Tag Archives | Choice Australia

Australian Consumer Organisation awards “Shonkys” for substandard products

Every year, the Australian consumer organisation, Consumer Choice, awards what they call their Shonky Awards. A Shonky is awarded to companies who provide Australian consumers with substandard products and services throughout the year.

You can see a report on the 2009 Shonkys Awards in this newspaper article, If it’s shonky, then it’s a worthy lemon. The article is worth checking out, if only for the video at the start. The full Consumer Choice report on the awards and the winners is available here.

The awards handed out were as follows:

  • Plugging Stuff and Nonsense goes to Reegen Micro-Plug
  • Cheese-Fearing Surrender Monkey goes to Tiffany FP807 Food processor
  • Water at What Price? goes to Chef’s Cupboard and Massel liquid stocks
  • Honey (Oat crisp), I shrunk the groceries goes to Uncle Toby Oat Crisp Honey cereal
  • Blinding us with dodgy science goes to L’Oréal Elvive
  • Profit Protection Insurance goes to the Credit protection insurance industry
  • Sky high surcharges goes to Qantas and Tiger Airways
  • Teleconfusication goes to Tel.pacific phone cards

I think this is a fantastic scheme. It’d be great if we could have something similar here in Ireland. You wouldn’t have to think hard over many of those categories to come up with some Irish nominees.

We could call them the Mankys. Anyone like to have a go with their nominations? Or maybe we should have our own particularly Irish nominations?

Post a comment below.


Wanted: A Social Media Adviser for a consumer organisation

I wrote a couple of times before here about how useful it would be if our consumer advocacy and protection organisations started to make more use (or actually use at all) of so-called social media tools.

The Consumers Association of Ireland (CAI) used to publish a monthly newsletter and has a press releases webpage, but neither of these communications are available in an RSS feed.

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) RSS feeds are so screwed up you get their full RSS feed data republished every single night – in excess of 200 news items dating back years.

I also referred to Twitter and how its interactivity could be harnessed by either organisation in a way to provide a very useful service to consumers.

So what’s the solution? Well, the equivalent organisation in Australia, Choice Australia, last week advertised a new position within their organisation that makes for very interesting reading.

They’re looking for a Social Media Adviser. The full job description is available here, but here’s a small snippet to show the direction that they’re heading:

Reporting to the CHOICE Online Manager, the Social Media Adviser role is responsible for promoting the CHOICE brand via social media networks, building the CHOICE community and empowering consumers, and promoting interactive social strategies across the organisation to increase member acquisition and retention.

I’m wondering as I write this if they’d be interested in a virtual employee (based in Ireland) to do their virtual job :-).

The days of publishing a monthly magazine costing subscribers nearly €100 per year as the CAI does are surely long gone – at least for the younger demographic of consumers they should be focusing on to become their members for the future.

If only our consumer organisations here in Ireland thought to be a bit more forward looking and embraced such online interactive tools – based on the limited work that I can do here on ValueIreland.com and given the readership I see on a monthly basis, there is definitely a market for such services.

Or else, if only I could get my readers to give me €100 per year, and the government gave me €70,000,  I can only imagine how much more I could do here on ValueIreland.com with that little booty.


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