Thermomix have broken the record for number of nominations in the Choice Shonky Awards this year, attracting over 500 nominations from Choice members and staff. Thermomix products have an almost cult-like following, with people across Australia happily forking out almost $2000 for this popular kitchen product.
Thermomix have been criticised for the badly organised launch of their latest product, and this blunder has now lumbered them with a Choice Shonky Award for “shredding the public's trust”.
The product itself receives rave reviews, and the Choice testers had nothing negative to say about its performance. The Choice Shonky Award was given not for poor performance, but for the all-too-secret launch of its latest model in September.
This new model, the TM5, is the first new model in seven years, and offers a range of new features. It sells for just $50 more than its predecessor, the TM31s, and the company failed to mention the upcoming product launch to any of their consumers or the wider general public. Thanks to this PR catastrophe, some new owners had celebrated the arrival of their TM31s just days before the all-singing, all-dancing TM5 model was released – and for just $50 more.
Some dissatisfied customers claim to have asked whether a new model was on the cards, only to be assured that there were no new models on the verge of launching. The launch of the new model alone saw the resale value of the previous model drop by hundreds of dollars.
At the mock awards ceremony for the Choice Shonky Awards, fake money was blended in one of the now infamous Thermomix TM31 appliances, to highlight the plight of the consumers who forked out in the days leading up to the hush-hush launch of the new model.
When customers complained to the company about their frustration, far from offering refunds or exchanges to the unhappy cult-following, Thermomix simply offered a few freebies. According to Choice, the company simply offered bowls and blades as a peace offering, and failed to appease the disheartened Thermo-fans.
Companies who sell high-value products, are generally expected to announce product launches in advance, allowing consumers to make informed choices about when to buy. This allows consumers to make informed decisions about their finances, and to ensure they have the best products on the market.
When Thermomix launched the $2000 appliance without prior warning, they left some customers feeling ripped off. At the time of the Scanda, in a statement released to news.com.au, Thermomix stated that the product launch was within the law, they assured customers that the issue was being taken seriously.
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Image source: gastromony.com