07 May 13 | I’m pretty sure it was Shakespeare who said neither a lender nor a borrower be. And that was back in the 1500s or so. Well, there’s been a whole lot of lending and borrowing going on since then, most of it orchestrated by banks. Is peer-to-peer lending a better way? Probably.
02 May 13 | Are extended warranties worth it? You might want to read the terms and conditions before you decide.
18 Apr 13 | Peter Zaluzny explains why he has mixed feeling about in-app purchases on smartphones.
15 Apr 13 | Madison Cartwright explains how you can get a refund on SimCity.
04 Apr 13 | The first mass-produced all-electric car available to consumers in Australia is a mixed bag to drive.
03 Apr 13 | Three stores, three returns, one fateful Sunday.
21 Mar 13 | I'm sick of paying through the nose for printer ink cartridges, razor blades, and coffee capsules - forever.
18 Mar 13 | New reforms coming into effect today may not necessarily mean the death of unfair credit card surcharges, writes Elizabeth McNess.
14 Mar 13 | I wasn't thinking about going paperless, until I stumbled upon a book that showed me the way.
07 Mar 13 | Despite the diversity of global consumption, there are many consumer issues that transcend borders.
26 Feb 13 | How I gave my laptop a solid performance boost with an SSD.
13 Feb 13 | My hospital cover reduces the tax man’s bite, but the extras – well, they don’t do much at all.
25 Jan 13 | The recent Shonky Award to Cabcharge encouraged me to look for alternatives in Sydney.
11 Jan 13 | When you head into a retailer, be aware of the rather transparent agenda of the sales people.
21 Dec 12 | Sony claim almost two thirds of those who purchase a DSLR use it in AUTO mode always or most of the time*.
20 Dec 12 | Travelling is no fun if you arrive home with a huge global roaming bill from using your mobile phone overseas.
19 Dec 12 | Gemma Rasmussen writes about her all-consuming love of inky pens, and her mission to find one that's left-hand friendly.
11 Dec 12 | Small changes to unit pricing could mean big benefits, writes Ian Jarratt of the Queensland Consumers' Association.
10 Dec 12 | It's time for media companies to meet consumer expectations, writes Madison Cartwright.
05 Dec 12 | The 2013 Weight Watchers program recognises the influence of "hedonic hunger" on our eating patterns, as Karina Bray discovers during a 'live social experiment'.
01 Dec 12 | The phenomenal growth of social networking combined with continuing technological advances, like mobile internet connectivity, has brought new opportunities across the social spectrum – and consumers are one of the biggest winners.
30 Nov 12 | Using frequent flyer points doesn't mean you won't be charged excess fees
28 Nov 12 | Decision making doesn't have to be difficult. All it takes is an ultimatum.
19 Nov 12 | There are lopsided dealings when it comes to retirement village contracts in Australia.
14 Nov 12 | Our journalist Jodi Bird struggles to make a decision that could alter his home life experience forever.
02 Nov 12 | A new Facebook algorithm means you may not be getting the full story, writes Madison Cartwright.
17 Oct 12 | TV and movie characters are so common on kids products, it doesn't make much sense to children when they're missing.
11 Oct 12 | When it comes to product endorsements, celebrities may not have your best interests at heart.
26 Sep 12 | Someone asked me the other day how to go about choosing a GP for her newborn baby. This immediately brought back memories of the medical merry-go-round we went through in my kids’ early years.
14 Sep 12 | Since when have cinema owners been given free rein to assault moviegoers with 20 minutes of soul-crushing commercials before the main feature starts?
22 Aug 12 | Food is as much about emotion and nostalgia as it is about health and taste. What food do you reminisce about when you hit the supermarket?
01 Aug 12 | Zoya Sheftalovich discovers the real cost of booking flights with only dollars in mind.
18 Jul 12 | Madison Cartwright shares the results of CHOICE's submission on IT price discrimination in Australia.
28 Jun 12 | CHOICE's Angela McDougall weighs in on the issues over definitions, standards and implications of the great free range egg debate.
15 Jun 12 | CHOICE's Matthew Steen experimented with using a webcam as a safety cam, and discovered that there were a few more costs and factors to consider than he originally suspected.
