NAMED: Which products are the dodgiest of them all?
THE winners of the Shonky Awards have been announced but it's not a list companies would like to find themselves on.
Naming and shaming dodgy products lining supermarket shelves and sold to unsuspecting customers, CHOICE Australia dishes out Shonky Awards to products that are guilty of some shady behaviour.
To make it onto the not-so-prestigious list, products can let consumers down in a number of ways.
They can be faulty, make false claims, cause consumer confusion or be poor value for money.
The products honoured with a Shonky this year were:
1. Vitamin Gummies
These delicious morsels won a Shonky for "claiming vitamin lollies are good for kids' teeth".
The supplements may contain calcium or other vitamins but as CHOICE Australia points out, getting sticky lollies lodged in teeth is not great for them and can cause decay.
2. Coles Complete Cuisine cat food
This can of cat food made the list for being "poorly labelled treats that could harm a cat".
Despite claiming to be a 'complete' food on the label, CHOICE found this meal option did not actually contain enough fat to qualify as a complete food.
Pet nutritionists recommend these treats only make up 5-10% of a cat's diet, making it far from being a complete cuisine.
3. Cuddly Sensitive fabric softener
Cuddly sensitive fabric softener has won the Shonky for "performing worse than water while costing 3000 times more".
The product was the lowest ranked product in a test of 29 conducted by CHOICE, which assessed softness and water absorption.
CHOICE also said there were drawbacks to fabric softeners, as they add chemicals to clothes and may cause irritation.
Begging the question as to whether they're worth the softness.
4. Pain Erazor
This product made the list for offering "dubious pain-relief claims".
According to Pain Erazor advertisements the product offers drug-free pain relief, but the instruction booklet does not offer much in the way of clinical information.
Despite electric currents being used for pain relief, there is still a gap in evidence to prove their effectiveness.
A Sydney-based GP said the Pain Erazor would be best suited to lighting a stove rather than for pain.
5. Samsung washer dryer
A Shonky was bestowed upon the Samsung washer and dryer for being a "$3000 waste of time and money".
In a test conducted by CHOICE, the drier scored a zero for drying time and used a lot of water with no water-saving option to enhance efficiency.
Despite receiving decent results for dirt-removal, the flaws of the product landed it squarely on the list.
6. Westpac Bump Savings
CHOICE awarded Westpac Bump Savings with a place on the list for "targeting unborn babies with a bad deal".
Signing up children to a bank account before they're born gives the opportunity to market credit cards and other products to them over the coming years.
CHOICE also questioned the value of the account, determining there were more suitable investment options available.
Viagogo won a Shonky for "dodgy practices that tick off consumers".
CHOICE revealed they had received hundreds of reports from concert-goers who were not impressed their service from Viagogo, who they claim are engaged in illegal drip pricing, fail to respond to complaints and create confusion among customers.
Also being difficult to contact and misleading in guarantees earned Viagogo a spot on the list.
8. Honda, Toyota, Lexus, BMW and Mazda
Last but not least, these car companies received a Shonky for "repeatedly failing to disclose a safety device that can actually kill you".
Referring to the recall of Takata airbags, affecting 100 million vehicles and resulting in 180 injuries and 18 deaths worldwide, CHOICE says these car companies were not upfront with customers about the danger.
Early versions of the airbags, known as 'alpha' inflators were also reportedly installed in Australian cars with makers not making efforts to inform affected drivers.
Refraining from keeping drivers in the loop about risks was reason enough to award them an infamous trophy.