The Inspection of My Zotzmann
So this is gonna be a likely unnecessarily long, possibly politically incorrect (but then, what isn’t these days? I am getting increasingly confused. So I want to beforehand apologize to any reptiles who may feel I have misrepresented them) and angry posting. And it’s probably only interesting for those who have been following the Herrmann vs Zotzmann drama. For those not interested in it, this is probably one to skip. It’s angry because when I get BS dumped at me in larger amounts than the daily recommended intake, it pisses me off. Some BS is inevitable, but if it gets too much and right in my face, I’ll let ya know about it. And that’s what I feel happened last week during my visit to the Zotzmann company.
Everything I said that happened is how I recall that it in fact happened. All descriptions of people and my impressions about them are simply my opinions. You may not like them, just a heads up. But I decided to fully embrace a family tradition which is to not give a fuck. Possibly to the point of working against my own self-interest.
So here it is.
Why we decided to drive
So yes, last week I drove down to the Zotzmann company near Stuttgart (a city in Southern Germany where the famous BMW cars are engineered, just in case you’re wondering where the heck that is. I mean, not that it really matters.) to have my Zotzmann hyperbaric ozone generator inspected. It needs to be checked yearly to see whether everything still works properly and if the ozone output is accurate.
I’ve had my Zotzmann for over 2 years now. I had this inspection done once before. A technician came to my office and performed the tests. But this time around I didn’t want to do that. Mainly, because I found out that the man was a) untrustworthy, and b) displayed an in my opinion erratic behavior. I found his conduct so disconcerting that the thought of being with him alone in my office made me very uncomfortable. I even contemplated asking an acquainted and super nice body builder to come and just sit there during the inspection just so I would feel a bit more at ease.
In Germany customer service is atrocious. It is not unusual to be verbally assaulted by sales personnel or support staff. But after having spent 8 years in the US, where in my opinion customer service is the best in the world, I am spoiled. So I was not willing to endure something which I felt could have easily turned into an aggressive situation with someone I had to pay, on top of it.
So I contacted Wolfgang Zotzmann, the founder and namesake of the Zotzmann company and asked if I could drive down with my machine and have the inspection performed at his office. We communicated via email and phone. He said no problem, just let me know when you will arrive, you will leave the machine, we will inspect it, and then you can pick it up a few hours later. Great. I confirmed time and date, packed my Dad and the machine in the car and we were on our way. I figured my Dad and I could do an excursion to Stuttgart during the time they were working on the machine.
In the end, things turned out a little differently.
No snooping around this time
So I am posting this whole backstory, just to clarify that, unlike during my visit to the Herrmann company (the maker of the Green Machine) I was not there to snoop around or investigate. I was in fact not looking forward to making the trip in what turned out to be sweltering heat, driving down a stretch of the Autobahn for 3 hours which was essentially one long construction site. I would have preferred to send the machine in via postal services, but I didn’t have the proper packaging. I had bought my Zotzmann as a refurbished generator and never received the original box. So shipping in a makeshift container could have resulted in damage to some vital parts. I didn’t want to risk that.
So we drove down to the South of Germany to get my Zotzmann machine checked out. As mentioned, the objective was not to snoop around, but to simply drop it off and then pick it up after the job was done. I figured if the situation provided itself I could possibly ask Mr. Zotzmann a few questions, but that was not my main goal. In the end, there was nothing to investigate. The controversy was pertaining to the Green Machine, not the Zotzmann. The Zotzmann, it was generally accepted, was a top notch machine with every test showing its outstanding accuracy. Something which I had also witnessed during my past inspection. So I had no reason to suspect anything fishy. There was nothing to get to the bottom of here.
The sign pointing towards the Zotzmann repair shop at the bottom of a glass door of a furniture store.
A grumpy welcome
Once we arrived in town, it was a little tricky to find the exact address. There was no big sign outside. No single building like the Herrmann headquarters. Just a small sign inserted into the bottom of a glass door of a furniture company, see picture.
After we walked in, the whole setup appeared very strange to me. I couldn’t make sense of it. There was this unusually empty furniture or window store in the front and behind that store were the Zotzmann offices. One had to walk through the furniture store to get to Zotzmann. There must have been another entrance, but that’s not where we were directed to. Everything looked makeshift and yet it seemed they have been there for years.
