Qantas wins shonky for credit card surcharges

Consumer awards highlight dodgy & dubious goods and services

Sky-high airline credit card surcharges, cereal packets which shrink in size but not price and liquid chicken stocks made from plain old powder have dominated this year’s CHOICE Shonky Awards.

The celebration of dubious, dodgy and doubtful goods and services from CHOICE also handed out gongs to a food processor which couldn’t even shred cheese and to a leading cosmetic company for its dodgy marketing claims.

Qantas were given a Shonky for their $7.70 credit card surcharge per passenger for domestic flights, which CHOICE says is way above the average one percent fee card companies’ levy for such transactions.

Uncle Tobys were recognised for reducing the size of their Oat Crisp Honey cereal packets by 14 % but making the new container appear almost identical in size.

Uncle Tobys claimed to have reduced the recommended retail price by six percent to keep their product ‘affordable’ but the unit cost per 100 grams rose by 10%.

Two liquid chicken stocks were given a joint shonky awards, shaped as a lemon, both for being made up of flavours instead of animal products and being reconstituted from stock powders—just like the much-cheaper stock cube alternative.

“The Shonky Awards highlight what is frankly ridiculous about some of the worst examples of sub-standard products and services CHOICE reviews each year,” said CHOICE spokesman Christopher Zinn.

“While the winners might be cringing in the boardrooms we want consumers to enjoy a good laugh and be more demanding before accepting tricky labelling, bogus fees and charges and worthless devices.”

Of the eight awards one went to the $39.99 Tiffany food processor which in three separate tests broke into pieces as it failed to shred tasty cheese. Another went to cosmetics giant L’Oreal for using dubious statistics and chemical mumbo jumbo to promote its Elvive hair care products.

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The 2009 CHOICE Shonky Awards

The year’s worst of the worst for all things consumer.

28 Oct 2009 | It’s time once again for the annual CHOICE Shonky Awards, where we reward manufacturers, service providers, government officials and marketers for their usual treasure trove of consumer-related Shonkyness.


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