What are the Shonkys?
The Choice Shonkys is an opportunity for the watchdog to name and shame the businesses, products and services that are the worst in the country. Choice use a dedicated in-house team of product-testers, researchers and reviewers to come up with the list.
“CHOICE’s job is to stand up against companies doing the wrong thing. The SHONKYS draw upon our unique testing, reviews and advocacy to help you identify the worst-of-the-worst. In a time of fake reviews, cash for comment, salespeople and lobbyists everywhere, it’s more important than ever for independent voices to tell the truth,” says CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland. “This year highlights businesses and industries who have ripped off, misled and treated Australians like cash cows to be exploited. Following the Banking Royal Commission, it’s no surprise that financial services businesses are such a feature of this years’ SHONKYS,”
SHONKYS WINNERS 2019
- Kogan - for dodgy customer care
- Medibank ‘Basic’ Cover Health Insurance - for failing at the “basics”
- IKEA Nedkyld Fridge - for failing energy tests and being bad at its one job
- AMP Superannuation - for ruined retirements
- Freedom Foods XO Crunch - for telling us a bag of sugar is healthy
- Pet insurance - for bad insurance riddled with exclusions
Why are these the worst products are services in Australia?
“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. Kogan needs to improve its customer service and stop beating around the bush when its products are defective. Kogan must simplify the process for refunds, repairs and replacements to meet community expectations and the law.”
Medibank ‘Basic’ Cover Health Insurance
“2019 is the first year that private health insurance has topped the list of financial worries in CHOICE’s regular national surveys and it’s easy to see why. A new system that was meant to make things simpler has turned into a mess thanks to rip-offs like those from Medibank. Medibank’s “Basic” junk cover costs more than many higher cover Bronze policies. Medibank deserves a SHONKY for failing at the basics - simple and affordable health insurance.
IKEA Nedkyld Fridge
“The IKEA Nedkyld is one of the worst fridges we’ve ever tested. Not only is it terrible at keeping your food cold, when CHOICE tested the Nedkyld’s energy use against its star rating, it failed the test. It’s hard to understand how this fridge is still on sale in Ikea stores, especially with a misleading energy label.”
AMP Superannuation - for ruined retirements
“AMP received some of the strongest criticism from the Banking Royal Commission - and it was deserved. If your superannuation is with AMP, chances are you’ve had your retirement leeched off of to fund its executives’ lifestyles. 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. For AMP, it’s money for doing nothing. Managing people’s retirement funds isn’t your average business - there’s a higher moral standard to meet when it comes to people’s security and comfort in older age, and AMP have failed this standard.”
Freedom Foods XO Crunch - for telling us a bag of sugar is healthy
“Freedom Foods proudly displays 4 health stars on this bag of sugar. CHOICE says it should be one and a half if health star ratings accurately reflected the amount of added sugar in a product - something that industry groups have lobbied to prevent. This SHONKY shows why the food industry needs to be kicked out of room when it comes to Health Star Ratings. The food industry has gamed the Health Star system to make a big bag of sugar look like a healthy choice for your kids - and that’s a disgrace.”
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