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The Welcome Lounge: introduce yourself 👋

Hello and welcome to Which? Conversation’s Welcome Lounge. Introduce yourself to our friendly community and let us know what brought you here.

This is our space to welcome newbies into our communtiy, help them discover Which? Conversation (and all of Which?’s online advice) and get to know each other a little better before jumping into our discussions.

Whether you’ve been a member of our community for a long time, or this is your very first time posting here, we want you to share what’s brought you to Which?. Plus, we’d love to hear about a consumer issue that you keep questioning.

This is also an area for Which? staff to say who they are and what they do.

Introduce yourself

You don’t have to be a Which? member to join in on Which? Conversation – everyone is welcome. Here are a few ideas for things you could tell us:

– the name you’d like to be known as here (often your username!)

– your hobbies and interests

– the consumer issue you keep questioning; what would you like to see change for the better?

The Which? Conversation team will be on hand to greet you, as well as our brilliant regular contributors, who are always happy to help provide answers to your consumer queries and point you at some of the discussions we’ve had here in the past.

I’ll go first!

I’m George, and I joined Which? back in 2015. I’ve got a background in content creation/writing and social media – most members will be aware of Which?’s Weekly Scoop Email – that was one of my responsbilities until I joined Patrick’s team in 2018 to work here on Which? Conversation.

When I’m not at Which? I can often be found on a football pitch (I’m from Croydon, so I’m a Crystal Palace fan!) and I also play a lot of tennis, table tennis and badminton.

The consumer issue I keep questioning is also one of the Which? campaigns I feel most strongly about; our railways are plagued by delays, cancellations and constant overcrowding. When will passengers get the service they deserve?

I’m proud that we’re keeping up the pressure to bring about change in the rail industry, but there’s a lot of work still to be done.

The spirit of our community

As always, have a read of our Community Guidelines if you haven’t already. Just like any other conversation, we want this area to be a healthy and friendly place for new community members to get involved with us.

Please do join us in making everyone feel welcome!

Comments

The layout for this forum has to rate as the worst I have ever come across! It has to be the most difficult forum to navigate around ever! It does seem very obvious that Which do NOT want people to use this Community forum.

Nearly 3 years ago I moved house and a trusted trader. They smashed a piece of furniture. Workmen at time apologised. I delayed claim due needed to find a like item to find value. Out of time they wouldn’t pay. Said out of time, just over a mouth. Went through Which template but no. Tried the Furniture ombudman, useless. Got an offer of £40 or repair. Replacement cost upwards of £ 250.Sadly I let the matter go as I had a partner who was very ill. BG Removals are a Which Trusted Trader. Not trustworthy in my book.

Hi All!

I’m Alice, a relatively new member of the team here at Which?. 

I started back in December in our Member Engagement Team, leaving behind a similar role with a world-leading global health insurance brand. My background is varied, having worked for a number of big brands in customer service and marketing roles. I work to help you as Which? members get the most from us, making sure we’re delivering what you want and need us to.

In my spare time I’m musicals mad, a crafting fanatic and a big-time baker. 

I enjoy supporting and working with Which? because justice is important to me. Having seen both sides of the coin as both a consumer and customer services worker, I know how wrong things can go… but also how easily they can be fixed! Whether it’s a purchase of £1 or £1,000, I’m passionate about consumer rights and making sure we’re all treated fairly as customers.

I look forward to my future here at Which? and stomping out injustice!

Hi Alice and welcome to Conversation. Some of our regulars here have spent a great deal of time discussing Currys, which has treated some of its customers very poorly: https://conversation.which.co.uk/shopping/currys-pc-world-complaints-faulty-goods/ We really need help from Which? to push Trading Standards into action and to know what we as enthusiastic consumers can do to help.

Hi Alice, great to meet you.

As Wavechange has highlighted, unacceptable practices by Curry’s, some of which are in breach of Legislation, along with shockingly poor customer service are of great concern to many of us here and to those customers affected.

It would be great to see Which? engage with Trading Standards and encouraging them to act accordingly. Perhaps Which? could also invite Curry’s CEO Alex Baldock to read this forum, offer some explanations and explain what measures Curry’s are taking to address customer complaints.

Charlie says:
31 March 2022

I joined Which? to get an insight into the best/recommended vented induction hobs on the market at the moment. Unfortunately this turns out not to be something that has been covered, yet, so if anybody has some first hand experience of such an appliance, then it would be great to hear from you. I need to make up my mind on what I’m getting in the next month or two.

Charlie — Given the huge price spread on vented induction hobs it’s wise to try to find objective reviews, or, better still, professional test results. Perhaps the price range — from a few hundreds to a few thousands of pounds — is what is inhibiting Which? from buying some for testing.

Hi Charlie – Which? tests a limited range of products but at least their reviews are independent. Maybe Chirag @chiragkhetiya could enquire and find out if there are plans to report on vented induction hobs in the near future.

If you are a Facebook user you could join the ‘The Which? members club’, were there are many questions about a variety of products and these usually elicit prompt replies. Like other online reviews, these are just people’s opinions but I have seen some helpful comments on the odd occasion that I drop in to find out what is being discussed.

I hope you will find interesting topics on Which? Conversation too.

Thanks @wavechange – I’ll look into the Facebook club

Tina says:
15 May 2022

I’ve bought a wren kitchen and they haven’t delivered the replacement parts 5 times. What is the best way to get the kitchen finished?
I’ve written to MD, tweeted, instagrammed photos of poor quality, trust pilot.
Any suggestions?

