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The Lobby – general discussion

Welcome to Which? Conversation

Have something you want to talk about, but aren’t sure where to start? Start here!

The Lobby is our off-topic discussion space here on Which? Conversation.

Unlike the other topical conversations we post, this is a place where we look to you to start the discussion.

If there’s a consumer issue or concern, an idea you have for Which?, or something else you’d like to talk with us and with other community members about, start up a conversation in the comments below!

Lobby etiquette

Here’s a few suggestions to make the conversations read smoothly:

  • Make your topic clear and easy for others to find.

    For example, you may want to start your comment by setting your topic or question out apart from other text, or in bold text (using HTML tags).
  • If you want to respond to a topic someone else has started, reply to the original parent comment using the Reply button rather than posting a new parent comment on the same topic.

    This helps keep conversations on a single topic together as our off-topic space doesn’t support individual message threads (yet).
  • Feel free to move the conversation around.

    If you’ve started a discussion on a topic we have an existing conversation for, we’ll suggest shifting the conversation there. Equally if you’re in any topical conversation and the conversation goes far from the topic being discussed, feel free to move it in this space.
    You can grab the hyperlink for any specific comment by copying the link location from the comment’s timestamp.

As with the rest of Which? Conversation the Community Guidelines and Terms and Conditions still apply, so please do adhere to those to keep it a welcoming and open place for all.

Where to go next:

There’s more to explore in other parts of the Which? community space:


If you’re looking to get outside for a bit, feel free to check out the Which? Gardening Group over on Facebook. Hosted by the Which? Gardening team, this is your space to chat about plants and gardening, as well as see what goes on behind the scenes at Which? Gardening.

Over to you!

What’s on your mind today?


To make a millennial laugh, just tell them how people used to believe a business or government would actually keep information confidential.

Unfortunately that joke was first leaked several years ago.

I can count the number of times I’ve been to Chernobyl on one hand. It’s eight.

Don’t be worried about your smartphone or TV spying on you. Your vacuum cleaner has been gathering dirt on you for years.

That sucks 🙁

many years ago, I came to don a pair of ancient shoes and found the soles parting from the uppers. Four or five years ago I bought two pairs of Clarks shoes from a Clarks shop. One pair I wore until they were shabby. I came to the other pair with the expectation of similar comfort and longevity. As I lifted the shoe, the entire sole detached itself from the leather upper. The other shoe had a large crack across the base of the shoe and was similarly damaged. The rubber seemed to have perished while the shoes were in store. I also purchased a pair of brown shoes at the same time with a different sole composition. These still appear to be in good condition. The lesson learned is that some shoes have a shelf life and it doesn’t pay to stock up.
To add to the annoyance, a pair of black shoes that I wear for posh occasions has now become single. One usually removes both shoes together, so this is a mystery which continues to puzzle.

I have had the same problem, Vynor. Years ago I bought a pair of Clarks sandals for walking in the summer months and was very happy, so bought a second pair soon after. Both pairs have had a great deal of use, though only one pair is extant.

In contrast both of a pair of more expensive pair of Clarks sandals split across the sole the second time they were worn, presumably due to deterioration of the synthetic sole. I realise they had remained unused for maybe seven years. I must look though what is in the shoe cupboard because there could be some shoes that have not survived well.

I agree. It doesn’t pay to buy shoes and keep them for years before wanting to wear them. In the past, when I found a pair of shoes that fitted well and were comfortable, I made the mistake of buying another couple of pairs but by the time I came to put them on they had fallen apart. I have two or three unworn pairs of good quality all-leather shoes that are still in their original boxes and I look at them from time to time and they seem to have lasted quite well without any signs of breaking but I no longer have to attend the sort of occasions where I would wear such footwear. I suppose I could wear them in the garden.

I have a few pairs of shoes hardly worn – including formal styles bought for weddings and other occasions. Generally I wear wellingtons in the garden, a pair of M&S casual lace ups for general use and now Timberland boots that came from Father Christmas. I have been very happy over the years with M&S footwear, often bought in their sales.

Three of us have had similar experiences with footwear that has unexpectedly deteriorated in storage. Maybe it’s not planned obsolescence but it is sole destroying.

Quite likely – but why does it always happen when we are down on our uppers?

As a person who collects trainers this is my worst nightmare, I’ve had a few older pairs start to crack and finding the correct sole to swap them is very costly. Learned a very hard lesson that if you keep shoes in storage and not wear them. They do deteriorate a lot quicker.

A load of cobblers. 🙂

The sign in system seems utterly broken today

Ian says:
Today 09:40

Welcome to Tin Can Day, the day in 1825 when Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kensett patented food storage in tin cans and the day in 1893 of the first performance of of Ibsen’s The Master Builder.

Ian says:
Today 09:40

My mate broke his left arm and left leg, but he was alright.

I suppose that making fun of the injured is mostly armless but it they get upset you won’t have a leg to stand on.

If you follow Ian’s No.2 advice below you could become legless.

Ian says:
Today 09:41

Coffee makes you hyper, but coffee shops are designed for people to chill, whereas alcohol is a depressant but bars and clubs are designed for people to be energetic.

It’s a con trick…………..opposites are deliberately designed to attract.

Ian says:
Today 09:41

There are two reasons I don’t give money to homeless people:

1. They would spend it on alcohol.
2. I want to spend it on alcohol.