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This week in comments – loud ads, light bulbs and listings

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We reignited the light bulb debate this week and uncovered many issues with recycling. We also asked how you felt about your personal details being used on 192.com, and by marketers sending you junk mail.

Are you listed on 192.com?

As soon as we asked this question many of you went off to find out whether your name was listed – and 192.com jumped to its defence:

‘Our data is sourced from data already in the public domain, namely the Edited Electoral Roll, the Directors Database from Companies House, and the Telephone Directory. 192.com cannot publish this data without consent.’

Robert Rijkhoff, of the Stop Junk Mail campaign, wasn’t convinced:

‘Many people don’t quite understand what the edited register is about, and in particular that the list can be bought by anyone and may be used for any purpose. As a result only 40% of people on the electoral roll is opted out of being included on the edited register. Frankly, I think it’s a scandal that the electoral roll is used as a commodity.’

Are LOUD TV ADS still a problem?

Which? Convo’s Patrick has had a good-old moan about TV ads being too loud this week, but wants to know if it is a real problem for others. Allan Ford confirmed it is:

‘It is not a figment of your imagination, my wife sits with the zapper in her hand, she spends the entire viewing time switching the volume up and down. It drives me crazy so I retire to my computer.’

Jonas’ answer is to record what he wants to watch and skip through the ads:

‘Adverts are louder. I’m so fed up with it I seldom watch any live TV. I even record live sports events so I can skip through the adverts. Surely, if so many people are doing this the advertisers are losing out. It’s in their best interest not to annoy everyone.’

Will the government’s obesity strategy work? Fat chance!

Can the food industry voluntarily reducing calories really be the answer to our obesity problem? The government thinks so, but Frugal Ways doesn’t:

‘Do I trust self regulation? Not one jot! In every area where self regulation has been introduced, the customer loses out and ways to bypass the “regulation” are used.’

While most felt that regulation would be a step too far, Julie Shrive told us why she is for it:

‘The labelling is often too complicated and can’t be read as the type is too small. I discovered from my urologist that there are over 14 teaspoons of sugar in cranberry juice. Laws and taxes need to restrict use of chemicals, hormones, trans fats and additives.’

Why are you phased by the light bulb phase out?

Richard Dilks trawled through our popular Conversation about light bulbs and answered your concerns. Many of you felt that the issue of recycling light bulbs needs more attention:

Dave D: ‘I’m in Sheffield and it’s as good as impossible to dispose of them legally, and I work with an electrician from Manchester, who tells me that it is almost as bad over there. Given that Sheffield and Manchester are two of the UK’s 10 largest cities, I don’t think you can say this is a ‘rural’ issue.’

Wavechange: ‘The best way to encourage recycling is to make it easy and free. Many CFLs are very fragile, so they are likely to break if put in collection boxes (e.g. in shops), which is obviously undesirable.’

Richard has since replied to say that Which? will be looking in more depth into the issue of how difficult it is to recycle energy-saving bulbs.

Will we ever clear our doormats of junk mail?

Our guest blogger, Robert Rijkhoff, of the Stop Junk Mail campaign, argues that the industry’s solutions haven’t solved the junk mail problem. Rip has his own method of reducing it:

‘I deal with junk mail one company at a time. I send their junk mail back to them (preferably in their return envelope) with comments asking the sender to stop wasting resources. Junk mail makes a mockery of all of our recycling efforts.’

But some, like Louis, don’t think there’s a problem to sort out:

‘I think that some companies survive because of this type of mail, from a local takeaway to Royal Mail. Also, it provides employment, with people working as leaflet distributors. I personally like to receive such mail. Sometimes, I have followed some of it up.’

Self-service airports – plane sailing or infuriating?

Will a DIY approach to airline check-in take off? This week’s commenter of the week, John Ward, had this to say:

‘Of all the enjoyable hours I have spent relaxing in airports, sadly I have never been able to spend more than a very few minutes at the check-in desks, but it will be a great relief to be released from this tiresome burden laced as it is with human contact which can so often descend into friendly banter. So long have I waited for the chance to affix my own luggage tags. The good news just keeps on coming.’

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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