Kids breakfast cereal tops the list of SHONKY awards 2019
CHOICE has released its annual list of the 'worst-of-the-worst' products and services.
By Elizabeth Daoud
October 09 2019
An IKEA fridge, Medibank health insurance and a breakfast cereal have all been named and shamed in this year's SHONKY awards.
Consumer watchdog CHOICE has released its annual list of the "worst-of-the-worst" products and services.
“CHOICE’s job is to stand up against companies doing the wrong thing," CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland said.
“This year highlights businesses and industries who have ripped off, misled and treated Australians like cash cows to be exploited."
For dodgy customer service, the SHONKY award goes to online retailer Kogan.
NSW Fair Trading received more than 300 complaints for Kogan in the first six months of 2019.
“Kogan is a serial offender when it comes to consumer rights - from January to July this year it has topped the New South Wales complaint register with over 300 complaints," Kirkland said.
"Kogan must simplify the process for refunds, repairs and replacements to meet community expectations and the law."
But IKEA received a SHONKY award for its Nedkyld fridge for failing to do what it was made to do.
The appliance scored 35 percent for food freshness and failed energy tests.
"The IKEA Nedkyld is one of the worst fridges we’ve ever tested," Kirkland said.
"It’s hard to understand how this fridge is still on sale in IKEA stores, especially with a misleading energy label."
Medibank also received a SHONKY for failing at the basics - simple and affordable health insurance.
"Medibank’s “Basic” junk cover costs more than many higher cover Bronze policies," Kirkland added.
Among the services to receive an award for failing was AMP Superannuation for "ruined retirements".
"If your superannuation is with AMP, chances are you’ve had your retirement leeched off of to fund its executives’ lifestyles," Kirkland said.
"CHOICE has partnered with the new consumer group - Super Consumers Australia and found that AMP holds the largest number of zombie accounts of any other super fund - accounts that sit there being wasted away by fees and insurance."
Topping the list for a SHONKY food product is Freedom Foods' XO Crunch, which has a 22 percent sugar content, but claims it is a "fun and nutritious way to start your kids' day".
"Freedom Foods proudly displays 4 health stars on this bag of sugar," Kirkland said.
CHOICE made a complaint to the ACCC regarding the product's misleading advertising, among others.
Pet insurance was also shamed for being a business that sells "without providing any service at all".
"Riddled with exclusions and technicalities, pet insurance is one of this country’s worst value insurance products."
"It relies on emotionally manipulating your love of your pet to sell you worthless insurance."
Originally published as Consumer watchdog CHOICE reveals SHONKY awards for 2019