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This week in comments – spooks and scams

Illustration of a pumpkin

Have you fallen for the ‘Microsoft scam’? Were you affected by the announcements about feed-in tariff changes? And did you celebrate or scorn Halloween? These are just a few of our top Convos this week…

FIT for change?

Is it fair that the government is reducing the amount that solar panel owners can expect to earn from the feed-in tariff (FIT)  scheme from December?

Byronpen is shocked by the news:

‘I have been waiting over a month for two quotations for PV solar panels from recommended installers. It is likely that delivery and installation will take a further two to three months. Sadly, following the latest government statement I will not be proceeding with the project. No doubt many others will be taking the same decision.’

Jeremy’s thoughts are with small businesses:

‘I feel very sorry for all the people who have spent time and money training to get MCS qualified and those who have invested in, or set up, solar PV businesses only to have the rug pulled out from under their feet.’

Should you switch to winter tyres?

The cold weather’s coming, so we turned our attention once more to winter tyres. Some of you feel they aren’t necessary, like Braveboy:

‘I agree with Wavechange saying that he won’t be changing to winter tyres. I am also a very experienced driver with 39 years driving class 1 HGVs. I have driven on snow and icy roads without any serious problems other than trying to climb gradients. You need to respect the conditions and drive accordingly.’

Simon Gould says he too was sceptical about the benefits of winter tyres in the UK, but has since changed his mind:

‘Once you have driven up a hill in a normal saloon with heavy snow on the road and passed a puzzled driver stuck in a BMW X5 with all four wheels spinning, your mind is quickly changed.’

And, in response to another commenter posting a link to winter tyre reviews, Daniel points out:

‘Those are just reviews as opposed to tests so they’re very subjective. If someone goes from worn summer tyres to new winter tyres when it’s snowy or icy then of course they’re going to perform better. Doesn’t mean they’re any better than other winter tyres.’

Why I love Halloween

When I wrote about my love of Halloween, I quickly discovered I was in a minority – here on Which? Conversation at least. Mr Blobby is particularly against this event:

‘I don’t understand how anyone can defend the practice of trick or treating. Effectively what you are saying is “give me some sweets or I’ll do something to you that you won’t like”. At any other time of the year this would be called extortion or obtaining goods with menace.’

But a handful, including cmf0530, shares my enthusiasm:

‘I am British but spent my childhood living in the States and I can’t think of a more imaginative and community based holiday. In the states, Halloween is about meeting your neighbours, being creative with costumes and just having fun getting in the spirit of the holidays.’

The ‘Microsoft phone scam’ simply won’t hang up

Have you been called by Microsoft – or another computer company – only to find out it wasn’t them at all? We liked Lombear’s method of dealing with unwanted callers so much that we made him our commenter of the week:

‘I probably get two or three of these calls a week – I can quite happily keep them occupied while multi-tasking on my PC so they can’t call others. Managed to really confuse one the other day by saying the space bar was next to the ctrl key – totally threw him off script.’