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.
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.
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.
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.
18 Jul 11 | Having read a couple of blogs from my colleagues on their experiences with real estate agents and the challenges of buying, I thought that I'd share my experiences of the next step: moving.
07 Jul 11 | We’ve all noticed our power bills creeping up over time, in part due to the increased number and types of goods and appliances we all have, but also due to increasing energy costs. So what can a family household do to limit costs?
03 May 11 | We’d finally chosen our house. It wasn’t quite our dream house – who can afford that – but we felt we could make changes that would bring it close. Even on project homes, you can make changes to the floor plan within certain constraints and usually at extra cost, so you definitely need to allow for a bit extra when budgeting – actually, quite a bit extra.
14 Apr 11 | 1985 was a very different place to 2011. Nelson Mandela was in jail, Ronald Reagan was US president and a man in a chicken suit trespassed into the Australian Parliament and sat on the government’s front bench. But electricity prices…well, they were pretty much the same. Over the last couple of years, Australia-wide electricity prices climbed back to the same levels, inflation adjusted, as the mid-80s.
31 Mar 11 | Planning the CHOICE Awards is a little like planning a wedding. No bride, sure, but a similar amount of organisation and hard work: book a venue, tee up an MC, invite guests, select a menu, prepare speeches, make seating plans – and then there’s the little thing about choosing awards and winners.
22 Mar 11 | When I mention to people that we’re building a house, the most common reaction is that we’ve temporarily gone insane and will wake up to regret it. That may yet happen but so far we’re still ok with it.
26 Oct 10 | After a 23-hour flight from the US, I stepped straight off a plane and into CHOICE’s Shonky Awards ceremony today - and instantly my jetlag evaporated. Nothing could have revived me more than being reminded of our vision in action – to make Australians the most active and savvy consumers in the world. And nothing does this as effectively as the Shonkys, the least coveted awards in the country.
07 Sep 10 | So, two and a half weeks after the federal election, we have a result. And now that the politicians have stopped trying to woo each other, perhaps they’ll start trying to woo us again. During this peculiar political hiatus, when Ministers and MPs have been horse trading behind closed doors, I have spent a lot of time out of the office listening to consumers in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
16 Mar 10 | I have made no secret of my views on the state of the supermarket sector in Australia over the past year. And talking to consumers, farmers, independent grocers and others about the problem has only strengthened our resolve here at CHOICE to do something about it.
25 Feb 10 | After seeing the infomercial and watching a video posted by our sister organisation ConsumerReports about the ShamWow, I was given the task of having a play around with this "wonder" cloth to see if it wowed me or not.
15 Feb 10 | On a sweltering summer afternoon my house is hotter inside than out. To solve the problem, I've been researching a few solutions that wont run up a huge energy bill.
05 Feb 10 | Last year an official looking man called to my house and said that due to deregulation of the electricity industry in NSW, he needed to check my energy meter and bill. Of course, something about this introductory spiel wasn't quite right. In fact, I was under no obligation to show my electricity bill to the complete stranger standing on my doorstep. Particularly as he was a sales rep from a major electricity retailer, and his job was to encourage me to switch from my present supplier. I told him I wasn't interested, and he left.
19 Jan 10 | Welcome to 2010 and a red letter year for CHOICE, as we mark our 50th anniversary. It’s a significant milestone and provides a moment to reflect on past achievements. I stress that this is a moment of reflection and not a time for complacency, for the challenges that consumers face are as complex and concerning now as they were 50 years ago.
28 Oct 09 | The excitement was palpable as the stage was being set for this year’s CHOICE Shonky Awards ceremony. The question on everyone’s lips: who will be the ignominious winners of the shiny Shonkys this year?
23 Oct 09 | Bed sheets are on sale again. But before you rush out and grab the first one with the highest thread count, even if it was 50% off its usual price, do yourself a favour and shop around.
01 Oct 09 | Choice usually publishes a story on sparkling wines coming up to the festive season. To score the wines we have a panel of experts do a blind tasting. And as a follow-up we also have a lay panel of staff do a similar taste test, just to see if there are any wild differences in preferences - and I was on that panel yesterday. And for the record there was a reasonable correlation between the experts and the lay panel.
24 Sep 09 | I must be very strange: I love fridges. Well I don’t actually love fridges, but I find them really interesting. The messages I pick up from most people is that fridges are just there. A fridge just does its job of keeping stuff cold and that’s it. What’s to be interested in or to know about?
24 Sep 09 | If you’ve checked my bio you’ll know I’m Neill and I work in the laundry lab here. Actually I will be working in it once the renovations it’s currently undergoing come to an end — we’re promised we can move in this Thursday. A fortnight ago it was going to be Thursday last week and before that it was… you get the idea.