Trusii hydrogen water left customers complaining of a scam, bad debtSeptember 14, 2019
As health hacks moved from the labs of Silicon Valley into mainstream America, more consumers started hydrating with hydrogen-infused water. Fans say it can help treat inflammation and a variety of diseases. Maybe it could even slow the process of aging.
Trusii, based in southern Florida, is among a bevy of hydrogen water vendors capitalizing on the trend. With a home fountain starting at over $6,700, the company claims to offer “access to the most powerful and therapeutic antioxidant-rich water on earth.” It’s been propped up by influencers like Anthony DiClementi, author of “The Biohacker’s Guide,” along with Ben Greenfield and fitness model Crosby Tailor, who calls it essential to workout recovery and motivation.
Earlier this year, Trusii bought a booth at the Bulletproof Conference hosted by Dave Asprey, who is often referred to as the father of biohacking. On social sites, you can find thousands of promotional posts under the hashtags #Trusii and #Trusiilife, which describe the water as helping with cardiovascular health, muscle pain, autism, concussion, depression, lupus and other ailments.
The company says it’s on a mission “to profoundly impact and improve the lives of those suffering from illness and injury.” However, more than a dozen customers told CNBC that they were roped into what they say is a scam that bilked them out of thousands of dollars for a product that didn’t work. Allegations of moldy systems, leaks and unwanted high-interest loans have pushed away big names from associating themselves with the brand and forced Trusii to defend itself in a lawsuit filed by a former financial partner. At the same time, one of the company’s owners faces criminal charges from a previous venture and is currently free on bail.
Most of the two-dozen Trusii customers who shared their stories allowed CNBC to use their names, but some asked to remain anonymous to protect their privacy or because they say Trusii threatened to sue if they spoke out publicly. Trusii’s owners defend the products and the benefits of hydrogen water, and claim the criticisms are coming from a coordinated group of ex-customers who are working to compete with the company.
Margaux Gunning says she is out more than $9,000 because of a “molecular hydrogen” scam.
Trusii operates in the largely unregulated $40 billion-a-year U.S. market for dietary supplements, where pseudoscience and bogus assertions are rampant. The claims and promises can spread virally to millions of people on social networks, the same way that anti-vaxxers have advanced baseless notions about the dangers of vaccinating children. Start-ups selling things like meal replacement shakes and caffeine pills have even gotten the stamp of approval from top venture capital firms, who carry greater influence than scientists and regulators across much of the biohacking world.
Meanwhile, consumers are largely left to their own devices when it comes to determining a product’s legitimacy and the potential…