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How we’re spreading the word about Which? this week

We’re out and about this week, spreading the word about Which? around the capital’s train stations. Going to be in the area? Come and have a chat with us.

It’s been a busy few months here at Which? – we’ve seen a new-look magazine, the launch of a new augmented reality feature in our reviews app, and you may even have heard us on the radio.

As our members will know, we’re incredibly proud of our rigorous product testing. We believe we go further by anyone else by testing products in the way people use them in real life.

We’re an independent consumer champion, so you can trust our reviews because they can’t be bought. There’s no advertising in our magazine or on our site.

Taking Which? on the road

We want to get that message out there. When some people think ‘Which?’, it’s easy for the mind to wonder to white goods – “they’re the ones who test the washing machines, right? And the dishwashers?”

Right, but there’s so much more to know about us. That’s why we’re out and about this week, spreading the word.

It was an early start for me this morning! By 7am I was already having an in-depth chat with someone looking for a new fridge-freezer.

Interestingly, he was unaware of the new safety standard and the risk of plastic-backed models. He loved that we tell you what not to buy, as well as what you should.

Digging deeper

As the morning went on I discussed the importance of our research into fake reviews with several commuters.

The internet has completely changed the way we do our shopping – independent advice on your rights and warnings of the latest scams have never been more important.

It was also great to meet and chat with several current Which? members, who were passing through by chance. If you happen to be in London this week, please do stop for a chat!

Our team will be at Fenchurch Street from 7am to 7pm on Wednesday, and Charing Cross from 7am to 7pm on Thursday.

While these three days are limited to London at the moment, we’re sure to be out and about across the country in the near future. We’ll continue to show off the work we do, and the achievements that your support has made possible to the country.

We’re hoping to see you soon!

Comments

Nice to hear that your are getting out there to meet both subscribers and the public.

Here in Gloucester, I wandered through CeX yesterday and spotted that one of their advertising posters was quoting the recent Which? article where it was found that CeX consistently offered the best prices for buying in used tech.

On reflection, those adverts are also promoting Which? as a source of sound consumer advice.

My son is a logo spotting ninja – he always gets excited and tells everyone his mummy’s work is famous which is rather sweet. πŸ™‚

I agree that it’s good for Which? to get out and about. I presume that most people become subscribers as a result of speaking to existing members.

I don’t think I will make it to Victoria station, Adam, but if you head up north there are some Victorian stations worth visiting.

It would be good to have Which? visit a few Currys stores to help people who are told they must contact the manufacturer if their products die after a few months or are told they will have to pay extra when buy a laptop.

I don’t think we would be in Currys long before being politely (or maybe not so politely) asked to move on. We have some dangerous product leaflets that I am always tempted to leave on whirlpool tumble driers in Currys. Never had the nerve to actually do it though!

A dangerous product leaflet…hmm. Printed on magnesium paper or possibly using polonium-based ink, perhaps? πŸ™‚

I’m on Twitter now, and for what Twitter activity is worth, I always retweet Which’s safety/scam/other warnings that I see. I also retweet at them what I think might be of interest to them. Recently I recommended to someone that they should follow Which.

I’ll look out for you on twitter and say hello! πŸ™‚

Edit: Should probably explain I work on the Which? twitter account! That sounded a bit odd without that context!

You won’t find me because I tweet under a pseudonym, to protect my employer and also my job. Which? will be happy to hear, however, that I observe the same respectful rules there as I do here. πŸ™‚

For all we know, you are not even Sophie Gilbert. πŸ™‚ You have been here for a long time and in the early days of Which? Convo it was suggested that we use pseudonyms.

I’m sure the Americans and the Russians know who she (or he) is. Since we are told they snoop on us all, I wonder how many sockets they need in their server rooms to store information on the 7.5 billion inhabitants of the world? And how long would it take to track down Sophie’s records?

In fact I’m Spartacus. πŸ™‚

Up to one minute per person to trace everything? I sure am glad I live in a country where I can express myself reasonably easily without too much fear. Being able to support Which?, which isn’t the most controversial organisation on the planet anyway, feels like one of the right things to do.

