CHOICE shames products in 2020 Shonkys awards
Consumer advocate CHOICE launched the CHOICE Shonky Awards in 2006 so they could call out some of the shonkiest products and companies taking advantage of Australian consumers each year.
The 2020 Shonkys uncover and call out practices from companies “taking advantage of their customers”, according to Choice CEO Alan Kirkland.
Without someone checking, you could be buying products that barely work. “The Choice Shonkys are here to help you avoid buying a dud,” he said.
This year alone CHOICE have campaigned for banks to treat people in financial hardship fairly, identified dodgy hand sanitisers and called out the insurance industry for playing tricks with their definition of fire.
Previous winners have included portable cots that could suffocate a baby, a fake cure for insomnia and toasters that won’t actually make toast.
So who got the gong in 2020?
In 2020, the latest awards reveal an entire category of cleaning products have been shamed, with some being labelled “worse than water” when it comes to efficiency.
Three cleaners, including Coles Ultra Floor Cleaner and Long Life All Purpose Cleaner sold at Bunnings, received lower scores than plain water. “Floor cleaners are little more than perfume for your floor,” Choice testing expert Ash Iredale said. “If you want your floors clean you can just use a plain old bucket of hot water. Save your money.”
The floor cleaners were tested in a scientific setting in labs against typical soils that you’re likely to find in your own home.
“When you take, say, 50 millilitres of a given floor cleaner and dilute it with five litres of water, you’re really not going to get much performance at all,” Mr Iredale said.
More winners, from more pathetic results
Greentech air purifiers, sold at retailers like Officeworks and Kogan, have secured a 2020 Choice Shonky Award for “pathetic purification”.
Following the bushfires of last summer and concerns about the spread of COVID-19, Choice tested major air purifier brands and found most of the products do provide some benefit to the air quality of your home.
However, the Greentech Pure Air 500 performed so poorly that Choice’s independent lab tests couldn’t detect any difference in air quality, with the product landing dead last in its rankings.
“The two Greentech models we tested performed so poorly that we basically couldn’t detect them doing anything at all,” Choice testing expert Chris Barnes said.
“They were abysmal at removing dust from the air, terrible at removing smoke from the air, they couldn’t remove volatile organic compounds from the air,” he said.
“They really are complete duds. Certainly the price tags don’t indicate that they’re cheap.”
If the $179 Pure Air 500 paperweight wasn’t bad enough, the second worst model in the Choice test was Greentech’s Pure Air 3000, costing an eye-watering $889 and scoring a measly 22 per cent.
Previous winners of the Shonky Awards
2020 awards winners
- InvoCare funerals. The Shonky Award for… failing to be upfront about prices. Read review
- Harvey Norman. The Shonky Award for… a toxic partnership with Latitude Finance. Read review
- Floor cleaners. The Shonky Award for… being flawed cleaners. Read review
- GreenTech PureAir 500 air purifier. The Shonky Award for… pathetic purification. Read review
- Revitalife. The Shonky Award for… a sales scheme that needs to be put to bed. Read review
2019 awards winners
- IKEA Nedkyld fridge. The Shonky Award for… spoiling your food, expensively. Read review
- Medibank’s Basic Accident and Ambulance cover. The Shonky Award for… selling ‘cover’ that leaves you exposed. Read review
- Pet insurance. The Shonky Award for… catch-22 pet insurance whose conditions make it worthless. Read review
- Kogan’s refund runaround. The Shonky Award for… putting profit before customer returns. Read review
- AMP superannuation. The Shonky Award for… putting profit before customer returns. Read review
- Freedom Foods’ XO Crunch. The Shonky Award for… gaming the Health Stars system to sell a kids’ cereal. Read review
2018 award winners
- Marriott timeshare. The Shonky Award for… trapping holiday-makers into a bad deal for a lifetime.Read review
- Commonwealth Bank Dollarmites. The Shonky Award for… a relentless marketing program targeted at young minds.Read review
- Portacots. The Shonky Award for… putting infant lives at risk. Read review
- Magnet therapy. The Shonky Award for… using weak health claims to pull on hip pockets. Read review
- Bioglan homeopathic melatonin. The Shonky Award for… trickery that leaves people sleepless. Read review
- KitchenAid 2-Slice toaster. The Shonky Award for… miserably failing its only job. Read review
- Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Smash Protein Squeezer. The Shonky Award for… putting the squeeze on good health Read review
See past winners of the CHOICE Shonky Awards in the Shonkys Hall of Shame Click here.
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