Review & Rating
542 Monterey Pass Rd.
Monterey, Park, CA 91754
Footnotes:1. In pull-out and pull-down kitchen faucets the spray assembly replaces the spout. If it breaks the faucet is typically useless until the spray is fixed. In a conventional kitchen faucet with side spray, the spout and spray are separate. If the spray breaks it is inconvenient, but does not a shut down the entire faucet.2. Parts required for the "essential performance" of the faucet other than the cartridge or spray assembly.3. Any part of the faucet that is not critical to the "essential performance" of the faucet; "cosmetic" parts.4. So long as the original buyer owns the faucet.
This Company In Brief
Cosmo Products, LLC is a Nevada company with its principal place of business in California. Its primary business is the sale over the internet of cooking appliances; primarily wall ovens, ranges, cooktops and vent hoods imported from China. It also sells inexpensive Chinese-made kitchen faucets.
Everything about this company screams low-end Marketeer.
The faucets are basic Chinese catalog faucets, long on style and polish, but short or reliability and robustness.
The warranty, which the company claims is a lifetime warranty, actually guarantees the functional parts of the faucet for just 1 to 3 years and is rated "far below" the North American standard faucet warranty.
The faucets are not certified and do not comply with the laws and regulations of the U.S. or Canada. No Cosmo faucet is legal to sell in the U.S. or install in either the U.S. or Canada.
Cosmo Products, LLC is a Nevada limited liability company formed by Steven and Irene Law in 2014. Its primary business location, however, is in California. Its principal activity is the importation and sale over the internet of cooking appliances; including wall ovens, ranges, cooktops and vent hoods, mostly from China. It also sells kitchen faucets and protective kitchen gloves.
The company trades as Cosmo Appliances, Cosmo Kitchen Appliances and Premium Appliances. None of these are trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It has registered the Cosmo logo (see above) as it applies to "[a]pparatus for cooking, namely, cooktops; Cooking ovens; Electric stoves; Exhaust hoods for kitchens; [and] Gas stoves," but not as it applies to plumbing fixtures or fittings, such as sink faucets.
The company maintains two web sites: CosmoAppliances.com and PremiumAppliances.net. The former is its wholesale site, directed toward dealers. Premium Appliances is its retail site, selling to the public. It also sells on sites that host third-party sellers including Amazon, Houzz, Overstock and Wayfair; and as a hosted seller on BuildDirect.com, Walmart.com and HomeDepot.com. All of these sales venues are internet-based. We have found no brick and mortar retail venue.
The faucets are Chinese, imported through Li Seng Household Product Limited, a Hong Kong broker that deals primarily in sanitary ware exports from China. They are manufactured in Kaiping by Haoju Sanitary Ware Industrial Co., Ltd..
Cosmo faucets are, for the most part, indistinguishable in design, quality or price from the hordes of largely unexceptional sink faucets made in China and Taiwan and flooded into the U.S. and Canada by black market sellers, that, like Cosmo, ignore the niceties of laws and regulations.
The faucets are selected right out of the Haoju and are available to any distributor that chooses to sell them. Haoju faucets are also sold in North America as brand faucets by Home Product America, Inc., a Canadian internet retailer of imported kitchen appliances and inexpensive Chinese faucets.
As is typical of Chinese faucets, Cosmo products exhibit no particular design originality. Chinese designs tend to be middle-of-the-road and to follow the pack rather than lead it. The goal of Asian faucet manufacturers is to sell as many faucets as possible, which means keeping their designs well within the mainstream to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. Few design adventures take place in China. Designs are often adopted from Europe and North America. A design that sells well in these major markets will often be imitated by Asian factories. The lag time is usually 3 to 5 years, so by the time a design appears in a Chinese faucet it is no longer new.
The faucets are available in polished chrome and brushed nickel. The finishes are electroplated and not the more durable PVD (physical vapor deposition) finishes. Nonetheless, plated finishes are robust enough for most kitchens. Although Chinese finishes sometimes get a bum rap, it has been many years since "China chrome" could be scraped off with a fingernail. Chinese electroplated finishes are now as durable as those of any other country.