23 May 12 | CHOICE Baby Safety Week Advocate, Tracey Spicer, recalls an incident which highlights the importance of helping parents make informed decisions about the products they buy.
23 May 12 | Despite the long drive, parking difficulties and general mayhem, George Perry found the trip to Costco was worth it for the savings.
16 May 12 | Financial literacy is not great in Australia. Worryingly, the latest research by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission shows that there are also many obstacles that make it even harder for people to make good financial decisions.
08 May 12 | Buying a special "deal" from one of the many discount sites that have popped up in the last couple of years is like rolling a dice, says Brendan Mays. You just can't be sure whether you're going to get a six or a one.
03 May 12 | It's time Australians took a reality check when it comes to our relationship with the Big 4 banks, says CHOICE Head of Campaigns, Matt Levey.
18 Apr 12 | Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a CHOICE test? Matthew Steen explains how we get from concept to test results with a sneak peek at our recent electric blanket test.
17 Apr 12 | Despite Australia going metric decades ago, we still regularly hear reference to calories instead of the metric term kilojoule when talking about energy levels in foods. Sam Butler argues for consistency.
12 Apr 12 | Sleep-deprived parents of babies and toddlers are a prime target market for businesses wanting to capitalise on their desperation. Only problem is, it's unlikely any lotion or soft music is going to instantly turn babies into all-night sleepers.
10 Apr 12 | There are many online schemes promising consumers good deals on everything from dinners out to hot air balloon rides but they often have restrictions. Matthew Steen decided to check out a new site offering discounts at top restaurants "no coupons necessary" and was pretty happy with the experience.
27 Mar 12 | You need to factor in more than just the item cost when buying something online from overseas as Matthew Steen discovered.
22 Mar 12 | Rachel Clemons recently reviewed the ingredient and nutrition labels of over 100 supermarket frozen fish products and found some significant differences.
21 Mar 12 | In hope of seeing an older relative get all the health benefits of physical activity, Karina Bray is looking for inspiring exercise ideas for seniors.
15 Mar 12 | CHOICE CEO, Nick Stace, reflects on the past 50 years of the global consumer movement and highlights the challenges of the future.
14 Mar 12 | After five months of trying to get an issue with Citibank resolved the old way - by phone and letter - Matthew Steen jumped on Twitter to get his voice heard.
12 Mar 12 | Denis Gallagher visited the German labs which carry out most of our smartphone testing and discussed advances in technology that might need to be tested on future phones.
09 Mar 12 | When Zoya Sheftalovich payed $25 for a shower during a transit at Beijing aiport, she thought hot water would be included.
06 Mar 12 | Head of Campaigns for CHOICE, Matt Levey, says it's time to send the big banks a message so they stop taking consumers for granted.
01 Mar 12 | When Zoya Sheftalovich needed to get her Bosch induction cooktop repaired within the warranty period, it was only mention of her being a journalist that got the problem escalated.
15 Feb 12 | There’s doing the correct thing and then there’s doing the right thing and, as Denis Gallagher explains, they aren't always the same.
08 Feb 12 | Finding good childcare for her daughters was tough for Kate Browne - and the stress looks set to continue as she searches for out-of-school-hours care for her eldest who begins school next year.
03 Feb 12 | Jetstar fails again in an airline horror story that makes poor service very clear to Brendan Mays.
01 Feb 12 | In the third part of her series about the process of knocking down her existing home and building a new one, Corinna Horrigan talks about the sustainability regulations she was required to meet.
23 Jan 12 | When Angela McDougall's Optus home phone plan was discontinued Optus "carefully considered" her phone usage and decided to upgrade her to a new plan - at double the cost.
19 Jan 12 | The US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has triggered one of the biggest industry-based protests ever to hit the World Wide Web. Most notably, the popular Wikipedia site closed down in protest. Is SOPA a necessary move to curb copyright infringement, or a threat to internet freedom?
18 Jan 12 | They're designed to provide a cheaper shopping alternative through bulk buying and membership but is the experience worth it?
13 Jan 12 | It’s a great time of year to get out and enjoy live entertainment, if you can afford the ticket prices.
09 Jan 12 | Retailer JB Hi-Fi has recently released a streaming facility called JB Hi-Fi NOW. Matthew Steen has been giving it a test run while it's still in beta and is pretty happy with the service and functionality.
