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#SpotAShonky - Expose Shonky products and services here


My wife has been prescribed melatonin for a sleep disorder over a number of years. Seeing her using so much prescibed melatonin our pharmacist suggested Bioglan’s Melatonin as a substitute. On scrutinising the contents on the container, the pharmacist couldn’t show me that there was ANY melatonin in Bioglan’s “melatonin”. After some further research by self, including a number of fruitless requests for informantion from Bioglan, I went back and presented the pharmacist with the sad news, that they were selling useless ineffective stuff to their customers. Rather eye-opening for both parties, I’d opine. Need for a strong effective regulation regime on both the pharmaceutical and advertising claims of stuf sold as “medicines”.


Well picked up! Critical thinking and careful research can have big benefits. :man_student:

There was once a concept called ‘duty of care’. Unfortunately the concept seems to have gone out of fashion.

I suspect the current credo is ‘desire for maximum profit’ which comes before all else.

Your pharmacist should have and should be vigilant to ensure that products being sold are what they claim. Otherwise, the pharmacist’s credibility devalues.


We received this report about Coles ultra from savvy consumer that shone a light through a bottle of Coles Ultra, only to find it was around half full. Out of interest they weighed the product at home (using the tare function with an empty bottle to account for packaging) and found it was underweight.

Not only is the packaging excessive, the product turned out to be underweight too. Do youhave any experiences like this one?


Pity this one is probably out of the scope of the question … sorry, couldn’t resist …


~25% Sugar, 10.7 g per 40 g serving size with more than 600 kj of energy for that serving and with 144 mg of Sodium

picture copyright Kelloggs

Is it really 4 Stars?

The Coles own brand of these with similar recipe gets only 2.5 stars.


It boggles the mind that the ‘health experts’ could create such a dodgy health rating system. I suspect the food marketing industry must have had a large corrupting influence in this star system set up.


Brendan I am wondering why you have not included BUPA and their affiliates?


@Ozzie_Girl, you’re welcome to nominate them :thumbsup: :lemon: Feel free to include any specific details that have struck you as particularly Shonky


Bupa had extremely misleading advertising in regards to Private Hospitals. I did lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman and the ACCC ever since I have not seen the advertisements. Bupa seems to have amended their advertising.
I would like to nominate Bupa for the shonky awards because:
The way they force you to go to their "preferred providers** " to get the maximum rebates. Even when that provider is much further away, then the insured’s “preferred provider”
This “preferred provider” condition is not mentioned on their website or when you apply for membership.
** This covers hospitals, doctors and all auxiliary services insured for.
Bupa will not provide the insured with a list of what is considered minor or major dental.
The membership fees just keep going up (most of the time more then what the government says) and their claim limits (on auxiliary services) just stay the same.


Not really a contender for a shonky, but we’ve not bought this one again. Didn’t look too appetising between steps 5 and 6. :frowning_face:


Here’s another shonky one –

The diff of my Ford Falcon cab chassis disintegrated after less than 64,000 km; and despite a mechanic’s report, and without the company themselves inspecting the vehicle, they simply told me by telephone that the damage was due to "fair wear and tear’ and as such they claimed they had no liability under the warranty. They were quite intransigent about the whole matter, refusing to answer my letters, or discuss it at all. (My mechanic said he would have expected I should get a couple of hundred thousand kilometres from the vehicle before that sort of damage occurred.)

In the event, it cost me over $2000 to get the vehicle on the road again, plus all the (unnecessary) service costs to keep the warranty going.

By the way, I purchased this warranty with the vehicle (used), from Roberts Winnebago (now Roberts RV World) in Campbellfield Vic, and despite their clearly receiving a commission for selling it to me they refused to do anything at all about helping with the claim. (In fact, in that Ford Roberts had also sold me a vehicle that could not be registered because of various faults, and also refused to do anything to help rectify them as well.)

I considered legal action against both companies and decided it wasn’t worth the hassle – which I’m sure they both trade on with other suckers like me.

I had thoughts of starting my own website called ‘Shonks and Charlatans I Have Known’ or somesuch and including these two companies in it (and a couple of other bad companies I’ve had dealings with as well), although so far I haven’t done it. So I’m quite glad that Choice has started this thread on which I can make my thoughts known.


