In its 15th edition of its Shonky Awards, CHOICE named its 2020 winners including:
- InvoCare Funerals – for failing to be up front about prices
- Greentech air purifiers – for pathetic purification
- Harvey Norman – for a toxic partnership with Latitude Finance
- Floor cleaners – for being flawed cleaners
- Revitalife – for a sales scheme that needs to be put to bed
In the case of Harvey Norman, CHOICE noted the banking royal commission’s uncovering of businesses exploiting an exemption from credit laws to sell credit cards in stores, without checking whether the person can afford to repay the debt.
Harvey Norman partnered with Latitude Finance to push a credit card with an interest rate of 22.74 per cent.
A purchase of $5,000 on the Harvey Norman Latitude Mastercard GO card would leave someone making the minimum repayments paying back $17,909 over 29 years.
In naming Revitalife as a Shonky winner, CHOICE said it makes huge claims about the benefits of its beds based on a single clinical trial of six people.
Further, it found that Revitalife was targeting older Australians through a shonky sales scheme and selling sleep remedies that aren’t supported by credible evidence.
CHOICE chief executive Alan Kirkland said its work naming and shaming dodgy products that exploit consumers is more important than ever in 2020 as Australians negotiate through the COVID-19 health crisis and tough economic times.
“This year alone we’ve campaigned for banks to treat people in financial hardship fairly, identified dodgy hand sanitisers and called out the insurance industry for playing tricks with their definition of fire,” he said.
“These Shonkys represent five more ways CHOICE is working with our members and supporters to fight for the interests of the community.”