19 Dec 11 | Credit cards can be a useful tool - and when you pick the right one they can even be a cost effective way to access a loan or additional features. However, if you have the wrong credit card for your needs, it could end up costing you big time.
08 Dec 11 | Giving is a part of the Christmas tradition for many of us, and this includes making charitable donations where we can. However, how charities handle our donations can sometimes be the cause of confusion and controversy.
06 Dec 11 | Penalty fees are down, and some gone, but it’s not beyond the banks to indulge in other tricks and distractions to gouge customers, which is why CHOICE is maintaining the scrutiny with our Better Banking Campaign.
06 Dec 11 | There is something predictable about Australia's bank reporting season. As surely as our minds turn to office Christmas parties, days at the beach and cricket on the TV, we will witness a parade of record profits and executive remuneration packages.
01 Dec 11 | It’s two years since unit pricing was made mandatory in large supermarkets and our new survey shows the numbers using it are high. Unfortunately it also reveals there are some problems with the current system which need to be addressed.
25 Nov 11 | Considering that oral disease the most frequently diagnosed problems for pets, we think it’s worth considering an insurer that will cover these costs. Of course, it also helps if you take a preventative approach to your pet’s dental health - an area that can easily go neglected.
24 Nov 11 | When a change of mobile phone provider meant a loss of coverage inside the home, one couple decided to give VoIP a go instead of returning to a traditional landline. While they're happy with the result, getting it all up and running wasn't as easy as they'd hoped.
21 Nov 11 | Our national economic backbone, mining, has found itself at odds with another area of financial importance – The Great Barrier Reef.
10 Nov 11 | When he received a recall notice for the car he'd owned for several years, Matthew Steen was keen to return it for the repair. What he didn't count on was having to fork out for a rental car for four days when it was the manufacturer of the vehicle who was at fault.
03 Nov 11 | On a recent visit to a major department store, George Perry was surprised by the emptiness of the store. There was plenty of stuff to buy but no-one there to buy it. And, more to the point, no-one to help him make the purchase he was there for.
31 Oct 11 | When Samantha Hartmann's newborn daughter began to sleep less, feed more and cry, a lot, mother’s intuition told her something was wrong but getting a correct diagnosis and reliable advice proved a challenge.
19 Oct 11 | How one woman set out to reduce her footprint and ended up with two motor scooters and a car.
15 Oct 11 | Home and contents insurance is a mandatory purchase for many home owners, and lately there has been a lot of interest in flood cover. However, a recent letter from a CHOICE member George* has highlighted another area of potential confusion – theft.
14 Oct 11 | Picture this – for three days the musical heroes of my youth were to belt out cheesy 80s pop classics under an azure Illawarra sky. Children frolick in the grass nearby, while adults sip wine and laugh at what they wore 25 years ago. Except, oh no, what’s this? The event has changed? It’s being moved from a field on the South Coast to the Hordern Pavillion in Sydney?
10 Oct 11 | I recently saw that Catch of the Day launched a sister operation called Grocery Run. I’m not new to buying online, however aside from the odd overseas grocery item that I couldn’t get in Australia, I’ve never ordered groceries online locally in Australia.
07 Oct 11 | Music has been a gift of choice for consumers for some time. Throughout the 20th century, new technology continually changed the face of the industry, from the gramophone to the LP record, cassette tape, CD and eventually – digital.
28 Sep 11 | Growing up on a farm gives you a pretty good idea of the ups and downs of pet ownership. From our cigarette-stealing sheep to miniature horses and donkeys running alongside the dogs in the backyard, I’ve had pets in all different shapes and sizes.
27 Sep 11 | Poor customer service sucks. Dealing with rude, incompetent and/or unhelpful staff who refuse to abide by the "customer is always right" mantra can leave you feeling angry, dejected and utterly undervalued. But when it happens, you at least have some means of recourse.
23 Sep 11 | Earlier this week, the Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten announced some important reforms to the way we build our superannuation. CHOICE has made several submissions to Cooper Review and many of our recommendations were considered in the reforms, which will begin to take effect in July 2013.
15 Sep 11 | When I was pregnant with my daughter I started thinking about which products I wanted to use and, of course, nappies were on that list. There are so many options: disposables, biodegradable disposable, partly biodegradable disposables and many types of cloth nappies.
