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2014 media releases

Refund rights unboxed
26 December 2014 
Whether you are purchasing gifts at a local store or clicking through a checkout online or in-app, CHOICE is reminding shoppers they are protected by the same Australian Consumer Law.

Extended warranty warning
22 December 2014
CHOICE is reminding consumers to be on guard against retailers and manufacturers pushing unnecessary extended warranties in the lead up to Christmas.

Aussie kids set to cash in on Christmas
19 December 2014 
A CHOICE survey of Christmas spending has found 52% of Australians will buy gifts for kids, followed by partners (47%), and parents (38%) this year, with gift cards (41%), toys (35%), clothes (33%) and chocolate (32%) topping the list of presents.

Consumer report reveals growing economic gloom
12 December 2014
CHOICE has released its latest national Consumer Pulse Report, revealing growing pessimism over the state of Australia’s economy.

Gift cards that stop giving
11 December 2014 
Although Australians spend $2.5 billion a year buying gift cards for family and friends, many consumers are unaware that the card they are buying might expire before it is redeemed, taking the good cheer out of Christmas and leaving your loved ones empty handed.

Government paves the way for disconnections and an internet filter
10 December 2014 
CHOICE says the Federal Government’s internet piracy crackdown opens the door for harsh consumer penalties while ignoring the biggest drivers of online infringement.

Ecoeggs cracked again for shonky free range claims
9 December 2014
CHOICE has welcomed the ACCC’s decision to take the supplier of Ecoeggs to court for alleged false and misleading free-range claims.

New CHOICE research reveals the two biggest drivers of piracy
9 December 2014
New research from CHOICE has found people who illegally download content are frustrated by cost and availability of content in Australia. Pirates are also more likely to support the content industry through legitimate purchases than other Australians.

Smoking hot eyelashes
5 December 2014
With everyone from Nicole Kidman to Lindsay Lohan lining up for the latest eyelash extensions, many unqualified and inexperienced practitioners are seeking to capitalise on this new beauty trend with sometimes alarming results for consumers.

Consumer celebrate five years of simpler grocery pricing
2 December 2014 
Consumers have enjoyed the benefits of compulsory grocery unit pricing for five years. CHOICE is now calling on supermarkets to voluntarily improve unit pricing because of how useful it is for the average shopper.

684 000 households are paying for content through international stores
21 November 2014
New research from CHOICE has found an increasing number of Australians are dodging online geoblocks and purchasing movies and TV shows directly from overseas.

Time to call an end to the financial advice debate
20 November 2014
CHOICE has welcomed the Senate’s decision to restore essential financial advice protections to Australians and is calling on the government to end the uncertainty that has plagued the industry by abandoning plans for any further changes to the law.

Senators stand up to save consumer protections
19 November 2014 
CHOICE applauds Senators who have announced they will repeal regulations that removed essential protections for consumers seeking financial advice.

Flying blind with opt in insurance
14 November 2014
A CHOICE review of travel insurance offered by Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin has found auto-selecting a policy when purchasing a plane ticket online can leave you grappling with exclusions and over paying for your travel insurance.

Bank to return nabbed late fees
12 November 2014
CHOICE has welcomed the decision by NAB to settle a class action over unfair late payment fees and believes it sends a clear signal that other businesses should follow suit.

Consumer report reveals growing economic gloom
1 November 2014 
CHOICE has released its latest national Consumer Pulse Report, revealing growing pessimism over the state of Australia’s economy.

Avoiding rotten rentals
31 October 2014
Renting a roof over your head can be the most affordable and often only option for millions of Australians but if you don’t know your rights lazy landlords can leave you languishing in damp, dangerous and dingy digs.

Report finds billions lost to toxic banking
28 October 2014
Consumer advocates from across the globe have collaborated to report on the global cost to consumers from toxic banking practices such as inappropriate sales incentives. The report comes as the Australian Senate is set to vote on the Bill to finalise the removal of financial advice protections in Australia.

Made in claims should be taken with a grain of salt
27 October 2014
CHOICE welcomes the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry’s recommendation that food country of origin labelling needs to change but believes the Committee has missed an opportunity to simplify the system for consumers.

What are we trading away?
24 October 2014
CHOICE is calling on the Government to reveal what Australia is trading away in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) trade discussions being held in secret in Sydney tomorrow.

CHOICE survey shows cost of living concern eases as budget debate moves on
22 October 2014
CHOICE's latest national Consumer Pulse Report has found an across-the-board easing in cost-of-living concerns from June through to September, although bills continue to increase.