The Premium Appliances website is well designed with intuitive navigation based on the traditional drop-down menu format. Information about Cosmo faucets is fairly complete. The site lists the faucets' base material (brass or stainless steel), finish (chrome or brushed nickel), flow rate (1.5 gallons per minute), and other important metrics.
Descriptions are not always consistent, however. For example, on the Amazon site, Cosmo describes its COS-KF501C Pull-Down Kitchen faucet as chrome plated stainless steel. On the the company's proprietary web sites, it is identified as a chrome plated brass faucet.
Cosmo does not identify the material from which its spray heads are made, but our inspection disclosed that they are plastic. Plastic spray heads have, unfortunately, become more-or-less the norm, found on even upscale brands like because plastic does not transmit heat like metal, and therefore does not get too hot to handle, and it's inexpensive. However, plastic is not a suitable material for faucets, and plastic spray heads in particular seem to experience a lot of failures. Spray heads made out of insulated brass or stainless steel are much more robust, and to be preferred.
The "Additional Information" tab does not link to much of any additional information. This is where we would expect to see links to downloadable .pdf specification sheets, parts diagrams, dimensioned drawings and installation instructions. Cosmo provides none of these.
The website describes the faucets' cartridges as "ceramic" but does not identify the source of the cartridges — information useful in determining whether the cartridge is one of the better brands on the market. The ceramic cartridges in the Cosmo faucets we examined were clearly Chinese but there are no markings on the cartridges identifying the actual manufacturer. In our experience, Chinese manufacturers that have gained an international reputation for good quality ceramic cartridges generally mark their products. The absence of identification marks usually suggests a lower quality component.
The rules of some of the company's sales venues such as Amazon, require a 30 day no-questions-asked return policy. Otherwise, the company offers a 14-day return provided the product has not been installed and is in its original packaging. The buyer pays shipping unless the faucet was received damaged. The company changes a 15% re-stocking fee.
After the return period, defects in the facets are covered by the company's written warranties. There are two warranties and it's not clear which one actually applies. The Premium Appliances website claims a lifetime warranty with a conspicuous "Lifetime Warranty" symbol, but clicking on the warranty tab displays a 1 year warranty with what appears to be an optional 2 year extended warranty available for purchase.
On the Cosmo Appliances website, a different warranty is displayed (in very small print — we had to copy it and move it to an off-line application to read it carefully). This Warranty is a prime example of why you should always read any warranty before making a purchase. It is legally a lifetime warranty in that it does protect some minor parts of the faucet for the original buyer's lifetime. It is not, however, a very good lifetime warranty in that it excludes from lifetime coverage all of the parts of a faucet essential to the faucet's functioning, and the ones most likely to fail.
Cartridges are guaranteed for just three years and spray assemblies and "other functional components" for one year. A "functional component" is defined by the company as one that is critical to the faucet's "essential performance."
The "lifetime" part of the warranty applies only to the "non-functional" or "cosmetic" parts of the faucet — those that are not critical to essential performance. These include "knobs, other metal bodies/surfaces, etc." So, if it's a moving, functional part that is at risk for failure in normal use, the warranty is one year (unless its the cartridge, which is guaranteed for three years). If it's a non-moving, non-functional part that is most unlikely to ever fail, it's guaranteed for the lifetime of the original owner.
This is what we call a Barnum Warranty in honor of the famous huckster, showman and philanthropist, Phineas Taylor (P. T.) Barnum, who reputedly sold a train car of canned white salmon by guaranteeing it would not turn pink in the can — something that white salmon cannot possibly do. A Barnum Warranty is a warranty that appears to guarantee a lot, but actually guarantees very little, if anything.
The warranty also requires a faucet be installed by a "fully insured licensed professional" or the warranty is invalid. The attorneys who examined the warranty language were highly amused by this restriction, observing that the warranty is valid if a faucet is installed by a "fully insured licensed" insurance salesman, hairdresser, CPA, stock broker or clinical psychologist. Probably not what Cosmo had in mind, but that's how the warranty reads.
