Shonkys 2020 Winners Announced

Hi @mrafferty, is Choice going to spread the awards across a number of different number of categories this year?

Products such as the Tesla Titanium Pendant are just plain fake. Perhaps a bit of fun, with low relative harm as a one off purchase. Still extra shonky, but only to non believers?

Other products such as Pay Day Loans, Unregulated credit such as After Pay have massive potential for consumer harm.

The latest one to hit our home radar is domestic retail gas prices (Eastern Australia). This is an essential service to many. There is no real competitive choice, and consumers are being blatantly ripped off. Today’s ABC news item highlights it yet again.

Until recently we were able to compare apples to apples two properties, relying on gas for all cooking and hot water in SE Qld, two adult occupants average. One was on bottled LPG delivered, (usually imported from SE Asia). The other used reticulated LNG, (usually from some where out west near to Roma?). The annual cost of using bottled imported gas, 30-40% of reticulated town gas supplies from Origin! It’s even worse when we look at the cost of LPG at the service station which also includes Federal Govt Fuel taxes.


2 posts were merged into an existing topic: COVID-19 Prepaid Airline, Accomodation & Tour Refunds, Rebookings

Oscar Wylee should get a dishonourable mention at the least. Their ‘apology’ at the end is insulting. Who in their company could have thought their misleading advertising was wrong?


Perhhaps much of that fine should be directed to Charities as well or the business be made to give the missing number of glasses to the Charities. Just putting the money into Govt General Revenue is sadly the typical outcome with no real thought given to those promised the outcomes but failing to receive them.


The ACCC media release is here and it’s a rough read. They spent 5 years using that charity as their entire marketing drive after making a single donation of $2000 and 100 frames (no lenses)


A great reason for consumers to boycott this disgusting bunch of scammers.

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OK, so maybe calling it a shonky is a little strong, but I’m calling out Choice here. I recently received my yearly membership renewal reminder. I’m currently a magazine subscriber (have been for around 25 years or so) but thought I might actually drop the printed subscription and go for online-only as it suits my lifestyle and I recalled reading about this option some years back. Well, my renewal reminder has only 2 options: continue with my current magazine subscription, or upgrade to the more expensive magazine plus online subscription. Were it not for my memory of having previously read of the online-only option I would probably have done nothing rather than pay extra, but a visit to the website (without logging on in case that prejudiced my options) revealed the details of the online-only option and unsurprisingly it turns out to be cheaper than the magazine-only option. C’mon Choice, present all the options, not only those that result in extra income for you. Happily I have resolved my renewal over the phone (as I couldn’t do it on the supplied form), but this behaviour does not strike me as targeting the consumer’s best interests.

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Customer elevation in any other place! :wink:

I had let the mag lapse between umpteen home and life changes. Problem solved when we reconnected.
Expect a third option anytime soon, as the Choice staff will have already taken note, based on the general chat in this topic. If not @BrendanMays will be sure to note.


Thanks for the feedback @duncan, I’ll be sure to pass it on.


I have just received my renewal and it offers 4 options.

Online only.
Online + Print Edition.
Online + Computer Edition
Online + Print Edition + Computer.Edition

It also offers Print Edition only and Computer edition only.

Perhaps some info was left off the reminder that you received?


Has anyone nominated Australia Post ?Cutting back deliveries because their parcel business is so busy ?
Their CEO getting a huge bonus when the business is not performing. Their sytems don’t work etc. No concept that they are a ‘public service’.
Where do all the missing parcels go ? I have had several ‘disappear’ this year. it is impossible to actually communicate with a human and the systems for tracking are a joke. Just this month a case of wine has 'disappeared ’ and Aus post cannot tell where it has gone ? Is there a giant Bermuda triangle warehouse where all these items go ? Another parcel from the states a few months ago also disappeared and ‘tracking’ showing a Melbourne address but no way to get it back, neither by the sender or non receiver. Then my record of the case shows ‘closed’.


A petition on calling for the sacking of the CEO of Australia Post.


Here’s one I spotted today. Shoutout to the Epic Games Store (digital game storefront) for saving your card details by default, and making you tick a box saying NOT TO. This is the reverse to every online purchase I’ve ever made.


Harmless right? Except Epic Games and their brainchild Fortnite have been the target of mass account theft. Although this aspect is not entirely their fault (Fortnite is popular and probably full of poor passwords), ensuring customers credit cards are not stored unless the customer requests it should be a basic protection they have.