2014 Shonky Award Winners
14 October 2014
Commonwealth Bank, Arnott’s, Amazon Kindle, Kmart and Thermomix were among the seven companies named and shamed at CHOICE’s annual Shonky Awards in Sydney today.

Which bank won a Shonky
14 October 2014
The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) was awarded the dubious honour of a CHOICE Shonky Award today following the slick PR campaign it served up to apologise for nearly a decade of dodgy financial advice.

Sugar coating sports drinks
7 October 2014
CHOICE believes that allowing sports drinks to carry health claims will mislead consumers into believing that sports drinks are generally a healthy option and is warning the food regulator not to be sweet talked by the beverage industry.

Banking on the lazy tax
1 October 2014
A review of credit cards by consumer advocacy group CHOICE has found consumers can reduce their interest rate by more than 10% by ditching products offered by the big four banks.

Court bans Coles from making dodgy credence claim
29 September 2014
CHOICE has welcomed news that the Federal Court has banned Coles for three years from advertising that its bread is made or baked on the day it was sold and is calling on consumers to come forward with other crazy credence claims they have identified.

Court puts another crack in false free range claims
23 September 2014
CHOICE’s campaign to clarify what ‘free-range’ means in Australia crossed another road today with the Federal Court finding that Pirovic Enterprises engaged in misleading conduct and made misleading representations in its labelling and promotion of eggs as ‘free-range’.

Harper delivers tool-kit for dismantling the Australia Tax
22 September 2014
CHOICE says today’s draft report from the Competition Policy Review can give Australians the benefits of more competition from overseas markets and new technologies.

CHOICE unwraps industry push to hide shrinking packs
12 September 2014 
CHOICE says consumers rely on quantity information on the front of food products and it shouldn't be removed.

376% more for the same digital content - is this what competition looks like?
9 September 2014 
Latest analysis from consumer advocacy group CHOICE has found Australian consumers are forced to pay staggeringly high premiums for repackaged content even when it is delivered online through streaming or on-demand services.

Taken for a ride down the aisle
28 August 2014
A CHOICE undercover shadow shop has found that if you mention the word “wedding” when booking an event half the venues and many suppliers quote more than for an identical birthday event.

CHOICE calls for ban on conflicted advice
26 August 2014
In its submission to the Financial System Inquiry CHOICE is calling for the banning of all fees, commissions and remuneration that create a risk of conflict of interest for financial advisers.

The first test for deregulated travel industry
25 August 2014
CHOICE says the collapse of Australian Specialty Tours Pty Ltd in Victoria will show how well consumers are protected following industry deregulation on 1 July this year.

Consumer voice in travel industry
20 August 2014 
CHOICE has begun work on a new project that will provide a mix of research, tailored information, education campaigns and advocacy to improve the experience of Australian consumers in the travel market.

What is Australia's dodgiest product or service?
20 August 2014
From dangerous dummies to dodgy credence claims the CHOICE Shonky Awards name and shame Australia’s worst products and services in a bid to get businesses to lift their game.

Consumer report reveals cost of living squeeze
8 August 2014
CHOICE has released its first national Consumer Pulse Report, revealing an anxious picture of Australia’s households.

WA consumer report reveals cost of living squeeze
31 July 2014 
CHOICE has released a new report on Western Australian consumers’ cost-of-living concerns, revealing an anxious picture of the State’s households.

Anti-piracy paper high on costs but low on solutions
30 July 2014 
CHOICE says that the Federal Government’s Online Copyright Infringement discussion paper puts forward solutions which are likely to pass costs on to all internet users without dramatically reducing rates of piracy.

Leaked anti-piracy paper not so fancy
29 July 2014 
CHOICE says that the leaked Federal Government’s Online Copyright Infringement discussion paper sidesteps the Australia tax issue and fails to deal with the real causes of piracy.

Media alert - consumer and seniors groups call for senate to save FoFA
15 July 2014 
A coalition of consumer and seniors’ groups will call for the Senate to save vital consumer protections.

Nestle milking parental guilt
15 July 2014
CHOICE has found Aspen, Nestle and Nutricia are targeting unsuspecting parents with costly “junior milk” products that make a range of outlandish nutritional claims and offer few benefits to healthy toddlers.

Senate delivers blow to fair financial advice
15 July 2014
CHOICE has expressed disappointment at today’s vote in the Senate to uphold the Federal Government’s wind-back of consumer financial advice protections.

Unhealthy premiums
8 July 2014
A CHOICE review of health insurance has found consumers across the country can save $1400 on average on their premiums by selecting the right Top Hospital cover.

