News & Current Affairs
16 October 2014
Named and shamed: ‘shonkiest’ companies revealed
Tim Tams, Thermomix and banks slammed in CHOICE’s annual Shonky Awards in Sydney.
Commonwealth Bank has been slammed for its poor response and “slick PR campaign” used to apologise to its customers for almost a decade of dodgy financial advice at Australian consumer advocate CHOICE’s annual Shonky Awards.
Peanut Butter Tim Tams
Yes! The “most requested flavour ever” Peanut Butter Tim Tams had become reality. Or so consumers thought. Not only were there no peanuts in the “peanut butter flavour” biscuits (there was oddly paprika), Arnott’s also cut two biscuits from the pack making it even worse value for money.
The mighty mixer stirred up a wicked batch of controversy when it launched its first new model in seven years without notifying its customers of its imminent release. Some of these fans had bought the old model just days before the launch.
Commonwealth Bank sign on a corner at traffic lights
“Which bank? CONBANK,” says CHOICE in regard to Australia’s biggest bank’s response to one of the worst financial planning failures in the country’s history. CHOICE says the way the bank dealt with the scandal was “questionable at best”.
Encouraging kids to save is always a good thing right? Well. CHOICE says BankWest has shown kids why banks can’t be trusted. It offers kids a 12-month teaser rate of 5.75 per cent on its BankWest Kids’ Bonus Saver account. The catch is that after the year ends, it moves all but $1 into a low interest account paying just one per cent for amounts below $3000. Any kid daring enough to access their own cash is hit by a rate of 0.01 per cent in the month they make the withdrawal.
Kmart store department store
Transparent swimwear is mostly confined to being the stuff of nightmares. Not so for Kmart’s range of swimwear. CHOICE says even if you follow its “hopeless warning” to avoid “excessive contact” with suntan lotions, oils, rough surfaces, heated pools and spas treated with harsh chemicals you’ll still risk running to the change rooms for appropriate cover. “Sheer cheek” and un-Australian, says CHOICE of the department store.
Amazon Paperwhite Kindle
The new Amazon Paperwhite e-reader has an almost unbelievable eight weeks of battery life. Almost that is, until you read the fine print. CHOICE zoomed in to reveal that the audacious marketing spin actually meant that “eight weeks” is only if you use the device for a maximum of 30 minutes per day. The real battery life is 28 hours. CHOICE referred the company to the ACCC.
Child drinking milk
All kids need nutritional milk, right? Definitely, if you believe the spin on the S-26 Gold Toddler and Junior powdered milk. The problem, says CHOICE, is that experts advise toddler and junior milks aren’t needed for healthy kids over the age of one. Yes, that’s right, not needed. CHOICE has given the company a shonky for “milking parental guilt”.