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Qantas, Steggles, VetPay slammed in latest Shonky Awards

Qantas passengers line up at an airport gate to board a flight.
Qantas was named amongst one of Australia's worst services at this years' Shonky Awards. (Source: Getty)

Qantas was slammed by consumer advocacy group CHOICE at this years’ Shonky awards after the airline experienced delays, cancellations and baggage losses.

CHOICE labelled Qantas the ‘Spirit of Disappointment’ at this years’ awards noting the airline's recent staffing issues.

“Qantas appears to have gone deliberately out of its way to win a Shonky Award this year,” CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland said.

“Qantas customers have had to deal with unfair and unworkable flight credits, lost baggage, excessive call wait times, and delayed flights. Qantas charges travellers premium prices, but they are not providing anything close to a premium service, which is why they’re receiving a Shonky Award this year.”

Kirkland said it had been a difficult year for many Aussies after the pandemic, the ongoing natural disasters and rising cost of living.

“CHOICE would love to never have to give out another Shonky Award but, unfortunately, we continue to uncover products and services that need to be called out,” he said.

“The last thing people need is businesses that rip them off but, unfortunately, that’s exactly what we’ve seen in this year’s Shonky Awards.”

Other products and services that made the list were VetPay, which CHOICE described as a financial product that “targets distressed pet owners”.

“VetPay is a quick access loan product that receives a Shonky for taking advantage of pet owners desperate to pay costly vet bills in an emergency,” Kirkland said.

“VetPay says it has a sense of compassion for its customers, yet charges eye-watering interest rates of over 18 per cent and fees at every turn. VetPay needs to stop marketing this expensive form of credit as ‘affordable’.”

And if you’ve been trying to sneak vegetables into your kids’ food by feeding them Steggles Chicken Nuggets Boosted with Veggies, you might be disappointed.

“Steggles Chicken Nuggets might sound like a pretty good option, with their packaging proudly proclaiming they’re ‘boosted with veggies’. Unfortunately, these nuggets are a highly processed food containing only meagre amounts of vegetables,” CHOICE editorial director Margaret Rafferty said.

“Our experts found that you would have to eat a whopping 26 nuggets, or more than one 400g pack, just to get one serving of vegetables. Plus, most of the vegetable content is potato, which most kids don’t need too much convincing to eat on its own.

“We don't recommend relying on this product if you’re looking to up your children’s veggie intake.”

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