Discount divas big week on a song
4 July 2014
A CHOICE journalist has saved an impressive $1143.65 on entertainment, household bills, wine, clothing, beauty and everyday bills in one week by using vouchers, finding discounts and buying items on sale.

CONBANK says but consumer protections must go
3 July 2014
Today the Commonwealth Bank issued a public apology for nearly ten years of bad behavior from their financial advisers.

Government opts out of consumer protection
30 June 2014
CHOICE is calling on federal politicians to oppose regulation which winds back essential protections for consumers seeking financial advice.

Food ministers sign off on new star labelling scheme
27 June 2014
CHOICE has welcomed the decision by food and health ministers from the federal, state and territory governments to give the final sign off on the Health Star Rating Scheme, and called on food manufacturers to start rolling out the ratings to help consumers make healthier choices.

Financial advice protections must stay
20 June 2014 
CHOICE is calling on federal politicians to oppose all legislation and regulation that will wind back essential protections for consumers seeking financial advice.

ACCC acts on dodgy drip pricing
19 June 2014
CHOICE welcomes the news that the ACCC is cracking down on misleading drip pricing but says legal action is only the first step towards fair airfares for Australian consumers.

Court Cooks Coles Bread Claims
18 June 2014
In a victory for common sense and consumers, the Federal Court has today ruled that Coles breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) with its “freshly baked” bread claims.

Governments get cracking on free range
13 June 2014 
CHOICE says the decision today by the nation’s consumer affairs ministers to commence the development of a draft National Information Standard for free-range eggs is great news for consumers who have been paying a premium for dodgy free-range eggs for far too long.

Pain pills hurting the hip pocket
12 June 2014
When you’re in pain drug companies know you’re up for paying a premium if you believe a pill will relieve your pain faster or target a particular part of your body. In reality the only relief their targeted marketing claims provide is to the weight of your wallet.

CHOICE says time to axe the Australia Tax
11 June 2014 
CHOICE has called on the Federal Government’s Competition Policy Review to axe the ‘Australia tax’ and give consumers the benefits of more competition from overseas markets.

New research finds home insurance harder to come by in a time of climate change
5 June 2014
Homebuyers are being warned that extreme weather risk combined climate events could double the price of a home insurance premium and erode property values in some areas by up to 40 per cent within the term of a mortgage, according to new research commissioned by The Climate Institute in partnership with consumer group CHOICE.

Media alert - Home buyers must factor in climate change
5 June 2014
The Climate Institute, in partnership with consumer group CHOICE, is launching a report on how the home insurance industry is pricing extreme weather risk.

Online airfare pricing porkies
4 June 2014 
Have you ever felt under pressure when booking a flight online? A CHOICE review of the online booking processes on Virgin, Qantas and Expedia found consumers are fed dubious messages about available seats to encourage them to purchase tickets.

CHOICE wheys up yoghurt options
3 June 2014 
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has looked at yoghurt products and found that while they are often marketed as healthy, low fat, calcium rich options for kids and adults alike, the truth is some are more like dairy-based desserts.

Media alert - Another storm brewing for retirees
22 May 2014 
Consumer advocate CHOICE will call on the Federal Government to abandon its proposed wind-back of financial advice protections following its appearance at today’s Senate Committee hearings into the Government’s changes to the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) laws.

Households hit by health funding cuts
13 May 2014
CHOICE says increased costs of medicines and GP visits will strike deep

Media alert - CHOICE responds to the Federal Budget
12 May 2014
CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland will be available in Parliament House to provide a consumer perspective on the 2014 Federal Budget, including on how key measures will impact on everyday cost of living and services.

Ramming home risky home loans
7 May 2014
Just six years after poor lending practices contributed to a global financial crisis, three high-risk borrowing strategies are back on the market to tempt those struggling to raise the deposit for a home loan.

CHOICE says FoFA wind-back must be abandoned
30 April 2014
Consumer advocates are calling on the Government to abandon the wind back of Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) protections as a CHOICE survey found 81% of consumers were concerned at the prospect of bank tellers up-selling customers complex financial products.

CHOICE says the Australia Tax is in fashion
22 April 2014
A CHOICE review of some popular clothing items has found Australians are paying up to 60% more than U.S. consumers for exactly the same products.

Muesli maker rolls out Health Stars
16 April 2014 
CHOICE says Monster Health Food Co’s decision to implement the Health Star Rating scheme is a real win for consumers.

CHOICE calls on government not to drop testing of food pesticides
11 April 2014 
CHOICE says the federal government must not axe a scheme designed to test whether the pesticides used in food production are safe for consumers.

