Kmart slammed for ‘worst performing’ item in years
AUSTRALIA'S beloved bargain store Kmart is known for pumping out effective products at a fraction of the cost of others on the market.
From fashion to kitchen appliances, Kmart's consumer appeal is splashed across social media on a daily basis.
But a popular Kmart oil heater has been savaged in a review, released this week by Australia's peak consumer research body, Choice.
The review was so bad that Choice testers actually expressed their commiserations to anyone who purchased the absolute "dud" that is the Anko 11 Fin Oil Heater, for $55.
"It's pretty much a warm doorstop, you don't really want to buy it," testing director Matthew Steen said.
On the Kmart website, the heater claims to be a "safe and efficient" alternative to expensive heating systems in your home.
Choice tests about 20 new heaters, released onto the Australia market each year, and deliver a comprehensive report on their effectiveness for consumers.
But according to this week's findings, the Kmart electric oil heater is "one of the worst performing heaters Choice has tested in years."
Mr Steen said the heater scored an incredibly low 38 per cent, because it doesn't really do much at all.
"This is one of the most poorly performing electric heaters I've seen in my time at Choice," he said.
In fact, it took 57 minutes to heat the test room by a tiny 5 degrees.
"It didn't even manage to reach a 10C rise," he said.
But for those poor suckers (like me) who purchased this heater, Mr Steen had two messages.
"If you have (bought one), then my commiserations, but also you'll want to use your pedestal fan," he said.
"Make sure it's blowing towards the heater so that you're at least getting some sort of circulation of the limited heat that it's producing through the room."
Kmart has been contacted by news.com.au for a comment.
Choice spokesman Jonathan Brown told news.com.au the disappointing results came off the back of the organisation's electric heater tests, conducted over April and May.
"Electric heaters are one of Choice's most popular tests, so they're a staple part of our yearly testing schedule," he said.
"We test a number of brands and models from across the market."
The Kmart oil heater tied for last place with the Noirot 7358-7T electric heater, which Choice described as an expensive "paperweight".
One of these will set you back $459 from The Good Guys or Harvey Norman.
It seems shoppers aren't entirely convinced by Kmart's other heating alternatives either.
"Be aware of your power bill!" one woman warned on a Kmart Facebook group.
"Mine went shooting through the roof from the little fan."
Another woman posted that she had purchased Kmart's $29 convection heater, that comes with a timer, and posted to social media that it "burst into flames" in her room.
"It was nice and warm for about 45 seconds then I saw the flames shooting up," she said.
"Bloody lucky as it has a timer which clearly implies you can leave it unattended. I just want to ensure no one gets hurt. It was the first time we plugged it in."
Got a dud item you want to share with us? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or continue the conversation @Rhi_lani