The floor was also weird. Everywhere there was this raw flakeboard like floor. As if someone had forgotten to put carpet or laminate on top. It looked unfinished. We were later told that those offices were only where the repairs were taking place. There was also a huge U-shaped desk in one of the rooms where Mr. Zotzmann was sitting behind a big computer screen. He said they had a different location for the production and yet another one for the storage. I never saw either of them, only the repair shop.
When we finally found the building and parked our car, a man came out with a trolley. He didn’t introduce himself, didn’t greet us, didn’t say anything, didn’t smile, didn’t even look us in the eyes. I assumed he was sent out by Mr. Zotzmann to help us bring the heavy generator in, but I wanted to make sure. So I asked “Are you with Zotzmann?”. He must have misunderstood and said “No, he is inside.”
This man looked grumpy and as if we were disturbing him. German customer service at its finest, I thought. (That same employee later turned out to be very helpful with packing the ozone generator into our car.)
So we walked in to meet Mr. Zotzmann.
Meeting the boss
We exchanged some words, or better I tried to but I was constantly being interrupted. Mr. Zotzmann did not let me finish a third of my sentences, he would constantly fall into my words. He seemed frantic with a non-existent attention span. Did he have too much coffee to drink? What was going on?
From the beginning he made us understand that we were disturbing and that he didn’t really have time for us and that us coming there was really an inconvenience since they don’t perform repairs there, and that he was in the middle of something very important. Obviously, more important than taking care of us.
Which didn’t make any sense, because when I wrote him an email asking whether it was ok for us to drop the machine off, he confirmed essentially without hesitation. He also knew the date and time of our arrival a good week in advance. But now that we were there, it was all unusual and inconvenient? Well, why did you agree to it at all then? Also first he was saying they don’t perform repairs there (although I was clear about the fact that I didn’t come for repairs but for an inspection) and then he said it was only the repair shop. So what now?
From then on it more or less continued in that manner.
Dr. Dell used an ozone analyzer he himself used to manufacture. You can see his name on the machine.
Watching Dr. Wladimir Dell
Another surprising thing, but on a positive note, was Mr. Zotzmann’s offer for us to stay and watch over the technician while he was working on the generator. It was unexpected because Mr. Zotzmann had mentioned several times that we HAD to leave the machine there, we could not wait for it. Now, in the spur of the moment it seemed, he suggested that we do stay.
I immediately accepted.
And that’s what we ended up doing.
We were introduced to Dr. Wladimir Dell, an engineer and nuclear physicist by training, just like my Dad.
So I was essentially watching for I believe close to 2 hours every move of Dr. Dell while he was working on my Zotzmann generator. My Dad was sitting in the back, taking a nap or reading the newspaper.
Dr. Dell didn’t talk much. He was fully focused on what he was doing. I was sitting one foot away following every one of his moves. Whenever I asked some questions, he would stop what he was doing, turn towards me with his whole body and giving me his full attention. His personality seemed to be the exact opposite of Mr. Zotzmann. He would answer in short and precise sentences. Mr. Zotzmann, on the other hand, was someone I felt could not give a straight answer if his life depended on it.
A picture of my open ozone generator. I blocked out most of it to not give away the company’s prized technology.
Does the Zotzmann produce ozone hyperbarically?
One of the questions I asked Dr. Dell was: “Do I understand it correctly that the Zotzmann produces ozone normobarically and that the hyperbaric aspect only comes about during the application? When more gas is being forced into a place (namely the bottle with the blood) than there is space for?”
Dr. Dell confirmed that this was indeed the case, but not without pointing out in a typical manner of a total science geek that there was a tiny backpressure present due to the transfusion lines and the piston itself in the magnitude of around 50 millibar.
“Right, but this is so small, that it’s not really picked up by the meter on the machine, correct? So one can say that the production does indeed happen normobarically?”
“Yes”, he said.
Which is different than the Herrmann machine works. There, the ozone production itself happens hyperbarically.
One of the things Dr. Dell did, was to tune up my Zotzmann to make it fit a new regulator. The old regulator had broken down and I needed a new one. For the new regulator to work, a part inside the generator had to be exchanged.