CHOICE calls on Inquiry to put power back in the hands of banking consumers
9 April 2014
CHOICE has released new research showing Australia’s Big Four banks rely on perceptions that switching is ‘too much hassle’, despite lower levels of customer satisfaction.

CHOICE says all state and territory Governments should put an end excessive taxi surcharges
8 April 2014 
CHOICE has welcomed the news that the NSW government will follow Victoria’s lead and slash excessive taxi surcharges, and is calling for other state and territory governments to follow suit.

CHOICE welcomes Competition Review terms of reference
27 March 2014
CHOICE says the Competition Review stands to deliver tangible benefits to Australian consumers.

The great surcharge price gouge continues
18 March 2014 
CHOICE says 12 months on from the introduction of rules designed to rein in excessive credit card surcharges, Australia’s worst surcharge offenders are continuing to take consumers for a ride.

Lunchbox stars revealed
17 March 2014 
CHOICE put popular lunchbox items to the test in a new analysis using the Health Star rating system and found significant variations in the nutritional profile of the products.

The Body Shop removes products from sale in China
13 March 2014
CHOICE has welcomed The Body Shop’s decision to “temporarily” remove its products from sale in China.

Do you know what is on your credit report?
12 March 2014
CHOICE says it’s time to get your free credit report as new credit reporting rules come into force.

Are The Body Shop's cruelty free claims just cosmetic?
11 March 2014
CHOICE says The Body Shop has been selling products in China where they are at risk of being tested on animals. This is in direct conflict with the business's ethical marketing claims.

What krafty companies don't want you to know
26 February 2014 
CHOICE has used the recently released Health Star Rating Calculator to compare a selection of supermarket favourites, finding few stars among the offerings from food giant Mondelez, the parent company of Kraft, Cadbury, Nabisco and Oreo.

Premium SMS warning
24 February 2014
Parents should be on the lookout for dodgy guerilla marketing teams who are reportedly pushing premium SMS services on children as young as 14 on their way home from school.

Government strikes out on internet policy
21 February 2014 
CHOICE is calling on the Federal Government not to introduce so-called ‘three strikes’ anti-piracy measures, which it says will push Australia into the digital dark ages.

Consumers at risk of financial wind back advice
19 February 2014
In a submission on the proposed changes to the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms, CHOICE has called for a comprehensive regulatory impact statement to assess the impacts on consumers.

14000 Australians call for transparency on secretive trade deal
11 February 2014 
CHOICE will present its 14,000-strong petition on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at Parliament House this afternoon in a last ditch bid for transparency before the secretive trade deal is signed off.

Healthy start for star system
6 February 2014
With the launch of the Health Star Rating Scheme, food companies now have all the information required to roll out better nutrition labelling for consumers.

CHOICE rejects low value tax
6 February 2014
In a submission ahead of the 2014-15 Federal Budget, CHOICE has provided new analysis showing the cost of proposals to reduce the GST low-value threshold (LVT) on imported goods would far outweigh the benefits.

Federal Court rules late payment fees exhorbitant
5 February 2014
The decision by the Federal Court today against ANZ for charging excessive late payment fees is welcome news for consumers and should send a clear message to businesses that late fees must reflect actual costs.

CHOICE joins ABC1's The Checkout for another season
29 January 2014
You can catch CHOICE's guilty mum Kate Browne alongside Julian Morrow and Craig Reucassel (The Chaser’s War on Everything, The Hamster Wheel), Kirsten Drysdale (Hungry Beast) and emerging writer/performers Zoe Norton Lodge, Ben Jenkins, Scott Abbot and Richard Cooke for a new season of The Checkout.

CHOICE asks how Aussie is our craft beer?
26 January 2014
While beer consumption has been falling since the 1970s, Australian’s demand for quality is higher than ever with a record 150 breweries brewing craft beer across the country, but how local are our favourite craft beers?

Passing on presents
8 January 2014
Online trading sites currently boast a book on Australian Mongrel working dogs, Stuart Crystal wine glasses, a bamboo manga drawing tablet and a surfboard CD rack. What do these items have in common? They’re re-gifted items for sale.

CHOICE says some New Years resolutions are worth keeping
1 January 2014
Each year Australian consumers are confronted with shonky claims, over-priced goods and ever-more complex products and services. To help consumers avoid unnecessary fees and charges, dodgy credence claims, international price discrimination and warranty rorts, CHOICE is offering all Australians ten New Year’s resolutions that can help to ease cost of living pressures in 2014.