Your comments this week – Christmas, credit and contracts

by , Campaigns Team Energy & Home 6 January 2013
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The New Year’s got off to a chatty start as you’ve been talking about Ofcom’s consultation on mid-contract price rises, paying for Christmas on credit and whether paper guidebooks are going out of fashion.

The letter C

Buying bottled water?

As a small town in America bans the sale of bottled water under one litre, we asked if you like to buy bottled. Kirsten told us:

‘I only buy bottled water if I am out and about and am thirsty. I then keep the bottle and refill it from the tap. I am lucky that the water in East Lothian is lovely. Some colleagues at work object to the occasional chloride taste necessitating my work place to have a water cooler. I think this is a ridiculous waste of energy and resources. It’s a western fad and indulgence.’

What’s your big tech prediction for 2013?

We asked you – what will be the next big thing in tech for 2013? S J Hersom told us:

‘Never mind the gizmos – I think 2013 will start to see increasing use of all the data that people are collecting about us as we travel around. It isn’t just Apple and Google who know where we are: the provision of free wi-fi is done so shopping centres and coffee shops know who is visiting, what they visit and when.’

NFH had a slightly different view:

‘I think we’ll see laptop manufacturers catching up with Apple’s lead on retina displays. Many laptops, even those with physically large screens, are supplied with very poor resolution screens, often less than HD (1920×1080). It’s high time that laptop manufacturers sold >200dpi screens as standard.’

Is it the end of the road for paper guidebooks?

As ebook readers, smartphones and tablets take over, is the paper guidebook going out of fashion? Fieseltaylor said:

‘In any event, my Boox (ebook reader) would be brought along as its battery life, like most dedicated readers, is hugely better than a smartphone. Currently on my Boox I have many items relating to our visit to Canada including all the Wikipedia articles for the ports and Provinces we were to visit. I even have the yearly docking schedules for several ports and the various costs to a cruise ship docking.’

Hit by a mobile price hike? Want to exit without penalty?

Should you be able to exit your contract without penalty if a telecoms company increases your prices mid-contract? Dory said yes:

‘I would prefer to leave a contract when price rises if we aren’t really aware it’s going to happen. It wasn’t explained and really, who actually reads the small print when you’re being rushed through the shop so the sales person can get to the next person?’

Darryl agreed:

‘Companies are the first to quote terms and conditions when customers ‘break’ them, yet they’re the very last to point out a pivotal clause, in their favour, squirreled away in those T&C’s. O2′s T&Cs, for example, run to 13,000 words and 14 pages.’

Christmas on credit – blown out finances or under control?

As our survey found nearly half the nation paid for Christmas on credit, Vynor Hill shared his thoughts on Christmas goodwill and earned our Comment of the Week:

‘Christmas is always going to be an unwelcome burden on the budget for some, and it’s not good financial training for children to expect their parents to overspend. Nor should such parents feel emotionally bound to spend more than they should.

‘Of course, they do, and that’s not easy to live with either. That, then, leads to the debate about the true meaning and spirit of Christmas. I think there’s a balance to be struck, somewhere in the middle, especially if it unites the family in this season of “good will”.’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).

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