Aside from the incongruous wording, however, this provision is a trap for the DIYer who installs the faucet him- or herself.
Whichever of the two warranties is the actual warranty, we rate it "far below" the U.S./Canadian standard lifetime faucet warranty in which all parts of a faucet are included in the guaranteed for the lifetime of the original buyer. We would rate it "far, far below", but unfortunately we do not have such a rating. Perhaps we should just for faucet companies like this one.
Getting parts under warranty can be trying and time consuming. You have to pack up the defective parts and pay to ship them to the company before it will send you replacement parts. After the first year, you also have to pay the company to ship the new parts back to you. All of this process takes quite a bit of time, so how long can you do without a working kitchen or bathroom faucet?
A warranty is the company telling you exactly how much confidence it truly has in its products. It can go on and on, ad infinitum in its catalog and full-color, glossy brochures about how it's faucets are the world's best and most reliable sink faucets. But, this is all puffery that costs the company nothing but the price of the ink in the page. Only when the company is forced to stand behind the faucets with actual dollars does its true opinion of its products emerge, and that true opinion is contained in the company's warranty.
We have to figure that a company that goes to such extremes to protect itself against warranty liability does not have much faith in the durability or longevity of its faucets. It does not want to bet its own dollars that it is selling good, robust faucets; but it is more than willing to bet yours.
If the company has such little faith in its faucets, perhaps that's a warning that you should heed.
The likelihood that the company will stock the parts required to repair faucets into the future is very slim. Shoestring operations like this one do not as a rule stock any parts inventory at all. The ad hoc solution to the spare parts problem is to scavenge parts from other faucets as needed, or, if the faucet is no longer being made, to replace a defective faucet during the warranty period with a "comparable" faucet — with the company having sole discretion over what is and is not "comparable". After the very short Cosmo warranty period, you can forget about parts unless the company happens to have a left-over faucet from which it can scrounge. In consequence, the odds are very good that if your Cosmo faucet breaks there will be no parts to fix it.
As part of the description provided for every faucet on its proprietary websites and on the hosting websites where its faucets are sold is the claim that the faucets are UPC and cUPC certified. We can find absolutely no evidence that this claim is true.
IAPMO-RT, the testing service of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials that owns the UPC mark, has never heard of Cosmo brand faucets, not list the Cosmo brand as certified and, according to an IAPMO spokesperson, has not approved Cosmo's use of the trademarked UPC imprint.
Cosmo hopes to shield itself from any problem with lack of basic safety and reliability certifications by disclaiming in its warranty document as follows:
"Cosmo appliances makes no implication that products comply with any or all local building or plumbing codes. It is the consumer's responsibility to determine local code compliance."
This is a tactic that has never worked in the past to shield a faucet company from liability where it has misrepresented the certification status of its faucets. We don't expect it to work for Cosmo. The company violates at least two federal statutes, one of them criminal. It also violates the deceptive business practices and false advertising statutes of most states and provinces. Additionally, Cosmo does not comply with pre-sale availability rules required by 16 CFR §701 on any of the sites on which its faucets are sold. So, there is no reason to assume that any potential buyer would notice or have an opportunity to read the disclaimer prior to or at the time of sale — a legal requirement for a disclaimer to be effective.
The fact that Cosmo faucets are made in China, where safety standards in general are very loose, and where safety standards for toxic materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic exist not at all, heightens the concern over the potential hazards of these products. No one, not even the most experienced expert, can determine whether a faucet contains dangerous amounts of hazardous substances just by looking at it. Only extensive testing can do that — the very testing that Cosmo has not done.
Chinese and Taiwanese faucets that have been fully certified and proven safe that are comparable to Cosmo include:
If you are in the market for an inexpensive Asian-made faucet, one of these suppliers might be a better choice than Cosmo. All sell faucets that are known to be certified safe, reliable and lead free, and authorized for use in U.S. and Canadian water supplies. Most also offer a warranty that is more straightforward than the warranty provided by Cosmo, many offer an lifetime warranty on all the parts of its faucets, functional and cosmetic.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Cosmo faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.