Choice revealed eight products or services on Thursday at the 2017 Shonkys that it judged has been accused of poor performance from consumers.
‘Unfortunately each year the Awards go from strength to strength as companies continue to serve up poor value, hidden charges and questionable claims, ‘ CHOICE chief executive Alan Kirkland said.
‘This one wastes water, ‘ CHOICE spokesman Tom Godfrey said.
Mr Godfrey said the the campaign to recruit customers before they are even born was “downright creepy”.
CHOICE has also referred Nature’s Way (Pharmacare) Kids Smart Vita Gummies to the ACCC for potentially misleading consumers about the supplement’s health benefits for children, failing to indicate the amount of sugar in each serving, and not providing warnings about the risk of overconsumption.
The Shonky award went to the Complete Cuisine cat food from Coles for its name.
CHOICE slammed Nature’s Way for using colourful cartoon characters to promote vitamins to children.
Pain Erazor pen was awarded the Shonky award because it’s “likely to erase anything than your hard-earned cash”.
Still in the laundry, Cuddly Sensitive Hypoallergenic fabric softener made the list “for performing worse than water while costing 3,000 times more”.
Another product on the list is the $159 Pain Erazor pen, which claims to offer drug-free pain relief through the “science of electro-analgesia” by discharging an electrical current onto the skin up to 40 times, is “unlikely to be beneficial for pain”.
The product scored the lowest points out of all its tests and was more expensive than numerous fabric softeners on the market.
From poor value to serious safety issues, Choice also tapped major vehicle manufacturers Honda, Toyota, Lexus, BMW and Mazda for their handling of the Takata airbag recall.
Award givers said Viagogo, a ticket resale website, provides a “confusing system” for customers, with “illegal drip pricing” and “tricky tactics” to “rip-off” customers, earning itself a spot on the list.
Choice said some manufacturers replaced the faulty airbags with identical defective Takata airbags without disclosing this auto owners.
The Shonky Awards poke fun at Australian products that are “of poor or dubious quality” and are selected based on a number of criteria, including a lack of transparency, poor value for money and customer confusion.
Five auto makers have been singled out this year after a recall of Takata airbags affected 100 million vehicles, with Choice questioning whether these companies adequately communicated with their customers about the airbag issue.
SBS World News has reached out to all companies for comment. They’ve also accused them of reeling in consumers by using Google Adwords to appear at the top of the search engine, often above the official ticket seller.