No-name steam iron slammed by Choice Magazine

By Patrick Avenell

Choice Magazine has delivered an amusingly vitriolic spray at a no-name steam iron sold at Coles supermarkets. It’s another reason why consumers should only buy their electrical products from the professionals – a point the retailers themselves should work harder to convey.

The You’ll Love Coles Steam Iron, which is available for $33, was awarded a 2008 Shonky Award, Choice’s annual accolade for the worst consumer goods and services in the market. In the magazine’s explanation of why this product was recognised, the authors couldn’t help but slip into sarcasm in describing just how bad this iron is.

“…You take it home and give it some water (which it sometimes leaks, but you don’t mind because it’s just water) and one thing leads to another, and before you know it it’s all over your shirt, and doing your jeans, and even touching your finest synthetics. And that’s when you realise it doesn’t love you back! Not one bit.

“There isn’t the sensual glide you were hoping for – it rudely sticks to and roughly drags over your clothing as if it’s always too hot or too cold. And does it fulfil your deepest desire to remove life’s wrinkles and creases from the fabric of your fabrics? No, it doesn’t. When you ask it to, it just laughs in your face and grabs the fabric and creates additional creases instead,” is how the Coles steam iron was described on Choice’s website.

The good news for dedicated electrical appliance retailers is that if enough consumers learn just how risky some of these products are, they will be further motivated to take their business to the professionals. That way, retailers will be much less affected by the undercutting that goes on with no-name and house brands.

Retailers should check out Choice’s Website to review the products and services awarded Shonkys in 2008. When it comes to the You’ll Love Coles Steam Iron, perhaps they should print that article out and post it on the wall.

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