Shonky awards name and shame dodgy products

Consumer watchdog Choice have revealed the dodgiest goods and services of the year. Photo / Thinkstock
Consumer watchdog Choice have revealed the dodgiest goods and services of the year. Photo / Thinkstock

Toblerone chocolate has been named and shamed with an award for dodgy goods and services for claiming its 400-gram bar has 16 serves when there are only 15 segments.

Ticket retailers Ticketek and Ticketmaster, cleaning product Exit Mould and a four-star water-efficient washing machine were also handed an award at the 7th annual Shonky awards organised by the consumer group Choice.

"We measured the actual number of mountains in the bars versus the recommended or serving size written on the packet,'' Choice spokesperson Ingrid Just said of Toblerone.

"What's 15 divided by 16? You do the maths.''

Comedian and MC Julian Morrow, from the Chaser, labelled this a disgrace.

"We call on the government to take immediate action,'' he said.

''(NSW Premier) Barry O'Farrell, sitting on his hands as usual when there are Toblerones going out with inappropriate serving sizes.''

Ticketek and Ticketmaster were also awarded a Shonky for the fees they charge when selling tickets to an event or concert. It charges more than $5 to print tickets at home at the buyer's expense.

Cabcharge also got an award for its 10 per cent credit-card surcharge on fares - despite the Reserve Bank of Australia ruling that surcharges must reflect the true cost of providing the service.

"You're paying to pay, which is outrageous,'' Just said.

The Samsung SW70SP 7kg front loader washing machine was awarded the first Shonky of 2012 for using 224 litres of water for a 3.5kg load of washing, when the washer deemed the most efficient by Choice used only 37 litres.

Other goods and services deemed sneaky and unscrupulous by Choice include so-called nano technology aimed at protecting iPhones, homeopathy treatments for restless and irritable kids, and travel services.

RECIPIENTS OF THE 2012 SHONKY AWARDS FROM CHOICE:

* Samsung SW70SP 7kg top loader washing machine - uses 224 litres of water for a 3.5kg load of washing despite its 4-star water rating.

* Jetset Travelworld - its fine print asks customers to waive their chargeback rights.

* Nature's Way Kid's Smart Natural Medicines - contains ingredients like strychnine and arsenic, diluted to one per 1000 trillion. Claims to treat restlessness, anxiety, irritability and agitation.

* Ticketek and Ticketmaster - charge fees when purchasing tickets to an event or concert. Over $5 to print a ticket at home or to send tickets as an SMS, or a $9.50 handling fee.

* Toblerone - the number of mountain pieces in some bars is not easily divisible by the recommended serving size.

* Cabcharge - Charges a 10 per cent surcharge on fares when paying with a credit card. Typical credit card surcharges are between 1 and 3 per cent.

* Liquipel - Nano technology coating applied to smartphones and tablets to make them waterproof against accidental contact with water, but does not actually make them waterproof.

* Exit Mould - Does not penetrate porous surfaces such as grout to get rid of mould, as it claims.

Source: 2012 Choice Shonky Awards

- AAP

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