Shonky awards: Which firms have won the annual gongs for bad consumer practices?

It’s the award you don’t want to win

Congratulations Ikea, Samsung and Kleenex who were among the winners of this year’s Shonky Awards – the prize no company wants to win, as it is given for poor consumer practices.

The awards is organised by consumer group Choice, who announced eight unlucky “winners” of their annual awards today.

Samsung was singled out for issuing a somewhat low-level recall of dangerous washing machines.

Over 224 incidents occurred with its top-loading machine, including 76 fires. The company issued a recall, but decided it did not need to advertise the recall on television.

Currently there are still over 58,000 potentially lethal washing machines in existence across Australia.

Awarding Samsung the prize, Choice said: “Samsung said they did not need to advertise on TV to alert consumers to the danger; we disagree.

“We think it is time for Samsung to end the spin cycle and advertise on television before someone dies in the dark.”

Ikea was also singled out though not for dangerous goods, but over labelling issues.

The company was caught selling polyester and polyurethane sofas in the leather section of its website.

Choice, whose staff clearly have a deft turn of phrase when it comes to calling out international companies, said: “We think Ikea has real hide serving up plastic couches in the ‘leather’ section of its website.”

Meanwhile Kleenex, another Shonky ‘winner’, was singled out for selling cleansing cloths for children, which, according to their ads, “disintegrate just like toilet paper”, only they don’t. According to Shonky, the rise of wet-wipes is doing untold damage to sewers. In Australia, this costs an estimated $15m a year and are blamed for the global rise of fatbergs.

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