Ramblings of a Tampa engineer

Buying a home is asking for the most amount of letter spam ever. Shown above is the notice I got. The full text for searching is

Water Update!
Unfortunately we were unable to reach you by phone or in person. Upon receiving this notice we ask that you contact our office within 72 hours.

Office Hours
Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm

Water Resource Dept. Jack Travis
352-346-5943

Now after growing up with the explosion of email spam, text spam and more - it is pretty obvious when you get a real piece of spam in the mail.

This threw so many alerts in my head:

  • A postcard as the means of contact.
  • My address/name just a sticker on the postcard.
  • No company website listed
  • No details why I should contact just generic "Water Update"
  • Claimed I missed a call and in person contact. (Working from home so no)
  • 9am to 6pm hours (Government entities must be 8-5)

So I called the number to see how far this rabbit hole went. Jack Travis was currently "with a customer" so I could not speak with him. I couldn't glean much from the call as the only piece of information interested from the other end was asking for my name and address.

Which is quite strange to ask for if you are masquerading as a government entity in order to gain entrance to a home, but a needed piece of information to get a salesman over.

So I hung up & did some digging.


Behind 352-346-5943 I stumbled upon the Better Business Bureau which had an alert across the top of the page.

Consumers have reported to the BBB that they have received a deceptive advertisement from this business that appears to be from a government entity. The advertisement states you must call the business within 72 hours regarding your water.

BBB has contacted the business regarding their advertising practices. The business states that there is no misrepresentation in their advertising.

Which just further proved my concerns that this company uses deceptive tricks to get in the door. Sell an overpriced product, push the loan to a 3rd party and prey on continued funds from "maintenance" and the high interest.

I then found an article from the city of Tarpon putting out an alert about this company.

Patch.com - Tarpon Police: 'Water Update' Not From City, County

What made this even more perfect was one comment on the article from Dan himself (who is involved with the company).

"Dan" from Environment Water Resource

Now this is just a hilarious response. I can't tell if Dan was using speech to text or had never been in front of a keyboard before as this was the largest run on sentence I've ever seen. Not to mention he seems to be lying. Nothing on the postcard mailed to me says anything about a free analysis. It is intentionally vague and preys on the fact I may assume it is from the city.

I'm more interested in this company though, so a few more searches from that phone number led me to their website.

http://www.makemywaterbetter.com [domain behind letter]

I didn't know WordPress could be changed to look so boring, but this page also had a hint of scummy behavior with most pages all pointing to the same "Contact" page.

http://www.makemywaterbetter.com/contact/

It bugged me that the email was a domain - until you clicked on it. That resulted in the email: wtrboy2001(at)aol(dot)com. I didn't even know AOL still had email, but pretty unprofessional to use a generic AOL email for your company website.

So I started reading some reviews and it wasn't good. It appears this is how it goes down:

  1. You (Victim) call company accidentally because you were mislead by fake advertising.
  2. Them (Company) say "Jack" is not available right now helping a customer, but offer to get "x" to drop by for a free inspection.
  3. Free Inspection shows up to claim x,y,z is wrong with your water. This may be true or an exaggeration.
  4. Attempt to sell water purification for thousand of dollars at a near 20% interest rate and/or other plans.
  5. Sell maintenance for the product more - so than needed charging every time.

Back of Postcard-

I'll end this blog with a short snippet - don't use this company. They are not the water company and just spamming homes with postcards that were recently purchased.

EDIT: - From an email tip it appears this company may come in as the following on the postcard:

  • Environmental Water Solutions
  • Environmental Water Resource
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