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July 2006 newsletter

Better Business Bureau Correspondence

 

          On May 20, 2006 We received the following letter from Better Business Bureau in Buffalo, NY:

 

May 17, 2006

 

Hydrogen-Boost

12A Sunset Avenue

Queensbury, NY 12804

 

RE:  Hydrogen-Boost

 

Dear Sir or Madam:

 

The Better Business Bureau has recently received inquiries about you company.  One of the Bureau’s functions is to set standards for ethical business practices and monitor the marketplace.

 

Unfortunately, the Bureau has witnessed a dramatic increase

in victimization of customers by unscrupulous offers.

Our role in curbing this problem is to evaluate offers and

Advise consumers whether they meet BBB standards.

 

We would appreciate receiving the following information:

 

1.  Substansiation of the better gas mileage claims you make on your web site.

 

2.  The names, addresses and phone numbers of ten satisfied customers who have obtained better gas mileage as a result of your product.

 

While your firm is under no obligation to provide the above requested material, we are certain you want to distinguish your firm from unscrupulous companies.  Please respond in writing to the issues raised within two weeks from the date of this letter.

 

Regretfully, failure to provide the requested material will result in an Unsatisfactory Business Performance rating for your company.

 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

Sincerely,

 

Kathleen B. Winter ext 277

Office Manager

 

 

My response was as follows:

Hydrogen Boost

12A Sunset Avenue

Queensbury, NY 12804

Tel. 518-793-7663

 

Better Business Bureau

741 Delaware Avenue

Buffalo, NY 14209-2201

 

Dear Kathleen Winter,

 

        Thank you for your interest in our business.  We have been in business since 2001 and have built our business on customer satisfaction.  As you can see from our web page we offer a 30 day money back satisfaction guarantee on most of our system.  The engine treatment and wiring kit are excluded from this money back offer unless they are returned in the original package undamaged, which has been done on occasion.  With over two hundred customers in the last six years, we have had a total of eleven returns, one from Bulgaria that was totally destroyed by the postal system (I have pictures if you’d like to see them) yet we gave a total refund.  Most of the returned systems were never installed because of either ordering the wrong size or because the customer decided that installation was beyond his abilities.  Two hydrogen generators were returned that were tested on diesel engines before we developed the complete diesel system.  We have never refused a refund.  Some of our competitors have.

I have the list of names and addresses of the customers who returned the system but I am not sure of their phone numbers.  Doing business on the Internet is done mostly by email.  Usually I don’t have much contact with customers after they receive their system unless they have questions about installation.

Here is a list of some customers who have indeed contacted me with reports of their mileage increases.

 

Sam Dabbs, 4717 Pearces Rd.  Zebulon, NC 27597  Sept. 2001, reports of his mileage gain are public record in the archives of the Yahoo discussion group Supercarbs, dated Labor Day weekend 2001 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/supercarbs/messages/5084  Yahoo.com has his phone number as 919-XXX-XXXX.

 

International Clean Energy Consortium Holding AG Zug, Gewerbezone Morgarten, Postfach 227, CH-6314 Oberageri, Switzerland     October 2001, report of their mileage gains are recorded in a letter (copy enclosed) and reported on our November 2001 newsletter page at www.hydrogen-boost.com/november2001.html.  The last phone number I had for them is +41-XX-XXX-XXXX.

 

Dave Pierce, 45304 Margate, Macomb, MI 48044-4173, October 2003 Installed his system on his new H2 Hummer and called me just last month reporting that the system is still running fine.  Yahoo.com has his number as listed

586-XXX-XXXX

 

Larry Towbridge 415 N Elkhart Lot 45 POBox 127, Wakarusa, IN 46573 October 2003 has installed his system on two separate vehicles and has documented his best mileage on our test results page at

www.hydrogen-boost.com/savings.html   Yahoo.com has his phone number as 574-XXX-XXXX.  The last email address I had for him is larry63@direcway.com 

 

Rishi Giovanni Gatti 48Viale Della Milanese, 20097 San Donato Milanese, Italy, April 2005 has documented his mileage results on our test results page at www.hydrogen-boost.com/savings.html.  He has had trouble with his subcompact unit which I sent parts to rebuild and later replaced with a larger unit, all for free.  He is also a repeat customer and speaks English     Phone number: 011+39 02 XXXXXXX  Mobile: 011+39 335 xxxxxxx

 

Jeff McCabe 1131 Longshore Dr. San Jose, CA,  April 2005 bought just our plans and manual and constructed his own system and has documented his mileage at  www.hydrogen-boost.com/savings.html.  The only McCabe I could find in San Jose on www.anywho.com was E.B McCabe at 408-xxx-xxxx.