After that job was finished, he tested the air trap, tested the ozone concentration of the generator (with his own ozone analyzer he used to produce, see his name stamped onto the machine in the picture), fine tuned it to the new regulator, tested whether the machine was still producing enough pressure, and a couple of other things.
I paid special attention when he started testing the ozone concentration.
Only one of the three modi is tested
The machine was indeed very precise, just like I had seen during my previous inspection, when it was tested with a different ozone analyzer.
Something I had noticed though is that Dr. Dell only tested one modus of the Zotzmann, namely the continuous flow.
Which is exactly the same way it was tested a year ago in my office.
Which is, what I now understand, probably the main reason why when we tested the Herrmann, we also mainly inspected the continuous flow. Having previously seen the testing of my Zotzmann, I had simply assumed that this is how a hyperbaric ozone generator is checked for accuracy.
I asked Dr. Dell about it: “I see you tested only the continuous modus. Why not the other two: the syringe filling modus and the piston filling modus?”
“Oh, that’s because we’ve always done it this way”.
That was one hell of a non-answer for such a super scientist I took Dr. Dell to be, being the manufacturer of his own ozone analyzers and with all those academic credentials.
And as you can see on the attached protocol of the testing, there is indeed only one line with measured concentrations. There should be three, though. One for each modus.
I also own the Ozonette which I am very fond of. It is not a hyperbaric generator, though. But just like the Herrmann or the Zotzmann, it is also a medical device. And consequently, it comes with a report where the testing results are recorded. And it also has three different modi. As you can see, there are tests of all three types of ozone options on the report.
So the Ozonette withstands more rigorous testing than the famed Zotzmann? Interesting.
On our way out, I asked Mr. Zotzmann about it, and that’s when things turned reptilian.
This is the report of the inspection. There is only one row with the measured ozone concentrations. There should have been three for the three different modi of the machine: syringe filling, continuous flow, and piston. The piston modus is the one used for the hyperbaric 10 pass administration.
Here the reports on the testing of the Ozonette, which is not a hyperbaric ozone generator. It also has different modi. The arrows indicate the three different testings performed the same it should have been for the Zotzmann.
I asked him “Why don’t you test all three modi, instead of just the continuous flow?”
“We do”, he said. When I started to object he went off trying to describe how there are three different exits from the ozone cell and went on into the technical specs of the ozone generator, completely trying to beat me off track away from my question. I looked at him in disbelief.
Did he just blatantly tell a lie? I had just packed the copy of the report away in my bag where it is clearly visible that only one modus has been tested.
Plus, it has just been verbally confirmed by the Ph fucking D engineer who had performed the test.
Plus, I had WITNESSED it with my own eyes just minutes ago.
Plus, I had WITNESSED the same type of testing a year ago.
Just one modus tested: namely the continuous flow.
I looked at him speechless, as I am always when I encounter blatant attempt at obfuscation. Which is what he was clearly trying to do.
He looked at me and must have thought that his attempt to confuse me was working since he kept going and started talking to me as if I was six years old, repeating exactly the same irrelevant thing, only slower and louder this time: “THERE.ARE.THREE.DIFFERENT.EXITS.”
I wanted to tell him “Bruh, the blond hair is fake.”
Instead I cut him off, stopping the outpour of manure. When I was done, he must have understood that I know my shit and that his attempts to manipulate me didn’t work.
I then counted off the three modi on my hand. “Continuous flow, syringe filling, and piston. You only test one, namely the continuous flow, correct?”
“Yes”, he finally admitted.
I never got to find out why because I was done with this clown. I understood that I would not be able to get a straight answer from him or that if I did, I couldn’t trust anything he said.
He started backtracking and saying that we must have misunderstood each other.
No, there was no misunderstanding on my side, I thought. None whatsoever. You tried to confuse, mislead and manipulate me. I caught you doing so and now you’re trying to slither your way out of it.
When I left I felt sullied. I felt like I had just tried to wrangle with a slime covered snake.
My Dad came away with a similar impression of him.
Adding up the inconsistencies
Looking back, I see that everything he had said, he later took back or changed at some point.
From saying that it is no problem if we stop by at the appointed time and date, to making us feel unwelcome and as if we were intruding the minute we walked in.
From saying this was only a repair shop, to saying they don’t do repairs there.
