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OPINION: Shonky Choice Exposed

Opinion: The only thing Shonky about the Shonky Awards is Choice, the Organisation who runs the annual Awards.

What Choice engage in is to coin their own words “unreliable, unsound, dishonest, poor or of dubious quality; shoddy” practices.

This is an organisation who thrive on self-publicity and publicity stunts in an effort to sell subscriptions to a rag publication that loses credibility every time the organisation runs a publicity stunt.

This week Choice again singled out Samsung and their Note 7 for a shonky gong. This had nothing to do with risk or danger but more to do with grabbing publicity off the back of a brand that has not only acted in a responsible manner but is a brand that is currently investing tens of millions of dollars fixing a problem with a battery.

For example, 80% of the Samsung Note 7 smartphones sold in Australia have already been recalled, that’s 40,084 of the 51,060 Note 7’s that Samsung sold prior to their “immediate” recall of the product.

Samsung even developed software that restricted the remaining 10,000 smartphones from charging over 60% thus reducing any fire risk. The software was automatically downloaded to the device, yet despite this Choice had to stick the boot in not because of any risk but simply because they are a smug arrogant organisation run by wankers who like to flaunt big brands because they hope that it will drive revenue.

Remember this is the same organisation who ran a completely bogus story claiming that a New South Wales house had been burnt down because of a Samsung washing machine. The story was not only false but the journalist who wrote the story and had labelled herself an “investigative journalist” turned out to be a junior journalist with no history of working as an investigative journalist.

What should have been top of the list in yesterday Shonky awards was Hau Yang Australia International Trading and Investment a Company who sold tens of thousands of dodgy USB chargers in Australia. These are the same chargers that killed a woman when she went to charge her iPhone.

A search of the Choice website for Hau Yang Australia International Trading and Investment comes up with the following message” Whoops we couldn’t find any results for “Hau Young Australia International Trading and Investment”.”.

The only problem is that this brand is not “sensational” enough for Choice despite the fact that tens of thousands of these chargers made it into convenience stores, petrol stations and retail stores in Australia and hundreds of them are still out there today.

The real facts are that less than 10 Note 7 smartphones have been identified as having a problem in Australia and they have been recalled. I had one for six weeks and never had a problem, I also charged it every day and there was no heat build-up.

Did Samsung deliberately bring in phones that they knew there would be a problem with, No!

What Choice didn’t tell you was that Samsung built and sold over 45,000,000 million smartphones last year and consumers love them.

Choice is an organisation who has a beef with several Companies including Samsung. This is also an organisation who appears to be prepared to manipulate a situation to deliver a publicity stunt.

So I wonder whether they manipulate results when it comes to reviews in their magazine?

Credibility is critical for Choice and their latest PR stunt smacks of showmanship over substance.

Take yesterday, there was there clown prince of PR spruiking the Shonky Awards while executives from Hau Yang Australia International were being fined $50,000 in the Supreme Court.

Then there are the products that are on the Recall Australia list they include a Mercedes with an electrical loom problem.

A Volvo truck that has driveshaft that could fail and separate at the centre bearing, disabling the vehicle.

BSH Home Appliances Pty Ltd, Bosch Freestanding Gas/Electric Cooker 60cm which under certain circumstances, the adaptor between the gas supply and the appliance may crack causing a potential gas leak.

None of these brands were singled out, instead Choice management singled out brands such as Samsung, Milo and Kellogg’s.

As Gizmodo reported the crux of the matter, it seems, is that Choice is unhappy at Samsung sending a lawyer’s letter over some comments made by Choice to the ABC and AAP. Choice says: “When Choice sought to amplify the message about the dangerous device and encourage consumers to seek a full refund, the company was less than impressed. They fired a legal letter at us for discussing in the media the problems consumers were experiencing with their phone.”

Samsung says in its letter, though, that Choice had made a representation that not only the Galaxy Note7 but other Samsung smartphones were potentially unsafe and may be subjected to a recall, and that replacement Note7 devices delivered to customers may themselves be unsafe. Choice’s comment to AAP, that customers should seek a refund rather than a replacement, ran with a quote — “You don’t want one of those flaming devices in your pocket.” To the ABC, it said “the challenge for Samsung will be to demonstrate that this isn’t just a one-off problem”. That’s not common sense or measured consumer advocacy. That’s just fearmongering.

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