In my first post as a new member, I would put the tech company’s unfair refund policy’s, on dodgy mobile games or apps, after Google refuse me a refund for a dodgy game, that I’m owed A total $1000 for including Losses about $150, the full time cloud based game worked so well for almost 2 and half years, and then the it happened! shortly after an update the software was broken! I would of taken at 15 minutes to recreate the bugs and I want it fixed, unfortunately the software Developer didn’t want to take a responsibility. Last couple months I’ve asked google for a refund they refused and told me they act as a transaction service and had to go back to the software developer and was also told they won’t give refunds after more then 48 hours after purchases.


Totally agree with this. Same issue with bacon that is prepacked. There is only 1 brand made with Australian Pork, all others are < 10% Australian ingredients. I find this shocking and appalling.

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Hi and welcome to the forum!

Unfortunately in this case Google probably has the legal advantage. It comes down to the definition of a ‘purchase’ vs a ‘license’. When you play a game from the Play Store you are agreeing to a license to use it. You don’t technically own it. As part of that the software may cease to function at any time and you are not legally owed anything, because you never owned the software in the first place.

The best way to discuss this with Google and the developer is whether that license in fact contains unfair contract terms. A reasonable consumer would expect software to continue to work 2 days after they put money into it, and a term excluding any refund after 48h could be argued as unfair. This wont be a good argument for getting all your money back, but present proof of purchase for any recent transactions and put forward the argument that no reasonable consumer would make that purchase knowing the software was going to break after 48h. Therefore the contract stipulating only 48 hours could be argued to be unfair

At the end of the day, even if Google is technically acting legally you should continue to politely remind them that the situation is exceptional and that a reasonable person would expect a partial refund. I’m sure someone else will give some better things you could say


Thanks for welcome, I’m no lawyer! But I do use a bit of common sense. Valve Corp (Stream) and PlayStation Europe(PlayStation Store) We’re fined $3 million and $3.5 million by the ACCC for refusing refunds on faulty games, in valves case when you sign up to stream for the first time in the agreement They won’t offer refunds for any reason and PlayStation Europe they won’t offer refunds ether once the product is downloaded or 15 days have passed and faulty game they had to confirm with the software developer and were only refunded credit. You can look up both case on the ACCC website.

I may never get my money back! the one thing to be mindful of is their are cowboys out there who want to make a fast buck on these dodgy services. One of most common issues is Fragmentation Bugs(not data displacement on hard drives or SSD). Understanding It can be difficult! This issue been around since computers were first invented due to fact that hardware manufacturers use third part operating system software licenses that are either paid or free. I put at simply It happen on open loop operating system such windows or android. We’re as gaming consoles or Apple products are closed loop. The issue of fragmentation bugs can happen at anytime no matter how old or new the hardware or software is. Usually when the software is first installed or when the software gets updated with add on patches overtime. I’m going to write to Fair Trading and report it in writing to the ACCC.


Hi @jaseplay, prior to doing that you will need to send Google, cc the author, a formal letter of complaint using the template at Choice or the ACCC. It needs to be sent to ‘complaints’ and preferably a company manager/principal and written like a silk arguing in front of a magistrate.

You need to state the ‘advertisement’ of what you purchased, enumeration of your rights under the ACL, how they breached them, and what you want by when. If you have not done that with evidence they received it as well as all interaction by email, your logs and notes of phone conversations and so on, and what you want by when, you will almost certainly be directed to try it. If they ignore you after the ‘when’ date + a week or so, you can then proceed with your complaint to the ACCC/Fair trading because they will have fobbed you off.

and the ACCC document on unfair terms is here.


Unfortunately the difference in your case here is Valve and Playstation were both fined for not offering refunds on newly purchased games that were not functional or not as advertised. There is no precedent I can find for software you’ve had for a long period of time


Precedents are set by someone putting their hand up and prevailing. Just because something does not have a precedent does not make it impossible to prevail. License and contracts are written to dissuade claims, not bestow rights. It may only require perseverance and being in the right and being able to prove that, if that is the case.

The world of licensing and contract laws is complex, most software licenses are beyond comprehension for even legal specialists because of their attempts to cover all possible cases or eventualities, and that amount of text can be self defeating, errant commas notwithstanding.

I’ll be watching to see how @Jaseplay goes with his pursuit of claim.