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2015 media releases

Don't let retailers dance around your refund rights
26 December 2015
From failed festivals to overheating hoverboards, consumer advocacy group CHOICE is reminding Australians of their refund rights as we head towards Christmas and the Boxing Day sales.

Mermaid tail safety warning
19 December 2015 
CHOICE and NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe are warning consumers of the potential dangers of mermaid tails, a water play product that binds a child’s legs and acts as a flipper so the child can swim like a mermaid.

Uber users to be hit with taxi tax
17 December 2015
CHOICE welcomes the NSW Government’s move to legalise ridesharing but is disappointed to see consumers funding taxi compensation.

Banks facing credit card crackdown
16 December 2015
CHOICE has welcomed a suite of recommendations from the Senate Economics References Committee that would see major reforms to credit cards, helping Australians avoid sky-high interest payments and fees.

Slip slop slapdown
12 December 2015
CHOICE has tested six SPF 50+ sunscreens and found that four failed to meet the stated sun protection factor (SPF) claims on pack, with the worst performer only returning an SPF rating of 29.

Electronics retailers denying consumer rights 
11 December 2015
A shadow shop of 109 Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and the Good Guys stores across the country by consumer advocacy group CHOICE has found nearly half of the salespeople contacted didn’t understand basic rights to a refund for faulty products.

Top 11 summer travel tips
9 December 2015
With the holiday season on the horizon, consumer advocacy group CHOICE is warning consumers to be on the lookout for tricky terms and conditions, hidden fees and charges and online checkouts that auto select services that are not right for you.

CHOICE welcomes ban on excessive surcharges 
3 December 2015
CHOICE applauds new laws banning excessive surcharges which will see businesses 
forced to comply or face financial penalties.

Hoverboard fire risk
3 December 2015 
CHOICE warns consumers that hoverboards may pose a fire risk when overcharged.

Federal Government backs open data and VPNs
24 November 2015
CHOICE  welcomes the Government’s response to the competition policy review although some key reforms taken off the table.

Federal Court grounds airlines for drip pricing 
17 November 2015
CHOICE welcomes Federal Court's decision on the airlines' dodgy mobile drip pricing. 

Car fuel efficiency labels a lot of hot air
16 November 2015
CHOICE has found that fuel efficiency claims on windshields of 53 cars sold in Australia understated their real-world performance by an average of 17%, leading to annual fuel bills hundreds of dollars higher than expected.

Infant formula shortage
12 November 2015
CHOICE calls on parents to report infant formula shortages and for the Federal Government to act to protect supply.

CHOICE appoints Viveka Weiley to lead the New Things Lab
11 November 2015 
CHOICE today announced the appointment of Viveka Weiley to the newly created position of Head of New Things.

Life insurance reforms a good first step
6 November 2015
CHOICE has welcomed a Federal Government crackdown on life insurance commissions but says it is disappointed that the reforms have been watered down since they were initially announced in June.

TPP trade deal sees light but consumers still in the dark
5 November 2015 
CHOICE has called for an independent assessment of the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that was finally released tonight by New Zealand, months after the Australian Government agreed to it.

Nabbed profits from mortgage holders 
28 October 2015
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE is calling on the Federal Government to bring forward the review of competition in Australia’s banking sector planned for late 2017 and address the competition vacuum that is costing consumers.

Travel insurance leaving consumers with the blues 
27 October 2015   
A CHOICE review of 35 travel insurance policies has found only two insurers  may cover you for mental illness while traveling, with exclusions around alcohol, adventure sports and pre-existing conditions also likely to catch you out.    

Household cost concerns ease amidst overall economic gloom
22 October 2015
CHOICE has released its latest national Consumer Pulse Report,1 showing an easing of major household cost concerns in September, accompanied by a surge in Australians ranking the economy as ‘poor’.

Government delivers surcharge death blow
20 October 2015
CHOICE has welcomed the Federal Government’s response to the Financial System Inquiry (FSI) which places consumer interests at the heart of the finance and banking system and critically signals an end to excessive credit card surcharging.

