For Australian businesses, the CHOICE Shonky Awards is like the Golden Raspberries is for movies. You don’t want to win, and just to be nominated is not much of an honour. While CHOICE themselves have said that would “love never to have to give out another Shonky Award” we can’t help but feel that they enjoy it just a little bit. So who took home the prize?
Qantas won the award for being the “Spirit of Disappointment” and are we really surprised? The airline has been in the news for countless controversies surrounding their poor service and management. The reasons CHOICE awarded Qantas is because of “delayed flights, tales of lost baggage and chaos at airports, and customer difficulties in using credits accumulated from travel cancellations during COVID lockdowns and restrictions.”
As CHOICE money and travel expert, Jodi Bird, put quite simply is that “Qantas has always sold itself as the premium Australian domestic airline… But what we’ve seen recently is Qantas taken down to the level of a budget airline.”
VetPay received the award for being heavy on charges but light on detail. VetPay is a quick-access loan product to help people struggling to pay their vet bills. However, the service charges monstrous interest rates of more than 18%. Not only that there are fees everywhere: $49 for access to service, $2.50 every time you make a repayment, and an annual interest rate of 18.4%. To make a bad thing worse, they also hand out very limited information surrounding their terms and conditions that only become clear once you’ve actually applied for a loan.
Steggles Chicken Nuggets Boosted With Veggies
This is a product from Steggles that claims to have “hidden cauliflower and potato” but in reality, they have just 11 grams of potato and three grams of cauliflower per 100g serving. It’s not even a fifth of one standard serving of vegetables. According to CHOICE, “a child would have to eat the entire 400g pack of nuggets, plus a portion of a second pack, to get just one whole serving of vegetables.”
Bloomex is an online flower delivery service that are just plain awful at it. Customers have complained so much about Bloomex that there is a Facebook group dedicated to horror stories from the business.
According to CHOICE, Bloomex receives the award for “dodgy deliveries, dead flowers and accepting orders they can’t fulfill.”
Perhaps flower power doesn’t quite mean the power to provide a good service.
Zega Digital Cookware
The Zega Digital cooking pot promises to provide hands-off, energy-saving cooking and smart-app enabled walkaway technology. Sounds fantastic, right? Yeah, it doesn’t work.
CHOICE took it for a spin and cooked chicken based on one of Zega’s recipes and they found that the “chicken was partially raw, the sauce was watery, and the vegetables were undercooked.” The big problem though is that the meat was only 66ºC in the centre, the recommended temperature is 75ºC to kill illness-causing microbes.
Chuck this one on the infomercials alongside the Shake Weight.
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