I seem to remember wavechange or another forum regular saying they had been banned from posting reviews on Amazon for telling the truth about products. Duncan also said 4 years ago that he had reviews deleted for this

If you are going to talk about fake reviews with people, maybe you should also ask if genuine reviews have been deleted or blocked for being too negative or truthful

Hi Wev – I did two negative reviews relating to safety concerns about products sold by Amazon Marketplace traders and they are still there.

I do recall someone saying that they had been blocked from posting reviews. It might have been ‘Socketman’, the late David Peacock, who used to post in the Convos on two pin plugs. He was trying to get the sale of pepper spray banned on UK websites, which I believe he achieved.

I found an old post from Keith Young saying his summer house review was deleted 15 minutes after he made it, and one from Duncan saying he’s had many reviews deleted

But the one I remember was about battery or phone chargers, or plugs

I’ve had a few reviews blocked by Amazon too

I’ve done some negative reviews on Amazon and never had a review rejected. However, one needs to know how Amazon categorises its reviews.

There are actually two different categories: the first is for products. The second, however, is where some people fall foul of their rules, because it’s not about products, it’s about the Marketplace retailer selling the product. You’re encouraged to write reviews about both, but the product category is usually the only category people think about.

That annoying email you get after buying something from a Marketplace trader is the company asking you for a seller review. It’s not really made as clear as it ought to be, and it’s slightly awkward to use. But that’s where you can leave negative reviews about the seller.

Marketplace traders on Amazon are something of a minefield. In the early days they were far from reliable but gradually Amazon has brought them into line.

However, it’s worth noting that Amazon offers one of the better online shopping experiences; something I was reminded about, recently. I’ve long argued that Amazon is not destroying the high street as some would claim; the High Street is, in fact, doing a pretty good job of that all by itself, as my recent experience proved.

A woman was interviewed on the news about Mothercare. She said when her children were young she went to Mothercare, now her children are having children, they go to Amazon.

In the early days, Amazon sold everything cheaper than on the High Street, but now we have few High Street stores left, their prices are higher.

Ian, you and I will have to disagree on Amazon destroying the High Street, but I sorely miss having a choice of products in a choice of shops I can see and examine when making purchasing decisions.

Hey all, just a reminder we have a dedicated convo on fake reviews we can move this to over here: https://conversation.which.co.uk/shopping/fake-reviews-campaign-petition/

It’s also a current campaign https://campaigns.which.co.uk/fake-reviews/

alfa, I agree there are many products that benefit from being examined before you buy. We recently bought a high chair from Mothercare and checking their construction, utility and robustness was key in the decision as to what to buy. I don’t want to have the hassle of returning goods that look good on screen but not in the flesh.

I use Amazon for some purchases but for others do physical research first and then choose where to buy.

George: please do move it. I only noticed it was out of place after I’d posted πŸ™‚

No worries. I’ll see if we can shift it.

Buying jewelry gifts causes a similar headache when the photographs of pendants, lockets etc are twice the size on screen than they are in the hand.
Size and weight can easily be distorted and these days, when posting items, it is essential to know both.

Please can someone explain the augmented reality feature in the Reviews app. Maybe my phone is too old to take advantage of this.

Hi Adam. Thanks, but it does not work for me. I very much agree about the value of inspecting goods before purchase.

In Adam’s washing machine example, it might indicate that a washing machine of normal dimensions will fit in the space available in terms of width and height but how does it deal with depth?

I have noticed that many people’s washing machines seem to project into the room because there are pipes and other obstacles behind it or because the machine itself is designed to stand proud of the adjacent units – and then there is the door to consider and some of those have a very large radius.

I don’t think there is a better way of buying such things than doing some homework first on the dimensions, features and the space available and then going out equipped with a tape measure. A picture might help, of course, but I wouldn’t rely on it. I am also wondering what other purchases augmented reality would assist with.

There is no doubt that the loss of appliance stores as a result of internet shopping has made it more difficult to see all the product and brand options before making a decision. Shame we lost Comet – but people were using it as a showroom and then buying on-line.