09 Sep 11 | Recent household spending statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicate that we have more money and better living standards since the last survey in 2003-04. While prices of goods and services have risen by 19%, the mean household income has increased by 50%. In short, costs are on the rise, but our pay is rising faster.
05 Sep 11 | The recent experience of a friend is a timely reminder to give your phone bill a once-over before you pay it.
02 Sep 11 | Comparison websites have been given a warning to act in a fair and transparent manner after the ACCC launched legal action last Friday against EnergyWatch.com.au. The ACCC is alleging misleading or deceptive conduct and making false representations in its advertising. This marks a line in the sand which comparison sites of all types will surely be considering.
30 Aug 11 | There are now many ways to pay for goods and services without cash – EFTPOS, PayPass, payWave, BPAY, PayPal, Paymate, credit card, debit card, POLi, online transfer and mobile payments.
26 Aug 11 | You might not be able to pull money out of a hat, but with these money saving tips, you could magically boost the contents of your piggy bank.
19 Aug 11 | There’s no doubt that internet on the go is becoming commonplace. Nearly 12 million Australians now have an internet-capable mobile phone, and over half of those are smartphones, according to Nielsen’s Australian Online Consumer Report.
18 Aug 11 | “Knowledge must come through action,” observed a very wise man about 2,500 years ago. While Sophocles was not referring to the Australian banking sector, the ancient Greeks did know a thing or two about people power. The CHOICE Big Bank Switch is an experiment in people power. Although not quite on par with the invention of democracy, the concept of group switching is all about putting power back into the hands of consumers – the most important people in Australia’s banking sector.
17 Aug 11 | Here at CHOICE we take our work in the Babies and Kids area very seriously. It can be quite difficult to tell whether a product is safe or not and parents and carers need information they can trust. To the untrained eye a product may look safe enough but there may be hazards you've never thought of.
12 Aug 11 | If you’re wondering what to do with your super and investments in the current financial market, you’re not alone. Stockmarkets in Australia have been bouncing up and down as debt fears in the US and Europe fuel global speculation, and investors and fund managers worldwide have been riding a rollercoaster of uncertainty.
09 Aug 11 | We recently purchased a product for a CHOICE review but never received it. We had paid for the item via PayPal, so we pursued PayPal’s guarantee of coverage through their internal resolution centre.
05 Aug 11 | Census night allows the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to gather vital data for planning and infrastructure, but plenty of people don’t mind having a joke when filling out their question sheets.
04 Aug 11 | This week CHOICE launched the first ever group mortgage switch, aiming to give every consumer who takes part the negotiating power of more than a thousand people. We’re calling it the CHOICE Big Bank Switch. With this campaign, CHOICE is putting itself at the forefront of a next-generation consumer campaign; audacious in what it can achieve now and a template for the future.
03 Aug 11 | Saving energy is all the rage these days, which is no surprise given rising energy prices. A little while ago my wife and I took part in a voluntary government study which measured the standby power and lighting in 150 Australian households. The results were illuminating.
02 Aug 11 | CHOICE has partnered with One Big Switch to help 1,000 Aussies get better home loan deals with our eyes wide open – and focused squarely on the benefits for consumers.
31 Jul 11 | Try this. You gather a group of people together who want the same thing and negotiate a better price than even the best solo haggler could achieve. You might even get the kind of discounts normally reserved for big spenders like millionaires. It’s called group buying and has been around for a long time in different incarnations.
29 Jul 11 | Frustration at our telecommunications providers has been allowed to grow to Hulk-like proportions due to years of customer service incompetence and confusing pricing plans that are impossible to calculate. With the number of consumers frequently facing bill shock, it’s no wonder people are angry.
27 Jul 11 | A few weeks ago, CHOICE Technology team leader, Steve Duncombe, and I visited the Bowen Library in Maroubra (Randwick City Library Service) in New South Wales to give a talk on eBooks and eBook readers.
22 Jul 11 | Whenever you pay for something using your credit card, it costs businesses money. Typically, it costs more for stores to accept credit cards than other payment methods like debit or EFTPOS. In 2003, the RBA decided to allow those costs to be passed on to consumers in the form of a surcharge.