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Health survey sales tricks hurt older Australians: CHOICE Shonkys

Revitalife receives CHOICE Shonky award and ACCC complaint alleging multiple breaches of the law.

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CHOICE Consumer Law Expert Julia Steward – Images: https://shwca.se/Shonkys2020

Revitalife has received a CHOICE Shonky award for targeting older Australians with a misleading "health survey" and selling expensive "therapeutic" beds with questionable benefits.

CHOICE investigated the company following a number of tip-offs from the CHOICE community and community legal centres.

"Revitalife uses a 'health survey' to target older Australians with health worries and then proceeds to put the pressure on to sell them an expensive bed with dubious health benefits," says CHOICE Consumer Law Expert Julia Steward.

"We believe Revitalife has breached the Australian Consumer Law by engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct. For this reason, we've written to the ACCC asking them to take action on Revitalife and this rotten business model targeting older Australians."

The full ACCC complaint is available on Dropbox: https://shwca.se/Shonkys2020

Community legal centre Consumer Action Law Centre says Revitalife has harmed a number of senior Australians with their sales tactics.

"We have helped a number of elderly Victorians with Revitalife complaints," says Barbora Je┼żek, Solicitor at Consumer Action.

"We helped a couple who were visited by Revitalife salespeople at their home after a phone call. The salespeople pressured the couple into buying an expensive Revitalife bed. These beds can often cost thousands of dollars and there's a lot of high pressure sales techniques as part of that sale. The couple told us they never would have consented to Revitalife doing a house call if they'd known the intent was to sell them a bed."

CHOICE's Julia Steward says the wide range of potential breaches means Revitalife must be investigated as a matter of urgency.

"Revitalife is a sales scheme that needs to be put to bed. It's simply unacceptable to target older Australians who are worried about their health and sell them products based on the flimsiest of evidence. We hope the ACCC can act quickly to protect people from this shoddy sales scheme."

Julia Steward is available for interview.

Read more about Revitalife in CHOICE's full investigation: choice.com.au/revitalife (Link will be live once embargo lifts – PDF of magazine version is available on Dropbox: https://shwca.se/Shonkys2020

The other Shonkys for 2020 are:

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Greentech air purifiers – for pathetic purification

InvoCare Funerals – for failing to be upfront about prices

Harvey Norman – for a toxic partnership with Latitude Finance

Floor cleaners – for being flawed cleaners

Main media release and more Shonkys information available at: https://shwca.se/Shonkys2020

Media contact: 0430 172 669, media@choice.com.au 

Due to COVID-19 protocols, the Shonkys event is available as a pre-record. Extra filming can be arranged on release day in Sydney (Tuesday November 10), but capacity will be limited.

CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland and CHOICE Editor Marg Rafferty are available for interview. Other media releases, photos, videos and graphics are available for media use here: https://shwca.se/Shonkys2020