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Statements From The "Winners" Of 2018's CHOICE Shonky Awards

Statements from companies given consumer affairs lemons this year

Consumer rights organisation CHOICE today announced the recipients of the Shonky Awards, the annual awards which name and shame the shonkiest products and companies taking advantage of Australian consumers.

BIOMAGNETIC SPORTS

Bio magnetic Sports offer a natural alternative to the conventional methods that may result in the relief of pain. We do not make any promises to relieve pain.

We are also very aware that there are both positive and negative responses to magnetic therapy. For this reason, we do a number of things to ensure our message is clear and not misleading.

Such as:

• We work closely with the TGA “therapeutic Goods Association” to ensure we are not making any false medical claims. Our TGA registration is frequently updated and our packaging is checked for any false or unsupported medical claims.

• We offer a 28 day money back guarantee. This way consumers are able to try our product risk free. If they don’t see any positive results after this timeframe, we give them a full refund.

For these reasons we feel our product is not a suitable candidate for the Shonky Award, as our goal is not to mislead but rather to help. We have had countless positive testimonies from happy customers.

BABYHOOD

The Babyhood port a cot has been tested by an independent internationally accredited test facility and has successfully passed the mandatory Australian Standard for folding cots. Choice Magazine’s own test results https://www.choice.com.au/babies-and-kids/baby-transport/portable-cots/articles/portacots-fail-mandatory-and-voluntary-australian-standards also confirm that the babyhood port a cot passes the mandatory Australian Standard.

Babyhood remains confident that our port a cot is safe, which is confirmed by Choice Magazine’s own testing in 2018 and earlier in 2010.

Babyhood is disappointed that Choice Magazine has incorrectly included our port a cot in this article, as Choice Magazine’s own testing confirms that our port a cot is absolutely compliant to the mandatory Australian Standard. We have tried to contact Choice Magazine for comment on the incorrect information that they have published, but we have been unable to reach them.

BABY BUNTING

Baby Bunting’s statement regarding Choice’s review of portacots We note Choice’s comments about portacots.

Baby Bunting sells some, but not all, of the portacots tested by Choice. The brands of portacots that are sold by Baby Bunting, in our view, comply with the Australian mandatory product safety standard for portacots.

Baby Bunting is absolutely committed to ensuring the products we sell are safe for babies and young children.

Choice has made comments about the 4Baby Liteway Travel cot. 4Baby is Baby Bunting’s private label brand. Choice has concluded that the Liteway Travel cot failed the mandatory standard on the basis that the mattress was not sufficiently firm enough.

The Australian mandatory product safety standard for portacots, which adopts AS/NZS 2195:1999, requires that all padding or cushioning material, including the mattress, shall be sufficiently firm to preclude its forming to the contours of the occupant’s face.

We understand that Choice uses the method of testing in voluntary standard AS/NZS 8811.1:2013 when testing for mattress firmness. This is not currently part of the Australian mandatory product safety standard.

Baby Bunting has independent testing that confirms that the Liteway Travel cot complies with the Australian mandatory product safety standard including the relevant paragraph in relation to mattress firmness, and we believe that the Liteway Travel cot complies with the Australian mandatory product safety standard.

In our experience, the design of portacots has improved dramatically since the introduction of the Australian mandatory product safety standard.

We always welcome Choice’s feedback on the products we sell. We continually work to ensure that our products meet Australian mandatory product safety standards and other relevant standards. --- Michael Pane General Manager - Operations Baby Bunting

COMMONWEALTH BANK

Response to media coverage about School Banking

Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager Retail Bank, Mark Jones said:

“We wish to respond to some of the media coverage and criticism around our in-school financial literacy programs.

“Our School Banking program has been running in Australian schools for 87 years, and we are proud to have been able to help children develop good savings habits since 1931.

“Firstly, participation in the School Banking program is completely voluntary for schools, and their parents.

“The program is widely supported by P&C committees and currently is run by a 10,000 strong parent-based volunteer network.

“The Bank does not charge fees or market credit products to customers under 18 years old.

“As part of the School Banking program, students receive a savings account which they can deposit money into. In addition, Commonwealth Bank makes a payment to schools based on the number of participating students, and the frequency of their deposits.

“The purpose of these payments has always been to compensate for the administration of the program and the dedicated time of the volunteers. In most cases these payments generally go towards school sporting equipment or books in the school library.

“So far this year, schools received $380 on average.

“The purpose of the School Banking program is to encourage regular savings habits, and increase financial literacy around the country.

“CBA provides two different in-school programs, being Start Smart and School Banking.

“Start Smart is a free financial educational program that provides engaging and interactive workshops to primary and secondary students and is the largest program of its kind in the world

“Start Smart does not promote Commonwealth Bank products or services of any kind, and its facilitators are independent of the bank and not employed by CBA.

“We believe that teaching children about money is a critical part of helping young people develop the skills they need to do well in the future.

Key facts

• School banking in schools since 1931, Start Smart since 2007.

• As at 30 June 2018, 303,608 students and 3,972 schools were participating in the School Banking program.

• As at 30 June 568,649 participated in Start Smart in FY18 (>3 million since 2007).

• A new School Banking Contributions Program was established January 2018.

STEELCRAFT

At Steelcraft, Safety is our #1 priority with strict adherence and commitment to meeting and/or exceeding safety standards. Steelcraft only sells product complying with the latest Australian Standard as well as meeting the ACCC mandatory Australian Standard. Steelcraft conducts testing on all products and this is updated for each revision of a Standard and after changes in design and materials.

KELLOG’S

“We know Parents and Teens love Nutri-Grain To Go based on them trying the food before we launched. This is a great food – almost half of the sugar comes from the Banana puree, honey and oats, with the rest - around one and a half teaspoons - coming from cane sugar.”

WESFARMERS

The Kmart Baby Solutions Travel Porta-Cot and the Target Holiday Porta-Cot have been tested regularly by internationally recognised and accredited laboratories and has passed the full requirements of the mandatory Australian Standard AS/NZS 2195:1999 which is for folding cots.

CNP BRANDS

12 June 2018

CNP Brands has considered the review published by Choice regarding the Childcare Trio 3-in-1 Travel Cot in which the findings and expressed sentiment are in start contrast to the diligent third-party testing that classified the product above and beyond the mandatory Australian Standard.

CNP Brands remains absolutely confident in the safety of the product as reflected by extensive independent testing.

While CNP Brands disagrees with Choice's interpretations of testing guidelines and their final report, we will consider any opportunities for improvement to ensure we continue delivering first-class products.

CNP Brands is proud of its strong-track record of delivering high quality products to Australian families which are always independently tested to ensure they are first and foremost safe for use.

To continue supporting its customers, CNP Brands is always exploring new and innovative ways to improve the safety of our products and takes a leading role working with regulators to keep Australians safe.