Consumer watchdog, Choice, has branded eight goods and services as lemons at its 2015 Shonky Awards, after they left a sour taste in the mouths of Australian consumers.
Kleenex flushable wipes that don’t disintegrate, pleather Ikea couches parading as the real deal, and Arnott’s “healthy” Tiny Teddies were among those named and shamed at the 10th annual Shonkys.
The awards were established in 2006 to unearth companies and organisations breaching product regulations or simply taking consumers for a ride.
Choice CEO, Alan Kirkland, says offending trends are outrageous banking fees and charges, false food packaging and misleading claims about product capabilities.
“There’s a simple rule about doing business in Australia, and that’s don’t tell lies about your products and services,” Kirkland said.
“We’re calling them out because we think they are telling lies and we want to see that change.”
More than 400 products and services were nominated, with the awards ceremony expected to return next year.
2015 SHONKY AWARD WINNERS
* Samsung for failing to advertise its faulty top loader washing machine recall on television.
* Kleenex for claiming its kids flushable cleansing cloths disintegrate when it does not. Choice have referred the company to the ACCC over the claims.
* Coca-Cola for funding the Global Energy Balance Network – a not for profit organisation using “the science of energy balance” to end obesity.
* Nanosmart for claiming its $50 laundry balls allow the customer to wash without detergent when water alone does a better job.
* Arnott’s for creating its own school canteen-approved logo for its 100s and 1000s Tiny Teddies packaging, which are classified as confectionery and not recommended under national canteen guidelines.
* Ikea for advertising polyester and polyurethane couches under the “leather sofas and armchairs” section of its Australian website.
* NAB for raising rates on its low rate credit card and for failing to pass on the full 2.5 per cent rate cut to credit card customers since 2011.
* The entire payday lending industry for preying on vulnerable customers with high interest loans.