It's true that the truth hurts, especially if you're a recipient of one of CHOICE's Annual Shonky Awards.
It's almost that time of year where we name and shame the dodgy products or services that have taken advantage of Australian consumers in 2021 – the lemons that have left a particularly sour taste in our mouth.
Remember the toaster that didn't toast, the floor cleaners that failed to clean, the unethical pricing of funeral operators?
And remember when we called time on overpriced private health insurance that offers little value?
In our first-ever Shonky in 2006, we even gave an award to a pre-mixed gin and tonic which contained no gin and, erm, no tonic either.
These are just some of the products and services we've held to account in Shonkys past, and this year we have a new line-up of lemons. We're getting close to revealing the disappointments we'll be crowning with a Shonky dunce hat in November 2021.
The Ikea Nedkyld fridge, crowned with a Shonky in 2019, was one of the worst fridges we've ever seen in our labs.
Who deserves a Shonky?
Calling out bad products or services is serious business, so we don't take awarding a Shonky lightly.
We receive hundreds of nominations a year for services or products you've highlighted as being disappointing, misleading, unethical or downright dangerous.
Our Shonky winners (losers?) don't necessarily need to be breaking a law or breaching regulations: we just want to highlight situations where Australians deserve better.
When are this year's Shonkys being announced?
We'll reveal the five Shonkiest products of 2021 on Thursday 4 November.
How to get involved
Sign up to be the first to know this year's winners and get all the information on Shonkys past and present.
On the day we announce the winners, there'll be lots of updates on the things we think Australian consumers should know. Plus, you can find out about all the dud products and services we've uncovered this year that you shouldn't waste your money on.
If you have a Shonky of your own you'd like to share, you can chat about it on CHOICE Community.
What's the point of all this finger pointing?
Over the years, we've awarded more than 100 Shonkys to businesses or products. We want you to know about the products or services you should be avoiding, and we want Australian businesses to do better.
In some cases where we've awarded a Shonky, the company has worked on improving that product or service to offer a better deal to consumers. Sometimes it's even helped us win a fight to change government legislation. Read more about some of our Shonky success stories.
While in a way we'd love not to hold the Shonkys, we know we must, because bad publicity is a powerful weapon against bad behaviour, and there is no other organisation in Australia with the ability to call it out in this way.
The reason we can do that is because we are independent and member-funded. All our CHOICE members help to make that possible, so know that by supporting us, you help to protect other consumers from the shonks we're exposing.
Our Shonky Hall of Shame
Want to look back on some of the worst-ever performers in CHOICE Shonky history? Visit our Shonky Hall of Shame for a walk down a memory lane of lemons.