 

Russell Hebert, 9200 S. SAGINAW ST., GRAND BLANC, MI 48439,  April 2006 has documented his initial mileage gains at www.hydrogen-boost.com/savings.html.  He has since improved on that and become a dealer and purchased 5 more systems and is the process of installing on customers vehicles.  Phone 810-xxx-xxxx.

 

Alfred KLAAR, Mitterbergstrasse 3c, AT-2500 Baden, Austria, January 2006 purchase two systems for testing and even hired me to go to Austria to install them for testing by a University.  Alfred had plans to distribute to all of Europe until he got laid up with hip replacements.  He may still decide later to go into business with us.  His mileage gains on a gasoline powered vehicle and a diesel vehicle are documented at

www.hydrogen-boost.com/January 2006.html.  Phone + FAX : 0043 xxxx xxxxx.  

 

Milton Archolecas,3260 NW 23rd Ave,Suite 1100E,Pompano Beach, Fl 33069,  May 2005 purchased the vehicle that achieved 100 mpg in the 2005 Tour de Sol mileage competition and is now preparing a factory to manufacture and market the system throughout the US.  He has since purchased two more systems for testing and demonstration in conjunction with his business plans.  Miltons Work number is 954-xxx-xxxx.

 

Eoin Giller Mohawk Trail, Clifton Park, NY, September 2005 had a partial system installed on his Oldmobile Aurora.  His testimonial can be viewed at www.hydrogen-boost.com if you click on the link above the picture of the Formula One car on the right side of the page.  Eoin’s number is 518-221-6691 or 518-221-1972.

 

Robert E Hybertson, 211West Simpson St, Lafayette, CO 80026,  April 2006 purchased a gasoline vehicle system and decided to install the Hydrogen generator alone onto his diesel truck.  After a week or so, he is reported to have averaged 19.1 mpg on the vehicle he carefully tested at 16 mpg previously.  As soon as I get written documentation of these results from Robert I will be publishing them in our next newsletter probably at

www.hydrogen-boost.com/June 2006.html

 

Our list of returns is as follows:

 

Joel Schreiber, Springfield,  Missouri 2001                                                            Returned,too big

Eduardo Cortina, 3834 Legation St. Washington, DC 20015  5-16  sent 4-15-02 Refunded

Al Warren 100 5th Fondu Lac, WI 54935 for diesel tractor trailer,  delivered 3-24-03 refunded

Sal Frausto 12045 E. Cooperopolis Rd, Stockton, CA 95215, May 8, 04 fuel heater, wiring kit,H2refund

Vladimir Gatchenko 13434Jamestown St Waverly, NE 68462 complete system 9-9-05           refund

Kiril Palazov Asta Bulgaria LTD,Sava Toshev 4,Sevlievo 5400, Bulgaria Complete12-29-05 refund

Milton Hobbs 5 Loaves & 2 Fish, Inc 25 Lake royal, Louisburg, NC 27549 Diesel treat 3-11-06 refunded H2

Fernando Cabral,10340 Fairchild Rd, Spring Hill, FL 34608 Basic system, fuel heater 3-15-06 ethanol  refund

William Ayres, 8713 36th Ave. E, Palmetto, FL 34221  941-722-7377 Complete       4-12-06 refunded

Joseph Kmiec, 315 Cutts Courts, Edmonton, Alberta T6V 1M7, Canada complete 4-20-06  refunded

Paul Rainey, 7540 S. Kearney Road, Whitmore Lake, MI 48189 complete w/o scan 4-29-06  refunded

 

          Substantiation of our claims of increased mileage is well documented in our many newsletters pages on our web site, where we explain the procedure of the scientifically controlled experiments and report the raw data and conclusions.  We have even reported the test result on our dynamometer in our newsletter. 

 

          I have a patent pending on our Hydrogen Boost technology.  We have successfully registered Hydrogen-Boost as our registered trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office.  And Hydrogen Boost is honored to have been listed in the top 25 of the TOP 100 Technologies by the New Energy Congress of which I am a member.  You can see the listing at

http://web.archive.org/web/20060423073636/peswiki.com/index.php/Congress:Top_100_Technologies_--_RD .

