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Kogan, Ikea named and shamed by consumer advocate

Kogan and Ikea have been singled out for misleading their customers in the 14th annual “Shonkys” awards from the consumer advocate group Choice.

The two retailers are among the companies that Choice says have “ripped off, misled and treated Australians like cash cows to be exploited” over the past year.

“Choice’s job is to stand up against companies doing the wrong thing,” Alan Kirkland, CEO of Choice, which has been presenting the “Shonkys” for the past 14 years, said.

That includes companies like Kogan, which Kirkland called a “serial offender” when it comes to consumer rights.

The online retailer was the subject of over 300 complaints to NSW Fair Trading between January and July of this year, primarily due to the hoops it made customers jump through to get refunds, repairs and replacements for products.

A spokesperson for Kogan acknowledged that the company wasn’t doing enough to resolve certain types of complaints, but said it has taken major action to improve complaint resolution , and that complaints are down 92.2 per cent since the post-Christmas peak earlier this year.

“Complaints are now at an extremely low level, especially considering that more than 4 million orders were delivered during the past year,” the spokesperson told Internet Retailing.

“We will continue working hard to improve the experience we deliver to our customers.”

Ikea was less conciliatory. The furniture giant was put on the list for selling a fridge that fails to keep food fresh and uses more energy than it claims, according to Choice.

“The Ikea Nedkyld is one of the worst fridges we’ve ever tested. Not only is it terrible at keeping your food cold, when Choice tested the Nedkyld’s energy use against its star rating, it failed the test,” Kirkwood said.

“It’s hard to understand how this fridge is still on sale in Ikea’s stores, especially with a misleading energy label.”

A spokesperson for Ikea told IR the fridge had been tested by an independent, accredited test lab, based on the Australian regulations that measure the performance of household electrical appliances, and said it was disappointing that the fridge has been included in the recent Choice report.

“The NEDKLYD fridge is a popular model and has received positive feedback from our customers,” the spokesperson said.

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