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Recall worries heat up

CHOICE says the latest Woolworths heater recall raises more concerns about dodgy products.

19 June 2015

With Woolworths recalling four portable room heaters today, consumer advocacy group CHOICE is calling on consumers to check their homes for potentially unsafe products and register for the federal government's free product recall alerts.

"It's a significant concern when an everyday product such as a household heater fails. As we move into winter, households will want to have confidence that their products are safe," says CHOICE head of media Tom Godfrey.

"The sad fact is consumers can't always count on big name brands when it comes to buying quality[1]. Last week it was Samsung washing machines bursting into flames, now it's dodgy Woolworths heaters that could catch fire or electrocute you."

"If you have purchased one of these dodgy Woolworths products act now to take it back for a full refund," Mr Godfrey says.

This year we've seen a steady stream of shonky big brand products being pulled from the market – from Nanna's berries and BMWs to Samsung washing machines and Goodman Fielder garlic bread.

"With the number of product recalls increasing 14% last year, consumers need to remain vigilant about what products they put in their homes or park in their garages," says Mr Godfrey.

"Every time a big brand hits the headlines with a product failure it should be a reminder to check the federal government's recalls website to ensure you do not have any potentially unsafe products in your home."

"The rising rate of recalls reinforces the need for shoppers to look past the branding, advertising and marketing and make an assessment of quality when buying products."

"We know through our product testing that there are often significant differences in the performance of products and big name brands and price are not always great guides to quality," Mr Godfrey says.

CHOICE has previously raised concerns about the rates of returns for unsafe products, with a large number of dodgy Samsung washing machines and Infinity electrical cables still in people's homes.

This latest incident is a timely reminder for consumers to check the recalls website recalls.gov.au and register for the ACCC's free product recall alerts. CHOICE members who are struggling to obtain a refund can also access the CHOICE Help service choice.com.au/choicehelp.

[1] http://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/952795

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