" that did not soften the water would be fiction.  Where I come from, we call that a lie! We had a customer today who asked us a few questions about Pelican.  Here is Pelican's e-mail response (no names will be used to protect the innocent):
I can offer you 5% off the PSE1800 but we cannot match their pricing because our media for the salt free system does not require replacement as theirs does. Also our salt free system handles 75 grains not 50 grains and we have third party certification and testing. Our media is a much higher quality and does not require any replacement. According to their site you the MEP media has to be replaced every 2-6 years and you pay $119.95 per liter. They say they put 6 liters in the system you are referring to so you are looking at a replacement cost of $719.70 just for the softening media every 2-6 years and that doesn’t include the cost of their carbon media which for some reason they do not list on their site. The overall maintenance for the Pelican PSE1800 will be changing a sediment pre-filter every 6 months and changing the carbon tank media once every 5 years. The replacement pre-filters are $54.95 for a 4 pack and $84.95 for an 8 pack. You will only use one filter at a time. The carbon media is $156.00. The NaturSoft tank is maintenance free.
Very interesting - we have a lifetime warranty on our tanks (same as theirs), but we also guarantee our media for 5 years.  The first two years are at 100% and the next three years are at 50%.  They say their media is of "much higher quality" and does not require replacing.  Well, that sounds very nice, doesn't it?  So, I went to the warranty on their website, and here is what it says:
Pelican Water (“Pelican”) warrants to the end user (“customer”) that its tanks, valves, in/out heads, bypass’s, fittings and housings (“Covered Items”) will be free from defects in material and workmanship under normal use and service for the life of the system. No warranty is made with respect to defects or damaged due to neglect, misuse, alterations, accident, misapplication, physical damage, or damaged caused by fire, acts of God, or freezing. Private Well Water Conditions (water supplied from homeowner's private well): The water treated shall be free of hydrogen sulfide (sulfur gas / rotten egg smell), oils or high levels of copper (>1.30 mg/L). Any will coat the surface of the media and will interfere reducing its efficiency. If any iron or manganese is present in the source water, you must pre-treat the water. If any of these issues exist, you should employ pre-treatment prior to using this technology. Please contact customer service at 1-877-842-1635 for your pre-treatment needs.
The media is not even mentioned in the warranty, yet they say that it never requires replacement and criticize us because we have a 5-year warranty on the media.  THEY HAVE NO WARRANTY ON THE MEDIA!  Get Real! Hey Mr. Pelican, if your media never requires replacement, why don't you guarantee it for a lifetime, like your tank?  I mean, we guarantee our tank for a lifetime, because we know it is highly unlikely that it will ever need replacement.  The same is true with the Pelican tank.  You know it will last a lifetime, so that's what you guarantee it for.  We know our media will last 2-5 years and guarantee it for that long.  Yes, it will need to be replaced at some point in time.  If your media is of higher quality and does not require any replacement, why don't you guarantee it like that?  Why, indeed? You aren't trying to trick the consumer are you? Instead, you totally ignore the media in your warranty. I have an idea:  Tell the truth, like we do! Let me remind you consumers that things that sound too go to be true, usually are. NOTE:  By the way, Pelican was using "fuzzy math" (surprised?) to overstate what our media costs.  On a 10 GPM Model which has 3 liters of media, it would cost $357.00 to replace the media after 5 years.  In years 1 and 2, it is 100% covered and in years 3, 4 or 5, it is covered 50%, so the  cost would be only $178.50 if it needed replaced between years 3 and 5.
June 26, 2012
Comments
Tim
July 9, 2013 at 4:32 PM
Just a follow up if anyone is still reading this thread. I haven't purchased a salt-free system yet, but I am getting closer to making my decision. The above-mentioned blog says that Pelican does not warranty their media, although it was dated June 26, 2012. The folks at Pelican have since amended their warranty to include the media. This is from their website: Pelican Limited Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer's defects. Pelican Water (“Pelican”) warrants to the end user (“customer”) that its tanks, valves, in/out heads, bypass’s, fittings, Natursoft media and housings (“Covered Items”) will be free from defects in material and workmanship under normal use and service for the life of the system. No warranty is made with respect to defects or damaged due to neglect, misuse, alterations, accident, misapplication, physical damage, installation on water quality outside guidelines for system or damaged caused by fire, acts of God, or freezing. Private Well Water Conditions (water supplied from homeowner's private well): The water treated shall be free of hydrogen sulfide (sulfur gas / rotten egg smell), oils or high levels of copper (>1.30 mg/L). Any will coat the surface of the media and will interfere reducing its efficiency. If any iron or manganese is present in the source water, you must pre-treat the water. If any of these issues exist, you should employ pre-treatment prior to using this technology. Please contact customer service at 1-877-842-1635 for your pre-treatment needs.
Gayle
January 25, 2020 at 12:14 AM
Just my feelings after reading all of this. I am researching filters. I was considering buying from US until I ran across this. I simply will not buy from a company who feels the need to promote their system by bashing a competator. Give us some credit. Put out the facts about your own system and let us compare and use our own intelligence to make our decision based on what each company offers. I just scratched US off of my list of possibilities. Still looking at Pelican.
Mark Timmons
March 7, 2020 at 1:39 PM
Pelican has recently amended many of their advertising policies. Instead of calling it a Salt-Free Softener, they now call it a Salt-Free Water Softener Alternative. I congratulate them for that, so maybe this blog post I did 8 years ago has done some good. I am sorry that you are offended by my candor, but when I see anyone taking advantage of consumers, then I will not keep quiet. I wonder if you also work for Pelican or Pentair? I think I will check your IP address.