Shonky = of dubious integrity or legality; unreliable or unsound. In case you were wondering.

We all know Sim City was a load of old rubbish dressed up as a money making factory, but picture those poor Australians who, just before launch, were wondering whether, just for once, they wouldn’t get shafted. The shining light of hope in their eyes was quickly snuffed, and as a consequence, EA Games has won CHOICE Australia’s Shonky Award 2013 for Unfair Play.

However it wasn’t the gameplay on its own that earned EA the Shonky. No, it was the support helpline that pushed EA over the edge. When gamers tried to call tech support, they discovered that it was a paid call, at $2.48 per minute. “And this shonkosity is even worse,” says CHOICE Australia, “when you consider it’s their fault you’re ringing in the first place!”

Of course, US gamers paid nothing to phone tech support, which created a loophole which some Australians exploited by using Skype to buzz the US helpline. But, as CHOICE points out, it’s yet another example of the Australia tax the country pays on electronic hardware, software and downloads.

CHOICE is a consumer watchdog organization, that’s been going since 1959. The Shonkys are its way of letting people know the current state of play; or in this case, unfair play. “This year we had a record 439 Shonky nominations from across Australia, which highlights the level of consumer concern about shonky products and services,” says CHOICE’s Alan Kirkland.

Source: CHOICE Australia

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