Surely all these big name car companies deserve a shonky for replacing all these faulty airbags with the exact same brand of faulty airbags.


I bought a replacement inverter for my solar system in 2009. I decided at the time to get an Australian made one and bought a Latronics PVE 1200. Latronics is based at Moffat Beach, Caloundra, QLD, so I thought I was doing the right thing by buying locally. Now this inverter is no longer working and I tried to contact several solar repair companies online but only one replied to tell me they don’t work in my area. Never heard from any of the others. The original installer is no longer in the solar business nor is the one who installed the 2nd inverter. So I emailed the manufacturer Latronics and there was no reply for several days so I emailed them again & they replied telling me to remove the inverter myself and bring it to them. They included instructions on how to remove the inverter. This is a job for a licensed electrician. They are making more money from installing new solar systems than they make from repairing or replacing them. So that leaves me with the option of breaking the law and risking getting electrocuted or going without solar. And I still won’t know if the solar system is working at full capacity or if there is anything wrong with my panels or wiring.


I was listening to this on the radio yesterday morning, and the Honda representative being severely bashed about the head and shoulders by a feather-wielding Fran Kelly really failed in defending his company’s decisions.

One assumes (and perhaps that is a bad idea, but it is the obvious manufacturer’s defence) that between finding the fault and fixing it the airbag manufacturer fixed their manufacturing process. It is in fact quite likely that the vehicle manufacturers had no choice in airbag supplier; but they should have made sure of quality control, in particular after problems were discovered. While I don’t know the airbag industry, I would be entirely unsurprised if this particular brand and model were the only ones that would fit into the airbag cavities in the various vehicles - space tends to be at a premium in motor vehicle design and manufacture, and this manufacturer may have ‘made to measure’. If this was the case, then the focus should have been whether there was any change in the airbag manufacturing process - or in its design - to remove the sometimes-fatal flaw(s).


I don’t bother even looking at the so-called health ratings. Instead I have educated myself about what constitutes a healthy diet for me and it doesn’t contain any commercial overpriced breakfast cereals.


I agree with you that it is a large part of the problem in the Health Star ratings. The health ratings are supposed to make it easy to determine if a product you are buying is better, bad, good or worse for your health but the way the system is, it is being used in a misleading way. Choice in this section of the forum wants to know what is “Shonky” out there and then use that information to better inform the community, try to get Governments to address issues, get companies to uphold good principles, and all of this to lead to better consumer outcomes.

Yes, we are all responsible for our health and what we eat, and I am glad that you have done so but not all are able to easily make those comparisons and choices. The problem with the cereal I posted about is that a system is put in place to reflect good or bad choices and it should truly reflect those choices and not be hijacked for the convenience of companies to make profits at the expense of those who rely on Government set ratings.


A shonky practice is electricity and gas retailers offering 10, 15, 25% discounts only to find the discount applies to the energy usage charges and not metering, billing or network charges. In reality for most consumers a 10% discount on energy charges equates to a maximum 3-5 percent discount on the total bill. Our experience for gas is we use about $12 of gas per quarter on a $111 bill…we receive a 6% discount on gas usage which equates to about a $0.65 saving on $110, about 0.5% real saving. Such is also deceptive conduct duping consumers.

With many payments now direct debit, how many of us really check our bills and see what it contains including mediocre discounts packaged up s something valuable.


Spotted this while searching for a mould remover at Bunnings.

The product is named 30 Seconds Mould Off. If you look at the instructions, it has to be left on for at least 5 minutes (point 3), or if there is heavy mould for at least 15 minutes (point 6).

A very deceptive product name.


I asked a staff member about this sticker, with a response something like someone must have put the wrong sticker on it. Yeah, I guess they must have. Fixing the problem didn’t seem a priority, but then I’m not an expert in retail sales priorities … The article did ring up at less than either of the marked prices …


RACV deserves a shonky or at least an honourable mention.

Check that pesky asterisk. The “Long Weekend” package for $399 has a $50 surcharge added if your weekend includes a Saturday.