Food companies telling tales with school canteen certifications
18 October 2015
CHOICE finds self-made school canteen certifications are misleading parents.

Banking on credit card confusion
16 October 2015
CHOICE says banks make credit card statements deliberately confusing to disguise fees, high interest and poor value rewards.

Volkswagen 'technical fix' a patchy response
8 October 2015
CHOICE says consumers may have the right to seek a refund or replacement for recalled VW cars.

Kleenex's "flushable" failure
7 October 2015
At the 10th annual Shonky Awards, CHOICE has flushed Kleenex's claim that its "flushable" wipes disintegrate like toilet paper.

2015 Shonky Award winners
7 October 2015
Samsung, Kleenex, Coca-Cola, NAB, the payday lending industry and IKEA were among the eight companies and industries named and shamed at CHOICE’s 10th annual Shonky Awards in Sydney today.

TPP trade deal signed leaving consumers in the dark
6 October 2015 
CHOICE calls for independent assessment of the real benefits of the TPP

CHOICE welcomes free-range egg consultation
5 October 2015 
CHOICE has welcomed today’s start of consultations on free-range egg labelling as the next step in ending the ‘free-range’ rip off.

ACT in the driver's seat on ride-sharing
30 September 2015 
CHOICE welcomes ACT’s world leading decision to legalise ride-sharing.

CHOICE tests puncture fuel efficiency claims
30 September 2015
CHOICE is calling for car companies to come clean on their fuel economy claims following road tests that show some cars exceeded their claimed fuel consumption by more than 30%.

Point-to-point passenger services on trial
24 September 2015
CHOICE puts UberX and taxi services to the test to find out which is best in terms of price and reliability and found the popular ride sharing service came out on top, with taxis on average 40% more expensive.

CHOICE says VW car owners need clarity not a smoke screen 
23 September 2015
With Volkswagen conning 11 million "clean diesel" car owners with pollution controls that only work when tested under laboratory conditions, CHOICE is calling on the car maker and the Australian Government to urgently come clean on the local impacts.

Masterful credit card fee con
22 September 2015
CHOICE has uncovered over a decade of research and advocacy funded by MasterCard and Visa that is part of a shadowy campaign to keep bank fees high.

False free range egg crackdown
14 September 2015 
CHOICE welcomes the Federal Court’s ruling to fine Darling Downs Fresh Eggs for engaging in misleading conduct and making misleading representations in its labelling and promotion of eggs as ‘free range’.

Nominations for the 10th annual CHOICE Shonky Awards close tomorrow
14 September 2015
It’s your last chance to nominate Australia’s shonkiest product or service for a Shonky Award.

Taxi industry's Uber fear campaign misleading
11 September 2015 
CHOICE has slammed the door on the NSW Taxi Council’s claim that ride-sharing services, like Uber, are “no safer than hitch-hiking” and is driving an investigation to compare point-to-point passenger services to see which is cheapest, most reliable and provides the best overall experience.

Piracy drops with "Netflix effect"
4 September 2015
New CHOICE research has found that Australians are abandoning piracy and embracing new legal streaming services such as Netflix to access timely and affordable content.

Copyright cowboys shot down in court
14 August 2015
CHOICE welcomes today’s iiNet Federal Court judgment, which greatly limits the demands that Dallas Buyers Club LLC can make via a speculative invoice.

Crushing Samsung's spin cycle  
12 August 2015
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has dramatically crushed Samsung’s spin cycle in Sydney today, destroying two of the electronics giant’s faulty top loader washing machines in a car crusher.

No more sugar coating the truth
10 August 2015 
CHOICE is calling for the government to clearly label sugar on food products following the consumer group's finding that there are 43 different names food companies use to describe added sugars.

Cost of living pains surge for Australian households
30 July 2015
CHOICE has released its latest national Consumer Pulse Report, showing across-the-board increases in cost-of-living concern for Australian households with 65% of consumers cutting back to cope with the financial pressure.