Tina — Have you made full payment?

I believe you should make direct contact either by telephone, a visit to a showroom [there are 107 of them, mostly across England with a few in Scotland and Wales], or preferably by a further formal letter to the head office. You should give them a reasonable period, e.g. fourteen days, in which to complete the supply of parts and any installation required after which you reserve the right to commence legal proceedings against them.

Bear in mind that there are supply chain difficulties affecting many industries but, if that is the case in your situation, you have the right to be informed of that.

If Wren Kitchens fail to comply, or give no reasonable explanation for their failure to do so, within your time limit you could make a court claim through the County Court.

Unfortunately, with an incomplete bespoke kitchen, a financial offer of compensation for a breach of contract might not be much use if you have to get parts from another manufacturer that do not match or are of different quality, so you might need to exercise some discretion in how you deal with the company. Nevertheless, companies should not exploit that situation to the customer’s detriment.

Good afternoon! Many of us will get regular deliveries to our door from online purchases but in the last few months each of the delivery drivers has insisted on taking a photograph of the parcel in the open doorway. Without householder consent, isn’t this a breach of trespass laws by these delivery companies? Irrespective of any secure process they may say they use to manage the photographs taken, I’m not entirely sure they have the legal right. Does anyone know? And if so, how can we get them to stop?

Hi fox520 and welcome to Which? Conversation.

Delivery companies taking photos has been mentioned a few times in our discussions. I presume that it helps protect them and the retailer from fraud if goods go missing or have been delivered and the purchaser claims otherwise. It does not concern me but if it did I would offer to sign for the goods.

One problem is that we often do not know which company an online retailer uses for deliveries and some retailers use more than one.

Photographic ‘Proof of Delivery’ has been one of the greatest advancements that Carriers have introduced.

It protects both the consumer and the retailer and avoids any disputes regarding deliveries.

Delivery drivers typically photograph the parcel inside a customers open front door, with some surrounding detail such as paving, a step, plant pots, entrance mats etc, which identify the address and can be used to verify the address in the event of a delivery dispute. Drivers would not typically take a photo of the customer, although they may take a photo of a customer holding a parcel in the doorway, but this would generally be from the neck down and avoid the customers face.

Signatures taken on the drivers scanner were never very reliable as the sensitivity of the screens was questionable and signing was often awkward, resulting in a scribble which was never an accurate representation of the customers signature.

Fox520 — I don’t know the legal position of taking a photograph through an open doorway but if you have ordered something for home delivery you have effectively invited them onto your property, and, once you have opened the front door to them, that is as good as saying “leave the parcel here”. Is additional consent necessary for fulfilling a delivery? I doubt it.

I have noticed that some delivery companies state on their delivery notification that taking a picture of the parcel in the doorway is their method of working so you have the right to make alternative arrangements [collection from a depot or collection point perhaps, or placement in a box or receptacle of some sort inside your grounds but not into the house].

The pictures I have seen on a delivery confirmation e-mail do not show the exact location, just a lower view of the doorway with the package perched on the threshold. I don’t see that as an invasion of our privacy or a trespass on our private property.

I am often upstairs when a parcel carrier comes so I open the window and thank the driver as he leaves it on the doorstep.

I am not sure why you would want to stop this practice. To my mind it is a reasonable security precaution to stop dishonest claims against the consignor for failed deliveries and it is a protection for employees from false accusations.

I agree entirely John. Consumers should also keep in mind that unless they have chosen to have their property obscured on Google maps, a clear image of most residential properties can be viewed on Google maps by anyone with online access, although some of the images may be several years old and may not show any property improvements.

Hi fox520,
You don’t say which delivery companies insist on the open doorway, could it be DPD?

I had a few problems with them at the start of the pandemic but following the instructions on their website now leave a note attached to the front door that says:
Self-isolating
Please leave in porch below
Parcel No:
123456789
Sender name
Date
Thank you
Very vague scribbled signature if requested.

The ‘porch’ is more of a covered doorstep, but it keeps them and us happy.

John wrote: “The pictures I have seen on a delivery confirmation e-mail do not show the exact location, just a lower view of the doorway with the package perched on the threshold. I don’t see that as an invasion of our privacy or a trespass on our private property.”

I agree, John. I’ve seen delivery photos that include my legs and feet but no more. If I ever see one where I am not wearing matching socks I might change my mind.

Thanks for the welcome and to all of you for sharing your thoughts. I fully take on board what you’ve said. I am still uncomfortable with a photo being taken while the door is open and certainly think there is no reason for the householder to be present but can see the reason why they are taking the photo. I also acknowledge the point that by ordering online it could be construed (or may even be in the Ts and Cs) you are permitting them to take the photo with the door open.

I like the idea of calling down from the window above telling them to leave the parcel outside though one told me he couldn’t as he had to see the door open – that was DPD. I shall try this from now on as I’m often working in the room above the front door.

I see the benefit of the photo to provide delivery proof, though on a sidenote that could be seen to represent a problem with the company employing trustworthy staff and providing good training, as well as engaging with the drivers at a personal level. I can only assume there is no time for that type of support any more and zero hours contracts can mean some drivers have little inclination to do the right thing all the time.

Fox520 — There is more on issues around parcel deliveries in this Conversation —
https://conversation.which.co.uk/shopping/deliveries-disabilities-accessibility-equality-act-2010/