Then such things like saying that they would be moving to a new place in Hildesheim, which was supposedly much closer to me than where they were now. I later looked up where Hildesheim is. It is more than an hour further away from me than his current location. OK, yeah, no biggie. I mean who the hell knows where fucking Hildesheim is, right? Anyone could get confused. Problem is that he told me that his three kids live in Frankfurt, essentially where my office is, and that he often drives up there to see them. So you’re telling me you weren’t aware that your new location will be an extra hour drive’s away from your kids? And instead telling me exactly the opposite was true? Huh?
To him saying that my machine isn’t that old, which is the opposite to Dr. Dell’s estimation. He said that it’s been a long time since he last worked on such an old model as mine.
From insisting that we absolutely had to leave the machine and then come back to saying, yes of course you can stay and watch the work being done.
From his unprofessional looking email address to the wrong phone number in his email signature: when we were on our way and couldn’t find the address I tried to call him from my cell phone. It turns out I hadn’t saved it from our previous conversations so my iPhone retrieved it from the signatures underneath Mr. Zotzmann’s emails. It turns out he has a wrong phone number that he sends out with every email. There is one digit missing. When one tries to call that number, a voice says “No such number exists”.
And what’s with those strange behind the furniture store offices? And the makeshift sign at the bottom of the glass door?
What’s with the evasive story about how the Zotzmann company got started?
What about trying to insinuate that I misunderstood Dr. Dell because of his accent? (Dr. Dell’s German is near perfect.)
My Dad waiting in front of the furniture / window house / Zotzmann repair shop. An electrician would later greatly help us pack the generator into our car.
Bottom line: the product
I mean all of those things are just details, I get it. All that weirdness doesn’t really matter or shouldn’t. What should matter is the product itself. And by all accounts the Zotzmann machines are excellent ozone generators. So all those things could be just a sign of a disorganized but genius Doc Brown character. I mean a brilliant mind doesn’t concern itself with details like email addresses and correct phone numbers, right?
So if you are some crazy genius, with a quirky personality, working from some shady back office and somehow manage to produce one of the best machines on the ozone market, which are able to withstand the most stringent certification process and testing, then all power to you. By all means.
I mean if you are a foot specialist, not even a general practitioner, and you manage to figure out that injecting pure oxygen and ozone mixture into people’s veins is a great non-toxic way to help people overcome some chronic conditions, and you have managed to do just that for the past 20 or 30 years without harming anyone, then all power to you. I personally don’t care if you are a car mechanic as long as you help some peeps, and keep to all the necessary hygienic regulations and safety precautions. So screw your lack of credentials. That’s what I think.
Or if you are a medical doctor, meaning if you have been indoctrinated into the art of killing people with prescription drugs and other harmful interventions, but figured out how to instead treat people with natural, non-poisonous approaches like ozone therapy, then who cares about your lack of education in that field? Because obviously the study of medicine does not provide you with any knowledge to understand how an ozone generator works or how ozone therapy would be beneficial to one’s health. What counts is that you had the brains to figure shit out by yourself and turned out to be right, in spite of being a medical doctor or a podiatrist.
(I actually have respect for the medical profession and have nothing against medical doctors. I love to consult with them since I often find their knowledge very valuable. But fact remains that in the US alone doctors are responsible for 200,000 to 400,000 deaths yearly. Just saying.)
The same applies here, if you ask me.
So yes, all those things could mean nothing about how good the Zotzmann is.
In my mind it is absolutely possible that a company like the Herrmann, with a state-of-the-art modern building, with professional, courteous employees, rooms where they hold workshops with world renowned ozone doctors still produces equipment of lesser quality than the disorganized, seemingly unprofessional, manipulative Gollum-like character sitting in a backroom with unfinished floor.
It is totally possible.
But if that is in fact so, then I think this would be the height of irony.
But life often is. So who knows …
What is also possible is that both companies produce excellent equipment.
So my investigation continues.
What you should take away from this posting:
- Currently, I give zero fucks.
- You come with some BS at me, I will call you out on it. Publicly, if necessary.
- During inspection, the Zotzmann machines are only tested for the continuous flow, not for the other two ways of how they deliver ozone: syringe and piston filling modus. The piston modus is the one which is used during the hyperbaric ozone administration.
- There is a second meeting scheduled at the Herrmann company this week. So stay tuned.
Over and out.
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