Federal Government survey undermines its own piracy plan
22 July 2015
The Federal Government has today published research into online copyright infringement that raises questions about the effectiveness of its key initiative for reducing online piracy.

Government rules in new labelling scheme
21 July 2015
CHOICE has welcomed the release of the Federal Government’s new country of origin food labelling scheme but says many consumers will still be left wondering where their food comes from.

Jetstar opts-in to travel tricks
13 July 2015
A trans-Tasman alliance of consumer groups is taking aim at the airlines over automatic opt-ins that can see travellers paying up to 67% more than the advertised price when booking flights.

Samsung washing machine warning
24 June 2015
Another house fire linked to a faulty Samsung washing machine has sparked a renewed warning not to use the affected machines and seek a full refund. 

Recall worries heat up
19 June 2015
With Woolworths recalling four portable room heaters today CHOICE is calling on consumers to check their homes for potentially unsafe products and register for the Federal Government’s free product recall alerts.

Banks top Bahamas in fee frenzy
18 June 2015
New figures showing Australians paid nearly $12 billion in bank fees last year raise fresh questions about the level of competition in the banking sector.

Internet parcel tax: a net loss
18 June 2015
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has warned the Federal Government risks slugging consumers with massive mark-ups on overseas purchases if it bows to pressure from the local retail industry to reduce the GST low-value threshold on overseas goods.

Great egg-spectations as ministers get cracking on fixing free range
12 June
CHOICE welcomes Consumer Affairs Ministers’ agreement to develop a national standard for free range eggs.

Shelling out for false free range
9 June 2015
CHOICE report reveals 213 million reasons why we need a meaningful national free range egg standard.

Help end the food labelling farce
9 June 2015
CHOICE welcomes Federal Government consultation that will let consumers have their say on food country of origin labelling.

2015 supermarket price survey 
4 June 2015
The CHOICE 2015 supermarket price survey compares the price of groceries at 93 Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and IGA supermarkets across Australia.

Don't bank on the big four
1 June 2015
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE is encouraging consumers to shake off the “lazy tax” and switch out of credit card products offered by the big four banks to get a better interest rate through credit unions and smaller lenders.

Not so healthy choices
31 May 2015
A CHOICE investigation has found food companies such as McCain, Weight Watchers, Naturally Good and Mother Earth are serving up health-related marketing messages designed to give their products a halo effect, even though they perform poorly in the health star rating system.

Recall worries
22 May 2015   
Following the latest fire caused by a faulty Samsung washing machine, consumer advocacy group CHOICE is reminding Australians to check the product recalls website and return any dodgy products for a full refund.

Joe's mixed bag
12 May 2015 
Consumer group CHOICE has labelled the 2015-16 federal budget a mixed result, saying some consumers will see benefits but others will be hit hard.

Media Alert
11 May 2015
CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland will be available in Parliament House to provide a consumer perspective on the 2015 Federal Budget, including on how key measures will impact on everyday cost of living and services.

CBA banking on a lack of competition
6 May 2015
CHOICE says Commonwealth Bank’s decision not to pass on the full official interest rate cut in full is cynical and signals a return to business-as-usual from the ‘big four’ in the domestic mortgage market.

CHOICE says 67% of Australians concerned at looming Federal Budget impacts
21 April 2015
Two-thirds of Australians are concerned at how the looming Federal Budget might affect them, with increased spending on hospitals, the aged pension and schools topping consumers’ priorities. Among those with children aged under five years, 75% are concerned at childcare fees.

Internet filter to enforce Australia Tax
17 April 2015
A new law being considered by the Federal Senate may be used to block Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that allow Australians to shop online to save money or purchase content not available domestically.

ANZ's epic fail on financial advice
16 April 2015
CHOICE says ANZ’s announcement about a failure to deliver services to financial advice clients is yet more damning evidence of fundamental flaws in Australia’s financial advice industry.

