Choice names top seven Shonky products for 2014

THE annual Shonkys have been dished out by consumer group Choice and the verdict is a harsh one for seven products ranging from baby food, biscuits, banks and blenders.

Here are some of the best (or is that worst?) of the 2014 awards.

Commonweath Bank of Australia

Choice was scathing of CBA this year, telling consumers it "presided over one of Australia's worst financial planning failures".

Choice wrote: "According to a senate inquiry into the matter, CBA's financial planners orchestrated a "calculated deceit", and deliberately (and in some cases fraudulently) put clients into risky and inappropriate investments to meet bonus goals, costing consumers millions of dollars and leading to lost life savings and ruined lives."

Compensation for customers was difficult in some cases potentially insufficient according to the inquiry.

The CBA con has reportedly been going on for years and customers are still waiting for a resolution.

Tim Tams

Arnott's Tim Tam Peanut Butter Flavour biscuits was voted in by consumers for its apparent lack of one key ingredient: peanuts.

A close look at the packet reveals the product contains no peanuts at all, but rather a paprika extract mixed with caramel food colouring that results in a golden peanut butter-esk tint.

The final pinch is that while the new Tim Tam flavour costs the same, the packet has two biscuits less than a regular packet.

S-26 Gold Toddler and Junior

Ensuring fussy kids are getting all the right vitamins and minerals has become big business with parents looking for easy alternatives to good ol-fashioned veggies.

S-26 has the solution in a formula tin, Choice writes that health care professionals advise that toddler and junior milks aren't needed for kids over the age of one.

Choice even goes as far to say that "you may be doing your child a disservice by offering another liquid at a time when it's suggested the focus should be on increasing solids."


Another company criticized in this year's awards was Thermomix, which reportedly received 530 nominations from the public.

The high-end model TM31 blender costs $1939 and Choice says even its testers praised the product for its performance.

What annoyed consumers was the launch of its first new model in seven years, the TM5, without any prior warning while people were still busily ordering the old model.

Consumers even told choice they asked about a rumoured new model and were assured there was no upgrade on the way.

Other Shonkys were awarded to Kmart swimwear for its see-through suits, the Amazon Kindle for its overstated battery life and Bankwest Kid's Bonus Saver accounts with awesome interest rates for one year only. 

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