At Procter & Gamble, 100 Is Pretty Much The Same Thing As 40

Sure, all sensible Consumerists know that bottled water is a terrible idea for the planet and for your wallet, and all of the cool kids filter their own tap water at home. Reader Bob is wise enough to know this, and he recently purchased a Pur filtration pitcher that came with an extra filter that can filter 100 additional gallons of water. Or maybe 40. See, unlike the people in charge of writing the copy on boxes of Pur pitchers, Bob knows that 40 is much less than 100.

Saw this PUR pitcher that brags “Includes free bonus filter … For an EXTRA 100 gallons of clean water” on the front. And, in case you missed it, for good measure they also include this on the side “That’s why your purchase of this bonus pack gives you an extra 100 gallons of clean water with a free bonus filter.”


So, in a nutshell, it appears PUR filters handily beat Brita’s filters which can only treat the now measly industry-standard 40 gallons. But, once home, I noticed the back of the box says “Filters 40 gallons/640 8-oz cups per filter, lasts up to 2 months.”



A check on the their website also confirmed only 40 gallons. I called their customer support, which apparently is overseas, and got an answer of how the 100 gallons is for the faucet filters. I told them I knew that but it was printed on a pitcher box, not a faucet box. She told me it probably was to let consumers know that the faucet ones filter 100 gallons (?!).

I figured I would try emailing Procter & Gamble, and explained how their box promised 100 gallons a filter and seeing how there were two enclosed I was expecting 200 gallons of filtration, not the 80 that was the reality. So I told them I wanted my three other filters to make up for it.

Here was their inane response:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for contacting PUR.

I’m very sorry that you had this experience with our Pur Pitcher. Because of our strict quality controls, it is unusual for a package to leave our plant with less than the proper amount of product. Nevertheless, it’s not impossible for a package to contain less than it should. I’m sharing your comments with the rest of the team.

Since your satisfaction means a great deal to us, I’m sending a replacement coupon by postal mail. You should receive it within the next 2-3 weeks.

Thanks again for contacting us.

PUR Team

So I think they still don’t get it. I attempted to contact the P&G executive offices but were told they only deal with snail mail and FAXes! So I found the name and number for the executive in charge of the Wal-Mart account (where it was sold) and left a message. No response however.

Yeah, so there’s no way into the impenetrable fortress that is P&G to let the correct person know that they screwed up on this one. Fortunately, water pitcher filters don’t self-destruct, so there’s nothing stopping Bob from using the free filter for at least 100 gallons, just as God and the marketing copy intended.

Update: We heard from someone at Procter & Gamble, and good news! They’re reaching out to stores to correct this math travesty. Here’s what they sent us:

We recently discovered a labeling error on the front panels of our PUR pitchers that contain a bonus filter. We state that you would get an extra 100 gallons of filtered water with the extra filter, but it should be 40 gallons. We are working with the stores that carry this item to correct the mistake as quickly as possible. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused. If you have any further questions you can contact us at 1-800-PUR-LINE.

Thank you

Pur Community Manager

Excellent. Thanks, Bruce!

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.