 

          While I am in touch with you, let me ask you a question.  I have had a couple prospective customers ask me if our company is a member of the Better Business Bureau.  I was unaware that the BBB was a membership organization.  Is there such a thing as being a member of the BBB?  If so, what do I do to become a member?

 

Glad to hear from you,

 

Fran Giroux

 

I also filled out a BBB Business Profile form and sent it all in.  I will update you on our status with the BBB.

 

On 7-17-2006 I received this email.

Dear Mr. Giroux:

 

I am unable to define exactly what substantiation is required.  The Board is looking for the “science” behind your claims.  Perhaps a copy of the actual studies by the independent testing centers would be helpful, describing the tests done as well as what standards were used and the credentials of those conducting the tests. 

 

According to the BBB Code of Advertising, which is located at http://www.bbb.org/membership/codeofad.asp#theright

 

1.        1.        Superlative Claims-Puffery
Superlative statements, like other advertising claims, are objective (factual) or subjective (puffery):

o        o        objective claims relate to tangible qualities and performance values of a product or service which can be measured against accepted standards or tests. As statements of fact, such claims can be proved or disproved and the advertiser should possess substantiation.

 

 

Sincerely,

Kathleen B. Winter

716-881-5222 ext. 277

kwinter@upstatenybbb.org

I answered with this response within:

 

Dear Mr. Giroux:

 

I am unable to define exactly what substantiation is required.  The Board is looking for the “science” behind your claims. 

 

Documentation of the science behind the claims is documented by many researchers throughout recent history.  See our web page at

http://www.hydrogen-boost.com/hydrogeninjection.html 

 

 Perhaps a copy of the actual studies by the independent testing centers would be helpful, describing the tests done as well as what standards were used and the credentials of those conducting the tests. 

 

"Perhaps" is not enough to justify any expense is chasing after something that is not defined.  I could spend thousands of dollars getting testing done and still not know what those guys/gals want from me.  I need a defined requirement before I can justify expenditures for testing.  Please have them define what is required for substantiation of claims before membership can be obtained.

 

According to the BBB Code of Advertising, which is located at http://www.bbb.org/membership/codeofad.asp#theright

 

2.     1.        Superlative Claims-Puffery
Superlative statements, like other advertising claims, are objective (factual) or subjective (puffery):

o      o        objective claims relate to tangible qualities and performance values of a product or service which can be measured against accepted standards or tests. As statements of fact, such claims can be proved or disproved and the advertiser should possess substantiation.

 

I make no superlative claims-puffery on my web site.  In fact the only claims made on our web site is that we have achieved certain achievements with our equipment.  It is a simple reporting of facts, not a claim that a customer will achieve such and such with our system.  Our Guarantee is for satisfaction regardless of mileage gain achievements.  If a customer achieves great gains in mileage and doesn't like putting water in the hydrogen generator, then he can return it within 30 days for a refund, and a few have done so, very few that have actually installed the system. 

 

We do not make puffery--subjective claims, like "You'll be happier or safer, or more popular if you use our system."  We only claim that we have achieved certain levels of achievements, repeatedly.  They are objective, quantitative, tested, and documented achievements by organizations and individuals over a five year period and over two continents.  The science behind our technology is well documented by others and ourselves by road test, dynamometer, and emissions analysis equipment.  Now if "the committee" will not accept what we have already produced for substantiaton, direct them to define the requirements.  I have applied for membership and again respectfully request membership or I deserve defined requirements and/or reasons for not being offered membership.

 

Still requesting membership,

 

Fran Giroux 

 

 

 

 

On 7-18-2006 I received this email.

Mr. Giroux:

 

In response to your email to Kathleen Winter, the board wants proof of the claims you make about your specific product. You claim consumers who use your product will increase their gas mileage up to 50%. Someone currently getting 50 MPG will get 75 MPG.

 

Prove it.

 

They currently are not convinced by the very limited information on your website that your claims are real.

 

Testing of the sort done by the Department of Energy alternative fuels projects should do it. Or any other outside objective, scientific testing of your specific product.

 

The ball is in your court, and I hope you are able to substantiate the advertising.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

David Polino

President

Better Business Bureau, Inc.

 

 

On 7-18-2006 I responded with this:

 

 

David Polino,

 

    Thank you for your intervention in my application process.  Let's see if we can get this done to everyone's satisfaction.  I assume you and your committee find my business practices exemplary but still have questions concerning our product and its effectiveness.  Let us address that.

