Which? turns 60 this year. To celebrate, each week we’ll be featuring a post from a Conversation community member on what Which? means to them. This week, it’s Convo regular Wavechange’s turn…
I was first introduced to Which? as a child, when my aunt and uncle moved to the next village to our family home in the late 1950s.
My uncle was a great enthusiast of the Which? magazine and would often produce a pile of issues for me and my parents to read.
I recall him explaining how his choice of cine camera, radio and TV had been influenced by what he read in the magazine. He once wanted to buy a modern washing machine for my aunt, but she insisted on keeping her ancient, but reliable, Servis machine and wringer.
At work, colleagues often left copies of recent Which? magazines in the coffee room and, according to Member Services, I eventually joined in 1987.
Although product reviews are useful, I find the other content more interesting, especially when I can relate to particular consumer issues.
It was encouraging when Which? campaigned to stop electrical retailers from pushing customers to buy very expensive extended warranties, sometimes by claiming that products were likely to fail prematurely.
More recently, I am very grateful for the long-running Which? campaign to put an end to nuisance calls.
Product testing has revealed many unsatisfactory or downright dangerous items on sale. Years ago, I learned from the magazine that I had an unsatisfactory smoke alarm in my home and more recently, Which? has identified poorly performing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Removing poor products from the market is vital and I would like to see Which? pushing for the restoration of Trading Standards as an effective organisation for dealing with unsafe products and other problems that consumers encounter.
I recall Which? magazine covers showing a small 4×4 car on the point of rolling over when cornering and an iron with a melted metal soleplate. I would like to see regular use of similar memorable images. The current covers are attractive, but unlikely to be remembered.
Joining the Conversation
I started contributing to Which? Conversation in 2010. Initially, I saw it as a way of keeping up with changing technology and learning about new developments. I have enjoyed the variety of topics and, thanks to the help from the moderators when needed, it has remained a friendly environment for informal debate – unlike some discussion forums that I have used in the past.
It is good to see more input from Which? staff, particularly those who provide the Conversation topics. The inclusion of some light-hearted topics is a vital feature, without which we might spend all our time putting the world to rights!
Congratulations to Which? on its 60th anniversary, and best wishes for the future.
This is a guest contribution by community member, Wavechange.
What are your memories of Which? What have been your favourite front covers?