School holiday price premium
9 April 2015
A CHOICE investigation has found Australians taking vacations during school holidays can expect to pay up to 64%  more than for trips taken during the school term.

Copyright cowboys could take consumers for thousands 
8 April 2015
CHOICE says that yesterday’s iiNet Federal Court ruling has left nearly one-third of Australians in legal limbo because of our outdated copyright laws.

Help crack the Easter egg palm oil puzzle
1 April 2015
CHOICE has found consumers are in a palm oil labelling wilderness when it comes to Easter chocolate with phrases such as “vegetable fat” masking this unhealthy and often unsustainable product.

Don't trade away our sovereign rights
26 March 2015
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has renewed its call for the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement to be released following the latest leak, which details the threats to sovereign law making.

Hey Presto! Netflix has arrived
24 March 2015
Following the launch of Netflix in Australia, consumer advocacy group CHOICE is encouraging consumers to compare and consider switching streaming providers on a regular basis as exclusive content deals still characterise the market.

Hollywood's fake fine racket... coming to a screen near you
23 March 2015
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE says a proposed industry run ‘education’ notice scheme lays the groundwork for a fake fine racket, which is already playing out in the United States.

2015 Ruby Hutchison Memorial Lecture
19 March 2015
In honour of CHOICE's founder, the 2015 Ruby Hutchison Memorial Lecture, hosted by CHOICE and ASIC, will be delivered tonight at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music by Richard Cordray, the director of the US government's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Just not right
17 March 2015
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has today launched a campaign calling on Kellogg’s and 6 other food manufacturers to roll out the front of pack health star rating on their products.

Regulator targets pain relief
5 March 2015
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has welcomed the ACCC’s decision to take the makers of Nurofen to the Federal Court over its targeted pain relief claims on products such as Nurofen Back Pain, Nurofen Period Pain, Nurofen Migraine Pain, and Nurofen Tension Headache.

Unhealthy premium?  
27 February 2015
With health insurance premiums set to rise 6.2% on average this year consumers have 30 days to prepay the annual premium and avoid the price hike altogether.

Educating Malcolm
25 February 2015
CHOICE has launched a campaign encouraging consumers to help educate the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull about the need for consumer protections in a proposed industry run anti-piracy ‘education’ notice scheme.

CHOICE hails taxi surcharge cap
24 February 2015
Consumers in Western Australia who frequently use taxis will be better off today following the state government’s decision to cap credit card surcharges.

Frozen fruit fiasco
16 February 2015
CHOICE is calling on the Federal Government to take action on country of origin food labelling following the national recall of frozen mixed berries.

Fosters Australian for killing craft beer
11 February 2015
An investigation by consumer advocacy group CHOICE has found foreign owned brewing giant SAB Miller which owns Foster’s Group (Carlton & United Breweries [CUB]) is locking out genuine Aussie craft beers from the taps at your favourite local pub.

HideMyAss for safe, global online shopping
30 January 2015 
New CHOICE research reveals which Virtual Private Network (VPN) services offer the best privacy protection for internet browsing while also opening up a world of new products and services.

Slim pickings with dodgy diet advice
29 January 2015 
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE is warning Australians not to fall for the hype of a popular diet detox program being marketed through social media platforms such as Facebook.

CHOICE sizes up food packaging
20 January 2015
With food and groceries the second biggest cost-of-living concern for Australian consumers[1], CHOICE has compared a selection of similar-looking groceries from rice bubbles to laundry powder to show consumers how they can get more value at the supermarket.

Car hire insurance rort
8 January 2015
CHOICE says that buying your rental car insurance at point of sale or online through a car hire company will see you paying up to 491% more than getting coverage under a basic travel insurance policy.

CHOICE says GST debate should be based on facts not myths
6 January 2015
CHOICE says the debate about charging GST on overseas purchases should be informed by evidence. Otherwise there is a risk of policies that simply punish Australian consumers for no overall community benefit.