 

    Here is the quote of the "claim" on our web site:

 

With the complete Hydrogen Boost system we have achieved typical increase in mileage of 15-25% on the vehicles we have tested, without the use of driving tips, and well over 50% with the implementation of the driving tips in our manual.

 

    First of all I would like you to read all the documentation I have already sent to Kathleen, copies of which are attached. 

 

    50% increase in mileage has been more than proven in North Carolina

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/supercarbs/messages/5084  , Switzerland

http://www.hydrogen-boost.com/Letter%20of%20acknowledgment%20ICEC.htm and

www.hydrogen-boost.com/november2001.html, and at the Tour de Sol mileage competition in Saratoga http://www.bestrateofclimb.com/montecarlo-results.htm.  If you want personal proof and are willing to document it with television news cameras, I will drive my car out to your office and we can let you drive the car in a city driving route for however many miles you want with the Hydrogen Boost system shut off, and then ride with me while we drive the same route with me driving and the Hydrogen Boost system turned on, and you can let the TV news cameras document the results.  In fact if you read the article about the Tour de Sol mileage competition in the Saratogian on May 14, 2005 you will see that the newspaper reporter was riding in my car during the competition http://www.hydrogen-boost.com/June%202005.html.

 

    If you want documentation of the 15-25% mileage gains without the implementation of our driving tips, you can watch the video at http://www.hydrogen-boost.com/Demo2.wmv or we can do the same televised documentation as I proposed above.

 

    As with Kathleen I cannot accept a statement like "should do it" or "perhaps" as defining your required substantiation of my so called "claim."  Before I can justify spending money of further testing I must have a contract with you that clearly defines the testing required to gain membership in your BBB.

 

    Now let me address your misquoting of our "claim."  You stated in the email below "You claim consumers who use your product will increase their gas mileage up to 50%."  That is not our claim.  I do not predict the future.  I only report on facts.  Our web site reports on the achievements that we have accomplished in scientifically controlled mileage tests.  There are some quotes from customers on one page, http://www.hydrogen-boost.com/savings.html, that we have documentation for, but these are not our claims, they are reports of achievements by our customers.

 

    As a BBB I would think you guys would be more interested in the business practices of a company than in the extent of documentation of the effectiveness of a product.  I'm sure you don't put a Pharmacy through the turmoil you have put me through because they sell some drugs that are obvious to me to be snake oil.  I'm sure you don't put Real Estate brokers through the same hoops you require of me in proving that the houses they sell are actually inhabitable.  And I am sure you don't require of your Auto repair shops that they prove that all their parts are "Genuine GM parts."  But you do require that your members follow business practices that serve and protect their customers from fraud and deceit.  I believe I have furnished you with ample proof of the high standard of our business practices.  We have a published and clearly defined money back guarantee on our product and we have refunded all that have returned their product, even though they were usually not ever installed, and once from Bulgaria when the product was destroyed before we got it back.  Now I would like to reiterate my application for membership and ask you to clearly define what is required of me.

 

Still ready to prove,

 

Fran

 

 

The next correspondence I got from BBB was the following letter by snail mail:

 

Dear Mr. Giroux:

Your recent correspondence was shared with the Ethics & Standards Committee at their recent meeting.  The US Environmental Protection Agency conducts a program to evaluate devices such as your gas enhancement system.  The committee considers the EPA Motor Vehicle Aftermarket Retrofit Device Evaluation Program to be independent testing.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  I can be reached at 716-881-5222 ext 277 or kwinter@upstatenybbb.org .

Sincerely,

Kathleen B. Winter

Office Manager

 

The EPA like most “independent testing” agencies, will not test the complete Hydrogen Boost system as a complete system.  Like others they will want to evaluate the hydrogen generator alone or the fuel heater alone.  They would not even allow the electronic control circuit because they would consider that “interfering with the emission control system of the vehicle” because it leans out the fuel ratio.  They would want separate tests for the engine treatment and they would not even consider testing our recommended tire pressure because they already know that works.  Without assurance that the EPA would test the complete system together, like we do in our demonstration procedure, we have no interest in their testing of our components.  As I have said before Hydrogen Boost is a complete system and is intended to be used together as a system, not as individual components.  So I guess BBB membership is not something we can expect to achieve.

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