CHOICE 2017 Shonky Awards

CHOICE announced its 12th Annual Shonky Awards yesterday, with gongs going to a safety product that could kill you, laundry liquid that performs worse than water and a ticket reseller that’s “no better than a scalper in a back alley”.

Samsung took the Shonky for its $3000 waste of time and water washing machine. The Samsung WD16J9845KG washer/dryer combo took more than 6.5 hours to complete a cycle and used 149 litres of water to wash and dry a 3.5kg test load.

Then there’s Cuddly’s Sensitive Hypoallergenic fabric softener which performed worse at softening fabric than plain water but at $6 per litre, cost 3000 times more than H2O.

The Pain Erazor pen won the Shonky for dubious pain-relief claims, with ads fro the product declaring drug-free pain relief through “the science of electro-analgesia”. Although there are studies that show transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can offer pain relief, the CHOICE jury decided the Pain Erazor’s claims could not be substantiated.

Other Shonkys went to Viagogo, a website for ticket resellers which also provides an outlet for frauds and fake ticket sellers; Vitamin Gummies, which claim to make kids’ teeth and bones stronger but consist of 50 per cent sugar doing more to cause decay and cavities; the poorly labelled Coles Complete Cuisine cat food which could harm your feline friend and the Westpac Bump Account, for “targeting unborn babies with a bad deal”.

Saving the worst for last is the Shonky Award for repeatedly failing to disclose a safety device that can actually kill you, which went to car manufacturers Honda, Toyota, Lexus, BMW and Mazda.

You may remember the Takata airbag recall earlier this year – dodgy airbags installed in 100 million vehicles worldwide, 2.35 million of which were sold in Australia.

Globally, these airbags have so far caused more than 180 injuries and 18 deaths.

It’s always a bit of fun to see who or what CHOICE names and shames in the Shonkys, but when people’s (and animals’’) health and lives are at stake, these awards become something so much more serious.

Have you had any experience with these products? Would you like to add to the list?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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